Fish Hoek are the undisputed lifesaving kings, queens, princes and princesses of the Western Cape
They maintained their dominance in the seniors, juniors and overall in smashing the competition in the Western Cape Wimpy Lifesaving Provincial Club Championships held in Milnerton.
Fish Hoek will be among the favourites to take gold at the Wimpy Lifesaving National Club Championships in Port Elizabeth from March 19-26.
Several of the Fish Hoek elite should also feature prominently in the national squad to compete at the World Championships in Italy in September.
Fish Hoek’s dominance was emphasised with an overall score of 947 points, with Llandudno second with 638.5 points and Clifton third with 632 points.
Clifton’s juniors were outstanding in finishing second to Fish Hoek.
Jake Schoeman starred in winning the senior and junior Iron Man titles. Fish Hoek’s Schoeman showed the rewards of his pre-season training in Australia.
Milnerton’s 19-year-old Ryan Chandler comfortably won the senior and under-19 male Run-Swim-Run and Fish Hoek’s Mark Keeling was convincing in winning the Double and Single Surf Ski races.
South Africa’s National Beach Flags champion Ryle de Morny, formerly of False Bay, was competing in the KwaZulu-Natal provincial club championships. De Morny has owned the event in the Western Cape in the last decade and with him not eligible to compete Alpha’s Lyle Petersen took gold in the Flags.
Team South Africa squad member Sameer Matthew placed third behind Petersen and Fish Hoek’s Zakariyaa Abrahams.
Canada’s Sandrine Hamel, training in South Africa and competing for Llandudno, won the Iron Woman, Surf Ski and Flags events, while Germany’s Andrea Eling, in the colours of Fish Hoek, triumphed in the under-19 Flags and was second in the senior event.
Fish Hoek’s Candice Murray excelled in winning the Board Race and finishing second in the Surf Ski, Surf Swim and Iron Woman races.
nIt was history-making in every sense at the KwaZulu-Natal Wimpy Senior Lifesaving Provincial Championships with Durban Surf victorious by half a point. Never has a provincial championship been decided by less than a point.
Durban Surf, with 299.5 points, triumphed over Marine’s 299 points. The youthful Umhlanga Rocks squad completed the podium with 243.5 points. Pirates and the Durban Pro Lifeguards were fourth and fifth respectively.
George Edward dominated the men’s events in taking the prestigious Iron Man title and also the Board Race. Edward, despite being a junior, was too strong for several men his senior and he now holds the rare distinction of having won the best competitor at under-19 and senior level in KZN.
Chris McGlynn inspired in the male swims on his return to competitive lifesaving. He was particularly dominant in the Surf Swim.
South Africa’s most celebrated beach sprinter and flags specialist, De Morny competed for the first time for Durban Surf. He has won more provincial, national and international sprint titles than anyone in South African lifesaving, but the veteran was forced to play second fiddle to Jonathan Rourke, who now has a positive career winning record in sprints against De Morny, who for the past decade had been unrivalled in South African male beach sprinting.
De Morny, coming back from a horrific shoulder injury, did not compete in his favoured Flags event. In his absence, Chevon Clarke took gold.
Marine’s Carmel Billson, for the past three years, has had no equal in South African lifesaving, be it in the pool or surf, but Billson was a mixed bag in terms of results. Collectively, the Billson sisters of Carmel, Lauren and Natalie won Marine many points but 2020 was an event that spoke to Amica de Jager, more than any other female competitor.
De Jager was consistent and, at times, brilliant, and won the overall female competitor title.
Provincial and national team regulars Sasha Lee Corris-Nordengen and Kristin Belligan were influential for the seniors and among the juniors there was no female better than Paige Horn.
South Africa’s sprint queen Mandi Maritz did not compete and Melissa Corbett dined out in winning the female Sprints and Beach Flags. Corbett was fantastic in the Flags and in the most dramatic finish of the day, she tied (on a dead heat) with Horne in the Sprint. Corbett’s half point ensured Durban Surf the overall title.