Marine's Eugene Swanepoel leads his club to gold in a sprint finish in the Men's Open Taplin Relay. Photo: topfoto.net

Marine Lifesaving Club are the 2018 General Tire Lifesaving South Africa Overall Surf and Pool National champions, with Marine’s Sasha-Lee Nordengren winning the individual Women's title in the Open Division.

Durban Surf earlier in the week won the Nippers Overall Club title. Durban Surf's Tatum Botha predictably won the title in the U14 female division. Clifton's  Noar Lombard won the U14 male title.

(Tatum) Botha, daughter of former national champion and South African international Dylan Botha, was the outstanding individual in all three days of competition. Durban Surf have for the past five years been the most dominant club among the Nippers in KZN and at the annual National Nipper Competitions.

Fish Hoek’s Nick Notten was for the second successive year named the overall athlete of the National Championships in the Men’s Open Division. Notten also won the prestigious Open Male Iron Event.

Pirates’s Alice Edward won the overall female U19 title and East Londen’s Josh Fenn was the best U19 male. Fenn’s younger brother Jordan took honours among the U13s.

Nordengren, in the Female Open Division, was in compelling form throughout the week. She overshadowed her Marine club teammate and South Africa’s 2017 champion Carmel Billson in the Run Swim Run and she also beat Billson in the Surf Swim.

Billson, who in 2017 won 17 provincial and national titles, wasn’t as an imposing presence in Port Elizabeth.

Scottburgh's Johnathan Rorke wins the Open Male Beach Sprint Tittle. Photo: topfoto.net

Veteran sprinter and flags specialist Mandi Maritz was at her very best to see of the challenge of Marine youngster BIance von Bargen. Maritz had lost to Von Bargen in the KZN Provincial Championships but in Port Elizabeth she completed the double gold in beating Von Bargen in the sprint and also in the Flags.

South Africa’s most renowned male Flags specialist and sprinter Ryle de Morny finished on a high in winning the Flags but he lost for the second successive year in the sprint final to KZN’s Scottburgh beach sprint sensation Johnathan Rorke.

False Bay’s De Morny, for the past 10 years, had owned the crown of sprint king in South African Lifesaving. He had won 10 World Championship medals, including twice winning gold at the World Championships.

But Rorke, after winning the 2017 and 2018 final, announced there was a new male king of beach sprinting in South Africa.

New Zealand's Rachael Clark, competing as a foreign guest, won the Women's Open Iron event but the National Championship competition rules exclude foreign guest participants from claiming the title.  


Durban Surf's Mandi Maritz wins the Open Female Flags Title. Photo: topfoto.net

In this instance, the record books will reflect the title winner as Lifesaving South Africa's 2017 Female Athlete of the Year Carmel Billson, who finished second and was the highest placed South African.

While Marine won the overall Pool and Surf combined Championship, Fish Hoek won the Seniors and Juniors Surf National title.

* General Tire Lifesaving South Africa 2018 Overall Surf and Pool National Club Championship results.

1. Marine 986 points

2. Fish Hoek 513.5 points

3. Durban Surf 475


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