CAPE TOWN - Ryle de Morny means business in 2018. South Africa’s most celebrated beach sprint specialist had no equal at the weekend’s General Tire Western Cape Lifesaving Provincial Championships.
False Bay’s De Morny took time out from the sport in the latter part of 2017 to focus on track athletics, but there was no distraction in his dominance of the weekend’s beach flags and beach sprints. De Morny’s form this year will be crucial to South Africa’s prospects later this year at the World Championships in Australia.
De Morny will also compete at the General Tire National Championships in Port Elizabeth from 2-7 April, where he will be looking to reclaim the national beach sprint title he lost to KwaZulu-Natal's Jonathan Rorke.
Rorke was also SA’s in-form performer in New Zealand at last December’s International Sea Rescue Championship.
Fish Hoek, the powerhouse club in the Western Cape and SA, again proved commanding with the Notten brothers, Nick and Dominic, powerful on both days of competition.
Nick Notten won the Men’s Open Run Swim Run and was equally ruthless in taking first place in the prestigious Men’s Open Iron Man event.
The Notten brothers also renewed their rivalry with club teammate Mark Keeling in the Men’s Open Single Surfski event. Keeling, who took a study break from the sport, had to be content with playing second fiddle to the in-form brothers but the former’s return to competitive lifesaving adds to the depth of the potential national squad this year.
The strength of Fish Hoek’s depth was showcased when the very talented Tyra Buncombe, an Under-19 junior, showed her class to take the Open Iron Women’s event.
Robin Smith completed the club’s dominance with victory in the Open Single Ski event.
Llandudno Surf Lifesaving Club’s Kari Steyn, despite still being under 19, won the Women’s Open Board title.
The competition organisers also decided to recognise the performance of those competitors from outside the province, and Marine Surf Lifesaving Club’s Lauren Billson was the biggest winner in taking the Women’s Open Run Swim Run.
Meanwhile, Milnerton Surf Livesaving Club played host to the Western Cape Seniors/Juniors Lifesaving Provincial Championship.