South African teenagers Calvin Coetzee and Milan Erasmus struck gold at the Orange Cup in the Netherlands, while KwaZulu-Natal’s beach sprinter Jonathan Rorke stood tallest among the South Africans at the International Sea Rescue Challenge in New Zealand.
South Africa’s best still-water, sand and surf lifesavers individually had a presence on opposite ends of the world, but collectively the South Africans were not as imposing, with Team South Africa finishing fourth out of seven at the Sea Rescue Challenge, which is the form barometer for next year’s World Championships.
South Africa’s juniors placed third out of five in New Zealand.
Coetzee, Erasmus and JP van Zyl had excelled in the German Cup a fortnight ago and they continued their form at the prestigious Orange Cup.
The Orange Cup is exclusive to still-water competition.
Coetzee won gold in the 200 metres Obstacle Race, Erasmus took gold in the 100m manikin tow with fins and Van Zyl placed second in the 100m manikin carry with fins.
The South African still-water trio combined for six medals at the German Cup (one gold, four silvers and a bronze) and three medals at the Orange Cup.
Coetzee was the only South African to win gold at both the German Cup and Orange Cup.
Rorke, at Mt Maunganui in New Zealand, spearheaded South Africa to three successive Test Day victories in the Beach Relay.
Rorke, the 2017 General Tire Lifesaving South Africa National Beach Sprint Champion, finished second in the beach sprint final in all three Test days.
South Africa’s Runaldo Pedro was brilliant in the beach flags, winning all three finals over the three days in the Youth Challenge.
South Africa’s senior men and women couldn’t match the brilliance of Australia and New Zealand and the South Africans faded on the final day to slip from third overall to fourth.
The United States, who trailed South Africa by a point after day two, were strong on the final day to comfortably end third, with South Africa edging the improving Japanese by eight points.
Great Britain were sixth and Canada seventh.
Australia, winners of the first Test and second Test days respectively, won the third and final Test day, plus the overall event from hosts New Zealand.
Australia also won the youth category by 15 points over the New Zealand Junior Black Fins. South Africa finished in third, with Great Britain and USA fourth and fifth respectively in the Under-19 competition.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand sport manager Mike Lord lauded the event as the most competitive ever.
“The result wasn’t guaranteed until the final event finished and that’s a real testament to the quality of competition here this week.”
The Tri-Nations Trophy, contested by Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, also formed part of the International Sea Rescue Challenge, and Australia were again crowned champions.
Selected SA results in New Zealand
Beach Sprint Relay: 1st (Bradley Odendaal, Dylan Bridger, Jonathan Rorke, Malec Odendaal)
Rescue Tube Rescue: 2nd (Bradley Odendaal, Daniel Jones, Dylan Bridger and Jonathan Rorke)
Beach Sprint: 2nd (Jonathan Rorke)
Surf Ski: 2nd (Matthew Bouwman)
Relay: 3rd (Candice Murray, Carmel Billson, Lauren Billson, Sasha-Lee Nordengen)
Rescue Tube Rescue: 3rd (Candice Murray, Carmel Billson, Lauren Billson, Sasha-Lee Nordengen)
Ocean Person: 4th (Carmel Billson)
Board Relay: 3rd (Carmel Billson, Malec Odendaal)
Beach Flags: 1st Runaldo Pedro
Beach Relay: 1st: (Cheyne Haupt, Joshua Templeton, Kurt Rautenbach, Runaldo Pedro)
Ocean Person Relay: 3rd (Cheyne Haupt, Connor Botha, Kurt Rautenbach, Matthew Maroun)
Rescue Tube Rescue: 3rd (Joshua Templeton, Kurt Rautenbach, Matthew Maroun, Runaldo Pedro)
Surf Race: 3rd Joshua Templeton
Ocean Person: 3rd Cheyne Haupt, 4th Matthew Maroun
Beach sprint: 3rd Megan Kreft
Rescue Tube Rescue: 2nd (Alexandra Chislett, Amica de Jager, Megan Kreft, Teegan Hardwick)
Surf teams: 3rd (Amica de Jager, Connor Botha, Joshua Templeton, Tamryn McKie)
Ski relay: 2nd (Matthew Maroun, Teegan Hardwick)
Orange Cup - Netherlands
Calvin Coetzee - Gold in 200m Obstacle Race
Milan Erasmus - Gold in 100m manikin tow with fins
JP van Zyl - Silver in 100m manikin carry with fins