PE pair shine as records fall in Marina Mile
PORT Elizabeth swimmers Ian Venter, 19, and Hannah Counihan, 15, have made a splash by setting new records at last Friday’s Royal St Andrews Hotel Amanzi Festival Marina Mile.
They both won trophies on which their names will be engraved.
The Marina Mile attracted about 50 swimmers (up from last year’s 33). At the prize giving last Friday Marina Mile co-organiser, Avril Beyleveld said: “Now that we are confident with a good event, we will be able to market the Marina Mile on a large scale next year.”
After the safety briefing, swimmers entered the water from the jetty behind the Halyards Hotel to reach the starting line at the canal, then set off around the first marina island, returning to the Halyards and the small boat harbour up the Kowie River.
There were three swimming categories: juniors (12-18) who wore yellow bathing caps, open section (19-29) who wore red and seniors (30+) who wore white bathing caps, necessary for identification at the finish line.
One section of the river was silted up and swimmers returned with mud on their chins.
“That is the nature of open water swimming,” said Beyleveld. “You take it as you find it.”
Venter finished the race first in a record-breaking time (21:53) followed by last year’s winner, Slater Black, 17, who was five seconds behind in 21:58, improving on his own time last year (23:15). In third place was another junior, Cole Craig, 18, who was also second in the junior section. He swims for the same swimming club in Port Elizabeth as the first two swimmers. His time was 22:59.
The first female across the finish line was Counihan in a time of 23:05, followed by last year’s winner, Paige Black in a time of 23:31, beating her own record of 25:06 last year. Courtney Repine was third in another record time of 24:05.
Members of the Port Alfred swimming team also participated and won some prizes. They were Saffron Tweedie, Emily Beatt, Scarlett Tweedie, William Beatt and Kate Tinley.
Jenny Middleton came last but was by far the most popular swimmer as the entire Presbyterian Church turned up to support their minister, who was swimming to raise funds for charity. She and last male, Vernon Bezuidenhout, finished the race together in 50:37.