Llandudno’s Ryley Smith and Clifton’s Rebecca Fury were supreme in taking gold in the male and female under 14 Iron races, but it was Summerstrand who were edging club honours in the DHL Lifesaving South Africa Nippers Surf competition at Kings Beach in Gqeberha.
The Nippers complete their three-day challenge on Wednesday, but locals Summerstrand were proving the most consistent in the under 10s, 12s and 14s, which also include under 9s, 11s and 13s.
The Iron race is always considered the blue-ribbon event for the surf, with the flags and sprints the treasured titles for those who claim sand over surf as their forte.
More than 700 Nippers have showcased their talents over the past two days and reinforced how healthy competitive lifesaving is in South Africa.
In the u13s, Summerstrand’s Lisa de Villiers and Plett’s Liam Stephenson have been among the biggest standouts, taking several gold medals, including the respective Iron titles.
Stephenson beat Fish Hoek’s Samuel Mocke into second place, but the silver of Mocke will sit just nicely next to father Dawid and mother Nikki, who won the Masters’ golds in the Iron, aged 40-44 years.
In the Nippers Surf Championship, Clifton turned up the heat in the under 14s, under 12s and under 10s categories, and their combined running team totals had them edging Fish Hoek and the 2021 overall defending champions Summerstrand and Durban Surf with one day to go.
The Nippers continue their rivalry in the surf and sand through to Wednesday, with Tuesday’s competition characterized by the under 13 and under 14 Iron titles, surf swim and beach sprints.
Gold medal winners among the Nippers over the first two days included Clifton’s u14s Sebastian Cudmore and Rebecca Fury, who also took the Iron title. Clifton’s Scarlett van der Merwe, Strand’s JP van der Walt, Durban Surf’s Kyan White and Strandfontein’s Eve Abrahams were also among the gold medals.
Lisa de Villers (Summerstrand) was a multiple winner in the under 13s, as were Plett’s Lima Stephenson, Summerstand’s Daniel Pappas and Clifton’s Sophia Pooley. Clifton’s Josh Huntingford was another gold medal winner.
In the under 12s, there were gold medals for Kyto Tuohy (Clifton), Zahra Mohamad (Fish Hoek), Jarryd Cole (Llandudno) and Hannah de Necker (Plett) and Sienna Gous (Summerstrand).
Bjorn Maree of hosts Kings Beach won gold in the under 11s, and there were also golds in the under 11s for Sabrina Krige (Milnerton), Eden Whitaker (Kings Beach), Morgan Gous (Summerstrand) and Michael Kemp (Strand).
Kings Beach’s Shah Eli Kannemeyer took gold in the under 10s, as did Fish Hoek’s Olivia Latimer. Marine’s Eddie Harker also won gold in the u10s, along with Bianca Salmon of Umhlanga and Sophia da Costa of Marine.
East London’s Callum Rohtbart and Summerstrand’s Aran Garrett won gold in the u10s and Kings Beach’s Daniel Verdon claimed a first place in under 9s, as did Clifton’s Gia Heldsinger, Llandudno’s Emma Cullis and Clifton’s Ahadi Magotsi.
Umhlanga teen lifesaving sensation Tatum Botha’s 2022 DHL LSA National Club Pool competition rocked from the outset in the Pool team relays at Newton Park in Gqeberha.
Botha, competing in the female 14-18 years LC Meter 4 x 50 m obstacle relay, combined with Madison Alberts, Anya Hocking and Mia Rule for victory and then contributed to another gold in the female 19-29 years category in the same discipline.
Botha, Hocking, Saskia Hockly and the very experienced international Sasha-Lee Nordegen were too powerful as a unit.
The male, 14-18 for the same event, Umhlanga also proved victorious through the quartet of Damian Angel, Matthew Coetzer, Kyle Hultzer and Luc O’Brien.
Clifton’s challenge was confined to second and third place, with Naor Lombard among the medals.
Tuks, traditionally very powerful in the Pool, still triumphed despite missing South Africa’s leading male pool athlete Johan Lourens, who withdrew from the nationals because of injury.
Tuks still were too strong in winning the 19-29 men 4 x 50 metres obstacle relay, thanks to Kian du Toit, Clayton Thompson, Jason Rodgers and Ockert van Schalkwyk.
Tuks also won the male 14-18 50 LC metre line throw relay, through Ludolph Joubert and Ryan Nell.
Botha and Hockly combined their talents to win gold in the female 14-18 50 LC metre line throw relay.
Harties Reflection were winners in the female 19-29, courtesy of Marlise Ferreira and Anneke van Eeden, with Senathla’s Kai Davey and Branden Willows taking gold in the male 19-29 50 LC metre line throw relay.
Harties also won the male 14-18 50 LC metre line throw through Antonie Pieterse and Kyle Jansen van Vuuren.
Live links to all DHL LSA surf and pool events for week, 20th March to 26th March