Latest Daily Summerstrand,courtesy of their incredible nippers, defended their overall title at the 2022DHL Lifesaving South Africa National Club Championships in Gqeberha.
Kings Beach and Newton Park playedhosts to the annual elite competitive event of lifesaving and Summerstrandagain maximized being at home, with all their best available to compete.
It is the biggest advantage whenhosting as teams outside of the province don’t always have the funding to sendeveryone to the nationals, but credit to Summerstrand’s nippers for backing upthe 2021 effort with one as impressive in 2022 when they again surpassed 1000competition points in the respective surf and pool competitions.
Umhlanga dominated in the seniorsand juniors surf events, much like Tuks and Harites had done in the pool but itwas Durban Surf’s Melissa Corbett who struck gold in the highly anticipatedsenior female Beach Flags showdown against Plett’s 19 year-old South Africaninternational Ellen Kleinsmidt. The veteran Ryle de Morny, as he has done sooften in the past decade, did the Flags and Sprint double for senior males.
Corbett and Kleinsmidt produced oneof the big tussles of the three-day DHL LSA Surf National Club Championships atKings Beach in Gqeberha, while De Morny, in the colours of Durban Surf, edgedhis long-time rival, friend and team-mate Chevan Clarke in a tense final.
South Africa’s finest lifesavingtalent was on display all week, with the nippers in the surf spotlight for thefirst three days and the Newton Park pool for the final three days. The juniorsand seniors started with the pool competition and finished the final three daysdelighting the crowd with some stunning races.
Pirates’ Luke Nisbet added thesenior Board gold to his Iron gold, while Umhlanga’s seniors and juniors weresensational in the three-day surf competition.
Summerstrand’s Nippers, as in 2021,had no equal in the surf or the pool and combined for over 1000 points to crushthe opposition, with the locals particularly dominant in the poolchampionships.
Clifton and Fish Hoek’s wereextremely competitive in the nippers surf championship, with just four pointsseparating them and they pushed Summerstrand all the way.
Durban Surf’s Melissa Corbett takes gold in the flags final against Plett’s Ellen Kleinscmidt. (Photo credit: Anton Grote/LSA)
Summerstrandended the surf championship with 515 points and the two Western Capepowerhouses Clifton and Fish Hoek tussled for second place, in which less thanfour points separated the clubs over three days of competition.
Cliftonwould end with 481.5 points and Fish Hoek would tally 478 points.
Fish Hoek, also fielding a strongeroverall contingent after being depleted at the 2021 Championships because ofCovid, were again strong in the juniors, along with Clifton, and the Fish Hoekseniors, on occasion, rolled back the years of their one-time dominance.
But nothing stopped Umhlanga in thesenior and junior divisions, and, led by Tatum Botha, Saskia Hockly andNicolette Challenor, the club topped the gold and silver medal table.
Botha did a unique double in winningthe U19 junior Iron race and an hour later being senior female favourite Amicade Jager in the senior female Iron race.
Hockly also won golds at u19 andsenior level, doing the double in the single ski and Challenor was the fastestwoman on sand, winning the u19 and senior beach sprint title.
Tuks, earlier in the week, were crownedoverall junior and senior pool champions with 302.50 points, with Hartiessecond with 284 points and Umhlanga third with 167 points.
The Tuks seniors were in a league of their own, totalling 174points with Harties and Umhlanga tied for second with 38 points respectively.
Harties, though, showed that the future is bright with acompelling team victory in the age groups 14-18, scoring 256 points, with Tukssecond (128 points) and Umhlanga second (129 points) and Tuks third (128points).
Individually, Bloemfontein’sDouglas-Len Mac Kay was outstanding in the age group 17-18 and his 48 points overthe course of three days was the highest of the competition.
Tuks’s Kendra du Toit was the leading female with 47 points. Shealso broke a South African record.
In the gruelling three-day Surfboatevent, Bluewater Bay edged Marine with Pirates taking third place.
Marine’s women battle it out in the gruelling three-day Surf Boat competition. (Photo credit: Anton Grote/LSA)
Surf’s individual tournament winners
Female: Amica de Jager (DurbanSurf).
Male: Luke Nisbet (Pirates)
U19: female: Tatum Botha (Umhlanga,33 points/three golds from five events)
U17 female: Tannah Smith (Umhlanga,36 points/three golds from five events)
U15 female: Georgia Singe (FishHoek, 45 points/four golds from seven events)
U19 male: Christian Davidson(Summerstrand, 30 points/three golds from four events)
U17 male: Levi Mayes (Fish Hoek, 24points/three silvers from four events)
U15 male: Wade Beukes (Fish Hoek, 31points/two golds from five events)
Livelinks to all DHL LSA surf and pool events for week, 20th March to 26th March
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