Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

11 January 2013

Namibia: Swimmers Helped By Calm Sea At Pupkewitz Jetty Mile

On 27 December the Pupkewitz Jetty Mile took place in Swakopmund. 150 swimmers participated in this annual holiday event which attracted a wide range of swimmers, from social to SA Olympic calibre, ranging from the ages of 5 (Sprint distance) to 71 (Jetty Mile).

The beach from Tiger Reef Beach Bar to the Mole was lined with supporters and spectators. Participants could choose between the Full Jetty Mile, which started at Tiger Reef and ended at the Mole or a shorter Sprint that took place inside the Mole.

The race started at a furious pace with 15 swimmers forming a tight pack. The pack lasted to the Jetty - each person trying to stay with the pack and get some advantage from drafting. The pack offers the additional benefit of minimising the risk of swimming skew. Seasoned SA triathlete, Nico Sterk, was also determined as it was his third attempt to win this race. Nico used his open water swimming experience to work out the best strategy.

Nico remained quietly close to the front of the pack until just before the buoy 200 meters north of the Mole, before launching a brazen attack going at full sprint and moving rapidly past the pack and exiting the water seconds in front of Quinton Delie. Once on dry land it was a given that Nico would take first place. Nico is unbeatable in the 300m run dash to the finish line, his triathlon training standing him in good stead. Nico's finishing time was 25:04, followed by Quinton Delie in 25:12.

Third out the water and winner of the U15 age category, 3 seconds behind Quinton was Phillip Seidler, a remarkable time for this youthful swimmer.

SA Olympic swimmer, Karin Prinsloo, was the first female across the line in a time of 25:34. In second position was last years winner, Silja Henzen in a time of 28:25. In third position was Gabriella Liebenberg in 29:26.

In the 650m Sprint, again the race was tight but in the end Namibia's top sprinter JP Engelbrecht was impossible to beat. He crossed the line first in a time of 9.27, closely followed by youngster and winner of the U16 category, Lushano Lamprecht who completed the race in 09:31.

In third position overall was Macquelin Winkler in 10:07. First overall female in the sprint and winner of the U14 category was Molina Smalley in 09:43. Second overall was Kiara Schatz in 09:47 and in third position and winner of the Female open age category was Anna Meaden in 11:32.

Event organisers, OTB Sport said conditions were excellent, far better than predicted. The temperature was around 15 degrees and not the 13 degrees that had been feared.

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