Jetty Mile delivers shocks aplenty
30 December 2013 | Sports
More than 200 swimmers participated in the Pupkewitz Jetty Mile in Swakopmund on Friday, with good conditions creating an atmosphere conducive to record-breaking times.
In this yearâ€™s event the 15-year-olds ruled but nobody could even come close to unbeatable Philip Seidler, who is a resident of Swakopmund.
His excellent swimming ability and knowledge of the sea enabled him to utilise the elements of current, wind and waves to leave his closest challengers more than a minute behind.
Not only did he win the race with a comfortable lead, he also set a new record time of 24 minutes and 22 seconds.
The previous best time for this event had been set by Florian Hentzen in 2011 when he did the course in 24:53.
One of the water safety crew, Rodrigo Pimenta, had this to say about Seidler: "It was amazing to watch Phillip turning his head; looking out for the swell and paddling hard to surf the waves gaining a huge speed advantage with his cunning strategy."
The rest of the race was hot competition with fellow local resident Boris Kulikowski, Nicolai Fleming and Drikus Coetzee as well as Nic Deacon and Bernard Theron fighting it out for the positions behind Seidler. In the end, 15-year-old Fleming took second spot (25:47) with Kulikowski taking overall third place (25:50) and winning the 16-30-year-old category.
In the female section the 15-year-olds also ruled supreme, with Molina Smolley (27:58), who finished the race 11th overall, leaving her closest rival, 15-year-old Sonja Adelaar (28:46), almost a minute behind with top national swimmer Toni Roth (28:51) coming in overall third. Toni Roth was first in the age category 16-30 years.
The event organisers, OTB Sport, said: "This year we had a record turnout... [But] more than that was the quality of swimmers. Itâ€™s the first year that the Brinkmann brothers were knocked out of the top 10. Not even legendary veteran swimmer Alex Skinner made it into the top 10 this year. All top 10 swimmers were young, with only veteran Tyron Kotze managing a 10th place. We have to thank Meryl Barry and the Pupkewitz Foundation for their generous sponsorship and support. We started this event in 2007 with about 70 participants and with [Harold] Pupkewitzâ€™s foresight the event now attracts so many people that we had to reject entries as we had run out of swim caps and T-shirts. Final entries were 210."
Tyrone Kotze won the senior male category in 27:42, with Alex Skinner in second place and Paul Brinkmann in third.
Zoe Mitchell won the senior female category in 33:12 with Olivia Alfhein in second and Antje Tietz in third place.
Martina Bueckendorf won the Master Female category in 39:54, with Willemine Maree coming second and Susanne Jasper third.
Jan Sterk won the Master Male category in 35:09, with Wolfgang Bueckendorf coming second and Andreas Obholzer in third.
Another big battle was fought in the sprint where 15-year-old Alexander Skinner and Christiaan Lamprecht left the water together but the short run to the finish allowed Skinner to demonstrate his sprinting abilities, beating Lamprecht by two seconds.
Skinner finished the 600 metres in a time of 9:06 while Lamprecht was second overall and the winner of the Elite age category in 9:11. Jean-Paul was third overall in 9:44.
In the female event 14-year-old Kiara Schatz was first in the category 16 and under, and first overall in a time of 10:10.
Heleni Stergiadis was second overall and took first place in the category 14 and under in a time of 10min 30 seconds.
Zune Weber was second in the under-14 class, with Angelika Haas in third place.
SWAKOPMUND- YVONNE BRINKMANN