Cape Town - Fish Hoek’s Nicholas Notten was crowned overall male
athlete on the final day of the General Tire LifeSaving South Africa National
Interclub Championships at Camps Bay.
Fish Hoek also successfully defended their national
interclub championship with an emphatic victory. Marine was second best, some
way off but still comfortably ahead of third placed Llandudno.
KwaZulu-Natal’s Carmel Billson won the overall title
for best female athlete after seeing off the impressive challenge of Fish
Hoek’s Kirsten Flanagan, who produced outstanding results across a range of
Billson aside, Durban Surf’s Tamryn Montgomery won the
Under-19 individual title, Suncoast Pirates’s Alice Edwards took first among
the Under-17s and Tamryn McKie won the Under-15 overall Girls’ title.
The old and young in KZN celebrated for good reason as
Durban Surf’s magnificent juniors again took the overall title and Suncoast
Pirates’s icon Stacey Bowley was honoured for being inducted into the
International Hall of Fame.
Fish Hoek’s depth among the seniors was colossal and is
a credit to all that is good and strong within the club structure and the Fish
Hoek LifeSaving community.
The club’s strength includes some of the finest
Lifesavers in the world and currently Fish Hoek has no equal in South Africa
among the seniors.
The Eastern Cape again produced fantastic individual
performances, through the likes of Daniel Jones and youngsters Amica de Jager
and Bradley Odendaal, but the Eastern Cape clubs had no answer to the best of
the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, although Kings Beach, among the juniors,
were good value for their overall silver.
The Interclub National Championships, a four-day
extravaganza featuring 800 of the country’s finest, produced thrilling
performances and world-class efforts from (Nicholas) Notten, (Kirsty) Flanagan,
(Carmel) Billson and Mandi Maritz in the Beach Sprints and Flags.
But the story of the 2017 National Championships was 20-year-old Jonathan Rorke’s stunning upset against the country and world’s most
celebrated beach sprinter, Ryle de Morny.
Rorke, from the Scottburgh Club in KwaZulu-Natal, won a
photo finish from De Morny in his first appearance at a National
De Morny won gold in the Flags, beating False Bay Club
mate Tariq Hassiem, who was famously saved from a Great White shark attack by
older brother, Achmat Hassiem. The latter lost his leg and nearly his life in
saving his brother’s life, but both brothers were in inspirational presence
during the National Championships.
Achmat competed in the inaugural Legends’ Celebrity
challenge, which was won by Percy Montgomery, the record points scorer in
Springbok Test history and a 2007 Rugby World Cup winner.
Montgomery donated 50 percent of his R20 000 winning
cheque to LifeSaving South Africa’s Water Education programme, ‘WaterSmart’ and
50 percent to the SA Childrens’ Home Charity.