Cape Town - Jonathan Rorke was again at the forefront of South Africa’s
men’s beach sprinting excellence in the second of three Test days at the
International Surf Rescue Challenge in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand.
Rorke, the General Tire Lifesaving South Africa 2017 National
Champion, led the relay team of Bradley Odendaal, Malec Odendaal and Dylan
Bridger to a second successive first place against New Zealand and Australia’s
Rorke also finished second in the individual sprint, with New
Zealand’s speed champion Kodi Harmon again finishing first. Harmon also edged
Rorke into second place in the final in the first Test day.
Matthew Bouwman was another of the South African men to make an
impression with his second place in the Surf Ski.
South Africa’s women, led by 2017 athlete of the year Carmel
Billson, also produced better results as South Africa edged into third place
overall after starting the day in fourth.
The South African junior team are also third overall, with
Runaldo Pedro finishing first in the beach flags for a second successive time
and also combining with Cheyne Haupt, Joshua Templeton and Kurt Rautenbach to
take first in the beach relay.
Western Province’s Megan Kreft finished third in the junior
Australia leads hosts and world champions New Zealand by just
two points and South Africa’s third place is just one point ahead of the United
States of America.
South Africa made up three points on the United States in the
second of three Test days after trailing the Americans by two points after the
opening day's first Test.
Australia, winners of the first Test day, needed victory in the
final race of the day to secure the second Test overall result.
Lifesaving New Zealand’s official website reported that while
New Zealand's Black Fins got pipped at the post for the second Test win, they
are still within reach for the overall win as points are accumulated after the
three Tests [days]. The top points scorer will then be declared the 2017
International Surf Rescue Challenge Champions.
The battle between South Africa, USA and Great Britain for third
place is intense with just three points separating third and fifth.
Meanwhile, in the under-19 youth division, it was a
history-making day for the Kiwi team, the Junior Black Fins, who won their
first ever Test day since the series started in 1999.
Australia, traditionally dominant among the juniors, finished
the second Test day in second place and South Africa was third, followed by
Great Britain and the USA.
ISRC event manager Ross Merrett said the quality of racing and
the standard of competitors across all the teams made for an exceptional event,
adding team management, athletes and spectators had described the first two
Test days as the best ever International Surf Rescue Challenge.
The event runs over three days, with each day a separate Test,
and the schedule includes swim, surf board, surf ski and beach events.
The ISRC originally started in 1939 as the Trans-Tasman Series
between Australia and New Zealand, with the current format of the event first
conducted in 1999, which included South Africa and then followed by other
The original Trans-Tasman Series is now contested as the Trans-Tasman Trophy
within the ISRC, where New Zealand hasn't won since 1950. Never have they been
as close going into the third and final day.
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follow Sunday’s third and final day of the International Surf Rescue Challenge.
Selected SA results:
Beach Sprint Relay: 1st (Bradley
Odendaal, Dylan Bridger, Jonathan Rorke, Malec Odendaal)
Rescue Tube Rescue: 2nd (Bradley
Odendaal, Daniel Jones, Dylan Bridger and Jonathan Rorke)
Beach Sprint: 2nd (Jonathan
Surf Ski: 2nd (Matthew
Relay: 3rd (Candice
Murray, Carmel Billson, Lauren Billson, Sasha-Lee Nordengen)
Rescue Tube Rescue: 3rd
(Candice Murray, Carmel Billson, Lauren Billson, Sasha-Lee Nordengen)
Ocean Person: 4th (Carmel
Board Relay: 3rd (Carmel
Billson, Malec Odendaal)
Beach Flags: 1st Runaldo
Beach Relay: 1st:
(Cheyne Haupt, Joshua Templeton, Kurt Rautenbach, Runaldo Pedro)
Ocean Person Relay:
3rd (Cheyne Haupt, Connor Botha, Kurt Rautenbach, Matthew Maroun)
Rescue Tube Rescue:
3rd (Joshua Templeton, Kurt Rautenbach, Matthew Maroun, Runaldo
Surf Race: 3rd Joshua
Ocean Person: 3rd Cheyne
Haupt 4th Matthew Maroun
Beach sprint: 3rd Megan
Rescue Tube Rescue:
2nd (Alexandra Chislett, Amica de Jager, Megan Kreft, Teegan
Surf teams: 3rd (Amica
de Jager, Connor Botha, Joshua Templeton, Tamryn McKie)
Ski relay: 2nd (Matthew
Maroun, Teegan Hardwick)