Cape Town - Ryle de Morny reclaimed his South African sprinting title at the General Tire Lifesaving South Africa National Club Surf Championships at King's Beach.
De Morny, a former sprint world champion and world championship gold medal winner in the flags in Adelaide last year, recovered from a cut foot to outclass the field.
De Morny's cause was helped when Scottburgh's Jonathan Rorke false started in the semi-finals and got disqualified. Rorke, in 2017 and 2018, beat De Morny into second place and this was the most anticipated of events at this year's championship.
The false start robbed the crowd of a thrilling showdown.
Mandi Maritz predictably won the flags. Maritz, who did the flags and sprint double in 2018, is the hot favourite to again do the double. She also won silver in the flags at the world championship in Australia last year.
In a day of high drama, Marine's Carmel Billson transferred her form from the national stillwater and pool competitions in Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth respectively to strike gold in the open female Iron.
Billson's 48 points in the pool was the best among the open women and a day later she proved as unstoppable in the surf.
Teenager Connor Botha also
looked to have made history in winning the men's open run/swim/run from Fish
Hoek's Nic Notten. However, the youngster was disqualified because he was not
officially entered to do the race.
It concluded an indifferent day
for Botha, who led most of the way in the junior run/swim/run before a freak
wave upstaged him and caused him to drop back to third place.
Botha is the son of legendary
South African international lifesaver Dylan Botha.