Luke Makes A Splash And Beats The Rok

Luke Makes A Splash And Beats The Rok

South African waterman Luke Nisbet proved his endurance and ocean swimming tactical acumen when he won the King of the Bay elimination swim for the second year in a row. The five-heat mano-a-mano challenge is a innovative and exciting spectacle that culminated the Nelson Mandela Bay Splash Festival on Easter Monday.

After four elimination rounds of 500 meters each in relatively flat surf off Hobie Beach in Port Elizabeth, the race came down to a four-man shootout in the fifth and final heat.

The 25-year-old lifesaver from Durban edged out Slovenian star Rok Kerin and Abdul Malick Railoun at the finish with local Chris van de Sande in fourth. Luke trailed Rok beyond the surf break and around the final turn, but Luke’s speed and saavy in the surf on the way home was however too much even for the Rok to handle. “The surf lifesaving definitely helped me coming in and going out. I knew Rok would catch me around the cans – so the beach couldn’t come soon enough. The relatively small surf meant that a good start was imperative.”

It was clear that the lifesaver was comfortable in the surf. He took full advantage of the swells in round one, porpoising through the waves to shoulder out Rok. But Rok took heat two before Luke laid down a challenge by winning rounds three and four. Ultimately, it was his beach smarts that helped him win the final.

Capetonian Dominique Dryding who had earlier won the Bell Buoy Challenge, Izani Siqubhe swim and Dash for Cash over the weekend, placed first in all five rounds in a complete show of domination among the women. Local swimmers Carmel Billson and Jessica Roux, both 18 like Dominique, finished second and third respectively.

The plan was not to go out too hard and to get into a rhythm,” said Dominique who was clearly in sync throughout the entire Easter weekend.

Photo of Luke Nisbet and Dominique Dryding by Richard Huggard, Snapz.

Copyright © 2011 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones