Relay Results At The 2015 aQuellé Midmar Mile

Relay Results At The 2015 aQuellé Midmar Mile

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

At the 42nd aQuellé Midmar Mile in South Africa, Varsity College successfully defended their non-company relay title when Paul van Achterburgh, Clayton Jimmie, Leith Shankland and Chad Ho combined successfully while BCE Foodservice Equipment clinched the Company Relay division.

It’s great to have defended our title,” said van Achterburgh who was first from the water in the day’s final event, finishing ahead of the top female team of Rene Warnes, Keri-Anne Payne and Michelle Weber. “I felt really good and was super stoked with my stroke after all the work I’ve been putting ahead of senior nationals that are coming up. Those girls were seriously fast though.”

The relay event was a good warm-up swim for Ho who is trying to make it 6 consecutive victories in a row in the men’s elite division tomorrow. But Thomas Allen, Daniel Fogg, Mark Randall, Danie Marais and Myles Brown will not make it easy on Ho. “It was good to have a bit of a chilled hit out and check the lines before tomorrow’s main race,” Ho said after competing in the relay division on Day One. “The run at the start will mean everyone will be going flat out over the first ten meters or so which will make things a little more chaotic, but I’m feeling good. “There are a number of guys swimming really well at the moment, but I’ll just look to do my thing and race my own race without thinking about the others too much.”

With the level of Midmar Dam being low due to the lack of rainfall throughout the summer, an extended slipway means that the races end in a longer-than-usual run. Among the disabled athletes, Aaron Putz and 8 Mile Club competitor Craig Groenewald came up the slipway together. As both swimmers headed for the finish, it was Putz who had the advantage. Dramatically and unexpectedly, he then halted shortly before the line thinking he had already crossed it before realizing his error and desperately charging off once more to complete the final few meters. But Groenewald narrowly edged out Putz while Thulane Mabuza finished third and Cornelia Fowler was the first female disabled swimmer across the line.

Justin Clark was one of the many disabled swimmers to successfully make the crossing and was full of praise for the event’s approach towards disabled participants’ involvement. “It’s great how the disabled swimmers have been incorporated into the Midmar Mile,” said Clarke. “We may not have mobility on land, but we do in the water so hopefully we’ll see more disabled people giving it a go in the near future because it really is very doable.”

The family relay has been dominated in recent years by the Dias and Fair families, but the 2015 race belonged to the Albertyn family as Gary, Megan, Kaitlyn and Connor combined to edge out the Swim Fanatics team of Bevan, Ronan and Brian Munks and Claton le Roux.

The aQuellé Midmar Mile takes place annually at the Midmar Dam just outside Howick in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. For more information, visit here.

Upper photo courtesy of Gameplan Media. Lower photo courtesy of Darren Goddard of Cycho Media.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones