The photograph above was taken late January 1998 and depicts eleven famous Fish Hoek Bay-swimmer “personalities” taken after a typical and regular training-swim from the old Men’s Bathers rock off the catwalk, across to Clovelly Station rock, and back, a distance of about three kms. This training swim was undertaken three times a week back in the day when our famous New Balance Fish Hoek Lifesaving Club’s Fish Hoek’s Mile Surf-Swim was the biggest and longest-standing annual ocean open-water swimming race in the country.
Perched on a submerged rock barely fifteen meters from the spot where Tyna Webb in more recent years was taken by a Great White shark arefrom back ight:-Dawid Mockè and Peter Bales . In the middle-row from left to right are Dean Salt, Alexa Lombard (now Cole) and Erwin Kuhn. In the front row are Alistair Graney, Vicky Clough, Nikki Lihou (now Mockè), Nicole Reynolds (front), Jasper Mockè, and Robert Bleker.
(In case you are a little confused by the photograph, Clovelly does indeed appear on the left in the background and Fish Hoek on the right…..!!!…but the swimmers are as depicted in the correct order from left to right. I guess sometimes one has to look at life from a different perspective! Viv)
Why “famous” Fish Hoek Bay-swimmers?
Dawid Mockè is the reigning 2011 World Surfski Series (WSS) Men’s Champion, was the world-series champion in 2009 & 2010 and is a former multiple SA Surf Lifesaving Champion in the Surfski, Kneeboard & Iron-Man events.
Peter Bales from St James was South Africa’s first male to swim across the English Channel and is the founding life-long Honourary President of the Cape Long Distance Swimming Association, the organisation that pioneered open-water swimming in South Africa and lobbied internationallyfor the 10km open-water race eventually getting IOC recognition as a fully-fledged Olympic swimming event.
Dean Salt is a former SA Junior Men’s double-ski champion.
Alexa Lombard (now Alexa Cole) is a former World Marathon K2 canoe silver-medalist and defending ladies champion of the 2011 Hong Kong Dragon Run World Series Surfski Race. She is also a multiple title winner in South African K1 & K2 Marathon canoe championships including the prestigious ‘Berg’, ‘Dusi’, ‘Fish River’ and ‘Drak Challenge’ river races.
Erwin Kuhn is a former Northern Transvaal, Eastern Transvaal, Western Province & SA Universities water-polo player and former stroke-oarsman in Fish Hoek Surf Lifesaving Club’s SLASA Championship surfboat crew.
Alistair Graney, now coaching in Great Britain, was a Top-10 finisher in the SA Surf Lifesaving Championships Junior Men Kneeboard event for 2 years in a row.
Vicky Clough, now competing in Ireland, was a gold-medal winner in the SA Nipper Championships Taplin Relay event.
Nikki Lihou, now Nikki Mockè, is a former Junior Ladies Marathon K1 Champion, 2004 World Lifesaving Ladies Surfski Champion, 2010 World-Surfski-Series Ladies Champion as well as being a former multiple SA Surf Lifesaving Champion in the Iron-Lady, Kneeboard & Surfski events.
Nicole Reynolds is a former SA Lifesaving Nipper & Junior Ladies Kneeboard Champion.
Jasper Mockè is 2012 World-Surfski-Series (WSS) current 2nd ranked paddler, 2010 World Lifesaving Championship silver medalist in the surfski & kneeboard event and a multiple SA Surf Lifesaving Champion in the Iron-Man, Kneeboard & Surfski events.
Robert Bleker was a SA Nipper U14 & U16 Kneeboard paddling Champion, and is now campaigning as a professional road-cyclist in the Netherlands.
These are not the only champions that have come up from the ranks of the Fish Hoek New Balance Surf Lifesaving Club – they just happen to be those who appear in this particular photograph from the archives. The Fish Lifesaving Club has always produced, and will continue to produce sportsmen and women of world-class standard. We will feature more of them in a future article.
Viv and the Fish Hoek Lifesaving Club archives