Fish Hoek crowned champions as curtain comes down on 2013 champs

Durban – Defending champions Fish Hoek Surf Lifesaving Club (SLC) showed just why they are such a nationally feared unit as they continued their remarkable dominance on Saturday’s third and final day of the South African Surf Lifesaving Championships 2013 at Durban’s Addington Beach and in the process secured yet another national title in both the senior and junior divisions.

The huge Cape based outfit arrived in Durban as clear pre-event favourites and with a single goal on their minds – claim both titles up for grabs – however few would have predicted correctly just how far ahead of their competitors they would be of the three day competition hosted by Marine SLC.

Having lead at the close of both the first two days Fish Hoek’s continued to grab the lion’s share of podium finishes on the final day, regularly claiming first, second and third in the junior boys and girls events.

Final day standout performances from the senior section’s overall victors included a monumental effort form under 16 young talent Kirsten Flanagan as she went on to claim the senior women’s Ironwoman title, the most prestigious and highly sought-after individual title up for grabs.

Fish Hoek’s senior women Kirsten Flanagan (Ironwoman) and Lisa Cowling (Surf Swim) also showed their individual strength throughout the day, before combining in the team events to claim the senior women’s Taplin, Board Rescue, Double Ski, Single Ski Relay and Surf Swim Team and senior men’s Board Rescue titles as well.

Fish Hoek’s sublime performances have been credited by many to the powerful structure the club has developed – including top notch coaching and management, led by Peter Cole and Tommy Veldhuis respectively, as well as the entire seaside town revolving around the club and its existence.

“Being a part of the lifesaving club is just part of what the majority of Fish Hoek locals are about,” explained Marine SLC committee member and champs competitor. “It’s that underlying culture within most of the youngsters from Fish Hoek and the backing they receive from the entire town that I believe has played a major role in the success they have enjoyed recently.

Despite Fish Hoek’s complete and utter dominance on the score board the third and final day’s action was however a memorable one for some others as, particularly local clubs Durban Surf and Marine, put in a host of top performances as organisers pushed through the mammoth reshuffled last day’s programme after the heavily weather effected proceedings on the first two days.

A strong surge from Durban Surf’s senior competitors saw them finish in a solid second place overall after the local athletes used their hometown advantage and experience to overcome the constantly changing conditions throughout the day with one of their highlights of the day being the first and second the club’s competitors claimed in the Team Swim.

Fellow local outfit, Marine, also made use of their local knowledge with their notable movement coming in the junior category as they climbed above the Eastern Cape’s Kings Beach to claim second overall.

Marine’s seniors however also made the hosts proud as their senior men claimed the largely desired senior men’s Taplin title before junior member Paul van Achterbergh narrowly edged out Durban Surf’s Shaun Dias and fellow club mate Matt Bouman in a three man sprint up the beach to clinched the senior men’s Ironman title – a remarkable effort for a junior competitor and this, together with Flanagan’s similar feat in the senior women’s race, would suggest the sport’s future is in safe hands for the next few years.

Bouman, South Africa’s most decorated surf lifesaver, also enjoyed a good final day as he claimed gold in both the senior men’s Ski and Double Ski events to go with his third in the Ironman.

Despite the extremely tough conditions competitors from around the country put in performances of the highest standard through the three day contest with Mandi Maritz (Durban Surf) and Flanagan being awarded the senior women’s Competitor of the Championships award whilst the men’s award went to van Achterbergh and False Bay’s Ryle de Morny.

The 2013 South African Surf Lifesaving Championships were hosted by Marine Surf Lifesaving Club and took place from Thursday 21 March to Saturday 23 March at Addington Beach with the South African Masters Surf Lifesaving Championships having preceded the event on Wednesday 20 March.


Overall standings
1.Fish Hoek 433
2.Durban Surf 321
3.Marine 274
4.Umhlanga Rocks 202
5.Warnadoone 153
6.Llandudno 92
7.Suncoast Pirates 60
8.Big Bay 50
9.False Bay 33
10.Clifton 13

Overall standings
1.Fish Hoek 799
2.Marine 446
3.Kings Beach 422
4.Durban Surf 405
5.Summerstrand 255
6.Suncoast Pirates 225
7.Llandudno 133
8.East London 88
9.Umhlanga Rocks 86
10.Big Bay 81


Full results can be found via the following links: