The much anticipated King of the Beach Series and Workshop started off with a bang on the 15th of August as FBSLC hosted the first leg of the series at Muizenberg beach. Athletes from all across the Cape were welcomed by double World Title holder, Ryle De Morny, as he explained how the series would operate and what he hoped the athletes would take away from the event as it was the first of its kind to be hosted in the country.
The series is to be held over four legs at different host beaches, with each leg consisting of beach flags, sprints, long run and a surf dash, with an optional beach relay if possible. With all of his international experience, having competed at four World Rescue Championships representing South Africa, Ryle aimed to bring the focus and approach to a new pre-season competition that the international lifesaving community have regarding beach events at top level.
Apart from getting the top competitive athletes together more frequently to improve their fitness and skill sets, Ryle hopes to impart some of the wealth of knowledge that he has learnt over the years, especially to the up and coming junior athletes.
The first leg of the series saw a fantastic turnout despite some unpleasant, chilly weather conditions! Regardless, the athletes were all raring to go and ready to learn any new tips they could get. Lane draws were setup prior to the event starting via randomised selection so that athletes could prepare for their competition.
The series saw the return of a few big names who haven’t been on the lifesaving scene for a while with former National Title holder, Aimee Faulmann, making an appearance.
There were also a number of debutants competing who were simply there to hone their skills and take in as much advice as they could. After welcoming and explaining the format of the competition to the athletes, they were addressed by the officials who would be overseeing all events for the day before being taken for an extensive warm-up by Ryle himself.
There was some stiff competition in the junior boys division, with results for the most part being completely split. The flags title went to Daniel Sprenger (LLAN), with Leo Hicks (LLAN) taking both the beach sprints and long run and finally Fawaaz Johnson (FB) claiming the surf dash. The junior girls unfortunately had fewer numbers present and as a result Bia van Heerden (CLIF) showed her dominance by claiming gold in all four of the events. The open ladies also provided some entertaining rivalries as some old horses challenged the new young guns. The return of Aimee Faulmann (FB) saw her claim a stunning victory in the flags, while Melissa Corbett (FB) came back in full force to take the beach sprints title and finished off in style by taking first in the surf dash. Christina Geromont (LLAN) also gave some strong performances throughout the day before claiming first in the long run. But the day’s most exciting competition came from the open men who turned up in numbers and showed off some cracker performances! Carlton Baron (FB) once again proved his worth with some stellar displays on the beach, taking both beach sprints and flags. His brother, Cameron Baron (FB), showed he had the stamina and claimed first in the long run before Tayan Britz (LLAN) went on to finish in style by powering through to take the surf dash.
At the end of the day, overall winners and runners up for each division were announced and handed the leaders skull caps to be worn at the next leg of the series. A lovely reminder of their great performances at the previous leg and also a target on their back for all of their fellow competitors! Bia van Heerden (CLIF) was named the undisputed leader of the junior girls, with Nadiya Mahomed (FB) the runner up.
In the junior boys division, Johannes Henkel (CLIF) was crowned leader of the first leg after some consistent placings in all four events, while Leo Hicks (LLAN) was named runner up following some great results. Open ladies saw a dominant performance from Melissa Corbett (FB) to put her in the driving seat going into the second leg, while Christina Geromont (LLAN) was named runner up following some great results for her.
Open Men was the most tightly contested for leader and runner up with only a single point splitting the Baron brothers’ positions!
Cameron Baron (FB) was awarded the leaders skull cap showing his experience, while Carlton Baron (FB) took second place overall after some powerful performances.
Following a tremendously successful first outing for the King of the Beach Series and Workshop, we would just like to thank everyone who contributed to the day. A massive thank you goes out to the officials who gave up their time to come and assist, as well as the parents and club members who helped with all of the setting up for the day. We are extremely excited for what the second leg of the series holds! We hope to see bigger and better performances, more athletes and hopefully more pleasant weather!
We look forward to seeing as many competitors and supporters at the King of the Beach Series and Workshop #2 held at Clifton Surf Lifesaving Club on the 12th of September! Anyone interested in still getting involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org contact Ryle De Morny for any queries on 0836407310.
Lastly, a massive thank you to all those who have contributed to getting the series up and running! To all the clubs of Western Province, your co-operation has been greatly appreciated in assisting in building the success of an event of this kind. To our incredible sponsors, we have an immense amount of appreciation for your investment into lifesaving as a sport and we hope to continue building avenues for the growth and progress of lifesaving along with your support!
Full results can be seen below.