It was Stillwater Sport that noticed the need for a mass participated open water swim and also picked the ideal location for the inaugural Sanlam Cape Mile Swim at Eikenhof Dam, Grabouw.
It turned out to be the perfect day with cool weather and warm water with little wind to speak of. Swimmers came out in massive numbers to take part in what promised to be the biggest open water event the Western Cape has to offer, while local triathletes also had the opportunity to test the waters a week before Xterra SA Champs also hosted by Stillwater Sport.
Expecting huge amounts of swimmers to hit the water, safety was always going to be a risk factor and high on the priority list.
We were surrounded by no less than 80+ lifesavers, stand up paddlers and motorised water support to provide us with a safe and secure experience.
Sanlam Cape Mile highlights video.
This is what swimmers Jeannie and Manus had to say after the event:
Manus De Jager
Taking a break from triathlons and trying some new sporting ventures means I am also not swimming as much as I use to. This made for a very interesting and tough day out at the first ever annual Sanlam Cape Mile hosted at the magnificent Eikenhof Dam, Grabouw.
A mile will always be a mile and taking on a mass start of the 1600 meter swim is always a challenge even in the best of conditions.
The first 600m spread the field and I tried to stick on the feat of Tiaan Pretorius who got me into swimming the race. I lost his feat trying to correct the direction we were swimming and soon where in no man’s land battling open water with no slip.
After the second buoy and 750m into the race the fun started with me just trying to keep head above water and with lack in fitness push through the last 850m to the finish line. Even with a tough swim it was one amazing race and very well organised. Thanks to Sanlam and Stillwater sports for this great event. To all the sponsors of the event, Sanlam, Speedo, Spur, ProNutro and Isuzu for making this possible.
From start to finish the most well organised sport event I have ever attended.
With a team of 80 lifesaver’s along the 1.6km swim route, water safety was a clear priority for the organisers.
My race started with ease as I tried to pace myself up to the first beacon point.
The lifesavers were well positioned along the route making it a lot easier to keep track of where you were going. By the time I reached the second beacon I was still feeling strong and felt confident to push myself for the final stretch home.
The crisp clear water, perfect weather conditions and excellent organisation made this my best open water swim experience to date and I will definitely be back next year.
We would love to encourage all swimmers, no matter the age to come out and enjoy this event next year.
Special congratulations to winners, Danie Marais and Michelle Weber that took top honours. The men’s sprint finish for the line was by far the highlight of the day.