16 year old Pearson High School scholar, Ian Venter, has shown that he has the form to win next month’s historic SPAR River Mile, a title cherished by many a swimmer in South Africa. Over the past 92 years the River Mile has produced some legendary champions, a winners list which is like the who’s who of swimming in South Africa includes triple Springbok Kevin Richards, a 6 times winner of the Mile, Olympic Champion Ryk Neethling who, like Venter, was only 16 when he won the title, and SA Olympic swimmer and multiple Midmar Mile winner Chad Ho, a triple winner of the Mile.
Undefeated this season in the aQuellé Ocean Racing Series 1km Ocean Swim, Venter won Sundays EC Swim Challenge 5km swim in a SA qualifying time of 1hr 6min whilst also recording the fastest 3km time of the day. Sundays swim at Settlers dam attracted swimmers from around the Province and saw St Francis swimmer Amica de Jager winning the ladies 5km swim in a SA qualifying time of 1:07. In the 3km swim, 2014 SPAR River Mile champion Daniel Jones won in a SA qualifying time of 40min 31sec from Jessica Canter and Dylan Smith. During the 5km swim 3 swimmers recorded a 3km qualifying time (Venter, De Jager and Hannah Haswell) whilst in the 3km swim the first 26 swimmers all recorded their SA qualifying times. The 1km swim was won by Emma Podesta with Toni Rafferty in 2nd and Charlene Palmer in 3rd place.
The aQuellé Ocean Racing Series returns on Sunday for Round 7 ahead of the Nelson Mandela Bay Aquatics’ 10km & 3km open water championships on Sunday 7th February and the 5km open water championships on Sunday 14th February. The SPAR River Mile takes place on Saturday and Sunday 20th/21st February in what promises to be an action packed family weekend of sporting fun.
The 2016 SPAR River Mile Festival includes the Wimpy 5km Family Fun Run, the Oracle Media 10km and 30km MTB races, the Nutritech Maxi and Min Tri, the News Cafe Disabled Mile, the First Choice Family Half-Mile and the Hydrassist wetsuit double Mile all taking place on the Saturday whilst the Wakaberry Kids across the river races and the Ladies and Men’s Mile events take place on the Sunday. See www.RiverMile.co.za to secure your discounted entry soonest.