Embeth van der Waal edged out her sister Hannah by five seconds to win the inaugural the first Time Freight Heia Safari swim series event, with Jessica de Beer taking third the three-kilometre open water swim in Mogale City, on Sunday.
Van der Waal’s swim saw her win in a time of 43:23, while Marlies Ross convincingly won the 1,000 metres race, with a time of 12:10.
The conditions were good after recent rains and the sun shone brightly, which attracted about 200 late entries on the day. That lifted the total entry to just over 600, which was a good field considering that the cooler water temperatures on the highveld at this time of year.
Series organiser Wayne Riddin, who coaches at Pietermaritzburg Seals, said a number of swimmers who have starred at the Midmar Mile in the past in their age groups showed fine form at Lake Heritage, including people like Nadia Bacchini, who has been a regular in the 3km event at the Heia Safari Ranch.
Bacchini also won the 1,000m event in the 31 to 40 age group, while Rachel Isakov, a top contender at the Midmar Mile, won the 41 to 50 title.
The next seeding event for the 2013 aQuellé Midmar Mile also takes place on Lake Heritage at the Heia Safari Ranch on 18 November.
“The only change we have to it,” Riddin explained, “Is that we try to expose more swimmers to longer distances beyond one kilometre. We move from a three-kilometre to a five-kilometre event, so the morning’s racing will start with a five-kilometre race, followed by 1,000 metres events again.
“Two weeks later, we will have the Northerns Tigers Championships, which will double up with the Time Freight Series, and that will be on December 2,” he added.