Marine ladies crew. (Photo courtesy of Lifesaving South Africa)
sports 24has partnered with DHL and Lifesaving SA to bring you splashing in the surf, sizzling in the sand and more at the 2022 DHL Lifesaving National Club Championships March 20-26 in Guquebera. Preview athletes likely to
The Marines of KwaZulu-Natal look to build on last year’s dominance in a grueling three-day surf boat event at the 2022 DHL Lifesaving South African National Championships in Gqeberha.
How does this event work?
The goal is for a crew of five to paddle an 8-meter fiberglass rowboat through the waves, then turn and catch them as they return to shore. The first boat to return to the beach wins.
With a crew of five, the sweep stands behind the boat and uses long oars to steer it. The remaining four members of her row boats to push through the waves and bring them back to shore.
It may sound simple on paper, but in reality it is one of the most physically challenging and tactically demanding events a lifesaver can participate in.
Spanning nine heats over three days, the event is a spectacle as competitors are forced to negotiate boats, swells and whatever the day’s conditions are.
A veteran of the sport will say that the “boat” must be fit, strong and have a serious guts. There is an additional challenge that there is.
Bluewater Bay Ladies Crew. (Photo by Life Saving South Africa)
The history of surfboards dates back to the days when most salvage was done this way. Advances in technology introduced powered boats and jet skis, and soon wooden boats were catching up with the need for sea rescue.
In South Africa, the surf boat event was discontinued and reintroduced only among men in 2018, with two female crews competing against men in 2019.
In 2021, 6 men’s teams competed against 3 women’s teams. The competition was divided into men’s and women’s championship winners.
The KwaZulu-Natal Marine Corps men and women both won the surf boat event and will be the club to conquer surfing in last year’s Guevera.
In the men’s division, Marine B won nine races with 40 points, Bluewater Bay was second with 36 points, and Marine A was third with 35 points.
Marine. (Photo courtesy of Lifesaving South Africa)
The women’s division flipped the script, with Marine A winning with a first place finish of 27 points, comfortably clearing Blue Water Bay (16) and Marine B with 11 points.
Returning to Gqeberha in 2022, KZN’s Marines will once again attempt to assert the upper hand in one of the toughest and most spectacular missions of the week.
DHL Lifesaving SA