“Near perfect” was used to describe conditions for Event #1 of the 2018 Dolphin Mile Surf Swim Series of Sunday, 15 April.  It would have been almost too much to expect that these conditions would be surpassed.

But surpassed they were, on Sunday 22 April, for Event #2!

No breeze, a warm, flat sea with very gentle wave action on an incoming tide provided the winter surf swim conditions for which Durban is renowned, lending further support to the motivation for holding Dolphin Mile Surf Series from March to September each year. Unfortunately, water visibility was marred by the unavoidable pumping of dredged sand as the authorities fight to reclaim the Durban central beaches, urgently in need of restorative measures.

The favourable weather and sea conditions, along with the introduction of an 800 metre swim event run concurrently with the Mile (1600m) event for the first time, drew the largest number of entries for a single Dolphin Mile Surf Swim Series event in the 10-year history of the Series. 282 swimmers completed the swims on Sunday, 244 the Mile and 38 the 800m swim!

Well done to all who took part, especially the first time participants, with a special word of congratulations going to 10 Dolphin Mile swimmers from St Vincent’s School for the Deaf, Gauteng.

The unexpectedly large number of entrants, all having to be correctly registered prior to the commencement of the swim, indicated a short delay of the start.  Fortunately, the pleasant morning weather allowed swimmers and spectators gathered on the beach to generate a buzz of anticipation ahead of the start.  Some entrants took the opportunity to have a “warm up” dip while waiting.

A blast of the starter’s whistle had the 1600m swimmers into the water from the beach 200m south of the Marine Surf Lifesaving Club designated beach swim patrol zone.  Five minutes later, and it was a second whistle signal to set the 800m swimmers on their way.

A right turn at the red pyramid buoy 100m from the beach had the swimmers stroking the 300m south to the turning leg off uShaka Pier.  Two left turns at these turning buoys stretched the school in a northerly direction along the 650m, and longest leg, of the course.  Two left turns off Addington Beach and it was a 350m swim back to the red pyramid buoy before the 100m swim to the beach followed by a short jog to the finishing tunnel on the beach.

The 800m swimmers rounded the pyramid buoy, turned south, rounded the inner uShaka Pier buoy with a left turn, swam back to turn left at the pyramid buoy and then swam to the beach to finish.

First out of the water in the Dolphin Mile event was Connor Botha, followed by Guy Brooks and 1st woman – Sasha-Lee Nordengen.

A brief summary table of event and age group category results for Event #2 on Sunday 22 April 2018 is as follows:

Category Male Female
First male/female Connor Botha Sasha-Lee Nordengen
M/F 10 to 12 Jonathan Hoarau Madison Albert
M/F 13 to 30 Connor Botha Sasha-Lee Nordengen
M/F 31 to 40 Garry Truyens Sarah Ferguson
M/F 41 to 50 Gareth Bydawell Barbara Lavett
M/F 51 to 60 Michiel Kemper Janine Serrurier
M/F 61 to 70 Russell Upneck Jenny Ireland
M/F 71 and over Jimmy Hughes Diane Hughes


800 metre Swim
Category Male Female
First finisher Arno Gauche Dayna Deeble


The start of a Dolphin Mile Surf Swim Series event follows registration in the impressive Marine Surf Lifesaving Club clubhouse facility between Addington and uShaka Beaches.  The course is set, marshaled and patrolled by members of the Marine SLSC safety team with a crew in an inflatable, and others on surfskis and Malibu boards under the watchful eye of the MSLC crew and Safety Officer, Mike Raubenheimer, and event organizer, Heather Campbell.  The course start and finish positions are adjusted for each of the Dolphin Mile events, according to prevailing surf conditions and in the best interests of the participating swimmers’ safety.

The sizes of the recent fields of entrants, both male and female from age ten through to seventy-plus years, indicates the growing appeal of the challenge of this event to all levels of participating swimmer.  With the organizer’s emphasis on the promotion of participation, with a small measure of recognition for elite performance, the success of this nationally unique and self-sustaining series can be attributed to the support of the local swimming fraternity.  Also most supportive of the series are those who have come forward, donating product and the like for presentation to participants, in the form of lucky draw prizes, after each series event.

Results are quickly correlated and a brief prize giving is held in the Marine Clubhouse soon after 9h00, where participants are also able to enjoy the fare obtainable from the Club’s refreshment facility.

Marine SLC has, once again, agreed to host all events of the 2018 Dolphin Mile Surf Swim Series.  A word of thanks, on behalf of the Dolphin Mile participants and organizers, must go to the Marine Surf Lifesaving Club members for inviting the Dolphin Mile Surf Swim participants to make use of their wonderful facility for these surf swim events.

Dolphin Mile Surf Swim Series 2018 T-shirts will be on sale at the 5h45 to 6h30 registration (start 7h00) for the next event of the Dolphin Mile Surf Swim Series on Sunday 20 May at Marine Surf Lifesaving Club.  Dolphin Mile Surf Swim Series swim caps (compulsory for all swimmers) will also be issued, at a nominal cost to participants, on registration for the event.



*SWIM DISTANCES: Mile (1,6 km) and Double Mile (3,2 km)

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