All new records set for Open-Water Splash

The first champion and record setter for the fastest swimmer over two kilometres at the Teamflippy Open-Water Splash swimming competition held at Swakopmund on Tuesday was Nico Esslinger, who stayed ahead of the pack from the start. Photo: Adam Hartman

There were only records set at the debut of the Teamflippy Open-Water Splash swimming competition held at Swakopmund on Tuesday, 19 December.

About 80 participants of all ages took part in the solo, two-person and four-person races covering a two-kilometre long track in the town’s famous Mole Bay. Swimmers either swam four laps around a 500m track marked by buoys, or did it in relay.

The first person (and junior men’s solo) to win and set the record-to-beat time was Nico Esslinger in 20 minutes and 58 seconds. The first solo junior woman to win was Maja Brinkmann (24:14). Corne Le Roux (22:25) was the first senior male to make it, and Lisa Engelhard (25:23) the first senior female.

The two-person team winners were Kriell Piele and Axel Theisen in 26:17, and the four-person team winners were ‘The Badies’ in 30:14.

Being the maiden event, all the winning times are the records that will stand till they are broken in future.

“The turnout exceeded what many anticipated, especially because this was the first time. We are very excited and very grateful,” said organiser and Namibian open-water Olympian Philip Seidler.

“We are definitely looking forward to this becoming an annual event.”

The Open-Water Splash was organised by brothers Phillip and Daniel Seidler and designed to engage every swimmer – regardless of their skill level.

“We wanted to offer something new and exciting, where swimmers and non-swimmers alike can be involved,” said Philip.

Asked how he experienced the event, overall winner Theisen said it was “hard work but worth it”.

“I just kept going right from the start. I was in the lead, and I wanted to keep it that way. I am very happy. This is definitely an event that we want to see on the calendar every year,” he said.

Various prizes, including trophies, medals and gifts from local sponsors for the different age and team categories were awarded.

The annual Jetty Mile is set to take place on 27 December, during which Seidler hopes to take the win for the 10th time.

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