2022 edition of Ocean Heroes attracts lifesaving stars

The cream of the regions male and female surf lifesaving stars will converge on Dairy Beach in Durban for the 2022 edition of the Ocean Heroes series on Sunday 13 November.

Established in 2014 by seasoned surf lifesaving ironman Wade Krieger, the oceanman series now consists of three events, a surf swim from Dairy Beach to South Beach and back, a team swim/ski/run event and the signature Ocean Heroes Gold event.

The tough individual Gold race consists of a surf swim to South Beach and back, then a ski paddle to the Durban harbour wall and back, followed by a beach run to the harbour wall and back and finished off with a malibu board paddle to Marine SLSC and back.

Krieger said that during his many years training and coaching at Diary Beach he had always wanted to stage a testing endurance event for the serious lifesavers.

“I came up with the Gold format based on an average of about thirty to forty minutes per discipline,” said Krieger.

“Lifesavers are typically focussed on much shorter races so this will tap into the endurance side of the sport and allow athletes to explore the changes that take place when you train for a long distance event.”

“It is a realistic course for both juniors and seniors and is not unachievable,” he added.

“We have tried to make the three-person team event as inclusive as possible,” explained Krieger. “We have allowed the ski paddler to use a long distance ski instead of the lifesaving spec ski in the event, which should encourage some of Durban’s big surfski community to enter the event.

“We will also stage the run on the promenade and not on the beach, which is designed to open up the run leg to non-lifesaving people,” he said.

Amongst the elite stars set to compete in the signature Gold event are seasoned Durban lifesavers Luke Nisbet and the evergreen Matt Bouman, who says the return of the format for the Gold event has deep roots in ironman racing in Durban.

“It has a lot of history in Durban,” said Bouman. “There are a lot of ironman races over the years that have taken advantage of the fixed geography of the piers as turning markers and route guides.

“It always makes for a good event and I think it has been too long since we had one for the athletes,” he added. “I look forward to being on the start line.”

Durban lifesaver Sanele Nxumalo said he was committed to competing, and was ready to embrace the new challenges, with his eye on the swim event as his chance to make his mark.

“We don’t quite know what to expect, especially with the unpredictable nature of the surf, which means that as a competitor you have to focus on yourself and yourself only on the day,” he added.
Krieger said the series had several objectives. Firstly he aims to provide the best local lifesavers and extreme athletes with a chance to compete in a spectator-friendly endurance event similar to the popular model well supported in Australasia and elsewhere in the world.

Just as importantly Krieger says the series and its athletes will act as ambassadors for the environment and the threats facing the waterways, and to encourage more youngsters to learn to swim.

The Lifesaving SA sanctioned event enjoys the backing of GrabGear, ADreach, Hurricane Surf and FutureLife.

2022 Ocean Heroes
Events: 8am start
Teams Race :
Swim: Dairy Beach to South Beach Lifeguard Tower and return.
Ski: Dairy Beach to Harbour Wall and return.
Run: Dairy Beach to Harbour Wall and return

Ocean Heroes Gold :
Swim: Dairy Beach to South Beach Lifeguard Tower and return
Ski: Dairy Beach to Harbour Wall and return
Run: Dairy Beach to Harbour Wall and return
Board: Dairy Beach to Marine SLSC and return

Swim : 9:30am
Dairy Beach to South Beach Lifeguard Tower and return

The 2022 Ocean Heroes takes place at Dairy Beach on Sunday 13 November.
More information can be found at https://oceanheroes.co.za/

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