BIG waves, strong winds, currents and cold water did little to deter the 12 swimmers who took part in the first ever Shell Festival Sea Swim on Saturday morning.
Under the watchful eye of the Jeffreys Bay NSRI, the swimmers had to negotiate a big set of waves at the start.
The South-west wind blowing strongly created a lot of chop on the surface which meant swimmers were regularly swallowing water.
The 16ºC water affected some of the swimmers who battled with the cold as English Channel rules were applied to the race – only normal swim costumes, goggles and a swim cap were allowed.
Port Elizabeth swimmers PJ Duffey and Siegfried Lokotsch crossed the finish line together in a time of 38:05 with Jeffreys Bay swimmer Caro de Jager the first woman home in 41:35.
Local lass Rebecca Baard, 12, was the youngest swimmer to take part in the inaugural Shell Festival Sea swim.
The swimmers had some time to enjoy the Shell Festival before meeting at Marina Martinique in the afternoon for a choice of a Mile, Double Mile or Triple Mile swim.
The strong wind and 18ºC water in the Martinique canals greeted the swimmers, with Cape Town swimmer Buff Van Westernbrugge the only one to take on the challenge of the Triple Mile after the rigours of the earlier sea swim.
Joel Carlse, 10, swam his first mile event and did well to cope with the heavy chop in the canals.
Caro de Jager capped a great day of swimming by winning the mile in 26:48, with Richden Jute taking the honours in the double mile in 49:41, from Ralph West (50:40).
Jeffreys Bay Shell Festival Sea Swim results:
1. PJ Duffy/ Siegfried Lokotsch 38:05
3. Buff Van Westernbrugge: 41:30
4. Caro de Jager: 41:35
5. Kevin Grey: 41:45
6. Rebecca Newman: 46:21
7. Richden Jute: 46:25
8. Ralph West: 51:35
9. Kendal Wright: 55:35
10. Isabeau Joubert: 1:01:35
11. Brenton Williams (butterfly) 1:01:40
12. Rebecca Baard: 1:01:55