1400 take plunge in river events

Shaun Gillham

HELPING HANDS: Marissa Hasswell assists young Austen Verhoog during the special needs Kids Across the River race during the second day of the Spar River Mile yesterday
HELPING HANDS: Marissa Hasswell assists young Austen Verhoog during the special needs Kids Across the River race during the second day of the Spar River Mile yesterday
WATER BABIES: Having a ball at the annual event are, from left, Q-Lynn Davids, 12, Nadia Salie, 10, Tamryn Leander, 10, and Vicky Hoffman, 6, with little Nazeen Pandy in front. Tamryn was unfortunately unable to take part in any swimming events because of her broken arm
WATER BABIES: Having a ball at the annual event are, from left, Q-Lynn Davids, 12, Nadia Salie, 10, Tamryn Leander, 10, and Vicky Hoffman, 6, with little Nazeen Pandy in front. Tamryn was unfortunately unable to take part in any swimming events because of her broken arm

LEAVING some of his grandchildren in his wake, 81-year-old Spar River Mile competitor Mally Richards yesterday outpaced scores of younger swimmers and coasted to the finish line to complete his 61st River Mile race.

The Jeffreys Bay octogenarian was one of more than 1000 swimmers and thousands of spectators who lined the river bank at Sundays River in Cannonville yesterday for the 90th River Mile, which was held in sweltering conditions over Saturday and Sunday.

Speaking under a tree to escape the overbearing heat and within minutes of exiting the water, a relaxed and hardly breathless Richards said he felt “great” and that he was very pleased to have completed more than 60 editions of Africa’s oldest open water swimming contest.

“I have probably got two or three more in me,” the sprightly swimmer said.

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