THE ninth season of the Ocean Racing Series will conclude on Sunday morning with Round 11 taking place at Hobie Beach followed by a glitzy Series prize-giving ceremony at the Boardwalk.
The series, which so far this season has attracted more than 4500 entries, is Africa’s largest family beach event, drawing thousands of people to the city beachfront on alternate Sunday mornings throughout the summer months.
With just one week to Ironman South Africa, the Ocean Racing Series is expected to attract most of the visiting international Ironman competitors as they get to test the local waters ahead of their big day next Sunday.
Starting at 9am from Hobie Beach alongside the pier, the most popular events on Sunday are expected to be the Dis-Chem 2km and 1km ocean swims, closely followed by the Crickley Dairy kids 1km beach run, the Kingfisher FM 5km beach run and the Swirlers 5km beach walk.
Organiser Mike Zoetmulder, of Zports, said the series was designed to be enjoyed by everyone and had grown remarkably over the past nine years.
He believes the appeal of the series is the fact that all members of the family are included and that age or gender are not restrictions.
“The series continues to attract families who are opting for a healthier lifestyle while enjoying the beachfront during the summer months,” he says.
“The ninth season has seen a 15% increase in participation from last season and there are plans to boost this growth in season 10, which will start on October 12 and consist of 12 race days finishing in mid-April 2015. Season 9 ends on a high this weekend with the top three overall age group finishers across all five disciplines on offer being acknowledged for their achievements with medals and prizes while the overall series winners will each receive awesome floating trophies.”
The prize-giving will take place at the News Cafe at the Boardwalk between 11am and 1pm with live entertainment by Anje Swart and more than R50000 in prizes, medals and lucky draws being awarded. Around 120 prizes for the overall winners have been sponsored by Bos Iced tea, Dis-Chem, Swirlers, Crickley Dairy, Times Media and Marriott.
Zoetmulder said that the economic impact of the series for the city was massive. He was confident the municipality would continue to be supportive.