This time last year we published an article on St Francis Today titled ‘Kromme River Descent – A Great Event’.
The article started such
“Wow! What wonderful weather we enjoyed over the weekend. And what a great advert for St Francis with the swimming of the annual Kromme Descent”.
Well this weekend we saw almost an exact replica of last year’s event except this year was even better in every respect.
The weather again miraculously transformed from the cold, overcast and windy weather of the preceding few weeks and cleared into a beautiful 25c degree sunny day with sky as blue as Kouga in the provincial elections and absolutely windless.
It is a team event with two swimmers per team and rather than being an individual event where the winner is the fastest swimmer, the swimmers compete in pairs with the times of both swimmers deciding their eventual success in the placings.
The race is swum over two days ending halfway on day one with lunch at the lodge on the river banks where competitors share their experiences of their swim with family and friends gathered at the halfway mark to support them. Swim times over the first leg ranged from just over an hour for the fastest and around two hours for those coming in at the back of the field.
Day Two kicked off on another glorious sunny warm day, again thankfully windless. Maybe that should read ‘splashed off’ but unlike the first day where all swimmers start almost together, the second day uses a staggered start where the fastest swimmers left last allowing most swimmers to arrive at The Cove around about the same time.
The gathered flotilla then ferried the swimmers to Quaysyde to celebrate and for prize giving.
What a truly great event and wonderful to see how St Francis is attracting athletes from around the country to compete in some rather unique events with both the King of the Kromme paddling event and the Kromme Descent attracting compitors from Cape Town, Durban and Gauteng.
Accolades must go out to the organisers, Haydn Holmes of Liquid Lines and his team. Haydn, of the winning team from last year, swapped his wetsuit for a stopwatch and iPad this year. It really makes a huge difference for the media to have results available almost immediately after an event rather than days later when interest in the event has already waned.
Well done Haydn, your team of organisers and of course, all the swimmers who braved the freezing waters of the Kromme to make the 2019 event such a great success.
All the results