Rough sea sinks swimmers in Swakopmund Sandman Ultra
13 December 2016 – JP Burger and Sylvia Tromp are the two winners of the FNB Sandman Ultra competition that was held in Swakopmund during the first December weekend.
Among the men, Burger’s time was 4 hours and 13 minutes. Horst Neumann came second in 5 hours 15 minutes and Anton Swart third in the Elite category. Tromp’s time was 5 hours and 15 minutes with Anita Kind second and Benita Kasch third.
The FNB Sandman Ultra is a gruelling 1.9 km swim, a 90 km bike ride and a 21 km run. The rough sea forced many athletes to drop out during the swim.
After winning the race, JP Burger said “As always it was a great race! Well organised and a great course. Although the sea was choppy, international races taught me to use these conditions as an opportunity rather than a constraint. The bike course was a bit on the rough side because of the wind factor, and I was racing with a disk wheel which held me back and made the wind play havoc with me, but even so I enjoyed the new scenery. The sand patch just before the turn to the main road to Henties came as a surprise the first time, and my bike was not properly geared, but it was taken in good spirit. I came straight from university exams so I was really not in the shape that I wanted to be, but I still enjoyed the race. Last year, Burger came second.
Female winner Tromp said “My husband and I originally planned to come and do the Desert Dash but when I saw that there was a triathlon the week before I could not resist the challenge and we decided to make our holiday a week earlier. I am an Elite Cross Tri-athlete in South Africa, specialising in off road triathlons like Xterra and Cross Tri. My preparation for the race did not go as well as I would have hoped. I picked up a squash injury mid November that prevented me from running, but I was confident about my swim which is my strongest discipline, and bike. The sea swim really suited me, especially going out to sea when it was a little rougher.”
The FNB Sandman Ultra was organised by OTB Sport from Windhoek.