Seidler, Smalley victorious at competitive 18th Jetty Mile
By Adolf Kaure.
Namibian open water sensation Philip Seidler, won the 18th edition of the Pupkewitz Jetty Mile held in Swakopmund on Tuesday clocking a time of 18:48.
The race, which is one mile (1.92 km) in length, started at Tiger Reef ending at the Mole in the cold Atlantic Ocean.
Seidler, who missed last year’s race due to a shoulder injury he sustained in the same event two years ago, said that it felt good to be back to winning ways. “It is amazing and the best thing ever. All the reward and all the hard work paid off,” he said.
Seidler, who is also the Jetty Mile record holder (18:33) has now won the Jetty Mile nine times. He said that the race is a good warm up for the 2024 Paris Summer Olympic Games. “I feel faster and stronger. I am swimming faster than I did at the previous Olympics, so it is going to be a fast one,” said Seidler.
Last year’s winner, Max Betts (21:09) finished second.
The ladies’ category was won by Molina Smalley (23:55) followed by Lisa Engelhard (26:26) in second place.
The organiser of the event, Ivonne Brinkmann, said that the Mile was again a huge success with more than 300 swimmers registered to compete in the iconic but demanding beat. “The Jetty Mile captures peoples’ imagination and because it is in the festive season, spectators enjoy watching it,” she said.
The event has been a regular item on the year-end sports calendar, under the organisation of OTB Sport and with a continuous sponsorship of the Pupkewitz Foundation.
“We just feel that we owe open water swimmers and it is something that we do. We came from Europe and we thought let’s start a sports event,” said Brinkmann.
According to the organiser, the event has contributed to the development of future international champions.
“When we first started, most swimmers , even gala swimmers, were not interested in swimming in open water so we have really seen growth.
The Jetty Mile also featured a sprint and kiddies race.
Winner of the 2022 Pupkewitz Jetty Mile, Philip Seidler exists the ocean a good two and a half minutes before the swimmer-up in second place. (Photograph by Adolf Kaure)