Cadiz Brian Curtis Mile 2012
The Cadiz Brian Curtis Mile is an annual swim race held in memory of the late Brian Curtis, one of the founding directors of Cadiz. The swim is held at the picturesque Eikenhof dam in Grabouw. Recent years have seen the addition of a 3km swim pre-ceding the main 1 Mile event. The event started in 1999 and last weekend hosted its 14th event. The 3km swim started at 09h00 and the 1 Mile event at 10h30 offering swimmers the opportunity to do “The Double.”
I, with my love of open water long distance swimming, had of course signed up for the double. These two events are usually very hotly contested and attract some top names in open water swimming. Previous mile winners include:
Heerden Herman, current South African 1500m record holder and London Olympic qualifier. Danie Marais, South African Open Water swimmer, represented South Africa at the 2011 World Open Water swimming Championships. Richard Stannard, represented Great Britain as a Triathlete at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and is also six-time World Champion across Aquathon and Biathle.
The dam conditions were relatively choppy, with a left to right Westerly wind blowing. The course was an anti-clockwise triangular one lap of 3km.
In the 3km event, a small group formed early on, consisting of Louis Aucamp, Grant McGilvray, Nick Turner (wetsuit), Dominique Dryding and myself. For the first 500m or so we stuck together, but from about 800m I picked up the pace. Nick sat on my feet and we managed to break away from the rest of the group. As I neared the far turn around buoy, I put in another burst, managing to open up a small gap, which on the way back continued to grow. Louis managed to bridge the gap to Nick, from which point they swam together. I finished comfortably in 38m 10s, with Louis taking second in 39m 49s and Grant McGilvray 40m 39s was the 3rd non-wetsuit swimmer home. Nick Turner 39m 58s was the first wetsuit swimmer home and 3rd finisher overall. Dominique Dryding took the ladies race to comfortably win in 40m 07s.
The 1 Mile race which started less than an hour after I finished the 3km event, saw a few new fresh additions to the competition in the Mens’ race. Ashley Williams-King in the men’s and in the ladies race Jessica Ashley-Cooper. Ashley, Louis and Jessica, all started well and stayed right on my heels from the official’s siren. I pushed hard to the first buoy and upon turning, saw that I had opened a gap of about 5m on Ashley and Louis. I maintained this fast pace throughout and took the win in 22m 00s. Ashley and Louis had a solid sprint finish for 2nd and 3rd place, coming in at 22m 54s and 22m 56s respectively. In the ladies race, Dominique Dryding took the win in 24m 06s ahead of Jessica Ashley-Cooper who finished 22m 29s.
List of Previous Brian Curtis Mile Winners:
1999 – Richard Stannard 20m 12s
2000 – Richard Stannard 20m 10s
2001 – Dale Blanshard 20m 53s
2002 – Andrew Hogg 20m 42s
2003 – Jannes vd Merwe 19m 52s
2004 – Jannes vd Merwe 20m 20s
2005 – Philip Emslie 18m 54s
2006 – Tyron Venter 19m 45s
2007 – Heerden Herman 19m 04s
2008 – Heerden Herman 20m 08s
2009 – Heerden Herman 17m 39s
2010 – Louis Aucamp 21m 52s
2011 – Danie Marais 19m 35s
2012 – Philip Emslie 22m 00s