Locals, visitors make a splash at Kowie River kilometre


A total of R4 400 was raised for the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) at the Kowie River Swim on Thursday December 28 was R4400. Included in that amount were the winnings of two swimmers who chose to donate their prize money to the NSRI.

Organiser Pierre Coetzer said he was pleased with the turnout, given the conditions: it was very windy and, with the easterly blowing hard, there was an upwelling of cold water that made the conditions in the water quite challenging.

The NSRI team of volunteers was on hand in case of emergency, and Ndlambe Municipality’s river patrol kept a watchful eye.

There were several out of town competitors, who are on holiday on the Sunshine Coast; however, locals proved consistent, acquitting themselves well in the face of national competition.

There were prizes for the first three under-17 boys and girls, and for the first three 18 years and older men and women.

The event was hosted by Halyards Hotel, and the Royal St Andrew’s Hotel sponsored R7500 in cash prizes. There were also vouchers totalling R5000 in value from Royal St Andrew’s Hotel, Spar and Debonairs/ Fishaways. Sports n All and Edge were co-sponsors.

17 and under boys

  1. Will Beatt in the best overall time of 13:04
  2. Dante Williams
  3. Reece Coetzer

17 and under girls

  1. Cassidy Sinclair
  2. Camilla Heuer
  3. Reese Noble

18 and older men

  1. Oliva Lange
  2. Joao Felizardo
  3. Travis McGrath

18 and older women

  1. Robyn Bayne
  2. Vanessa Hilton-Barber
  3. Karen White


Apart from the swimming superstars, celebrities included former SA cricketer Lee Barnard, in the water, and Comrades legend Alan Robb, who accompanied the swimmers in his racing canoe.

The event formed part of the Kowie River Festival that incorporated Anything That Floats, earlier in the day, The inaugural Kowie River Festival was held under the auspices of Sunshine Coast Tourism (SCT). It incorporated the famous Kowie River Swim, Anything That Floats, live music on the water at Tash’s Craft Bar, and an exciting NSRI rescue simulation.

Anything That Floats saw dozens of people, young, old and in between, taking to the water in a colourful variety of inflatables at Kiddies Beach and floating upriver to My Pond Hotel.

The NSRI training exercise saw volunteers rescue two “people” from the water at Kiddies Beach, and a real person from the rocks next to the river, at the sea-end of the caravan park.

Choppy river conditions thanks to strong winds put paid to a ‘float-your-boat’ sunset outdoors vibe at Tash’s Craft Bar; however, many gathered afterwards there to listen to where Candice Juhl and Joe van der Linden as the sun set on a successful and busy day on the Kowie River.

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