After a two-year hiatus, Nelson Mandela Bay played host to the 16th IRONMAN African Championship event on Sunday, November 21.
The day saw PRO triathletes Maurice Clavel (DEU) and Ruth Astle (GBR) claim victory in a time of 07:30:30 and 08:28:52 respectively. Athletes kicked off the day with a shortened swim due to strong currents and choppy swim conditions. The 3.8km swim course was reduced to 1.9km for the PROs and 700m for the age-groupers. The water temperature reading was 19 degrees at the start of the swim.
Finishing just behind Clavel in second on the men’s professional podium was Sebastian Kienle (DEU), who came in with a finishing time of 07:32:31 and Rasmus Svenningsson (SWE) who rounded out the podium in third with a time of 07:34:34. In the professional women’s race, Annah Watkinson (RSA) took second in 08:40:44, while Jade Nicole Roberts (RSA) finished in third with a time of 08:53:34.
The 2021 IRONMAN African Championship saw under 1 000 participants taking part. The event saw the age-groupers take on a shortened open-water swim at Kings Beach. Athletes then transitioned in the Kings Beach Parking Area before taking on a two-loop 180.2 km (112 mile) bike course leading out of Kings Beach and along Marine Drive towards Schoenmakerskop and from there via Sardinia Bay Road to the Village of Beachview. Athletes enjoyed sweeping views of the ocean though in tough windy conditions, the rugged coastline and adjacent countryside. Lastly, a four and a half loop 42.2 km (26.2 mile) run course took athletes right out of Kings Beach to Driftsands Drive for the first turnaround. Athletes then headed back through Summerstrand and Humewood Beach Fronts to Admiralty way to turn for the second time before finishing at Hobie Beach. A course inspired by the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship which took place in Nelson Mandela Bay.
Top five professional men’s results:
SWIM BIKE RUN FINISH
1. Maurice Clavel DEU 00:22:37 04:18:46 02:45:16 07:30:29
2. Sebastian Kienle DEU 00:24:25 04:17:18 02:47:02 07:32:31
3. Rasmus Svenningsson SWE 00:24:30 04:16:42 02:48:30 07:34:34
4. Kyle Buckingham RSA 00:22:43 04:25:39 02:47:32 07:39:30
5. Bradley Weiss RSA 00:22:50 04:28:40 02:49:32 07:44:48
Top five professional women’s results:
SWIM BIKE RUN FINISH
1. Ruth Astle GBR 00:26:34 04:55:50 03:11:55 08:38:50
2. Annah Watkinson RSA 00:28:10 05:08:21 02:59:26 08:40:43
3. Jade Nicole Roberts RSA 00:26:40 05:09:23 03:06:12 08:47:29
4. Natia Van Heerden RSA 00:26:44 05:13:02 03:09:40 08:53:32
5. Imogen Simmonds CHE 00:23:22 05:03:41 03:27:16 08:58:31
Photos: Chris Hitchcock for IRONMAN