The athletic ability and profound maritime knowledge of Durban’s seasoned lifeguards will dominate North Beach on Sunday, 10 December as lifesaving pros, volunteers and the city’s heroes– compete in Red Bull Beach Patrol.
The third instalment of this beachside battle is set to be bigger than ever, with some of the country’s toughest competitors looking to take the championship title. This gruelling contest is a new age take on the lifesaving ironman, where lifeguards and lifesavers get the opportunity to showcase their skills in the sport’s most important disciplines: running, swimming, paddleboard and surfski.
Each entrant will compete in three qualifying races in the swim, paddleboard and surfski disciplines. Racers will have to complete all three to compete in the last part of the competition, which will incorporate the disciplines as well as a run down the pier – testing endurance and overall fitness. The final will be a showdown between the country’s best in sea rescue: Each participany will pit their skills against the ocean for the honour of taking the Red Bull Beach Patrol title.
“The event has set a new standard for lifesaving contests with its innovative course around North Beach pier,” explained Sportive Director for Red Bull Beach Patrol, Barry Lewin. “This incredible course allows spectators to view some of the most exciting races, all from the middle of the arena. It gives the audience a really up-close view of the action and is great support for the competitors.”
Lewin added that the Red Bull Beach Patrol was an opportunity to showcase the unbelievable talent possessed by South African lifeguards. “These people are truly unsung heroes. They put in an immense amount of physical training, as well as ocean time, to develop the skills needed to save lives on a daily basis. It’s just amazing to see what these athletes can actually do in the surf.”
The Red Bull Beach Patrol is as exciting for the competitors as it is for spectators, and this year is set to blow all previous records. The incredible racing skills, awesome vantage point and generally fantastic Durban beach conditions make this event a huge spectator drawcard, and with the competition now taking place in the height of summer, organisers are anticipating crowds to double to 10 000 this year.
The Red Bull Beach Patrol is open to any willing participants although a fair level of athleticism in the arenas of swimming, paddleboarding and surski is required to make it through the qualifying rounds. To enter, visit www.redbull.co.za/beachpatrol
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