Words: Red Bull
In a test of full-body fitness across both lifesaving and cross-fitness disciplines, 90 athletes took to the water at Durban’s North Beach to complete in Red Bull Beach Patrol. Competing in the professional category, Wiseman Mvumbu out-swam, out-ran and out-climbed his fellow lifesavers to take first place in the first event of its kind in South Africa.
Photo credit: Kevin Sawyer / Red Bull Content Pool
The course saw participants run a 300m stretch of North Beach before heading out into the water along the pier. They had a choice of ascending a cargo net or attempting the round-the-pier swim to Dairy Beach. Once back on the sand they ran another 300m stretch before heading up & over the pumphouse and down a fireman’s pole. They ran back toward North Beach to a monkey-bar set up, headed down and off the pier into the water for their last swim leg out to buoy and onto the beach before their final sprint to the finish.
The athletes competed in 2 categories: One for Durban’s professional lifesavers and everyday heroes who save thousands of lives on the city’s popular beaches and the second for fitness enthusiasts and club lifesavers eager to pit themselves against the course.
“This is pretty different to what we do on a daily basis with the obstacles and I loved it. I really didn’t expect to win – it seems like all my training paid off. I caught an awesome wave into the finish and at that moment I knew I had it,” said Mvumbu.
“December here is crazy and it’s really challenging to do what we do. You have to train really hard to stay on top of your game but this tested my fitness in a completely different way to what we’re used to. This event was so much fun and I’ll be back stronger to defend my title next year.”
Sportive Director and current World Surf ski champion Matt Bouman was impressed with the turnout: “It was a really good day out at the iconic North Pier and I think it was an eye-opener for the local surf lifesaving community. The participants knew that this hybrid event was going to pose something different to what they’re used to and I think it really challenged them. It was great to see the locals come down to support them and I know everyone who was here today is already looking forward to next year. ”
o Pro Division Men:
1. Wiseman Mvumbu (Marine)
2. Stembiso Mbatha (Marine)
3. Mpilonhle Dladla (Durban Surf)
o Pro Division Women:
1. Lebo Tau (Marine)
o Athlete Division Men:
1. Paul van Achterbergh (Marine)
2. Chris McGlynn (Durban Surf)
3. Luke Nisbett (Pirates)
o Athlete Division Women:
1. Carmel Billson (Marine)
2. Nicole O’Driscoll
3. Keren Worlock