Local Heroes - Under Construction

This article requires a lot more research. The goal is to record some of the aquatic sports competitors who became local heroes of South African swimming - especially during the boycott years, while many others went into exile overseas and were lost to local swimming. Some who went overseas became international stars.

Only a few of the Exiles, like World record breaker Peter Willaims, Craig Jackson and Gerhard van der Walt, ever returned to compete after 4 years at an American universitiers. Some like Karen van Helden and Kobus Scheepers preferred to return early and complete their studies in South Africa, and after re-admission many more came home - like Marianne Kriel - to dominate local competition.

There are many more who should be included here, but insufficient information is publically available about them. Hopefully others readers will contribute information to give them their rightful place in our history.

These could be included :

From the pre-boycott era swimmers like Ted Wearin, Ben Jenkins, Aubrey Nunn, Terry Collard, Molly Ryde and Carla Gerke were significant competitors on the local scene, although they were Springboks who competed at the Empire Games. Carla was born in Holland an emigrated to SA aged 10.

Ted Wearin, an Australian soldier who remained at the Cape after the Boer War, became the first hero of South African swimming, winning titles from 1902 , the triple crown of 100, 220 and 500 in 1904, until 1913, while also playing water polo - and pursuing a career as ships-captain and sealer.

1960 Olympians Tich McLachlan and Aubrey Burer  (above) - both living in California today. After completing a degree at Natal University, Tich was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, where he still found time to compete for South Africa at the World student Games in Bulgaria and Rio de Janero in 1961 and 1963.

More recent local heroes include:

Gail McCarney Brito  - Natal Springbok who has swum the Midmar Mile every year- and completed her 40th race in 2014. With her brother Natal butterflyer and triathlete Dave McCarney. At the 2015 FINA World Masters Championships is done, Gail Mc Carney Bristow finished with 3 Gold and 2 Bronze medals.

Another Midmar legend is Mike Pegelly - the other swimmer to have swum every race since it started! Martin Godfery has also completed the Midmar Mile 40 times.

Mally Richards - never missed a Redhouse River mile since 1947 - completing the event over 60 times!

Dean Price - set a world age group record at age 11

Dougie Eager - set a world age group record

Andre Kotze - won 100m freestyle 4 years in a row from 1979 -1982 - despite doing national service on the border.

Roy Abramowitz

Dianne Ludorf

Katinka Germishuis

and others......

  Dennis Ford   Annette Cowley
  Paul Blackbeard   Karen van Helden (broke Karen Muir's SA records)
  Graham Hill (won 7 events at 1985 nationals) Coach of Chad le Clos Kevin Richards
  Geoff Grylls   Gary Brinkman  (won 400 freestyle at US nationals in April1984)
  Lee McGregor   John Keyter
  Jannie Horn   Val Walls (Rhodesian and SA)
  Mally Richards   Andre Kotze (won 100 freestyle every year from 1978 - 1982 - despite doing national service)
  Tricia Butcher   Gerrie de Jong
  Rhodesians Rob Hatherley and John Keyter   Brian Stewart