Fish Hoek Surf Lifesaving club
Fish Hoek lifesavers grab championship trophy from Durban’s 40-year grasp
WHAT sweet victory it was for the New Balance Fish Hoek Surf Lifesaving Club when it trounced on Durban to take the national lifesaving championship trophy out of their 40-year-long grasp at the national championships, held in East London at the end of April.
The news made headlines in a number of newspapers as the significance of the trophy moving to the Cape after 40 years in Durban was highlighted. The Western Province team also took the interprovincial championship trophy away from KwaZulu-Natal, which came as just as much of a shock as it was the first time another province had won the title.
Fish Hoek’s lifesavers won both the junior and senior championship titles by huge margins. The sweet satisfaction of victory is evident in Clive Wakeford, a founder member of the Fish Hoek surf lifesaving club who also participated in the masters category of the lifesaving champs with his fellow founder members, Doug Wakeford, Clive Duffel, Vic Grebe and Ross Currie. Of course, these masters of lifesaving came first in their category too. Gary van Rooyen from sponsor New Balance, a Kommetjie resident whose daughter is a junior member of the club, was also a member of Fish Hoek’s masters team. The Fish Hoek club was founded in 1957 and registered with SA Lifesaving in 1958.
“To see Fish Hoek come through virtually in its 50th year and take that title was incredible,” Clive Wakeford says.
He says the founder members went through to set an example to the youngsters. Fish Hoek’s 68 competitors also had superb support from parents. “We towed up four trailers of our craft, and when we arrived, you could see the other clubs were intimidated,” Wakeford says.
He says that Fish Hoek went in believing they could win the championships. “We have the strongest team we’ve had in years. Our seniors have been with us since they were Nippers. The three most outstanding were Kendall Alford-Loots and Eloise van Gyssen, who trained with an Australian club for six months last season, and Jasper Mocke, the senior competitor of the competition.
“Our standard has been building up over a number of years but we’ve never been able to break through Durban’s superiority. Their clubhouse is right on top of Durban’s Olympic pool and they’re in the waves - big waves - all the time. It’s hats off to Fish Hoek, as they handled quite big surf at the championships.”
It is with palpable pride that Wakeford goes through the winnings of the club he helped establish in 1957 and has been involved in ever since:
National champions; junior champions (aggregate of 622 over Durban’s 373) and senior champions (aggregate of 414,5 over Durban’s 333); u/16 Competitor of the Competition title (Sarah Blake, three golds); u/19 Competitor of the Competition title (Kerry-Lee Anderson, two golds, two silver, one bronze) and Seniors Competitor of the Competition title (Jasper Mocke, two golds, three bronze).