Lake Heritage Water Festival 2019 is just days away, with 3km, 5km, 1 200m and 600m swim events to suit every swimmer. Rather than tell you why we think this event is so great, we decided to get a few of our swimmers to tell us why they love this event so much. Here’s what they had to say.

Cyndi Strydom, who finished second in the 14-30 category in event three, told us that she loves how well organised this event is, and the family vibe that is created. “The best part is that while the venue is still in Joburg, you feel like you’re miles away in nature,” she said.

The Albertyn family, consisting of Gary, Megan, Connor and Kaitlyn, are no strangers to fans of South African open water swimming. “The Lake Heritage Water Festival is one of our favourite events on the open water calendar,” commented Gary. “The many life savers on the water and the batching system provide peace of mind to all participants. It’s also a great opportunity to spend time with family and friends in a beautiful setting. We cannot wait for the 2019 event!”

Reino von Wielligh, who those who were at the 2018 Lake Heritage Water Festival will remember as the young man who came third in the 3km swim and second in the 5km swim, commented that the event is a perfect opportunity to familiarise yourself with open water swimming and get used to the feeling of having people around you in the water. “It’s a perfectly organised event at a great venue with clean and clear water,” he said.

Henre Louw, who emerged victorious in the 3km and 5km events in January 2018, echoed these sentiments, emphasising that, as always, this event was superbly organised by aQuellé Midmar Mile race director, Wayne Riddin, and his team. “It provides Gauteng open water swimmers an opportunity, early in the swimming season, to test their fitness levels and qualify for the aQuellé Midmar Mile,” he commented. “It also gives newcomers the perfect chance to test their abilities in a safe environment.”

Nadia Groenewald, who was the first lady in the 31-40 age category out of the water in event three, added that the great sportsmanship displayed amongst swimmers at this event is priceless. “My happy place is walking down the ramp to the clear waters of Lake Heritage,” she said.

More information about the Lake Heritage Water Festival 2019 and online entries can be found here. Online entries will close at midnight on Wednesday 16 January, and late entries will be available at Cradle Moon Lakeside Game Lodge on race weekend.