Maurice Clavel (DEU) and Ruth Astle (GBR) claim victories on a windy day in Nelson Mandela Bay at the IRONMAN African Championship

Maurice Clavel surprises all with a memorable performance to beat race favourite and fellow country 

A South African filled podium but Britain’s Ruth Astle takes the limelight on top of the podium, followed by Annah Watkinson and Jade Nicole Roberts

Maurice Clavel (DEU), the new IRONMAN African Championship! (Chris Hitchcock for IRONMAN) 

After a two-year hiatus, Nelson Mandela Bay played host to the 16th IRONMAN African Championship event on Sunday, November 21. The day saw PRO triathletes Maurice Clavel (DEU) and Ruth Astle (GBR) claim victory in a time of 07:30:30 and 08:28:52 respectively. Athletes kicked off the day with a shortened swim due to strong currents and choppy swim conditions. The 3.8km swim course was reduced to 1.9km for the PROs and 700m for the age-groupers. The water temperature reading was 19 degrees at the start of the swim.

Another victory for Ruth Astle (GBR) five weeks after winning IRONMAN Mallorca. (Chris Hitchcock for IRONMAN) 

Finishing just behind Clavel in second on the men’s professional podium was Sebastian Kienle (DEU), who came in with a finishing time of 07:32:31 and Rasmus Svenningsson (SWE) who rounded out the podium in third with a time of 07:34:34. In the professional women’s race, Annah Watkinson (RSA) took second in 08:40:44, while Jade Nicole Roberts (RSA) finished in third with a time of 08:53:34.

The 2021 IRONMAN African Championship triathlon also featured live event coverage that was on Facebook Watch via the IRONMAN Now channel. The full broadcast of today’s race on Facebook Watch via the IRONMAN Now channel can be viewed here.

Rough seas so the swim course shortened. (Chris Hitchcock for IRONMAN) 

Top five professional men’s results:

1Maurice ClavelDEU22:3704:18:4602:45:1607:30:29
2Sebastian KienleDEU24:2504:17:1802:47:0207:32:31
3Rasmus SvenningssonSWE24:3004:16:4202:48:3007:34:34
4Kyle BuckinghamRSA22:4304:25:3902:47:3207:39:30
5Bradley WeissRSA22:5004:28:4002:49:3207:44:48

Top five professional women’s results:

1Ruth AstleGBR26:3404:55:5003:11:5508:38:50
2Annah WatkinsonRSA28:1005:08:2102:59:2608:40:53
3Jade Nicole RobertsRSA26:4005:09:2303:06:1208:47:29
4Natia Van HeerdenRSA26:4405:13:0203:09:4008:53:32
5Imogen SimmondsCHE23:2205:03:4103:27:1608:58:31
Beautiful shot! Clouds eventually cleared up but the wind didn’t. (Chris Hitchcock for IRONMAN) 

The 2021 IRONMAN African Championship saw under 1 000 participants taking part. The event saw the age-groupers take on a shortened open-water swim at Kings Beach. Athletes then transitioned in the Kings Beach Parking Area before taking on a two-loop 180.2 km (112 mile) bike course leading out of Kings Beach and along Marine Drive towards Schoenmakerskop and from there via Sardinia Bay Road to the Village of Beachview. Athletes enjoyed sweeping views of the ocean though in tough windy conditions, the rugged coastline and adjacent countryside. Lastly, a four and a half loop 42.2 km (26.2 mile) run course took athletes right out of Kings Beach to Driftsands Drive for the first turnaround. Athletes then headed back through Summerstrand and Humewood Beach Fronts to Admiralty way to turn for the second time before finishing at Hobie Beach. A course inspired by the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship which took place in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Official results can be found at https://www.ironman.com/im-south-africa-results

Jumping over a speed bump in windy conditions seems fun. (Chris Hitchcock for IRONMAN)
ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE! Alwyn Uys riding down the roads of Nelson Mandela Bay. (Chris Hitchcock for IRONMAN) 

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