Flippy not eyeing ninth Jetty Mile

Otis Daniels_Finck
Reigning Pupkewitz Jetty Mile champion Phillip Seidler announced that he will not compete at this year's edition of the Pupkewitz Jetty Mile in Swakopmund on 27 December.

Should the Olympic open water swimmer had competed at the 15th edition of the event and won it, “Flippy” as he is affectionately known locally, will have done so for a 9th consecutive year. The record of 18:33, which he set in 2019, remains intact. On the occasion, Yvonne Brinkmann of OTB Sport said that Seidler’s record time is an impressive feat and one that can be expected to stand for a while.

Seidler, who constantly trimmed the records at the event, said he is looking forward to defending his title but also aims to break his own record in the process. “I will try my best to break my record. It is long overdue but I am capable of doing it. However, an open water race is unpredictable. One wrong turn and the current can take you off course,” said Seidler, who represented Namibia at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

The swimmer has already started training for the Jetty Mile. “I train in the pool from Monday to Friday and swim 16km daily. I also go to the gym three times a week for strength training. As the date for the event draws nearer, I will start to train in the ocean to adapt to it,” he said.

During last year’s race and while on his way to the Olympics, Seidler hit a sandbank, injuring his shoulder. Despite this, he left the rest of the field behind and won the race in a time of 20 minutes and 10 seconds.

He was rushed to the hospital immediately after finishing the race to receive medical attention for the injury.

The 1.92km open-water Pupkewitz Jetty Mile, organised by OTB Sport, starts at Tiger Reef. The swimmers swim around the jetty and then head towards the Mole where they exit on the main beach. Even if sea conditions are rough, it is unlikely that the event will be cancelled.

Competitors need to assess for themselves whether they are capable of taking part on the day. Competitors also need to be self-sufficient in the water, as sea rescue is limited. A swimmer cannot take part in both the Jetty Mile and Sprint. The minimum age for the full event (Jetty Mile) is 13. The 150m kiddies swim is a fun event for children who can participate along with their parents or any competent swimmer.