Saturday at the HI-TEC Walker Bay Outdoor saw events two and three of the Big 6 take place, alongside a beautiful hike through the Fernkloof Nature Reserve. Both the Trail Run and the See en Sand swim run were spectacular stand-alone races, but they had also been expected to allow for shake-ups in the long weekend’s overarching competition too. Joshua Blackshaw and Leigh Callaghan won the 20 kilometre Trail Run, while Anthony Clayton and Bridget Theunissen were victorious in the shortened and then stopped See en Sand swim run.

Starting at 07:45, from the Hermanus Cricket Club, the Trail Run boasted a challenging but scenic route. Despite the significant altitude gain, Blackshaw managed to clock an impressive time of 1 hour, 29 minutes and 5 seconds. Rudolf Naude, in second, was the first of the Big 6 campaigners across the line, moving ahead of David Sher in the men’s battle for top honours. While John Faure was third, just 11 seconds off Naude’s pace.

HI-TEC Walker Bay Outdoor

Vicky Welham (left) was second in the trail run, to Leigh Callaghan (centre) and Chantel Nienaber (right). Photo by Matt Ashwell.

In the women’s race Callaghan’s winning time was 1 hour, 48 minutes and 5 seconds. Following her third place on Friday evening’s LedLenser Twilight Run Vicky Welham was back on the podium and loving the HI-TEC Walker Bay Outdoor events on Saturday morning. “It was so amazing!” she gushed, after claiming second. “The route was well marked and so well supported. Every time you looked up you could see the beauty, see the sea, see your friends… I’d give it a 10 out of 10!”

Welham’s enthusiasm for the mountainous run was echoed by the majority of her fellow competitors. With views across the Kleinrivier Mountains and out across Walker Bay it was easy to see why. Those views also provided an indication of why the See en Sand course had to be adjusted. The swell entering the bay was simply too big.

HI-TEC Walker Bay Outdoor

The See en Sand Jump was shortened and then stopped due to the rapidly increasing swell rolling into Walker Bay. Photo by Nick Joubert.

Though the planned cliff jump from Dreunkrans was not an issue; exiting the water near Fick’s Pool, would have proved dangerous given the conditions. Thus, the See en Sand was changed to a more compact route. The adrenaline speakers will still be given an opportunity to jump on Sunday though…

Though they arguably got enough of an adrenaline fix in the shortened See en Sand. Despite the removal of the nerve-wracking Dreunkrans jump the route was still affected by the sheer size of the swell. Even in the sheltered waters of the Old Harbour bay the surging waves made for a difficult exit onto dry land. The initial leg, from the rock shelf to the east of the harbour into the harbour was manageable though turbulent. The next jump however, from the point to the west of the harbour was another matter.

HI-TEC Walker Bay Outdoor

Big swell, which jacked during the day, made the See en Sand swims tumultuous and eventually led to the stopping of the race as the rock jumps became dangerous. Photo by Dieter Pey.

With the swell having picked up between the start of the race briefing and the time when the first swim runners arrived, the jump had gone from challenging but safe to risky. The fastest athletes forged through, timing their jumps to perfection. When the larger sets poured across the rocks it became clear that it would be impossible for the race to safely continue. The See en Sand lifeguards, showed their skill in difficult conditions and their familiarity with the ocean in Hermanus, by getting every competitor off the rocks and out of the water. A lifeguard and an athlete both suffered abrasions but were treated by the on-site medics.

Given the gravity of the situation and how quickly the swell picked up it was unsurprising that even strong swimmers were shaken by the experience. “I’m still shaking, though I’ve calmed down a bit now,” the women’s race winner, Bridget Theunissen, confessed. “I thought I was a strong swimmer until I did this. It was fun, but it was hectic out there. I panicked a bit. I was actually okay on the second jump. The first swim had gone well and I saw Rudolf [Naude] in front of me, so I knew I was having a good race. But after I hit the water I didn’t see anyone after that. I was swimming backstroke and just trying to relax, because panicking in the sea is the worst thing you can do. Eventually I saw Liza [Kingston] and we came in together, so I then even had to sprint up from the Old Harbour to the finish line against her.”

Theunissen and Kingston were the only official finishers in the women’s field, while Anthony Clayton and Colin Fleming crossed the line within 15 seconds of each other. Frederick Stafford completed the men’s podium places. The Big 6 results, due to the number of athletes who were unable to complete the full course, because of the dangerous conditions, were thus nullified for the event. This leaves the competition wide open heading into the penultimate day.

HI-TEC Walker Bay Outdoor

See en Sand men’s podium (from left to right): Colin Fleming, Anthony Clayton and Frederick Stafford. Photo by Nick Joubert.

Sunday’s Big 6 events are the 23 kilometre MTB Adventure and the 2.5 kilometre Open Water Swim. For those whishing to pour their competitive energies into a good cause the HI-TEC Dash4Charity features Sprint, Dance and Hang for Charity challenges. All of these events take place at the Hermanus Amphitheatre and have a R10 per attempt entry fee. The money raised will be donated to local charitable organisations. Competitors can also win their share of a R15 000 prize purse too.

Social Sunday as the day has been dubbed begins with yoga and a voluntary cold plunge, in the Marine Tidal Pool. Then families are invited to join the Pirate Walk along the cliff path before the afternoon’s excitement kicks up a notch with the Beer Run at 16:00. Me & Mr Green close out the evening with a live performance, which is open to all festival goers and the general public, from 17:30.

For more information, and the full schedule of events remaining in the 2023 HI-TEC Water Bay Outdoor, visit Multisport fans can share in the excitement, by liking the Walker Bay Outdoor Facebook page or following @walkerbayoutdoor on Instagram and @walkerbayoutdoor on TikTok.

2023 HI-TEC Walker Bay Outdoor Recaps: Day 1 – Friday | Day 2 – Saturday | Day 3 – Sunday | Day 4 – Monday

HI-TEC Walker Bay Outdoor

The Hang for Charity event is part of the HI-TEC Walker Bay Outdoor’s Dash4Charity initiative which allows participants to hang for as long as possible for an opportunity to win their share of a R15 000 prize purse. Photo by Dieter Pey.

Trail Run Results


  1. Joshua Blackshaw (1:29:05)
  2. Rudolf Naude (1:31:42 | +2:37)
  3. John Faure (1:31:53 | +2:48)


  1. Leigh Callaghan (1:48:05)
  2. Vicky Welham (1:49:40 | +1:35)
  3. Chantel Nienaber (1:55:29 | +7:24)

Henk Esterhuysen’s See en Sand lifeguards are superbly trained watermen and women, who helped maintain the safety of the athletes in difficult circumstances. Photo by Dietlind Schirmer.

See en Sand Jump Results


  1. Anthony Clayton (20:33)
  2. Colin Fleming (20:48 | +15)
  3. Frederick Stafford (21:45 | +1:12)


  1. Bridget Theunissen (25:21)
  2. Liza Kingston (25:34 | +13)
HI-TEC Walker Bay Outdoor

The Amphitheatre, overlooking the Old Harbour, not only features the main HI-TEC Walker Bay Outdoor race village it will also host the live shows on Social Sunday. Photo by Matt Ashwell.

Big 6 after Saturday’s Events


  1. Rudolf Naude (197.68 Points)
  2. Colin Fleming (195.61 Points)
  3. David Sher (193.48 Points)


  1. Bridget Theunissen (193.39 Points)
  2. Tracey Campbell (190.49 Points)
  3. Liza Kingston (181.46 Points)

For more information on how the HI-TEC Walker Bay Outdoor Big 6 results are calculated click here. To view the full results click here.

HI-TEC Walker Bay Outdoor

There were reasons aplenty to celebrate and smile on the Trail Run course. Photo by Nick Joubert.