SuperSport Schools Plus

Challenged by DHS, Westville wins 16th successive Durban and Districts Gala

By Brad Morgan , in Water Sports | Featured Water Sports | News , at 2024-02-22 Tags: , ,

The annual Durban and Districts Gala, swum at Kings Park on Wednesday, produced a fascinating battle between the highly favoured Westville Boys’ High and Durban High School (DHS) for the overall honours, with only five points separating the two at the completion of the 26th and final event.

Relays are the order of the day and that’s exactly what suited Westville and DHS, with their superior depth. That depth is also a big reason why it was so close at the end, with 19 of the events finishing with those two schools in the first and second places.

Westville claimed victory in 17 events and DHS was first in the remaining nine. A disqualification in one of the butterfly relays almost cost the Griffin, as they were docked points while DHS added to their tally.

Clifton College finished second four times, Kearsney College managed the feat twice, and Northwood School achieved it once.

Kearsney College Headmaster Patrick Lees presented the winner's trophy to Westville Boys' High.
Kearsney College Headmaster Patrick Lees presented the winner’s trophy to Westville Boys’ High.

The u14 age group produced fireworks, with four records falling, split evenly between DHS and Westville.

Both DHS and Westville bettered the previous 200m freestyle relay record of 1:49.91, set in 2009 by Westville, with DHS clocking 1:47.61 and Westville finishing only seven-hundredths of a second behind them.

DHS also won the 200m medley, this time by eight-hundredths of a second over their rivals. They touched the wall in 2:00.20, which comfortably erased the previous record of 2:04.17, set by Westville, which had stood since 2004.

Westville won the 200m butterfly in 1:57.17, with DHS second in 1:59.15, and the 20-year-old record, which had been set by Westville, of 2:00.61, was no more.

It was in the backstroke relays where the Griffin truly excelled. Their u14 team knocked over six seconds off the mark of 2:04.24, which WBHS had set in 2011, when they won in 1:58.16. Then, the u15 team obliterated a record that had stood since 2005 at 2:00.56, powering their way to a time of 1:53.27.

There was more to come from Westville as their u16 relay team swam 1:49.67 to destroy the 1:56.91 record that WBHS had set in 2011. And the u17 backstroke relay went even faster, clocking 1:44.38 to take an astonishing 9.64 seconds off the previous mark of 1:54.02, which was also set by WBHS in 2011.

Having been beaten only once in the past decade, and with a 16th successive Durban and Districts title secured, Westville Boys' High's swimming success is as dominant as any school in any other sport.
Having been beaten only once in the past decade, and with a 16th successive Durban and Districts title secured, Westville Boys’ High’s swimming success is unmatched by any other boys’ school.

Incredibly, the new u15 and u16 records would have also been enough to better the previous u17 backstroke relay mark. Meanwhile, the new u17 record is 4.62 seconds faster than the u19 record.

Despite an outstanding challenge from DHS, Westville ended where they almost always do, following up their wins in the Nestor Pierides Gala and the Alan Burt Gala with yet another top of the table finish. It was their 16th in succession in the Durban and Districts Gala.

Westville remains the gold standard in the pool, but DHS has been working hard in recent years to close the gap and they continue to make inroads.


Westville Boys High School 140
Durban High School 135
Clifton College 86
Northwood 71
Kearsney College 67
Glenwood Boys High School 40

Brad Morgan
error: Sorry ol' chap, those shenanigans are not permissible.