A surge of last minute entries now sees over 100 of South Africa’s bravest swimmers ready to tackle the Eastern Cape’s richest open water swim on Tuesday morning. Billed as the toughest Indian Ocean Swim on the planet, over 70% of the field have opted for the wetsuit category whilst the remainder will attempt the ocean swim in a costume only.
The Jendamark Bellbuoy Challenge is a daunting 5km ocean sea which sees participants going 2.5km straight out to sea to round the nautical bellbuoy directly off Pollok Beach. An overall prize pool of R39,000 is just one of the drawcards for this epic swim which attracts swimmers from around the country and sees a whopping R4,500 going to the winning Male and Female swimmer in both the swimsuit and wetsuit categories.Whilst usually an easy swim out to the buoy, the currents around the area make for a very tough rounding and return to shore which in some instances can see swimmers return times double that of their outgoing time. Defending champions Danile Jones and Ian Venter are confirmed for this years event with Pretoria‘s swimming legend Gary Albertyn lining up for his 5th Bellbuoy Swim together with 9 other swimmers who are in line for their 5 year award.
Favourite to win the ladies race this year is Woodridge College scholar Amica De Jager who has enjoyed an outstanding open water swimming season. One of SA’s top surf lifesavers has excelled this season in open water swimming bagging the Nelson Mandela Bay Aquatics 10km and 5km championship titles and the prestigious SPAR Ladies River Mile just two weeks ago.
The Jendamark Bellbuoy Challenge takes place on Tuesday morning starting at 08h30 from Pollok Beach with the winners expected to complete the swim in around 1 hour. Prize giving follows the event from 11h30. Pre-race registration and a meet and greet will be taking place at News Cafe Boardwalk at 6pm on Monday 20th March. See www.bellbuoychallenge.co.za for further information.
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