There will be a gathering of the tribe of South African open water swimmers in Jeffreys Bay this weekend, as some of the big guns in the sport are busy preparing to swim the 7.5K JBay Cold Water Classic tomorrow.
The swim, presented by Nicholas Melck Properties, will take place in the salt water canals of Marina Martinique and with some big cold fronts already having hammered the southern coastline of the African continent, the water temperature at present is 12 C.
Cape Town swimmer Theodore Yach who holds the record for the most Robben Island crossing by any swimmer – 80 and still counting, has confirmed his entry into the event.
Theodore is an inspiration to many South African swimmers and does most of his Robben Island swims from 3 Anchor Bay, which is a longer swim than the more popular Robben Island to Blouberg route.
He will be joined by speed machine PJ Duffy, who finished in second position in the 2013 JBay Cold Water Classic, after leading the swim up to the 5K mark, before being reeled in by eventual winner Kevin Grey.
Duffy is a definite favourite to win the swim as he has completed a number of cold water swims in the past year, including a Robben Island crossing.
He also won the Shipwreck swim in Cape Town in February and the experience gained in cold water will certainly help his cause.
Kevin Grey, the defending title holder has also entered, as has stalwart Eastern Cape swimmer Richden Jute.
The event forms part of the Jeffreys Bay WinterFest, a multi sports event that takes place in the coastal town every winter.
Swimmers travelling to the event will have the opportunity to watch some world class surfing as the World Championship Tour event, the JBay Open will be held at Supertubes over the same time period.
“One of the aims of the JBay Cold Water Classic is to introduce swimmers to cold water and there is a 2.5 K swim as well,” said Brenton Williams, the organiser of the event.
The 7.5 K will be held according to Cape Long Distance Swim Association rules which state that swimmers may only wear a speedo type costume, goggles and a swim cap.
However, the 2.5 K is open to swimmers who want to wear wetsuits as well as swimmers who wish to swim according to traditional rules and only wear their costumes.
The swimsuit swimmers will start 3.5 minutes ahead of the wetsuit swimmers.
Entries are open at www.swimmingplus.com