Just over 50 extreme swimmers will leave the shores of Hobie Beach in Port Elizabeth tomorrow morning in their quest to swim around the Bell Buoy which is situated 2.5 Km off shore!
Some of South Africa’s most hardened open water swimmers will hug the coast for the first 1.5 Km before striking directly out to sea to swim around the Bell Buoy. The total distance of the swim is 8 Km, if the swimmers manage to hold a straight line.
Olympian Troyden Prinsloo, the South African 10 K champion, will be swimming his first Bell Buoy and will be hoping to make his mark in the world of South African extreme swimmers.
“The Bell Buoy is my first real open ocean swim so I don’t know what to expect”, said Prinsloo. “The advice I have been given is to put my head down and swim hard and not worry about the wildlife in the Bay, so I will be doing exactly that and hoping for a good swim”.
Prinsloo will be amongst the swimmers who will only be wearing a speedo costume, goggles and a swim cap in the race tomorrow. Wetsuits will be allowed but will not be eligible for the main prizes.
2012 sees the Bell Bouy being swam for the 3rd time with competitors having to deal with a strong SW wind and big swell in 2010. Last year saw a strong NE wind blowing which created a big side chop and strong currents to challenge the swimmers.
Conditions are looking good for one of South Africa’s most extreme swims with a variable wind being predicted at this stage. The wind is expected to blow harder later in the morning.
A contingent of Jeffreys Bay swimmers will be taking part, spearheaded by veteran swimmer Brenton Williams, who will be taking part in his third Bell Buoy crossing. “The Bell Buoy is my favourite swim in the Eastern Cape and I will be looking at swimming it butterfly this year”, said Williams, who was recently part of a team of swimmers who set a new world record for an open water relay swim.
He will be joined by JC Van Wyk, Buzz Friday and Phil Weddel who will all be attempting their first ever Bell Buoy crossing.
USA marathon swimmers Jason Malick will be joined by Denise Everitt of New York and Jen Schumacker of Los Angeles as they attempt their first Bell Buoy Challenge, to round off an international field of swimmers.
The race starts at 8 am at Hobie Beach in Port Elizabeth.