Swimmers conquer the Bell Buoy

The annual Bell Buoy swim took place in Port Elizabeth on Sunday and four swimmers from Kouga took up the challenge and completed the race.

Brenton Williams swimming butterfly towards the Bell Buoy. Photo: Dirk Erasmus
Brenton Williams swimming butterfly towards the Bell Buoy. Photo: Dirk Erasmus

The Kouga charge was led by Hadyn Holmes, the Cape St Francis swimmer who finished in 4th position in perfect conditions for a Bell Buoy swim.

JC Van Wyk was the next local swimmer to get back to the beach after swimming the 2.5 km straight out to sea, around the Bell Buoy and then back to Pollock Beach in Algoa Bay.

Kendal Wright (17 yrs) from St Francis Bay was the youngest of the Kouga swimmers to finish the race in a time of 1:36:25. This was the third Bell Buoy Challenge Wright has completed. He has also successfully swam a Robben Island crossing.

Brenton Williams was the last of the Kouga quartet to finish the use, using the butterfly stroke as usual. Williams remained part of an elite group of six swimmers who have completed all six of the Bell Buoy swims, dating back to 2010 when the event was started.

Core Surf

“Every year the Bell Buoy offers different challenges bit this year conditions were close to perfect,” said Williams, who is also the only swimmer to have tackled the Bell Buoy using butterfly, the most difficult swim stroke of them all.

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“The water temperature was 20 C and there was a light East wind which did not create too much surface chop. There was a current pushing the swimmers towards Cape Recife was it wasn’t as strong as previous years.

After all the challenges the Bell Buoy has thrown our way in the past, it was a really enjoyable swim this year,” added Williams.

The next adventure awaiting Williams and some of his swimming mates is a rounding of Cape Recife, the most South Eastern tip of the African continent.

Nobody has ever swam around Cape Recife according to Cape Long Distance Swim Association rules that state a swimmer may only wear a speedo type costume, goggles and a swim cap.

The 10 Km expedition will take place this Saturday, should favourable conditions persist for the swim.