South African world record holder and local open water swimmer, Brenton Williams, will take on the toughest Indian Ocean swim at Pollock Beach in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, April 13 – the 10th Jendamark Bellbuoy Challenge.
The challenge is first stop on the international swimming circuit’s Open Water World Tour (OWWT).
Williams, who completed seven of the nine Bellbuoy swims and is the only swimmer to ever complete the challenge swimming butterfly, will take on the daunting 5km ocean swim that will see some of South Africa’s bravest open water swimmers heading 2.5km straight out to sea to round the nautical bellbuoy, swimming freestyle.
“When the DA took over the Kouga Municipality in 2016, ensuring that the institution becomes financially sustainable and can deliver services effectively and efficiently to all residents, it became my main priority in life which has left little time for training,” says Williams.
“Butterfly swimming takes incredible focus and the training for a big butterfly swim is very demanding and together with electioneering for the 2019 election it will just be better to swim freestyle this year.”
What does he enjoy most about the challenge?
“I love swimming out in the ocean, and swimming a couple of kilometres out to sea gives one perspective about life and the opportunity to be in nature in a very unique way,” he says.
“It is also the only ‘big swim’ in the Eastern Cape and therefore I like to support the event.”
Williams will be joined by Africa’s fastest long-distance swimmer, Tyron Venter, who is a world record holder in no fewer than five different categories.
The race will furthermore boast several top Port Elizabeth-based swimmers, as well as national and international competitors – all fighting for the R10 000 first prize, the locally crafted trophy and medals.
The combined prize purse of R76 000 will be split evenly between the men’s and ladies’ categories.
The race starts at 08:30 with the winners expected to take just under one hour.
The race briefing for all 200 participants will take place at News Cafe at the Boardwalk where officials will go over safety precautions and participants will be able to collect their race packs.
For more information about the event, visit www.bellbuoychallenge.co.za.
Photo: Clive Wright