– Edited by Bev Mortimer
Defending Champion, 19-year-old Kyle White from Port Elizabeth, was the first through the half way point in blustery conditions in the 2023 Nelson Mandela Bay Bellbuoy Challenge, Africa’s toughest Indian Ocean 5km Swim, and carried his lead to be the first to hit the beach.
Kyle White wins the 2023 Nelson Mandela Bay Bellbuoy Challenge at Pollok Beach
White finished in just 1 hour and 7 minutes and claimed his 2nd Bellbuoy Challenge title held at Pollok Beach yesterday, 26 March. After gale force on-shore winds on Friday, Saturday saw strong off-shore winds so race organisers, Zsports Events SA, delayed the start by 1 hr 45 min to allow the surf conditions to settle for the swimmers. It was a fast swim out to the Bellbuoy for the majority of swimmers with the lead ground rounding the nautical buoy 2.5km off-shore in just over 28 minutes. Another local athlete, Bruce Campbell, finished 2nd in 1hr 10min with Pretoria’s Gary Albertyn in 3rd place 43 seconds later. Robyn Hough, `18 years-old, won the ladies category in 1hr 24 min ahead of Liza Kingston and Ingrid Trusler. For 39% of the field, this was their first Bellbouy Challenge swim while 4 swimmers, Andre Kleynhans, Mary-Anne Stott, Stanford Slabbert and Ralph West completed their 13th swim without misssing a race a race since 2010. Pretoria’s Gary Albertyn completed his 10th Bellbuoy Swim. Youngest finisher on the day was 15 year-old Conrad Marais from Uitenhage while 75 year-old Chris Viljoen was the oldest finisher with Ren Harrington extending her record as the oldest female finisher at 70 years-old and 74 days old.
Full results and pictures from the swim can be found on https://www.zsports.co.za/bellbuoy/content/results
Pictures Attached from Richard Pearce Photography
(1) East London Swimmers – Joy Roach, Gail Wild and Amanda Uys from East London enjoying their Bellbuoy Challenge swim (2) Start – Swimmers head off into the Indian Ocean for the 13th Nelson Mandela Bay Bellbuoy Challenge
(3) 2023 Men’s Winner – 19yr old Kyle White crosses the line to successfully defend his 2022 title
– Photos: Z Sports
The start of the Bellbuoy Challenge 2023
East London swimmers participating
Youngest and oldest entrants, 15 year-old Conrad Marais and 75 year-old Chris Viljoen were the youngest and oldest finishers respectively