Local hero flies home

LOCAL swimmer Brenton Williams set a unique record at the 2012 Bell Buoy Challenge in Port Elizabeth over the Easter weekend when he became the first man ever to swim the race using only the butterfly stroke.
“Conditions were perfect for a butterfly attempt and even though I was still a bit stiff from the 350km relay swim we did two weeks ago, you have to take your opportunities when they come your way,” said Williams after his historic swim.
Just over 50 swimmers managed to complete the extreme 8km ocean swim.
Conditions were good this year, with a light wind and 18ºC water ensuring swimmers did not have to deal with big chop, or hypothermic water temperatures. However, there were plenty of jelly fish in the water and at times the swimmers had to face swimming through clumps and some were stung quite badly.
Eastern Province 25km champion Rebecca Newman had to withdraw near the Bell Buoy due to severe stings on her arms and torso.
Troy Prinsloo became the first South African ever to win the Bell Buoy and did so in a blistering time of 1 hour 31 minutes.
“This was my first open ocean swim so I did not really know what to expect”, said Prinsloo after his epic win.
“I put my head down and swam hard and am stoked with the result.”
Prinsloo, who is the current South African 10km champion, is aiming for a start in the marathon swim at the Olympic Games in London later this year.
His last opportunity for qualifying is in June.
“I am hoping to come and do some cold water training in Marina Martinique later this month in preparation for the Olympic qualifier”, said Prinsloo, who won both the 5km and the 10km at the SA Champs in Jeffreys Bay last year.
Williams said: “There was very little surface chop and the currents were not as bad as the jelly fish so it was a great day for a fly swim. The jelly fish did sting me which made sure the Bell Buoy remained a challenge despite the perfect conditions”.
Phil Weddel and Buzz Friday were the other two Jeffreys Bay swimmers to complete the gruelling swim which saw the swimmers hug the coastline for the first 1.6km before striking directly out to sea for 2.4km and then swimming around the Bell Buoy and returning to shore.

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