DEFENDING champion Byron Lockett of Port Elizabeth claimed the Jendamark Bellbuoy Challenge title in near perfect conditions yesterday morning.
Lockett won the 5km ocean race in a fast time of 57minutes and 1 second from last week’s Spar River Mile champion Daniel Jones, who was just 12 seconds behind with Pretoria swimmer Gary Albertyn in third place in 57: 48.
Continuing her amazing week, Spar River Mile women’s champion Hannah Haswell won the women’s category in her first Bellbuoy Challenge swim in a time of 1 hour 1 minute from a Quelle Ocean Racing Series champion Brigitte Muller (1:03:19) with last year’s winner Kirsten Marriott (1:03:25) third.
The youngest male swimmer in the event, 15year-old Ian Venter, won the men’s wetsuit category in a time of 1:08 from Jason Kalogeropoulos (1:11:05) and Dalen Davidson (1:18:03) with Amy Mardon successfully defending her title in a time of 1:19 from Kirstin Wessels (1:20:10) and Denise Bosman (1:21:02).
Maria Stott, 59, finished the swim in 1:59 to become the oldest female swimmer ever to have completed the Bellbuoy Challenge. Rolf Kordes, 74, was the oldest swimmer on the day, finishing in 2:27.
Organisers were applauded on making the tough decision to postpone the event from Saturday to yesterday morning.
Strong offshore winds on Saturday would have compromised the safety of the event which is reliant on the 60-plus volunteers who ensure the swimmers’ safety along the 2.5km stretch between Pollok Beach and the Bellbuoy.
-The Herald Reporter