International swimmers for Bell Buoy Challenge
No fewer than three international swimmers will start Saturday's epic Bell Buoy Challenge swim alongside South African Olympic and champion swimmers.
US marathon swimmers Jason Malick from Wilmington will be joined by Denise Everitt of New York and Jen Schumacker of Los Angeles as they attempt their first Bell Buoy Challenge swim on Saturday morning from Hobie Beach.
Malick is a seasoned marathon swimmer, having become the first swimmer to complete the Cape Island 15.1 mile swim in 2010 and the 7 Mile Island Swim, which was a 22 mile swim, in 2011. Malick is unlikely to find the water temperature on Saturday any problem have completed a 1 mile ice swim in 2 degree water in January this year.
Everitt is in South Africa to compete in the South African Ironman and is exciting about using the Bell Buoy swim as a 'warm-up' for the Ironman. She is also the only women to have swim the 45km distance around Grand island above Niagara Falls.
Los Angeles marathon swimmer Jen Schumacher has crossed the 21-mile Catalina Channel twice, the 28.5-mile Manhattan Island Marathon Swim and has swum the 20-mile length of Lake Tahoe, one of the highest large lakes, just one day after scaling Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the continental United States. Jen's adventures are extreme, and she intends to continue in this manner as she sets forth to become the first American to complete the Ocean's Seven, this season planning to swim the Strait of Gibraltar, the English Channel, and the Molokai Channel.
"I am so excited about the trio of open water challenges at this year's Splash Festival. Last year, I had the privilege of competing in the Cadiz Freedom Swim, which was my first time visiting South Africa. I was struck by the country's natural beauty and welcoming people, and could not wait to return. When the opportunity arose to compete in the Splash Festival events, I knew I had to be there. The enthusiasm for open water swimming in South Africa is unmatched and so inspirational to be a part of. I'm looking forward to a great weekend of racing!" said Schumacher.
Leading the South African contingent of swimmers this weekend will be SA Olympic swimmer and recent Redhouse River Mile winner Troyden Prinsloo, SA 25km Champion Tyron Venter and Durban lifesaver Luke Nisbet. Last year's ladies race was a running sprint for the finish line between eventual winner Dominic Dryding and Nicole Brits with both entered again for this year.
This spectacular swim is part of the Splash Festival and starts at 8.30am on Hobie Beach with awesome public vantage points along the boardwalk towards Pollok Beach. Yachts from the Algoa Bay Yacht Club will line the 4km route out to the Bell Buoy from sunrise. Winners are expected to complete the swim in just over 1hr 30min whilst the more social swimmers will be looking at around three hours.