NMB to host top world wa­ter event

Cape Times - - METRO - Staff Writer

NEL­SON Man­dela Bay con­firmed its sta­tus as the wa­ter­sport cap­i­tal of South African fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment that the Jen­damark Bell Buoy Chal­lenge has been in­cluded as the first stop on the Open Wa­ter World Tour.

The 5km ocean swim­ming race cel­e­brat­ing its 10th edi­tion next year, will see hun­dreds of lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional swim­mers tak­ing to the wa­ters off Port El­iz­a­beth’s Pol­lok Beach on April 13.

South Africa joins a line-up of host coun­tries in­clud­ing Greece, Italy, Aus­tria, Peru and Canada for the 2019 world tour.

The in­clu­sion of the In­dian Ocean race on the pres­ti­gious ama­teur world tour was a ma­jor boost for sports tourism in the Bay, ac­cord­ing to event or­gan­iser Michael Zoet­mul­der.

“As the only ap­proved African event in this com­pet­i­tive se­ries, we are very proud to be able to share the beau­ti­ful but tough rac­ing con­di­tions in Al­goa Bay with the world,” said Zoet­mul­der.

With the Iron­man African Cham­pi­onships tak­ing place the week­end be­fore, Zoet­mul­der said he hoped many of those in­ter­na­tional ath­letes would ex­tend their stay to com­pete in the “dou­ble header”.

Past win­ners of the Jen­damark Bell Buoy Chal­lenge in­clude Bul­gar­ian Olympian Pe­tar Stoy­chev, who was the first man to swim the English Chan­nel in un­der seven hours, and former Slove­nian open-wa­ter cham­pion Rok Kerin.

Zoet­mul­der said long-stand­ing ti­tle spon­sors Jen­damark in­creased the to­tal prize purse to R77 000, with equal prize money of R10 000 each for the male and fe­male win­ner.

Jen­damark op­er­a­tions di­rec­tor Siegfried Lokotsch said the com­pany was once again proud to be as­so­ci­ated with the world-class event.

“As a global tech com­pany that is proudly based in Nel­son Man­dela Bay, we be­lieve it’s time to show the world what Africa can do.

“We are happy to be con­tin­u­ing our sup­port for the Jen­damark Bell Buoy Chal­lenge and help­ing place it firmly on the in­ter­na­tional stage.” |

THE Jen­damark Bell Buoy Chal­lenge has been in­cluded as the first stop on the Open Wa­ter World Tour next year in Port El­iz­a­beth.

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