Well-known Port Elizabeth swimmer Kyle Main will attempt to become the first solo swimmer to circumnavigate the bell buoy from Hobie Beach – twice!
Main’s date with destiny is on the last day of the MTN Nelson Mandela Bay Splash Festival, which takes place over the four days of the Easter Weekend.
According to Michael Zoetmulder, the festival’s watersport co-ordinator, the bell buoy is situated about two-and-a-half kilometres off Pollok Beach.
“From Hobie beach the loop is about seven kilometres, making the total distance of the attempt about 14.” Depending on the conditions, he says, the swim should last about four hours.
No stranger to uncharted waters, the 26-year-old Main was also the first person to swim across Algoa Bay. “As far as we know, no one has ever swum from Hobie Beach, around the buoy and back and I will be attempting to do it twice.”
The former four-time winner of the Redhouse River Mile says he trains about an hour-and-a-half per day in the pool during the week, with longer ocean swims over weekends, to prepare for the attempt.
Mark Ackerman, co-ordinator of the East Cape Surf Rescue Squad, says they have been approached by the organisers to escort Main on his epic journey. “We will accompany him on a rubber duck.”
He believes Main’s biggest challenge will be to overcome hypothermia. “The water temperature in the bay has recently dropped from a comfortable 18 degrees to a cool 14,” he warned.
Apart from being “extremely well prepared”, anyone attempting such a swim should know their limitations, says Ackerman.
Zoetmulder says the same swim, but over one circuit, may very well become a mass participation event at future Splash Festivals. “It will provide swimmers with an excellent long distance open water swim.”
Main will also attempt a solo swim across the English Channel next year and participate in a 50-kilometre open water race around Manhattan Island the year thereafter.
Depending on the weather, he will start between 10am and noon on Easter Monday.
For more information, visit www.splashfestival.com or phone the festival office on 041 393 4844.
Full Stop Communications
On behalf of:
MTN Nelson Mandela Bay Splash Festival