South African 25km open water swimming champion Tyron Venter will go head-to-head with world champion Petar Stoychev in the inaugural Bell Buoy Challenge at the MTN Nelson Mandela Bay Splash Festival in Port Elizabeth on Sunday, April 4.

The organisers were keen to get Venter on board for the seven-kilometre ocean swim and the latter, who described it as “the opportunity of a lifetime”, was quickly to accept the invitation.

“Petar is a great champion and when the opportunity arose right here in this country, I could not refuse it.”

Venter claimed his title with a world-class performance during the recent Midmar Mile Festival and will be confident of running the Bulgarian nine-time world champion close.

He recently won the Telkom Roode 1000 for the fourth time, a feat only emulated by world championships bronze medallist Chad Ho.

Venter, who represented South Africa as a teenager at the Fina World Championships in Montreal in 2005, said he was looking forward to a weekend of intense racing at the festival.

He is also entered for the swimming event that forms part of the first Ocean Racing Series World Championships (April 3) and the King of Nelson Mandela Bay (April 5) elimination race.

In the recent past, Venter has campaigned in France, Spain and Britain as a member of the SSA Open Water Swimming National squad and he now has his sights set on the 25km title at the Fina Open Water Championships in Canada later this year.

For more information, contact the festival office on 041 393 4844 or visit

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