Nelson Mandela Bay Bellbuoy Challenge

Event Information


The NMB Bellbuoy Challenge swim is hosted in Algoa Bay, a proclaimed marine biodiversity hotspot located at the conjuncture of two major oceanic systems, the Agulhas and the Benguela currents and is one of the few bays in the world surrounded by over one million hectares of diverse land based protected areas i.e. national parks, provincial nature reserves, private game reserves, and wilderness areas.

Race Date



RESERVE DATE - 24th March if the swim is not possible on the Saturday.

Entry Fee

Category Early Bird
Up to 31st Jan 2024
Normal Entry
1st Feb - 10th Mar 2024
Late entries
11th - 20th Mar 2024


2023 Bellbuoy Challenge T-Shirt
  Early & Normal Entry registrations assured of receiving a Bell Buoy Challenge branded silicone swim cap & collectors t-shirt.

  LATE ENTRY PHASE:  11 to 20th MARCH 2024. Applies from 00:00am on the 11th March 2024.

STRICTLY no entries accepted after race quota is reached or at midnight on the Wednesday of race weekend (whichever comes first).

Unfortunately NO complimentary event clothing may be available to entrants entering during this Late Entry Phase.


(1) No distinction between traditional costumes and wetsuits.
(2) The swimbuoy/towbuoy is compulsory for ALL SWIMMERS
(3) The wearing of wetsuits will be MANDATORY in case the water temperature is below 15° C
(4) The wearing of wetsuits will NOT PERMITTED if the water temperature is 23° C or higher
(5) No entries will be accepted once race quota is reached or after stipulated end of late entries due to safety reasons and preparation of safety lists
(6) Only entrants in the ELITE category will be eligible for any prize money on offer. In this category, seconds or outside assistance of any kind is not permitted - the open water skills of the athlete and their swimming ability will detemine the best of the best.
(6) Entries are STRICTLY NON-REFUNDABLE once made. If withdrawing or unable to take part once signed up, it is the responsiblity of the athlete to find a suitable replacement to take over their entry. Entry TRANSFERS will be permitted whilst entries are still open at an admin fee of R100. Strictly NO CHANGES will be considered after close of entries.
(7) Zsports will provide some highly visible kayaks distributed between the swimmers to help swimmers sighting along the course.

Swimmer Safety

The visibility and safety of our swimmers is paramount and for this reason, the SWIM BUOY is COMPULSORY for ALL swimmers. 

Swim Cut-Off

There will be TWO cut-off points in effect for this race. The first at the Bell Buoy (1hr 15min) and the second 3/4 of the way into the race (2hrs). All swimmers who haven't passed the cut-off point at the designated time will be removed from the water and marked as 'Did Not Finish' - NO EXCEPTIONS.

Prize Giving

A prize giving ceremony will be held as soon as possible after the last swimmer finishes at the beach.

Race Details

Starting Time - 08h00
All swimmers must have checked in on the morning before 07h30 so we can call each in personally to the start area.

Start Location

Pollok Beach, Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth).

Refund Policy

When entering, you accept that all entry fees are non-refundable - you are making a non-refundable purchasing decision and must agree to this policy. You may apply for an entry transfer (R100) to allow someone else to use  your entry if you can't make it. This policy stays in effect whether you are injured, have an unexpected business or family emergency, illness, pregnancy, etc. There are NO exceptions. Once you register, unrecoverable race course services and items are paid for for you as if you will be attending the event. No transfers after close of entries.

We reserve the right to cancel the event due to events out of our control such as a natural disaster or emergency. No refunds will be issued under these circumstances. We may also alter the courses and distances at any time if required due to course blockages or other restrictions or impediments. There will be no fee refunds for a canceled event. 

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Africa's TOUGHEST Indian Ocean Swim - Algoa Bay, South Africa