Jendamark Bellbuoy Challenge

Event Information

Presented by Jendamark

Jendamark brings you ROUND 1 of the OPEN WATER WORLD TOUR by way of the Indian Ocean's most radical 5km swim from Pollok Beach around the Bell Buoy and back. The 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

(please note the Sunday will be a reserve day if we aren't able to swim on the Saturday)

Entry Fee

Category Early Bird
up to 31 Dec 2020
Normal Entry
1st Jan - 28th Feb 2021
Late entries
1 Mar - 18th Mar 2021


Early entrants assured of receiving a Bell Buoy Challenge branded silicone swim cap & collectors t-shirt

Applies from 00:01am on the 1st March 2021. STRICTLY no entries accepted after race quota is reached or at 4pm on the Thursday of race weekend (whichever comes first).
Unfortunately NO free event clothing will 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) Swimmers may have a second on a SAMSA approved craft but this is NOT compulsory.
(4) Seconds may not be positioned ahead of their swimmers (body of second may not be ahead of swimmers head)
(5) The wearing of wetsuits will be MANDATORY in case the water temperature is below 15° C
(6) The wearing of wetsuits is NOT PERMITTED if the water temperature is 23° C or higher
(7) 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
(8) The swopping out of swimmers is ONLY BY permission from Zsports with NO ENTRY SWOPS permitted after late entry  phase closes.
(9) Zsports will provide 6 highly visible kayaks distributed between the swimmers to help swimmers sighting along the course.


All entrants, who haven't previously successfully completed the Bell Buoy Swim, are required to satisfy the organisers of their competency in ocean swimming over this distance by submitting a brief email of swims undertaken in the last 12 months, in particular SEA SWIMS. The age limit for the Bell Buoy Challenge is a minimum of 14 years of age in accordance with the FINA rules for open water swimming (OWS 1.2).

Entrants are to satisfy the organisers that they are capable of a 5km Ocean Swim and such proof may be called upon and must be produced at least 1 week before event. Participants who are deemed to not meet the requirements will be withdrawn from the event and have 70% of their entry fee returned to them.

Swimmer Safety

The visibility and safety of our swimmers is paramount and for this reason, the SWIM BUOY is COMPULSORY for ALL swimmers. In addition, swimmers are permitted to have a personal second on a SAMSA approved craft (Surf Ski, Fishing Kayak, SUP, Rescue/Malibu Board) but this isn't entirely necessary as Zsports will have no fewer than SIX highly visibile kayaks paddling along the route to lead the swimmers.Provided that such does not travel ahead of their swimmer.

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 Registration

A registration meet and greet function takes place on the Friday evening of Race weekend from 17:30 till 19:00 at PEDSAC in the Port Elizabeth Harbour. All race kit and information will be presented at this function with a quick race briefing. Live music will be on show and a cash bar will be available. Lucky draws prizes will be handed out from 18:45 to conclude by 19h00. 

Race Details

Starting Time - 08h30
Compulsory race briefing for all seconds at 8am on Pollok Beach.

Start Location

Pollok Beach, Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth).

Important Information

No hydration is provided along the swim route.

All seconds must have SAMSA approved craft. If any paddler acting as a second has to be rescued for whatever reason, his swimmer will automatically be removed from the water and marked as DNF. The paddler's craft will ONLY be retrieved if space allows and safety of other participants is not compromised - such decision being at the sole discretion of the particular boat skipper.


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 not give or sell your number to another individual outside of the authorized transfer policy and process - if you do, this will result in disqualification and banishment from this event. 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.

We reserve the right to postpone or 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 postponed or canceled event. 

If we have to cancel the 2021 race due to Covid-19 restrictions, we will be giving ALL entrants a 90% refund on their entry fee with the balance 10% going to towards admin costs already expensed.

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

PLEASE NOTE: Zsports EFT Banking details have CHANGED! Please see your EFT confirmation letter for new payment details.