Kyle Main prepares for English Channel crossing with monstrous swim
Port Elizabeth Long distance swimming legend Kyle Main will warm-up for a record breaking English Channel crossing attempt in September with a monstrous 23km sea swim in Algoa Bay.
Main will attempt to do three laps between Hobie Beach and the Bell Buoy, positioned 2.4km directly off-shore and some 3.5km from Hobie Beach, a feat not yet recorded in open water swimming history.
The triple bell buoy swim will be Main’s seventh ‘first time solo swim’, his most recent being the Sunday’s river mouth to Barclay’s bridge swim – a distance of 24 kilometres during February.
Main, sponsored by Fresenius Kabi, Finmap and Axxess said the swim on Freedom Day would also enhance the city’s brand as the Watersport Capital of Africa within the Adventure Province.
“I have dedicated the past few years of my life to make a record breaking attempt at the English Channel, and my preparation is essential, but it also aims to inspire others into watersports and profile our city across the world.” said Main.
For this epic swim, Main will be accompanied by a support and rescue team in a rubber duck consisting of a team leader, skipper, boat seconder, personal seconder and a surf ski paddler fitted with a shark shield that has been scientifically proven to repel sharks from solo swimmers.
The 28-year-old aims to become the fastest African, and one of the top ten fastest swimmers ever to traverse the English Channel in the first week of September 2011.
Included in Main’s gruelling training program is nine cold water sea swims (one per weekend) starting with a one hour swim and building up to four hours in the water during July and August as well as a three-day training camp at Marina Martinique during which he plans to swim 60km. In addition Main will also swim on average 50km per week in the pool, gradually extending the mileage.
While the average solo English Crossing time for the 36km distance from Dover to Callais is 13:20:11, Main, is aiming to complete the swim in eight and a half hours and in so doing set the fastest time for an African and post a top ten time in history in his first attempt. If successful he will clip close to 30 minutes off the fastest South African’s time of 08:58, set by Barend Nortje of Cape Town.
The fastest verified swim of the channel was by the Bulgarian Petar Stoychev on 24 August 2007. He crossed the channel in 6:57:50. Stoychev was in Port Elizabeth last year for the inaugural Bell Buoy Challenge swim which he won during the 2010 Splash Festival.
Main who currently holds 21 Eastern Province swimming records and a number of long distance swim firsts, will be down at Hobie Beach on Saturday morning to witness the second international Bell Buoy Challenge swim. The swim features Serbian Rok Kerin and India’s Rashmi and Richa Sharma as well as a host of provincial and national swimming champions from around the country. Swimmers will start at 08h30 with the winner expected to complete the race in around 1hr 45min to claim his share of the R70,000 up for grabs.