Wow! What a weekend, hey? Tough conditions and another "slow" year, but everyone did really well and was still smiling at the other end. You really have to pinch yourself when doing the Rottnest Channel Swim - it truly is one of the best events that you can do anywhere in the world I believe and if you've ever sat there thinking "hmmm, I wish I could do that but just don't think I strong / fast / good enough to do so", then think again! The best thing about it is the huge range of abilities that the event attracts...where else can you rub shoulders with so many Olympians, Bondi Rescue Vets (?!) and other celebrities and then enjoy an awesome party at the Quokka Arms once over there. Its a brilliant festival of swimming and to be part of it each year never ceases to be inspiring. One thought I had for next year was to organise several teams from within the squad with 4 swimmers of differing abilities so that the stronger, more experienced swimmers might be able to assist those who've never tried the event before. Watch this space!
So, the results can be seen here (highlighted in yellow are our 74 swimmers who took part):
We even got a mention in The West (although not all the details are totally correct I have to say!):
Well done to everyone who took part, of special mention were the 13 solos who completed the event, 7 for the first time! Ceinwen took 3rd place overall in the female event and went 10 mins faster than last year in arguably worse conditions! Mark Scanlon did a fine job finishing 5th overall in just under 5 hours in his bid to successfully swim the English Channel later this year. Also in the solos, Suzanne Narbey had a stellar performance to finish 15th lady overall in 6 hours 38 minutes. Congratulations to all the solos - Ceiwen, Lisa, Suzanne, Mary-Anne, Justine, Hannah, Mark, Geoff, Andrew # 1, Julien, Michael, Andrew # 2, and Vaughn - you did yourselves proud! Unfortunately Justin didn't make it across and suffered very bad vomiting and hypothermia which put an end to his bid for the island - tough, tough conditions.
In the DUOs, The Water Bearers (Adam and Belinda) got the better of The Pickles (Paul and Michelle) in 5 hours 22 minutes and 5 hours 35 minutes respectively to finish 2nd and 4th position. We were very pleased with our result and it was really special to be able to partner-up with Mish in this way and have such a strong crossing after the last 12 months of very little training with looking after our new little man. Top marks to Adam and Belinda though, they rocked it! John Edwards had a really good day swimming with his partner Cy for the Bulagria team and Nat "The Rat" did great with her partner Jackie to finish in just over 7.5 hours and finish in the top-10 in their category. Nat also raised a considerable amount of money for her "Swim for Sarah" breast cancer charity - so thanks for all who contributed to that! Suzanne (and Nicola), Kim (and Ken), Paul, Chris, Trevor, David, Serena (and Bart), Bill (and Jeremy), John (and David), Nimal (and Erez) all battled the conditions and made it safely across to the island.
There were 28 teams in the event with swimmer's from the squad - getting podium positions were the following performances: Katrina Mercer with her "The Iona Chicks & CUZ" team; Felicity Bailey, Melissa Cooney and Kristy Fogarty with their team "Rexalicious" (should that be "Relaxicious"?!); Emmy Poulson and her "Feet First" team; Jeremy Buttsworth with his "Walruses" team; Liz Dundas and Guy Van Hazel with their "Aqua Dragons Grace Darling" team; and Desiree Silva with her "Dreamtime" Charity Challenge Team. Well done as well to all those who competed and survived the teams event - I wonder if any of you are considering a DUO or even SOLO next year now perhaps??
So training is back to normal this week (except for the absence of the Thursday morning open water swim - still working on alternatives for that - watch this space!). No doubt some of you will have an easy few days to recover from the event, but don't forget we'll be getting something pumping for the Good Friday Swim Challenge in just 6 weeks time, so well worth staying fit for that!
The Rottnest Channel Swim - a total W.A Institution if ever there was one! Makes you feel proud to live in Perth, that's for sure!