It's great to be back in Perth and to be hearing about all your exploits in last weekend's Rottnest Channel Swim. This is the first time I've missed the event since it was cancelled in 2007 (prior to moving back to Perth later that summer). I managed to stay up to about 3am watching the vent whilst over in the UK as one of the keynote speakers at the London Triathlon Show which saw 51,000 people attend the show and listen into our talks, demos and elite showcasing (more pics at the end of this report). Normally the show falls on the weekend after the Rottnest Channel Swim, so I was very sad to miss the swim this year, such is our commitment to writing the coaching curriculum for British Triathlon (which of course we are proud and honoured to do as well!).
I do however, believe I tempted fate with this slide in my first presentation on Friday (just 5 hours before you started the Rottnest swim here in Perth):
So I'm very sorry if you were one of the solos, duos or team members who were pulled from the water due to the shark sighting, and to those of you who made it across - bravo! What an amazingly quick year!! We were disappointed that Brad Smith did not take the win of course, but his time of 4h08m is the 4th fastest time ever across the channel - top work Brad! Young Byron did an amazing job with Tim Hewitt to take out the duo prize this year, a good margin ahead of 2nd place which featured a 2000 Olympic Games gold medallist in Chris Fydler.
The full results can be seen here:
But here are our squad / 121 summaries for your reference (click to enlarge) - please let me know if I've mistakenly missed you:
So overall we had fewer swimmers than in previous years, but I think it's fair to say that as the squad matures, many of you are now looking beyond Rottnest to events like the Port-2-Pub, the various Ironman events and of course next weekend's Rottnest SwimRun event to tickle your tastebuds! In fact, when I reflect back to 2007/8 and compare the number of events on the calendar then to the choice you have today, there's hardly any wonder that marketing statistics suggest that these days a certain discipline / event is only holding the attention of an athlete for an average of 2.5 years. Hopefully though, with things like the regular routine of our squad etc, your day-2-day exercising habits remain unchanged as you continue to lead an active and healthy lifestyle (which is what it's all about of course!) even if you aren't necessarily undertaking a huge event every year. I know that's certainly how I feel I'm operating these days!
Anyway, well done everyone who competed!
Squad swimmer JT has provided this following summary which I think works nicely as a review - thanks JT!
"…suffice to say it was the best conditions for fast crossings possible. A strong easterly wind throughout, with little or no current that I was aware of. I don't think I noticed the 4,7 and 10km markers but we almost touched each marker from 14km onwards. The swell was only 1-2 metres but it was a bit choppy. Quite a few paddlers capsized and it was quite hard to breathe both sides without getting some splash in your mouth but these were minor issues and dwarfed by the helpful wind.
From a personal point of view it was a massive relief to have good conditions…it also means that I've sneaked up to 10 solos and so can join Rob Herkes and John Edwards in 'semi-retirement'. I like the idea of doing 'casual' crossings with John E, Andy M, Rusty etc without the pressure of events.
As for the event itself, I've just had a look at the results online. 376 soloists listed, 294 finished, 68 DNF and 14 DNS
The last 4 finishers were as follows;
Then a 1hr38min gap to ….
It looks like 2 swimmers right at the back of the field were slow enough not to have reached the 'shark zone', which wiped out the 68 swimmers just in front of them, give or take 1 or 2 who might have DNF-ed for other reasons.
Assuming I've got this right, the 68 shark-caused DNFers should all have clocked between 7hr32 and 9hr10, assuming everyone kept a steady pace.
It's a real shame that for the slow end of the field, they had dream conditions and would have been tracking beautifully up until 12km, when they were forced to abort. Hopefully some of them can enter P2P and get similar conditions, but without the shark.
Finally, my usual stats on my history.
The fact that I'm slower (in training) than previous years should have had me moving down the field. The fact that I stayed around the 40% mark must probably means that the 'extra' 100 swimmers that entered this year were, on average, slower than the 'normal' field.
London Triathlon Show
And finally, some pics from the London Triathlon Show for your viewing pleasure 😉 see you back on pool deck tomorrow!