Jetty swim attracts a record field

Chloe FraserBusselton Dunsborough Times

A record number of swimmers entered the water at the Busselton foreshore on Sunday for the SunSmart Busselton Jetty Swim.

The Jetty Swim recorded its largest contingent in its 23-year history, with about 2235 swimmers registered for the 3.6km event.

In near-perfect conditions Perth’s Andrew Donaldson, was crowned the open male winner, finishing the swim in 42min. 14.52sec.

Mandurah’s Rebecca Weller was the open female winner with a time of 44:52.63.

Among the swimmers was Dunsborough’s Tahrn Campbell, who is living with a brain injury as a result of a car accident about six years ago.

Campbell has had a long recovery, attending neurophysics therapy in Queensland, hyperbaric oxygen therapy in Melbourne, and Osteopathy and kinesiology in Busselton.

Just 12 months ago, Campbell faced severe challenges with his ability to swallow and was unable to swim safely.

But last weekend he showed just how far he had come, swimming the last 900m of the jetty swim with assistance from swimming aid Tammy Thornley.

His mother, Marg Campbell said the swim was a huge milestone and would not have been possible without Thornley’s “above-and-beyond commitment”.

“It was Tammy’s idea to nominate him and encourage him to train for the jetty swim ... at the time even she was uncertain if the goal was too steep,” Mrs Campbell said.

“Tammy herself swam alongside Tahrn, keeping a good eye on him to ensure his safety and wellbeing.”

Mrs Campbell thanked Thornley for volunteering her time and skills, sometimes up to three times a week, to ensure Campbell could participate in the swim.

Meanwhile, junior swimmers took to the water following the main swim event to compete in the second SunSmart Busselton Jetty kids’ swim.

About 124 children aged eight to 12 competed in the 222m swim, earning a medal and event towel presented by event ambassadors Madonna Blyth and Priya Cooper.

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