Jetty swimmers relish challenge
Hundreds of locals will compete in the 25th annual Sunsmart Busselton Jetty Swim on Sunday with a strong contingent from the Busselton Masters Swimming Club.
Last year the biggest contingent in the event’s history attended the 3.6km swim with more than 10,000 swimmers, and spectators, both local and visiting, enjoyed the famous Busselton foreshore. Several records were broken including open male division winner Rhys Mainstone smashing Travis Nederpelt’s record time by almost three minutes and Open Female winner Jaime Bowler setting a new record of 43min. 19sec. 18 seconds faster than Melissa Benson’s previous record.
Competitors are hoping for similar flat conditions for tomorrow’s race and 12-time competitor Richard George said choppy weather meant a far more challenging swim.
“I used to do duos but the last seven years I’ve done solos which can be difficult when the wind is pushing against you,” he said.
“I love the training for it — you can set a target for the year and you do a lot of kilometres out there so eclipsing that target is very rewarding. I love open water swimming, you can psych yourself out and it’s a really peaceful experience.”
Mr George said he loved the atmosphere of the event.
First time duo competitor Anne Archer said she had overcome her fear of the ocean by learning to swim with the goal of competing in the famous event last year.
“I started to learn to swim a little over a year ago, I had to get lessons and I was panicking but I just kept persevering and eventually I did one very slow kilometre in a team,” she said.
“It was very challenging but I really wanted to do it.
“I was extremely nervous the first time I trained with the Masters, I got to the first pole and then had to come in and sit on the beach and thought I’d never do it but I just kept training and I got there.”
The Busselton Jetty Swim begins tomorrow at 8am.
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