Congratulations to; Rebecca Deck and Jack Beattie (Year 12), Cyrus Milne, Georgia Ongarezos, Lauren Johnson, Ben Waterman, Emma and Jessica Cake (Year 11) and Jane Harwood (Year 10) and staff member Fiona Haigh for completing the Rottnest Swim. It was the culmination of many months of planning and training.
According to teacher Fiona Haigh training consisted of many hours in the gym getting stronger, doing drills to refine swimming strokes, learning to eat in the water and of course 1000s of kilometres swum.
Training to eat and drink whilst in the water is an integral part of the preparation for an event like this. It is essential to keep up fluids and food in order to have the energy to get across without suffering from energy depletion.
In addition to the pool and gym training all swimmers had to undertake open water training, often as part of qualifying events. Solo swimmers must qualify for the swim by completing a 10km open water swim in under 4h 15m.
The conditions were favourable in the morning with a lovely easterly breeze keeping the water calm and warm. The swell picked up midway across which was a minor thing to deal with compared to some people seeing their support boat capsizing! The biggest threat was being told to exit the water after a 4m white pointer shark was seen in the area. Luckily all of our swimmers avoided that situation to make it across the finish line.
Around the 15km mark you can start to see sand underneath you, giving the false idea that you are closer than you actually are. Being able to see Rottnest Island at this point was a big tease as it didn’t seem to get closer until you reached the boat exclusion zone at 18km.
Once in the chute to the ramp it’s one stroke at a time until you feel the sand under your hands, find your feet and make it over the ramp. This is a great feeling with smiles, cheers, and tears as you are interviewed and reunited with people on shore who helped you get there.
Big thanks also go to several members of staff that helped and paddled on the day; Chris Van Maanen, Tim Morton, David Bongiascia, Chris Tan and Sam Marson. Fantastic effort!