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2019 Mandurah Australia Day Swim

What a great day! You cant help feeling enormous pride in our club when you watch all our hard working members and their families come together as a team to put on such a successful event. The video above and this link to photos (thank you Brett, Ivan, Hazel, and Pete) go some way to capturing the day.

The show started at 4:00pm on Friday afternoon with the initial set up at the Yacht Club. In addition, to blowing up the buoys and setting up the Registration Area, this year we decided to set up the start/finish line, marquees, banners and PA system in front of the Yacht Club building.

The "Pre-Party" got underway immediately the set up was finished. Thank you Craig for the entree of cray tails. Main course was fish and chips. By about 8:00pm most headed home well fed and lubricated, except the security team (Wayne & Glenda, Craig & Erica, Joel, Ken and Steve F) who stayed the night.

What a night it turned out to be! From about 10:00 to 11:00 pm, hoons in 4WD's roared around the tracks adjacent to the Yacht Club keeping everyone awake. After just getting to sleep, the Yacht Club Alarm went off at about 12.30 am. This necessitated a scramble to find and wake up Steve sleeping outside to get the code to turn it off. At 2:00 am, the cleaners arrived. Erica's screaming frightened the life out of them and the rest of us. At 4:00 am, the sprinklers came on an soaked Wayne and Glenda sleeping on the veranda, as well as Steve in his swag on the other side of the Marquees. Wayne and Glenda moved camp, while Steve couldn't be bothered and just hunkered down in a very wet swag. Other than that, all went well. More importantly, nothing was nicked! Thank you Craig for going and getting coffee first thing in the morning.

Between 5:30 am and registrations opening at 7:00 am, an influx of volunteers made short work of finishing the set up. Thank you everyone who helped.

Singing the national anthem followed shortly after Hazel's team finished registering a record 255 swimmers. It was just not the same without Rod. Thank you Steve C for your heartfelt tribute to Rod and for stepping in to lead us in the National Anthem.

Time for the 1 km, 2 km and 4 km swimmers to head to the beach for the briefing and start of racing. Barb and Craig had done a great job setting the course up. Conditions were ideal with relatively light South East wind, which picked up a little during the morning. This year Paul J organised Councillor Peter Rogers to be guest starter. Councillor Rogers was amazed at the scale of our event and promised to report favourably back to council on our behalf.

Unfortunately, the mid week storm had brought with it some stingers (zappers). Although a nuisance, they didn't stop some great swimming and racing. One of the highlights was watching Ingrid and young Ben Riebeseel race stroke for stroke over the last 100 m finishing 2nd and 3rd, respectively in the 4 km swim. Congratulations to all the winners, many of which were Mannas. Well done!

Next on the agenda was the Alcoa 250 m Try It swim - arguably the highlight of the day. This was a first for us and intended to provide an opportunity for swimmers from 8 years up, novice swimmers and swimmers of all abilities to try open water swimming. Before the swim, as if on queue and to the delight of spectators, parents and competitors, we were all treated to the magnificent sight of a pod of dolphins. The dolphins frolicked in the shallows, playing together and exploring to satisfy their curiosity as to how the finishing gate and buoys worked. After the dolphins moved up the beach, Steve C was able to finish the briefing for the 250m swim and the 24 swimmers headed to the start line.

Thank you to all the members who have WWCC for volunteering to help with the 250 swim and thank you Michelle L for organising everyone on the day. Some swimmers had parents swimming with them, others were very able swimmers and our in-water lifeguards did an amazing job assisting and encouraging those who found the swim quite challenging. Without a doubt, the lollies, blow-up beach ball and certificate all competitors received after finishing were a great hit.

Back at the Yacht Club, the crowd were enjoying: Bacon & Egg Burgers from Nic Brown's kitchen team, massages from Daniel Lewis, coffee from the Wanna Brew coffee van, the bouncy castle or relaxing in the shade.

After presentations, it was time to pack up. With so many volunteers pitching in this didn't take too long (maybe something to do with the promise of an Australia Day BBQ complete with lamb chops, sausage sizzle and pavolas to follow). We all ate too much, enjoyed champagne, beers, wine and water. Kirk brought our his guitar and serenaded us. A very pleasant way to finish a great Australia Day.

A few thank yous are in order.

Thank you to:

  • Our safety crew under the guidance of Ray, namely: St John Ambulance, Mandurah Volunteer Marine Rescue, Mandurah Paddling Club, Nautical Adventures Jet Skis, Creative Drone Worx, as well as lifeguards: Wayne, Anne Marie and Tracey;

  • Ron, Rowena and Des for doing such a great job refereeing the day;

  • Mandurah volunteers: Hazel's registration team, Ken and Sue's marquee and banner team, Joel's beach team and marshals, Craig and Barb setting the course, Ray's safety crew, and Michelle's WWCC team;

  • Steve C on the microphone, as well as Pres. Deb and Pauline presenting the prizes;

  • Sponsors: City of Mandurah, Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, Alcoa, Bendigo Bank, Nautical Adventures and Kayaks-4-U; and

  • Last but not least, the MAD Committee for all their hard work.

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