Bright and early on Saturday 23 February swimmers and supporters assembled on Cottosloe Beach for the start of the 2019 Rottnest Channel Swim. Significantly, one of those swimmers was about tackle the crossing for the 30th time.
Out on the water, nearly 1000 boats waited in the predawn light. Aboard were skippers, paddlers, handlers and remaining team members. All slightly anxious about what the day would bring and the all important task of identifying their swimmer from a wave of thrashing of arms and caps.
Congratulations to Mandurah soloists: Barb, Sue, Jodi, Mhairi, Erica, Wendy, Steve and Glenda. Not to forget the Mandurah Team of Joel, Ray, Paul and his daughter Kate. All made successful crossings.
A special thank you must go to the nearly 30 Mandurah Masters members who traveled to Rottnest to support our swimmers. Wow, what an amazing reception for those very tired and very happy swimmers. On top of that many supporters followed swimmers on the MapSwim app throughout the day.
Mandurah's swimmers all did amazing well. While conditions were excellent, the increasing current from the 10 km mark made sure everyone worked hard to achieve their crossing.
Through all the pre and post race hype, as well as numerous media interviews - Barb was Barb. Open water swimming couldn't have a had better advocate. It was great to see Barb's amazing achievement get the recognition it deserved.
Post race, swimmers experienced the combined effects exhaustion and euphoria. It didn't take many days after the swim before the pain faded and initial vows of "never doing that again" changed to "if I was to do that again, I would ...." and "...have you booked for next year?".
In fact, there are 31 good reasons to do it again!