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Solo Swims

2001/2003/2004 Team Swims by Tess Evans

If you have a dream

Live that dream

And some day that dream

Will come true!

In 2001, we were informed 11am on the Friday we were “in”.   We left from Hillarys, and off to Cottesloe. It was a very clear start, both the weather and boat clearance from the beach.  We took our turns with the stopwatch and were all enjoying it immensely.

About half way we lost our paddler, who was young and had a hangover!  We bravely swam on a turn without one, until we could con a spare from another boat and back to our swimming rhythm again.

5 kms from Rottnest –a shark slowly cruised under Graeme from toes to head about 8-10 feet below him and gave him the once over.  Graeme stopped and asked his paddler if he saw what he just saw and Hughie confirmed it was a shark.   We had no choice but to get on the boat & be disqualified.  We put a call over the radio and official boats came from everywhere.  Big and small.  Chaos reigned.  Pity it was our team that had to see something.  To say we were not popular is an understatement as other swimmers were pulled out of the water.

2001:  (L to R) Graeme Collopy, Marilyn Terry,  Anthea Warnes & Tess Evans

2003:  (L to R) Paul Varadi, Tess Evans, Margo (Padler)  & Anthea Warnes

In 2003 conditions were the worst in the history of the swim with 12-15 knot westerly winds and early squalls which meant turbulent water for the duration of the event.  Many swimmers didn’t even start the event, while others withdrew during the event for safety reasons.  Only 43% of competitors entered that year finished. Our 2003 attempt had us pulled out of the water due to time limit and weather conditions.

In 2004, not to be deterred I bribed my way into a fast team, with my twin brother Max.

High Expectations!  This year conditions were perfect.

We did it!


I would encourage people to  ‘go for it’.  Train hard and have fun.

2004:  (L to R) Dave Kay, Peter Henson (Skipper), Tess Evans, Ross Henson & Max Henson

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