The Sri Chinmoy Lake Swims are the oldest established lake swims in Canberra, having been staged from Yarralumla Bay swimming beach since 1987, making the 2017 edition the 30th anniversary of this prestigious event. Optimum conditions – a balmy 24.5 degrees water temperature, mirror-calm lake surface and zero wind – greeted a field of 114 swimmers for the 3 distances: 5km, 2.5km and 500 metres.
Brother and sister, Ben and Jemma Freeman were doubly victorious in the 5km swim held on Sunday 19 February. Ben took line honours with a fine swim of the 2-lap course in 1:04:53, while Jemma clocked 1:12:32. The other podium places were taken by Katelyn McGregor (1:22:54) and Jen Reid (1:27:06) for the women; and by English Channel aspirant Ned Wieland (1:08:05) and Nicholas Grinter (1:16:24) for the men.
Perry Blackmore swam his furthest distance to take out the Male 50-59 with 1:24:21; while Graeme Wolfenden won the Male 60-69 in 1:34:16. Nicolee Martin won the Female 50-59 with 1:29:20; and Pauline English the Female 60-69 in 1:47:07.
The largest field of the day took to the water in the 2.5km race, which also produced the closest finish, with a sprint to the beach between overall winner Max Green (35:37) and Male 50-59 winner John Fox (35:40). Oscar Johnston (36:38) and Alexander Lakic (37:09) took the minor placings in the Male Under 50s. Tom Booth was fastest amongst the Male 60-69 with 45:57; and Tim Mather in the well-contested Male 70 and Over with 49:17.
Janelle Ahern won the women’s race in 45:36, from Vanessa Goodspeed (46:26) and Ivy Prosser (46:45); with Anne Smyth taking out the Female 50-59 in 42:48; and Merilyn Bassett the Female 60-69 with 1:04:13.
The shortest race of the day was the 500 metre dash. Elizabeth Wigney literally showed the rest of the field a clean pair of heels, winning outright as well as the Girls Under 17 in a swift 7:50; Sophie Green took out the Girls Under 13 with 10:11; and Heather Landsdowne the Female 17 and Over with 10:11. Oscar Morgan won the Boys Under 13 in 9:42; Leon Richardson the Boys Under 17 in 9:27; and Trevor Matthews the Male 17 and Over in 9:18.