Sri Chinmoy National Capital Swim 2006 Race Report
A record field assembled at Scrivener Point on Sunday 12 November in conditions promising fast times and 'smooth sailing' for all...
In its third running, the Sri Chinmoy National Capital Swim is attracting more and more interstate swimmers to the lake at the heart of the nation's capital, with swimmers traveling from Sydney, Broken Hill and even Perth for the challenge.
The full 9 kilometre course can be swum solo - with or without a wetsuit - or in relay, with the distance divided into four legs. The solo swimmers, each accompanied by their own 'support crew' in a kayak, canoe or ski, pushed off from the boom near Scrivener Dam first, with the relay teams setting off in pursuit 15 minutes later.
While swimmers race within their categories - non-wetsuit or wetsuit, male or female and various age divisions - there were some close inter-division tussles including the battle for first out of the water between Simon Meredith (Solo Male with wetsuit) and Alanna Hale (Solo Female no wetsuit), with Simon edging out Alanna by a matter of seconds. En route to his victory, Simon set new records for Solo Males for the second and fourth legs. Alanna and Simon were joined on shore by solo swimmers Sean Green and Steven Barry before the first team, the Dickson Old Timers arrived, not able to make good the 15-minute deficit from the start. Nevertheless, Dickson Old Timers (John Fleming, Peter Stoutjesdijk and Anthony Millgate) set a new course record for an All-Male Team, and the fastest outright time on the day.
The Open Female and Male non-wetsuit winners, Alanna Hale and Sean Green, each set new overall course records, with Alanna now holding the records for both wetsuit and non-wetsuit wearers.
Special mention to our 'younger' finishers: 70+ Geoff Llewellyn who each year breaks his own record as the most senior person to swim the length of the lake; 60+ Helen White, who yesterday became the most senior female to conquer the course; and 60+ Michael Christie who became the oldest person to finish without a wetsuit.
While finishers were settling into their pasta and hot drinks, Rico Fitch and Andrew Watt (pictured, bottom left), two stalwarts who swam the course together as a 'feasibility study' the year before the race was staged officially, tarried only a few minutes at the finish line before returning to the water to swim back to the start to become the first to complete a 'double crossing' of the lake. Battling steepling waves on the return journey, the pair competed their epic in 6 hours and 40 minutes. Congratulations Rico and Andrew, you are two true champions!
Almost the moment after the awards were accepted and the crowd dispersed, a fresh breeze excited the waters and conditions were transformed almost in an instant: the race had finished not a moment too soon.
View the full results, including Overall and by Category, and the fastest split times for each leg>>
See the event photo gallery>>
Check out the updated course records>>
9 km not enough for you? The Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team's next swimming event is the 15 km first leg of the Sri Chinmoy 3-day Ultra-Triathlon on Friday 2 February 2007, which can also be entered as a stand-alone race. This is followed a week later by the traditional Sri Chinmoy Lake Swims at Yarralumla Bay on Sunday 11 February, with 3 distances on offer - 5 km, 2.5 km and 500 metres.