Was it a dream?
Can a morning really have dawned so perfect? – under a pale blue sky with painted-on stationary balloons, a pristine mirror of calm beckoned swimmers eager for its embrace.
In 3 waves embarking on quests of 5km, 2.5km or 500 metres respectively, a record field of 116 swimmers heeded the call of immersion, celebrating the lake and its morning wholeheartedly.
Teenage brother and sister duo of Benjamin (17) and Jenna Freeman (18) fulfilled the promise of the day with historic wins in the 5km swim, setting new course records for both men (1:07:25) and women (1:10:12). They also took the quinella with first and second placing outright. On a morning for fast times, next home were Samantha Young (1:13:13), Meagan Wigney (1:15:19) and James Stokes (1:15:43).
First in the Male 50-59 was evergreen Greg Gourley with 1:33:39. Deborah Davis took out the Women 50-59 in 1:53:03 and “superfish” Janet Gorst the Women 60-69 in 1:51:24.
The one-lap 2.5km race was won for the men by Phil Foster from the UK in 38:17 from his compatriot Greg Smart in 39:43; while Nicola Ross took out the women’s race in 41:59 from Irishwoman Eimear O’Brien’s 44:01.
Male 50-59s were led home by Canberra stalwart Phil Aungles in 46:49; Terry Dixon taking out the Men 60-69 with 51:07 and Russell Wenholz the Men 70 and Over with 1:07:43. Sue Bowden meanwhile led home the Women 50-59 in 56:12 and Merilyn Bassett the Women 60-69 in 1:03:04.
The shortest race of the day covered 500 metres. It seemed like a sprint in comparison to the longer swims, yet for some, just to cover this far was a supreme achievement.
When there’s only one entrant in a category, that entrant can be assured of a win and so it was with Max Green in the Boys Under 13s. Not content with just winning his category however, Max took the entire race outright with his outstanding swim of 8:19. Next best time belonged to Wayne Miller from the Male 17 and Over with 8:27 from Mick Hanbury’s 8:43. Under 13 girl Elizabeth Wigney was not far behind, taking her category with 8:57 – and likewise winning the women’s race – from Jessica Wallis in 9:07. Just between these two came the first Under 17s girl, Abigail Adera in 9:04. These girls showed the “grown-ups” how it is done, with the best Female 17 and Over being Kari Harlovich in 9:51.
So, was it a dream? Perhaps only the photo album from the morning can tell us for sure...