It is not often that a solo swimmer – without a wetsuit – will defeat all of the relay teams – most of whom are wetsuit-clad – and by a long way. Yet Ned Wieland did just that today, the 16-year old clocking a mighty impressive 2:04:03 for the 9km length of Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin to record his first victory in this event. This is the 4th time Ned has completed this epic swim, and his fastest time to date.
The next 2 swimmers home were also soloists though both were swimming in the wetsuit divisions. It proved to be a battle of the sexes among the wetsuit wearers which ebbed and flowed between Glen Downey and Ellie Hoitink. Ellie set the early pace and had a one-minute lead into the 1st transition. Glen gradually reeled Ellie in though and took the lead on the 3rd leg, finally winning in 2:14:03 with Ellie taking out the Female wetsuit race in 2:15:10, just ahead of 2nd placed Male sans wetsuit, Nicholas Grinter in 2:15:50.
Among the relay teams participating today were a surprising number of pairs (teams of 2). The winning All-Male team who came in next, in 2:20:50, was the “Tenacious Turtles”, a pairing of Paul Rinder and Tim Staunton Smith. Three more Solo Male No-Wetsuit competitors followed: German Michael Pranckl in an impressive 2:23:49; then Michael Brennan, backing up his 2nd placed Solo in last week’s gruelling Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon in 2:28:16; followed closely by Todd Hayward in 2:28:58.
“Rod and Reel” – the All-Male Over 50s pairing from Goulburn of Andrew Dawes and Rodney Smith – bettered they own course record for this category set last year, with a new best time now under two and a half hours, of 2:29:44. “The Old Guys Again” – Canberra duo of Alex Gosman and Terry Dixon – did exactly the same thing, breaking their own record set just last year, this time clocking 2:39:19 for the distance.
Jocelyn Pollock was fastest Female Without a Wetsuit, winning the race in 2:32:54 from Kathryn McCabe (2:59:48) and Melinda Bruce (3:04:30). Sally Catt took the Female 50-59 category in 3:17:12; while Jannion Di Tommaso made history by being the first woman over 60 to swim the length of Lake Burley Griffin without a wetsuit in under 3 hours! Her new record time sits at the very impressive mark of 2:56:46.
Still with the Non-Wetsuit swimmers, Stuart McNeill took out the Male 50-59 category in 2:33:02; and Graeme Wolfenden the Male 60-69 with 2:49:11.
Winning the remaining Wetsuit categories were:
Female 50-59: Bronwyn Platz, 3:23:47
Female 60-69: Heather Urie, 3:41:53
Male 50-59: Tim Garrett: 2:58:32
The winners of the other teams categories:
All-Female Team: “Vikings Pocket Rockets” (Atsuko McGowan and Suzie Gunning), 2:50:16
Mixed Team: “The Sinking Sea Cows” (Kurt Warn, Olivia, Claire and Mark Stutchbury), 2:50:48
Very special congratulations and our undying wonder and amazement to Eli Ball, who completed the Sri Chinmoy National Capital Swim for the second time swimming the entire distance butterfly! – in the excellent time of 3:27:28.
Our gratitude to the YMCA Sailing Club and Canberra Canoe Club for providing on-water safety; and to Sports Medicine Australia for medical support.