Twelve students represented our School in the 2023 South32 Rottnest Channel Swim. The internationally renowned swim from Cottesloe Beach to Rottnest Island is 19.7 kilometres and this year our students raced against Olympians such as Mack Horton and Cody Simpson. Year 12 student, Eamon reflects on his third time completing the crossing.
We had three teams of four competing in the event this year, with one of them, the BCGS Seadogs, being the youngest team to compete in the whole event! The conditions were record-breaking and saw a number of records broken. Congratulations BCGS Snappers; Ariane, Ruby, Taneisha and Thomas, who broke a long-standing school record for the 56+ Mixed Category in a time of five hours and 10 minutes!
Competing in the South32 Rottnest Channel Swim was a different but great experience this year. The last two times I competed were much easier going and for fun, but this year the Grammar Gators; Luke Lea, Darryl Hazelden, Alexander Clements, and I were out to break the Schools Male Squad record. Unfortunately, we missed the sub-five-hour mark by only five minutes! We did however place an outstanding 29th out of 400 in the race.
The lead up to the swim was hard work with most of us putting in three or more training sessions a week. The day of the Swim started off freezing as we sped out from the inlet to the starting point by the STS Leeuwin II, where we waited for our first swimmer over a stressful half an hour. We eventually spotted our kayaker, Ryan Hazelden, and we were off! What proceeded in the next few hours is an experience that is hard to forget – a boat full of boys cheering each other on with a kayaker yelling ‘PUSH’ over and over in a channel full of other competitors, all whilst being kept hydrated and well fed by our fantastic manager, Laura Hazelden.
The energy was unmatched, each of us jumping into the water for five-minute changeovers where we would sprint our hearts out, whilst on the boat encouraging words were shared and we watched as we overtook dozens of other swimmers.
The final stretch of the Swim was brutal – a 700 metre sprint after a 19 kilometre swim with no boat or kayak. The sensation of sand beneath our feet was like no other! With jelly legs, we jogged up to the finish line where grins split our faces from ear to ear! We hobbled over to the photo podium to receive our medals with a sense of accomplishment like no other.
Eamon Noonan :: Year 12