It may have been his first open water swim, but The Armidale School’s Jesse Streeting rose to the challenge to come sixth overall from more than 300 finishers in the 2km Coffs Ocean Swim yesterday (8 April).
Crossing the line in a time of 37:02, Jesse lead the pack for The Armidale School, which with 81 students and eight staff, made up more than a quarter of all entries in the open water classic.
“It’s a lot harder than pool swimming, you can’t see where you are going, you don’t get the turns or the wall to push off every twenty five or fifty metres and the buoyancy in the water is so much different. I was a bit daunted on the sand with the mass run-in start, but I just tried to get into a good rhythm and was pleased with how I went,” said Jesse, who only days before achieved a silver medal in 50m butterfly at the Combined Independent Schools’ championships at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre.
Next home for TAS and first girl was Lucy Fenwicke, 17thoverall, sixth female finisher and first in the womens’ 16-19 category. Lucy’s time of 38:33 – four minutes more than last year despite better swimming conditions – supported the opinion of several returning participants that the course was in reality, closer to 2.7km this year. Indeed, the time of all the top 10 placegetters this year was four to five minutes slower than those in 2017.
“There wasn’t the swell of last year and it was much nicer water, but it certainly felt a lot longer,” Lucy said. “There were a lot more competitors this year so I had more people around me which was great. It’s a really good event.”
The TAS team included swimmers from Years 6-12, and also included the Headmaster Murray Guest and his wife, completing their first ocean swimming race.