Report by club Prez, Greg Gourley.
After a big night of pre-race preparation at our annual Awards Night and club Christmas party, eleven Vikings (five solo swimmers, a relay team of two and a relay team of four) were brave enough to front up for the Sri Chinmoy National Capital Swim in Canberra’s Lake Burley-Griffin. This is an annual event swum over a huge nine kilometre course passing Government House, Parliament House (old and new), the National Museum, National Library, National Gallery and the High Court. This one is definitely an iconic Canberra event!
There had been some discussion at the Christmas party regarding the recent rain and cold weather, the water temperature reports and the weather forecast. The unknowns meant that wetsuits were definitely worth some careful consideration!
Competitors, their support paddlers, family and friends, and even a few dogs, met at Scrivener Dam at around 7:00 AM, in anticipation of the solo race start at 7:45 AM and teams start at 8:00 AM. At this point, the weather was sunny and calm.
However, casting an eye to the west, towards the Brindabella Ranges, revealed an approaching weather front. During the second leg, at approximately 4 km into the course, the imminent arrival of that front began to be felt – with significant wind waves starting to form. During the third leg the impact of the weather front was well and truly felt! Donna Campbell, acting as support paddler for Nicholas Grinter, capsized her kayak in the rough conditions! A thoroughly drenched Donna quickly recovered to her rightful place, and bravely pressed on! For the swimmers the wind waves made it feel as though they were swimming in a washing machine. For the paddlers; it was like preparing for an Olympic ‘white-water’ slalom!
Special congratulations to:
1. Nick Grinter, who won the solo men’s event, despite losing time when paddler Donna went for her unexpected swim!
2. Suzie Gunning, for completing her first 9km solo open-water swim, and
3. Maria Castles, Kirsten Madsen, Bill Eversham and Kris Kennedy – our team of four – who completed their first 9km team open-water swim (in the worst of the conditions).
Results and times for all Vikings swimmers are below. The Sri Chinmoy event page has lots more photos and full results. Our club has regularly had a very good showing at the summer Sri Chinmoy lake swims. Check out the details for the next event, scheduled for Sun 24 Feb 19. Hoping to see you there!
Place – Category
|Place out of the water||
First place – Solo Male Under 50
First place – Solo Male 60+ with wetsuit
Sixth place – Solo Male Under 50
Second place – Solo Female 50-59 with wetsuit
First place – Solo Female 50-59
|Jeanette Droop & Leisa Cass
First place – Female Team over 50
|Maria Castles, Kirsten Madsen, Bill Eversham & Kris Kennedy
Fourth place – Mixed Team of four