Report by Suzie Gunning
Sunday, 1 December 2019 dawned displaying perfect conditions for a 9km swim of Lake Burley Griffin — a glass-like lake, blue sky, sunshine, and mild weather. However, with gale-force winds predicted by 11am, reports the water temperature was 17C in parts and memories of last year’s challenging conditions, the decision to wear a wetsuit was an easy one (for me). Even Greg, who had already registered as a non-wetsuit entrant, changed his mind at the last minute. Having already slathered himself in suncream, the wetsuit slipped on with ease…
So three Tuggeranong swimmers, Greg, Nicolee and Suzie, and 2nd claim member, Brendon (from Molonglo Water Dragons), along with 50 other solo swimmers (including seven members of the Australian Open Water swim squad) and 12 relay teams, began their epic journey at Scrivener Dam and headed east towards their destination at the Boat House.
The swim to the first transition at Weston Park was smooth and uneventful. However, as predicted, the wind began to pick up between the 1st and 2nd transition at Yarralumla and got progressively stronger and more relentless for the remaining 6km! All praise to our wonderful paddlers — the Mighty Mij, Super Steve, and Dependable Dom — who guided and encouraged us through choppy waters to the finish. It’s assumed that Brendon’s paddler did an equally fine job!
Speedy Nicolee was the first Viking swimmer out of the water in an awesome time of 2:34.04. Hot on her heels was Brendon in an equally awesome 2:34.43. Closely behind them was Greg in an impressive 2:41.59. The “advantage” of being the final Vikings swimmer out of the water was the cheer squad encouraging Suzie to run to the finish line (fat chance!!), but she did stumble through in 2:50.39, deciding her preferred option of crawling was perhaps a little undignified.
Special thanks to our wonderful coaches Brenda and Tom who were there at the finish line to cheer us out of the water and to Greg who provided the inspirational ‘Distance and Pace’ sessions in the months leading up to the swim. This was Greg’s 10th consecutive National Capital Swim and he has now been dubbed “The Conqueror of Lake Burley Griffin“.
And finally, a big thank you to all our fantastic coaches who continually go above and beyond to deliver interesting, challenging and motivating swim sessions week after week. We greatly appreciate you!
Full solo and team results are available on the Sri Chinmoy Website.