P2P Travel Prize 2023February 13, 2023
George Bass Surfboat MarathonMarch 3, 2023
Portsea surf lifesavers have this summer become the dominant open water swim stars, not just in Victoria, but in the National spotlight. Our competition teams focus on open water swim training and racing over summer and over the years, the success of the squad has grown, and the future looks bright for these young champions.
About six or seven years ago the Portsea Junior Competition team started ‘Portsea Pier Swims’ over the summer holidays. They overcame fears of stingrays, seaweed, crabs and jellyfish, learnt how to tell which way the tide was flowing by looking at the mooring buoy ropes, and to swim in the open ocean, both in the calm and in the chop. Some of the swimmers started to improve, and entered in open water races such as the Portsea Swim Classic, Australia day swims, and the Lorne Pier to Pub.
This year has seen the massive rewards for the efforts of our open water swimmers. In December, new Bronzies Campbell Wilson-Moran and Logan took the quinella at the Point Leo swim. At the Portsea Club Champs, Harvey Larke and Mackie Hunter took out the open races to win the Yencken and Nat Hood cups. You could be lulled into the belief that winning a club champs is minnow-play but these two swimmers then went on to take out the Junior sections at the Lorne Pier to Pub, both swimming the course again three hours later in the ‘Superfish’ race, where Mackie placed second in the women’s race to World Champion Lani Pallister. Sophie Jacka and Logan Brandi also took home medals in the Junior races. Of the six dais spots in the junior races four were filled with Portsea swimmers. Our future looks bright with three of them still junior next year.
Our own Portsea Swim Classic Open Water races were dominated by our local members. Mackie Hunter, Domi Hart, Sophie Jacka, Harvey Larke, Hamish Robson, Charlie Cornwell, Xavier Purcell and Steph Hunter were all up on the dais collecting medals in the Junior and Open races.
The next day our swimmers started their long trips across the country to Busselton in Western Australia for the Swimming Australia Open Water Nationals. Domi Hart was a seasoned event veteran. Others were racing there for the first time. The results were exceptional. Logan won silver and Mackie bronze in the gruelling 7.5km open water race, then Sophie won silver in the 5km, and Mackie snagged a second medal with silver in her 5km race. Domi placed top 10 with a 12 second PB in the 5km Open women’s race, Mia Horskins top 20 in her 5km race, and Catie Boyle (an ex-comp team member) was fourth in her 5km swim.
Back on the Mornington Peninsula, another new Bronzie Hamish Robson won the Pier to Perignon, with his bottle of Dom being put on the top shelf for three years until he turns 18!! What a super effort by our newest recruit, racing the more experienced Luke Tucker who took third place. Finally, the ‘Rip Race’ – a bucket list 3.5km swim, without wetsuits, across the treacherous heads of Port Phillip Bay, saw Mackie Hunter take bragging rights and the win in the women’s race, beating second placed Olympic sprint champion and medallist Bronte Campbell.
At last weekend’s LSV Victorian Championships swimming proved to be our strength with some outstanding performances there. Now our superfish move their focus to pool swimming – with state and national championships coming up in March and April. We wish you all the best of luck and look on with pride watching how you have all excelled over the last five years. Good luck with your racing.