Big field competes in inaugural Pilbara open water swim
Dampier’s Hearson’s Cove provided a scenic backdrop as almost 100 people took part in the Pilbara’s first official open water swim on Saturday afternoon.
Braving choppy waters, 83 competitors from Karratha, Hedland, Tom Price, Onslow and Newman took part in the inaugural Yara Burrup Classic.
Competitors ranged widely in age and included swimming club members, water polo players and triathletes, as well as social swimmers.
The winner of the 1.8km main race was Byron Newbold and the first female competitor over the finish line was Kate Kalajzich.
Newbold, who has competed in similar events in the past, said the conditions had been “pretty rough”, but the race was “still good fun”.
He said it was great Karratha swimmers now had the opportunity to test their skills at a local open water swim.
“Today’s so special because it’s probably the first open water event we’ve ever had here, and I think to still hold it on a day like today, the committee has done really well,” he said.
“It’s been well organised and hopefully it can turn into bigger things.”
The swim included races over distances of 1.8km, 600m, 250m and 100m.
It was co-ordinated by Swimming WA, put together by a local organising committee and supported by Yara Pilbara.
Swimming WA northern region co-ordinator Robyn Minogue said the turnout had exceeded expectations and competitors had done well in the face of difficult conditions.
“The challenge of open water swimming is you never know what you’re going to get, and today everyone walked out of there challenged,” she said.
“There was no one that walked out going ‘I didn’t succeed to-day’.”
Ms Minogue said Swimming WA planned to expand the event next year and was considering holding more open water swims in the Pilbara in future.
100m swim, male: Teis Pedersen
100m swim, female: Majella Lethbridge
250m swim, male: Adam Chapman
250m swim, female:Amelie Wall
600m swim, male: Toby Fountain
600m swim, female:Sarah Featherstone
1.8km swim, male:Byron Newbold
1.8km swim, female:Kate Kalajzich
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