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Pilbara to make a splash with Yara

Alexander ScottPilbara News
Kyle Lee was one of several Bunbury Swimming Club members who shone over in Adelaide at the nationals.
Camera IconKyle Lee was one of several Bunbury Swimming Club members who shone over in Adelaide at the nationals. Credit: Teneille Watson

A picturesque peninsula in the Pilbara will play host to WA’s top swimmers for the opening round of the nation’s largest open water series.

This year’s Yara Burrup Classic open-water swim held at Hearson’s Cove will mark the first round of the Swimming WA Open Water Swimming Series.

The event was launched by Swimming WA last year and was made part of the State’s top circuit.

Taking place on October 3, the event will have four distance categories from 200m to 5km and will feature notable swimmers, including the 2020 Australian Open Water National Age Medallist Kyle Lee and 2020 national representatives Jack Wilson and Nic Rollo.

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Swimming WA chief executive Darren Beazley said Swimming WA saw the Pilbara as an important part of their plan to grow open water swimming.

Mr Beazley said SWA’s interest in the Pilbara began in 2018 when they started working with communities in the region such as Karratha, Port Hedland, and Paraburdoo.

He said the idea for the Karratha round came after hearing of a water polo game played off the peninsular.

“The more we talked to locals, the more we realised there was a community up there that loves open water swimming,” he said.

Mr Beazley said it led them to run the Yara Burrup Classic last year, which was attended by 100 people despite the poor weather.

“We spoke to Yara and the City of Karratha and said rather than have an open water swim for locals, why not get a round of the Open Water Swim and bring it to Karratha,” he said.

Mr Beazley said this year’s event was the first in a three-year deal with Yara and the CoK, and it was open to local swimmers as well as professional competitors. “Anybody from the age of eight and up can participate,” he said.

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