Female swimmer wins first Port to Pub Rotto swim
A 29-year-old South Perth woman has won the first ever Port to Pub Rottnest swim.
Sian Williams finished to 20km solo category in a time of four hours and 57 minutes, coming in 18 minutes ahead of the first male finisher.
"I felt a bit lonely all by myself for most of the race. I was nervous about the unexpected and how my body would pull up," she said.
"I only seriously started training six weeks ago."
Swimming legend Shelley Taylor-Smith, who sounded the starting horn for solo swimmers, said it was great to see a woman finish first.
"It shows you women can match men in endurance events. Racing against men brings the best out in women," she said.
Some 700 competitors turned out at Leighton Beach in the early hours of the morning to swim 20km and a new 25km category to Rottnest Island – the latter making the event the longest open-water swim in Australia and one of the longest in the Southern Hemisphere.
Event line honours went to duo team Jamie Bower and Ben Hewitt with a time of 4:27:28, followed by the race's Olympic "Dream Team" captained by Eamon Sullivan at 4:06:41 and the winner of the 25km solo category, Bradley Smith at 5:34:33 - who trained 70km a week in the lead up to the event.
Olympic champion Eamon Sullivan, who formed a team of six with fellow Olympian Jim Piper,Travis Nederpelt and Adam Lucas, and Australian champions Mark Riley and Bobby Jovanovich, said the team event took him back to his old training days and brought back good memories
"We had no plan, we just thought we would see how it goes. (We) started with two minute changeovers that reduced quickly and we finished on 40 second changeovers," he said.
"We're not as fit as we used to be."
Eighty-year-old veteran swimmer, and one of the first ever recorded swimmers to Rottnest Island,Les Stewart, also completed the race in a team of six.
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