Live: Latest updates and results from the Karma Resorts Rottnest Channel Swim 2016
A TEENAGER from landlocked Canberra triumphed in yesterday’s inaugural Champions of the Channel swim – but the solo record for the 19.7km crossing to Rottnest couldn’t be broken despite “perfect” conditions.
At the 12km mark, Ben Freeman, 18, was well on his way to better the record of four hours and 15 seconds – set in 2000 by Mark Salbia – before he “hit the wall”.
“It took me a couple of kilometres to pick up my pace again,” Freeman said after completing his first solo crossing, for which he picked-up a $5000 cash prize.
“We had this thing that dad would keep paddling at a good pace even if I fell a little bit behind, so I was just trying to keep up with him.
“But to be honest I wasn’t concerned with time and had no expectation to place. I just wanted to cross the channel.”