BRING ON THE ‘COTTO SWIM’
A RECENT knee replacement will prevent local mum Sharon Shepherd from tackling a sixth Rottnest Channel crossing in February, but the self-confessed swimaholic has her eyes firmly set on the new 3km “Cotto Swim”.
Announced today as the result of a partnership between the Rottnest Channel Swim Association and Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Foundation, the new event will be available over 1km and 3km.
It will run immediately after the last wave of Rottnest Channel swimmers leave Cottesloe Beach, with swimmers in the 3km event tackling a perpendicular course around the Leeuwin sail ship.
Mrs Shepherd said she was excited about still being able to participate in the event after a major knee operation in June interrupted her training for a sixth go at the 20km event.
“I love the Rottnest Channel Swim and think the short course is an exciting addition that will really go off,” she said.
“Long-distance swimming takes you away from the here and now, and hearing the whoosh of the water in your ears puts you in your own peaceful zone.”
Mrs Shepherd completed a solo crossing in 2011 and has also swum as part of teams and duos on four other occasions.
She is hoping to convince her teenage kids, Callum, 18, Jett, 17, and Kirralee, 13, to join her as part of a team for the 3km course, which is designed to attract new swimmers.
“We are constantly looking for more opportunities for WA swimmers to be involved in the Rottnest Channel Swim,” association president Chris Turner said. “As event boat numbers are limited in order to ensure the safest passage for our participants, there are unfortunately some swimmers who miss out. These shorter events are also a way for swimmers who may not be ready to tackle the whole crossing to be involved and to see what it takes to participate in a longer distance in the future.”
Ship ahoy: Sharon Shepherd is looking forward to the new “Cotto Swim” with her children Callum, Jett, and Kiralee, around the Leeuwin sail training ship. Picture: Daniel Wilkins