Good old buoys

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By DENISE S. CAHILL

WHEN things get tough on the open wa­ter for Tea­gan Goolmeer and Eilidh Gra­ham dur­ing the 2016 Rot­tnest Chan­nel Swim, thoughts of their skip­per Gennaro Rap­inese will in­spire them to keep swim­ming.

The Rot­tnest Is­land Author­ity employees are tack­ling the 19.7km swim for the fourth time and the first as a duo but have a re­newed pur­pose this year.

Just months af­ter the girls com­pleted this year’s swim as a team, Mr Rap­inese was di­ag­nosed with leukaemia.

The 35-year-old fa­ther-of-two en­dured three rounds of chemo­ther­apy over four months.

“The swim is noth­ing com­pared to what Gennaro went through with his re­cov­ery,” Ms Goolmeer said.

“He felt so sick through the treat­ment and could not imag­ine his lit­tle kids go­ing through it.”

That is why team Buoy oh Buoy is rais­ing money for the Leukaemia Foun­da­tion, to help chil­dren in par­tic­u­lar.

Mr Rap­inese will again skip­per for the duo on Fe­bru­ary 27, while his sis­ter Fiona Rap­inese will sup­port the team at the fin­ish line.

Ms Goolmeer said the swim was easy com­pared to what their sup­port crew of five went through on the day.

“Our sup­port crew is so pos­i­tive and make us lift to keep us go­ing,” she said.

The duo is train­ing at South Beach on the main­land and Thom­son Bay on Rot­tnest Is­land three or four times a week, swim­ming up to 5km at a time.

“We’re do­ing dou­ble or even triple the amount of train­ing we did as a team,” Ms Goolmeer said.

“I never thought I’d do a duo; the first time I did the swim I thought ‘never again’. “But the mad­ness gets in you.” To do­nate to Buoy oh Buoy, visit https://rot­tnestswim2016.ev­ery­day­hero. com/au/buoy_o­h_buoy.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie d447570

Eilidh Gra­ham and Tea­gan Goolmeer.

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