Boat drama seen at Rotto chan­nel swim

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Workplace - By DENISE S. CAHILL

MOSMAN Park solo swim­mers Thomas and James Beare thought their 2017 Rot­tnest Chan­nel Swim was over when their sup­port boat broke down just off Cottes­loe Beach on Sat­ur­day morn­ing.

The broth­ers were forced to tread wa­ter for 45 min­utes near the Leeuwin boat un­til an­other solo swim­mer in­vited them to join his crew.

A re­lieved Laura Beare, James’ wife, did a quick shop at the Cottes­loe Gen­eral Store to re­place the food and drinks that were on their stricken boat and surf life­savers took the goods to their new sup­port boat.

Thomas and James crossed the fin­ish line at Rot­tnest Is­land to­gether in just over seven hours and 39 min­utes.

Clare­mont res­i­dent Rhys Main­stone and his Rokeby Den­tal team were Cham­pi­ons of the Chan­nel for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year cross­ing the line in just over four hours.

The group has won the team event for the past three years.

Main­stone said they swam in a “ba­nana shape” this year rather than straight, which was their strat­egy last year. He said they started with one­minute changeovers and changed to 40 sec­ond changeovers at the half­way mark.

“We’re just pleased to be able to do it three times in a row,” Main­stone said.

Olympian Jar­rod Poort from NSW said he “came here to win” af­ter he made the 19.7km cross­ing in four hours and 12 min­utes.

Re­bekah Weller man­aged to over­take last year’s fe­male win­ner Jaime Bowler in the field to be the first fe­male solo swim­mer across the line in four hours and 52 min­utes.

Pic­tures: Matt Jelonek d465965

Above left: Solo win­ner Jar­rod Poort crosses the fin­ish line on Rot­tnest Is­land; Above right: The first solo fe­male across the line, Re­bekah Weller, with mum Deb­bie Weller and fam­ily; Be­low right: Swim­mers pre­pare for the Rot­tnest Swim at Cottes­loe Beach.

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