Sensational effort for 10 in a row
BRENDAN Neil is made of sterner stuff than most and for 10 days this month has needed every ounce of it.
On Saturday morning he completed 111kms of swimming, stretched over 10 arduous days.
About 100 students from Currimundi and Nambour special schools were there to cheer him into shore on Thursday morning, ready with high fives and thanks.
But the following day, day nine, saw him greeted with some of the toughest conditions of the challenge.
“We turned south and it (the waves) was constant, just bang, bang,” he said.
“Normally we stop after about 45 minutes and have something to eat and the Island was still there. “It was tough like day one.” Neil undertook the swim with limited training, but it was the greater cause and inspiring his own kids which were among his motivating factors.
Seeing the kids welcoming him to the beach at Mooloolaba ensured it was all worthwhile.
“I’m doing this for a purpose beyond myself, and this is it,” Neil said.
“We don’t realise how tricky it is for some of their parents.”
Already, he has personally raised more than $5000 for schools and, surprisingly, isn’t struggling as much as most predicted.
“I actually think I will miss it and the routine,” he said.
“Honestly, all the encouragement I’ve got makes it easy.”
Along the way the father-of-two has shared the water with a cruise liner and witnessed nature at its most spectacular.
Whenever the going did get exhausting, his thoughts quickly turned to the families.
Currimundi Special School principal Alwyn Green was there to watch him come in.
“To do this just shows how big his heart is,” Mr Green said.
“We see a lot of people challenge themselves but this is massive. It is a long way to do that many times.
“I actually can’t believe anyone is doing it, it is such a massive effort.”
For those keen to tackle the Island Charity Swim ( just once), next year’s event will be staged on May 11.
MASSIVE EFFORT: Brendan Neil, who completed 10 swims from Mudjimba to Mooloolaba in a row, with students from Currimundi and Nambour special schools.