Cham­pion swim­mer re­mem­bered

Pinjarra Murray Times - - NEWS -

Me­mo­rial ser­vice for cham­pion Man­durah swim­mer Rod Baker.

THE beach he loved was the scene for a me­mo­rial ser­vice for cham­pion Man­durah swim­mer Rod Baker.

The ser­vice was held in the old Man­durah Yacht Club, close to Halls Head Beach where he swam with Man­durah Masters Swim­ming Club.

Mr Baker died on Septem­ber 30 aged 90.

Mr Baker be­came Man­durah’s own world record holder af­ter com­pet­ing in the 2013 Masters Na­tional Cham­pi­onships in Syd­ney.

He was one of WA’s top swim­mers and still swim­ming in Masters events up un­til re­cently.

The long-time swim­ming fa­natic was the old­est mem­ber of the club and aged 85 could com­plete the 400m freestyle in seven min­utes two sec­onds, when the world record for elite swim­mers at peak fit­ness was just un­der the four­minute mark.

Mr Baker joined Scar­bor­ough Life­sav­ing Club in 1942 when he was 14.

Sev­eral surf life­savers were still serv­ing in the forces and af­ter a few weeks it was ev­i­dent he was their best swim­mer and surf life­sav­ing be­came an im­por­tant part of his life.

As a teenager he was a foun­da­tion mem­ber of Trigg Surf Life­sav­ing Club and later be­came a life mem­ber of Bun­bury Life Sav­ing Club. In 1951 Mr Baker saved four peo­ple from drown­ing at Scar­bor­ough and won the Royal Hu­mane So­ci­ety Award.

At the 12th FINA World Masters Cham­pi­onships in 2008 he broke five na­tional records and two world records in the 80-84 year old di­vi­sion and later broke two world records in the 8589 year old di­vi­sion.

Vet­eran swim­mer and life­saver Rod Baker.

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