It’s a race that draws thousands of swimmers from throughout the state, even from around the world, but for a few Busselton residents this weekend’s Busselton Jetty Swim will be extra special.
It will be the first time Busselton Masters Swimming Club members John Bower, Lorraine Smith and Rod Simmonds compete in the iconic event.
Rod will go the whole hog and attempt the full circuit, while John and Lorraine will do the newly introduced one mile course.
On the other end of the spectrum, Lesley Reid has lost count of how many times she’s completed the swim over the last 20 years, and Valerie Newbold will take on the challenge again as a team but this time with her daughter, Rachel, by her side.
Rod said he was excited and only a tad nervous.
“For me it was all or nothing, which is why I’m doing the lot,” he said.
“It’s a once year thing so it makes no sense to do it before the day. That would take the gloss off it.
“At training, we do a greater distance, so I think I’ll at least make it half way. I might just need an extra two shots in my coffee at the end.”
Both Rod and Valerie described it as a ‘bucket list moment’.
“I’ve competed in a team before but I’ve always wanted to do it with my daughter,” she said.
“It’s been on my bucket list to do it with her and she has been flying all over the world so to do it while she is home is pretty special.”
When the group was asked if they preferred training in the pool, or swimming in the open water, they replied in unison, ‘OCEAN’.
“The water is crystal clear, it is so beautiful,” Lorraine said.
“We just think we are so lucky to live here and swim in this stunning place.”
The Busselton Jetty Swim began back in 1996, and in 2019 is expecting 2700 competitions.
The Sunsmart Busselton Jetty Swim 2019 event will take place over two days with entertainment, activities and family-friendly fun, with the swim taking place on the morning of Sunday, February 10.
The course is a swim of 3.6 kilometre around the Busselton Jetty. This year, organisers launched the inaugural One Mile - Swim to Shore.
There is also a chance for youngsters to be involved with the Jetty Kids Swim around the Swimming Jetty.
For full event details and timings, visit busseltonjettyswim.org.au.