Australia & Oceania

Aussie Trent Grimsey sets Channel record

TRENT Grimsey, FINA's top ranked Open Water swimmer, has broken the record for crossing of the English Channel.

The Queenslander began his 34km marathon at Dover in southern England at approximately 9:30am local time Saturday (1830 AEST) and arrived at Cap-Gris-Nez, France in a time of 6 hours 55 minutes flat, breaking Bulgarian Petar Stoychev's record of 6hr 57min 50secs.

Swimming: Baker swamped at qualifier

New Zealand swimmer Cara Baker finished just two seconds off an automatic spot for the London Olympics in the marathon open water swim qualifying race in Portugal today.

Baker, well-placed in the chase pack for the first five laps of the 10km race, ended up 17th at the wrong end of a photo finish with four other swimmers - leaving her only four spots from the last automatic qualifying place.

read the rest at: NZH

Hot pace surprises Radford in Olympic marathon swim qualifier


The face of open water swimming has changed forever according to Rotorua swimmer Kane Radford after he missed out on his Olympic dream in the final qualifying event in Portugal today.

The 21 year old from Swimming New Zealand’s High Performance Centre finished in 27th place, to be 1m 44s behind the winner, Beijing 1500m freestyle champion Tunisia’s Oussama Mellouli at Setubal, Portugal.

The top nine swimmers, with a limit of one per country, automatically qualified for the London Olympics.

Radford swam alongside Mellouli at the head of the field for the four of six laps before the Tunisian turned up the wick and the fast men flew past the kiwi with speed that the Rotorua man has not witnessed in open water swimming before.

After a solid pace around 17m30s for the 1.6km lap, Mellouli changed gears with a 16m10s penultimate lap and a withering sub-15 minute final lap to spread-eagle the field.

Limbless Frenchman Philippe Croizon starts world swim

A Frenchman who lost his limbs in an accident has completed the first part of his challenge to swim between five continents.

Philippe Croizon swam from Papua New Guinea to Indonesia with long-distance swimmer Arnaud Chassery and a local man who joined them to show his support.

Mr Croizon, who uses prosthetic limbs with flippers attached, took seven-and-a-half hours to swim the stretch.

He lost his limbs 18 years ago while adjusting a TV aerial on a roof.

"It was very, very hard," he said after the event, which involved crossing 20km (12 miles) between two points on New Guinea island which is shared between the two countries.

"It took us an hour-and-a-half more than we expected because we had to swim against the currents," he said.

He said they did not come across any sharks or jellyfish, but were joined by a Papua New Guinean man named Zet Tampa, who swam with them to show solidarity, Mr Croizon tweeted.

The swim had been postponed as Mr Croizon waited for a permit to enter Indonesia, which he received late on Wednesday.

Papua New Guinea delay for limbless Frenchman's epic world swim

SYDNEY — A limbless Frenchman planning to make four challenging swims around the world was delayed from starting his epic journey in Papua New Guinea on Monday by a paperwork problem.

Philippe Croizon, who lost both his arms and legs in an electrical accident in 1994, planned to leave the Pacific country's remote west to begin swimming to Indonesia's Papua province.

But a delay in official permission has meant that he now hopes to begin the swim -- which he will complete with the aid of special prostheses -- on Wednesday.

"It's a problem of getting official authorisation because they consider this project as an activity... it's not just a question of getting over the border," Robert Iseni, who is travelling with Croizon, told AFP.

"They want a more consequential document in terms of security and the activity we are undertaking."

Swimmers defy ban


YESTERDAY'S Byron Bay Winter Whales Ocean Swim Classic ended in a massive surf rescue in rough conditions between Wategos and The Pass at Byron Bay.

The main event was cancelled after conditions proved to be dangerous during the junior swim in which young competitors had to be rescued.

Shortly before 10am organisers told the 2000 competitors the main event would not go ahead.

However, as many as 600 ignored the direction and took to the water to undertake the 2.2km swim.

"F*** it. I'm swimming," one keen swimmer was heard to say.

As the throng of swimmers dived into the water one of the bewildered organisers said, "What can I do? I'm not Moses."

The swimmers set off from Wategos but began to get into trouble as they headed north toward Little Wategos.

Some of the swimmers who made it around the headland were rescued in waters off The Pass.

Rubber duckies and jet-skis were deployed to pluck those who were struggling from the water and ferry them to shore while hundreds of people watched on.

Reports on the number of people rescued varied greatly.

Coutts thrived outside comfort zone

Read the full article (with picture) on Hawke's Bay Today

The location was Capri, Italy, and the year 1981. Hawke's Bay swimmers John Coutts and Pat Benson were preparing for the world marathon championships. Their national coach made them train up and down the coast in front of the small township which they found boring.

Damtastic swim drowned by high costs

THE plug has been pulled on the Emerald Lions' iconic Fantastic Damtastic.

Lions member John Wencke lamented costs had become too prohibitive to meet the event staging demands of the Fairbairn Dam's operator, SunWater.

"It is with sadness Emerald Lions Club has to say no to an event which has been a great part of our wonderful Central Highlands' community. Thanks to our sponsors and the many community groups that used to make Damtastic happen," Mr Wencke said.

Former Hillie Crimmin conquers arduous Cook Strait in New Zealand

The original article by Dave Dyer is posted on Eagle Tribune since March 19, 2012

There are a lot of things you can say about Paige Crimmin, but there are some things that just don't apply.

Crimmin is hardly a homebody and she is not one to shy away from a challenge.

Lawford claims victory in close finish to annual Rottnest Island swim

The original article by Ashlee Mullany is posted with picture on Perth Now since February 25, 2012 7:07AM

ONLY three minutes separated the winning trio at today's HBF Rottnest Channel Swim, in one of the race's closest finishes.