35 Second Margin for Winner of 2019 Port to Pub
The line honours for the 2019 Hotel Rottnest Port to Pub ocean swim came down a sprint in the last 500m between two teams of six - the South Cott Physio Dream Team and the Subiaco Sports Massage Steam Team.
The eventual winners - South Cott Physio Dream Team featuring current open water swimming champions : Gareth Evans, Andy Donaldson, Josie Page, Sacha Downing, Ben Jones and Arna Couper, won the open water swimming team event in a time of 4:03:22. They also were the winners of the K & L Gates Corporate Cup.
Only 35 seconds behind, and leaders the whole way until the last 500m, were Olympians and Australian Champion swimmers : Travis Nederpelt, Tommaso D'Orsogna, Adam Lucas and champion swimmers Bobby Jovanovich, Matthew Puppazoni and Jim Piper.
Tomasso D’Orsogna was a late replacement for fellow Olympian Eamon Sullivan, and he was charged with the task of sprinting the final 500m. It was the fourth year in the Port to Pub event for this team, which hold the current male team of six record 4:01:33.6 to cross the Channel.
Gareth Evans from the winning team said that all of his team were past and present team members of Perth City Swimming Club, and that his team members started the race changing swimming every three minutes, and then gradually reduced this to 30 seconds when they were nearing the finish line and the Steam Team were in their sights.
‘Our paddler was unable to assist us after the 15 km mark, so we were swimming blind for the last 5km. It was not too bad in the water in terms of wind and waves, and we were stoked to get a win, given that last year we were unable to finish the race due to the weather’.
The first duo across the line were current open water swimming champions 18 year olds Byron Kimber and Rebekah Weller, who broke the overall and mixed duo record in a time of 4:11:55.
The first solo was Queenslander Ben Jimmieson who made it to the island in 4:59:58, two minutes shy of the solo record. It was a case of unfinished business for Ben who had made the journey to WA last year to complete the solo, only to be pulled out mid-way due to the event cancellation.
Winner of the solo ultra-marathon event of 25km was local Bob Tarr in a time of 6:29:27. He is a two time participant in the Port to Pub, and was the first swimmer to register for the ultra-marathon. He was also pulled out of the water last year so he was thrilled to finish the event, and in win the category.
Bob led the whole way, and said that this swim was a great warm up for two other open water swims that he is undertaking in June and July in the USA. Upon ringing the bell when he reached the Island, Bob said that ‘the conditions were not too bad and that he was not that bothered by stingers once he moved away from the shoreline’. He also said ‘that that unknown water conditions were part of open water swimming and if you wanted flat water, then stick with the pool’.
17 year old Brianna Thompson was the first female across the line in the 25km ultra-marathon in a time of 7:04:31 and she was the second swimmer in this category.
42 participants undertook this gruelling open water swim from Leighton Beach to Cottesloe and back, then to Rottnest Island - the longest in the Southern Hemisphere. This was a a record number of swimmers for this distance and more than double from previous years - showing its popularity.
The much anticipated ‘Derby on the Water’ featured former players from Fremantle Dockers and West Coast Eagles in the team of six category - Old Salts :Jason Norrish, Lee Spurr, Luke Toia, Matthew Burton, Peter Mann and Shaun McManus. West Coast OWLS : Ashley McIntosh, David Sierakowski, Drew Banfield, Jason Ball, Tony Evans and Nick Stone. The two teams were neck and neck the whole way, with The Old Salts taking the win in a time of 6:12:53, five minutes ahead of their football team rivals.
1100 participants left Leighton Beach this morning from 6:20am en route to Rottnest Island. Swimmers and their supporters travelled from far and wide to swim in the 2019 Hotel Rottnest Port to Pub - 22 swimmers from NSW, 1 from NT, 9 from QLD, 1 from SA and 8 from VIC. 105 swimmers were from regional WA. Internationally there were swimmers from England, Scotland and Hong Kong. 61% male and 39% female. 97 swimmers were under 18.
The Hotel Rottnest Port to Pub is a large-scale 19.7km open water swim event from Leighton Beach to Rottnest Island which attracts both novice and competitive swimmers as they swim as solos, duos, teams of four and six, in addition to the 25km ultra-marathon solo, and the K&L Gates Corporate Cup.
All the results are available on the website.