Meet our swimmers 2021
We’re very excited have our naming rights Sponsor Channel 7 / Seven West Media field a team in the race this year.
Port to Pub’s Jane Munday checked in with 7NEWS Perth reporter (and team member of aptly named SWiM) Rory Campbell to see how they were feeling ahead of Saturday’s swim.
Firstly Rory, who’s in the team?
We’ve got a bit of a mixed bag. The team vibe is a strong focus for the day so we’ve ramped it up to six swimmers. Seven West Media (SWM) Digital Director, Brent “Banga” Stewart, and our Technology GM, Kari Barnard, are established members of the team - the real core. We’ve also got Kelly Townson from Crown and Jane Humphries from FMG onboard. Both are very accomplished in their own right and have added a whole new element. 7NEWS Director Ray Kuka was really driving training standards, but maybe went a bit too hard and has had to pull out with an injury. A mate of mine, Rylan Fabrici, has come to the rescue, bringing a handy swimming resume. Then, I’ll be in there as well, trying not to slow us down. SWM CFO, Shane O’Connor, is paddling and COO, Phil O’Toole, has got our backs helping out on the boat, which is being provided by SWM CEO, Maryna Fewster.
Our skipper, Steve Fewster, will be masterfully navigating the waves and other competitors, and Patricia Marques has been immense in getting us all organised. SWM Chief Marketing Officer, Kate Molinari, deserves a nod as well, she’s been a huge support.
Is this the team’s first-time swimming across to Rottnest?
There’s a good mix of swim experience across the team. One of us has done it solo, three members have done it as part of a team, and two of us are on debut, so it should make for a really fun day. This is my first time so I’m equally nervous and excited.
What is your current Port to Pub training schedule looking like?
Every swimmer has had their own approach. I’ve been getting in the water probably three times a week, in the pool and the ocean as well as some cross-training. Getting us all together is tough but, like everyone over the last year, we still stay connected. When you can’t be bothered, the team WhatsApp group has a good knack of chiming in with much needed motivation and inspiration. There’s also plenty of (and sometimes terrible) banter.
Most of you work together at Seven West Media – how do you think you’ll perform as a team on the day?
There’s no doubt our support crew is top notch. Maryna and Steve have got all bases covered, and Shane and Phil will be keeping us safe. That means the swimmers can just put the blinkers on and focus on getting to the Pub. Some of the more experienced guys will have a few tips for the rookies among us, I’m sure. We’ve had a bit of a rehearsal to practise the changeovers and that went well, so I think we’re prepared to have a good crack.
What is it about the day you’re most looking forward to?
I think just being part of the team and revving each other up all day. Our industry, and lives in general, are so busy. This is something that’s a bit different. Just the training and preparation has already been rewarding, but we’re so keen for the day itself and all the challenges it’ll bring. I’m sure that feeling when you cross the finish line must be incredibly special and we can’t wait to taste it.
West Coast Owls & Dockers Old Salts
Look who’s back!
Our annual ‘Derby in the Water’ featuring teams of former Eagles and Dockers players is on again!
Introducing our two teams for 2021!
WEST COAST OWLS
DOCKERS OLD SALTS
In 2019 the Dockers ‘Old Salts’ claimed victory over their ‘West Coast Owls’ rivals, reaching the finish line in 6.12.53 just five minutes in front!
The team featured on 7News and in the West Australian this week.
Come and cheer them off at Leighton Beach at 6:35am or see both teams at the finish line!
Good luck teams!
MCC Mermaids aim for a carbon neutral swim
The MCC Mermaids will compete in their first Port to Pub swim on Saturday. The group is also aiming to be the first team to offset all the carbon emissions from their swim. Kerrie Youngs, Helen Astill, Julia Crozier, Kiersten Morkel, Gillian Starling and Naomi Patrick will be calculating the emissions they generate for the event and offset them by purchasing carbon credits (CO2 equivalent) by planting/protecting WA forest from Carbon Neutral.
Emissions included in their calculations are travel to the event, vessel fuel while swimming, return ferry and food and water during the event.
The team is sponsored by MCC Environmental, which helps organisations become more sustainable. This includes looking at opportunities to reduce emissions and identifying ways to reduce them.
The team says it’s cheap and easy to offset emissions generated by your swim. Although detailed calculations will be finalised after the race is completed (and will be determined by fuel use, weather, race time etc), the team believes it is likely to be less than 0.5 tonnes of C02 per swimmer, which can be offset for as little as two cups of coffee with Carbon Neutral’s Biodiverse Reforestation Carbon Offsets project.
Team member and MCC Environment Sustainability Lead, Kerrie Youngs, said: “The Mermaids want everyone to share and inspire others with their swim “It is great to know that doing the swim is good for me, the community, environment and our future.”
For more information, contact Gillian Starling firstname.lastname@example.org; 0404446035
Bronte Edwards loves competing in sport, and is willing to give anything a go, including our 400m Kids Swim for Telethon this Saturday!
Bronte has been swimming since she was 16 weeks old, starting out at State Swim in Osborne Park. Over the years she has continued to work on her endurance and technique, welcoming advice from her coaches to improve her stroke. She is currently enjoying plenty of pool and ocean swimming as a member of Scarborough Beach Swimming Club and Scarboro Surf Life Saving Club. She has enjoyed some great achievements this past year including second place in the surf race at SSLSC Club Champs and Champion Girl for her year at her last school swimming carnival.
One of her favourite aspects of swimming is being able to train with the friends that she has made along the way. She likes to challenge herself to better her PBs and to track her improvement throughout the year.
Bronte is super excited to be competing in her first Kids Swim for Telethon at Port to Pub this year. She’s looking forward to the challenge and having fun along the way.
The Kids Swim for Telethon is on at 2pm at the Port to Pub finish line. All proceeds from the event go to Telethon. Good luck Bronte and all the other kids competing!
Subiaco Sports Massage Steam Team and South Cott Physio Dream Team
Since the first Port to Pub race in 2016, there has been fierce rivalry between the elite swimmers in the Subiaco Sports Massage Steam Team and the South Cott Physio Dream Team.
The Dream Team was first over the line in 2019 with a time of 04:03:22.4, only 35 seconds ahead of the Steam Team! The Dream Team hold the mixed team of six record and the Steam Team still hold the male team of six record (04:01:33.6 recorded in 2017) so it will be another heated race!
The Steam Team comprises Olympic and Aussie Champions Eamon Sullivan, Tommaso D’Orsogna, Bobby Jovanovich, Matthew Pupazzoni, Jim Piper and Adam Lucas.
The Dream Team features some of our best and well-known open water swimmers including Gareth Evans, Jaime Bowler, Josie Page, Ben Jones, Paul Blackbeard and Paul Laver.
South Cott Physio owner Prue Stokes and her team will be at the finish line in the swimmer recovery area to check out and advise on any aches and pains.
Subiaco Sports Massage's Bernd Adolph and his team of expert therapists will also be in the swimmer recovery area to offer swimmers a remedial massage after the event.
Thanks Prue and Bernd for all your support and good luck to the Steam and Dream Teams – we can’t wait for this race!
Port to Pub 25km swimmer Russell Green is on a mission to complete one of the longest open water swims in Australia on 20 March. Partly, it’s for the challenge of completing this toughest race to Rottnest. Mostly, it’s to raise funds to help afford a wheelchair accessible car for his quadriplegic daughter, Bonny.
Bonny was only six months old when the HSV1 virus left her with severe brain damage. She has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and requires round the clock care to assist with every aspect of her life.
Now, 6 years old, she requires a wheelchair to move around home and the community. Her bones are brittle and, as she grows, lifting her in and out of her car seat is becoming dangerous.
The Green family would like to buy a wheelchair accessible car for Bonny. This will mean that she can remain safely in her wheelchair in the car. Bonny’s Mum, Helen, is her full-time carer and is therefore unable to work, which has pressured the family’s finances.
The Green family is using Russell’s swim to tell their story and to try and raise $40,000 for a car with suitable wheelchair access.
The Port to Pub team was really touched by this story. The Greens understand that times are tough for many families right now and there’s no pressure to donate. If you can help, they’d be so grateful. If you can’t, please share this story!
Good luck Russell, Bonny and the Green family.
More information and donation page: https://bit.ly/3sZfAxY
Teddy Scott is competing in our Kids Swim for Telethon this year. Held at the finish line, the 400m race is open for kids aged 8-12. All proceeds from the event go to our charity partner Telethon.
Teddy started getting into open water swims about six months ago, first taking part in the Euroz-Hartleys Cold Water Classic. His second open water swim event was at Lake Leschenaultia in the Perth hills, followed by the Busselton Jetty Swim, and then the Open Water Swimming Series swim (Round 11) at Mindarie. With every swim, Teddy has improved his pace and he really enjoys the challenges faced in open water swimming. No stranger to the ocean, Teddy can otherwise be found surfing, snorkelling, fishing, adventuring, or generally doing something outdoors. His Dad, Tim, is competing in the 25km ultra-marathon and is hoping to make it to Rotto in time for Teddy’s swim. Tim’s family business, Scott Print, is a legacy sponsor of the Port to Pub as well!
Team of four Sea-Bee-Tee, led by Dr Katie Niven, is fundraising for headspace, which provides early intervention mental health services to 12–25-year-olds.
Headspace is the National Youth Mental Health Foundation and can help young people with mental health, physical health (including sexual health) alcohol and other drug services, and work and study support.
Dr Niven is an advanced psychiatry trainee in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, which offers support, advice and treatment to young people and their families experiencing mental health issues.
Dr Niven says, “COVID-19 has placed significant extra pressure on our mental health service, and many young people are seeking support. We know that early intervention is best and I wanted to use our swim to highlight some of the support services like headspace, and to raise awareness that these services are out there for anyone seeking support.”
The team, which also includes Psychiatry Registrar Dr Rachel Kovac, mental health nurse Chloe Blaauw and their friend, Daniella Antonucci.
The team name is a play on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT, which is an effective and evidence-based therapeutic intervention for many mental health disorders including depression and anxiety.
The Sea-Bee-Tees have been training 3-4 times a week mostly in the pool and can’t wait for race day
To donate to headspace, please go to https://porttopub21.grassrootz.com/headspace
Swim for Shaun
Childhood friends Jarrod Delavale and Ben Ford have faced all of life’s big challenges together. But nothing prepared them for the loss of their friend Shaun Murphy, who took his own life in 2020. Their tight-knit group of friends were shocked and overwhelmingly saddened. Out of their grief has come a desire to make a difference by raising awareness of men’s mental health.
Wanting to challenge themselves too, Jarrod and Ben are signed up to a Port to Pub duo and are using their swim to raise money for the Perth-based Kai Eardley Foundation, which provides support for Australians suffering mental health issues.
Jarrod said: “For me and Ben, going through this experience made us want to make a difference to ensure young men feel comfortable to be open with their emotions, to have someone to talk to and to realise they aren’t alone. We hope our Port to Pub swim helps us to help others, and we’ll be thinking of Shaun the whole way across to Rottnest. It will be an emotional day for us.”
To support Jarrod and Ben, please go to https://bit.ly/39T3Kib
Telethon Kids Challenge Team
We’ve been profiling beneficiaries of the money raised through Telethon, and how those funds help better the lives of sick, disabled and disadvantaged children in WA.
The Telethon Kids Institute (TKI) is based at the Perth Children’s Hospital, and is one of the largest, and most successful medical research institutes in Australia.
The TKI brings together community, researchers, practitioners, policy makers and funders to improve the health and wellbeing of WA kids.
TKI colleagues Nick Buckley, Adele Leahy, Emma Fuller, Mitch Hartman, Peter Gething and Tiffany Bradshaw are swimming in the Port to Pub as the Telethon Kids Challenge Team to increase awareness of the important child health research they do at TKI.
Port to Pub’s Jane Munday spoke to a few team members about their work and their upcoming race to Rottnest!
Nick Buckley: I’m a PhD student and Research officer in the Child Disability team at TKI. My research is in paediatric disability, and I’m developing an assessment tool to measure movement and position during sleep to ensure a better long-term quality of life for disabled kids.
I’ve done most of my swimming through involvement in triathlons. I have typically been more focused on the running and cycling side. Swimming was the toughest leg to start with, but now I really love it, and I’ve been putting extra open water training into my schedule to get ready for Port to Pub.
Our team participates in lots of events to raise awareness of the work we do at TKI. We are really looking forward to being a part of the Port to Pub – the big crowd of boats, and swimmers. It will be my first Rottnest crossing – the first of many, I hope!
Adele Leahy: I am Program Manager for the DETECT schools study. 79 schools are taking part in the study, which tests staff and students without COVID-19 symptoms to provide evidence about the level of asymptomatic infection in schools. We’re tracking transmission in schools and assessing wellbeing of staff, parents and students.
I was a competitive swimmer at school. I was a swimming teacher, coach and currently volunteer with Surf Life Saving WA. I’ve completed a half ironman and was sort of hoping to take a break from swimming but…! I do have a slight fear of open water and I want to overcome it. I can’t wait to look down at the bottom of the ocean whilst swimming my little heart out and thinking “I’m still alive!”
Peter Gething: I’m the Kerry Stokes Chair in Child Health at the Telethon Kids Institute.
I hadn’t done a lot of swimming before moving to WA in 2019 – but with the sunshine, great pools and of course the ocean on our doorstep, I’ve loved getting in the water more frequently and stepping up my fitness. Having an event like Port to Pub to work towards is great motivation for me to get in the ocean regularly and train.
I’m so proud to be doing this swim with my colleagues. Crossing the finish line at Rottnest with the rest of the Telethon Kids Team will be a great moment.
Emma Fuller: I am the Data Manager of the ORIGINS project, which aims to reduce the rising epidemic of non-communicable diseases through a healthy start to life.
I’ve been a pretty regular swimmer since uni days. I’m part of a local squad and love the comradery of the sport. I enjoy swimming for fitness but also downtime. I have to admit I have a terrible fear of open water and I’m trying to beat it one swim at a time.
Like Peter, I’m looking forward to crossing the line with my TKI colleagues, that will be an awesome feeling!
Mitch Hartman: I’m Executive Officer, Strategic Initiatives at TKI. It’s a great role that sees me work across the entire Institute supporting the delivery of innovative projects across research and our support services.
As a kid I was a competitive swimmer and then transitioning across to the Australian lifesaving team for a few years gives me a good base for this crossing. But the almost ten years with no swimming in between means I had a way to go to get ready for this swim.
I’m new to Perth, I love sport, and I’m quite competitive, so it was an easy “yes” when Pete (Gething) asked me to swim with the team
I’m hoping for clear conditions, no wind and minimal swell but most importantly a chance to experience a Rottnest crossing with a great group of colleagues and the rest of the Port to Pub fields, support crew and community.
Charlotte and Archie O’Beirne
Well known South West-based swimmer Charlotte O’Beirne can’t wait for this year’s Port to Pub. It’s going to be a very special event because she’s swimming with her 13-year-old son Archie.
Charlie is a former British pool swimming champion, and trialled for the UK Olympic team in the 100m backstroke in 1992.
After emigrating to Australia in 1999, she took to the ocean and embraced open water swimming. In 2013 she established the Swimming Women squad, and since that time has coached over 1200 local swimmers, who meet at a number of local South West WA beaches every day.
Her children have all grown up in Australia and Charlie is delighted middle son Archie also loves open water swimming. They regularly train together at beautiful Gnarabup Beach
Archie and Charlie will join two other South West swimmers from Charlie’s Swimming Women squad in a team of four for the Port to Pub on 20 March.
“This will be my 14th swim to Rotto and I’ve been coaching others to swim across for years, but to swim with one of my children is a dream come true. I can’t wait for Archie to experience the start line atmosphere, the long hours swimming and that pure joy of hitting the sand at Rottnest.
“I’m so proud of Archie and the Swimming Women team – I’m so looking forward to this event.”
Charlie said her next goal is to swim across to Rottnest with all three of her sons for her 50th birthday in 2026!
Good luck Charlie and Archie!
Mental toughness tested as swimmer takes on dark and double crossings
Last month, Port to Pub 25km swimmer Georgia Ongarezos took on a very brave challenge – swimming a night time solo crossing from Rottnest to Perth to raise awareness of mental health.
Starting at Rottnest at 10:30pm, 18-year-old Georgia made the 19.7km swim in 5:56, with a group of fellow swimmers and supporters waiting on the beach at Cottesloe to greet her.
While in good form, just last week, she pushed herself she completed a ~40km double crossing to Rottnest and back in 12.5 hours with fellow swimmer Tim Edwards.
She spoke to Port to Pub’s Jane Munday about how she overcame the fear of swimming in pitch black darkness as and the mental strength needed for a double crossing
1. Why did you take on the challenge to swim in the dark?
Mental health is more prevalent today than it ever has been before. I went through a stage of depression mid-year and knew I had to get myself better or I would be stuck “in the darkness”. I was very aware of the reality of mental illness and counted 22 people I knew who were suffering mental illness. This swim was not only a goal to get me out of my depression but also to inspire those suffering that they can make it out of the darkness and into the light.
2. Training to swim a solo crossing is a big undertaking – what extra did you have to do to tackle swimming in the dark?
Luckily, I had a few solos under my belt before this swim, so I was no stranger to distance training. In the lead up to the swim I began going to Cottesloe beach at 4:30am and swimming in the shark net until sunrise to practise night swimming and get comfortable with being in the water with no light. From there, I’d go to the pool and do my normal training with the Positive Lifestyle squad.
3. How did you overcome mental and physical hurdles to get through it?
This swim quickly became a metaphor for my life at the time. Not only was I trying to inspire others that they could make it through the darkness, but also to prove to myself that I can do anything I put my mind to. Having this swim as a goal and having so much publicity with it meant quitting was not an option as I felt people were looking up to me for inspiration. Having routine, training, goals and surrounding myself with positive people really helped my mental health drastically! For me, it was all about being in nature surrounded by people who I love and who love me that got me through hurdles. Having a focus was key!
4. How much have you raised for Lifeline WA?
All together we raised just under $14 000!
5. Where will that money be used?
This money will go towards training volunteers who answer calls for help. Because of this year’s circumstances, there has been a drastic increase in calls for help. With a decrease of fundraising events, Lifeline was unable to take on more volunteers as it couldn’t fund the training. This swim has provided funds to Lifeline WA for at least 3 more volunteers, meaning more lives are being saved.
Georgia completed a double crossing of the Rottnest Channel in 12.5 hours.
6. Your recent double crossing was a real test of mental and physical strength – did the night time crossing help with this feat or did they feel like two different swims?
The night time crossing definitely added an advantage to my mental and physical strength for the double. After completing the night swim, I felt like I could have turned back, which gave me so much confidence in my physical strength. They did feel like different swims however, as I was in a different headspace for the double. The double was tough, and I honestly put so much doubt in myself on the first lap. When we got to Rotto I wasn’t going to turn back. My coach Ceinwen Roberts gave me and Tim (Edwards) an incredible pep talk and we were hyped up to go back. I was lucky enough to share this crossing Tim. We train together and we did this swim as a team - this was a HUGE mental advantage! Both swims have made me grow so much as a person and for that I’m forever grateful!
7. What do you do in marathon swims when you really need to dig deep to get you through?
These swims are long and they are tough. Every swim is different, but in every single one of my marathon swims there has been a moment where I have certainly had to dig deep. For me, my crew is such an important part to every swim. Whenever I’m in doubt, I look at my crew and take a moment of gratitude where I think how lucky I am to have them share this experience with me. From then my mindset shifts and I become more positive. I have also learnt to lean on my crew when I’m not feeling great and always have someone on crew as a support swimmer to help me get through the tough bits. It’s also important to put faith in your training and remember all of the tough sessions I did in preparation to get here. It's all-positive self-talk.
8. You have competed in our 25km ultra-marathon. What do you love about that swim?
I did the 25km Port to Pub crossing in 2019 and honestly this swim is what sparked my obsession with ultra-marathon swimming. I loved the atmosphere of the event and how challenging it was. There is no better feeling than standing up on the white sand of Rotto and ringing that bell! If you’re contemplating doing the 25km swim…do it! If I can do it…so can you!
Meet the Telethon Superfins Swim Squad
We are so proud to be supporting Telethon this year and the work it does to help WA’s sick, disabled and disadvantaged kids.
One of Telethon’s beneficiaries is the Superfins WA Swim Club’s Learn to Swim (LTS) program. The program was set up for school aged children with disabilities to learn to swim. The LTS program is held at Lords Recreation Centre in Subiaco and has been operating now for a decade!
Many of those children have gone on to join the Superfins Swim Club, which caters for swimmers at all levels, from beginner to advanced and competitive swimmers.
Keith Robinson, Michael Nguyen, James Burt, Kim-Heula Smith, Dylan Coop, Dylan Broadway, Mark Paull, Andrew Goldswain
The Stroke Development and Senior Squad groups train multiple times a week at HBF stadium and regularly ocean swim too.
There are currently about 70 Superfins swimmer across the two squads.
The Club has entered teams nearly every year of Port to Pub and will be back again in 2021 with a team featuring Kim-Heula Smith, Michael Nguyen, James Burt, Dylan Coop, Dylan Broadway and Mark Paull (Dad of Daniel, a Superfins member).
Front – Dylan Broadway, Next behind is Kim-Heula Smith. The next 3 in a row are (L to R): Andrew Goldswain, James Burt and Michael Nguyen. The next 2 in a line behind them are (L to R) Dylan Coop and Keith Robinson, at the back is Mark Paull.
Steve Robinson is the Superfins treasurer and Dad to club member, Keith. Keith has cerebral palsy and joined the Superfins three years ago.
“My son’s life has changed since joining Superfins. It’s about exercise, and camaraderie, with swimming as the focal point. Most of Keith’s friends are from Superfins and they do so much together socially too. Young people like Keith want a strong friendship group as well as sport and recreation, and Superfins enables all of that – it’s a remarkable club.”
We’d love you to take a moment watch Alice’s inspiring story. Alice has been swimming since she was 9 and it’s had a huge impact on her life. This heartwarming story shows us swimming is for everyone.
The Superfins are in need of a boat and skipper for their 2021 swim – if you can help, please contact Steve Robinson at email@example.com
You can donate to Telethon when you register, or use your swim to raise funds for Telethon.
If you have another charity close to you heart you'd like to raise funds for, go to our Grassrootz fundraising platform and follow the prompts!