Brisbane team enjoy Evans Head Ocean Swim
THE small team of Albany Creek Swim Club from Brisbane is fast proving a force to be reckoned with when it comes to ocean swimming.
Evans Head Ocean Swim, which was held yesterday at Main Beach, was no exception, with team member Ridge Grimsey winning the 750m race in a time of 10mins 8secs.
This served as a warm-up for the 2km swim, where Grimsey placed second just in front of team mate Josh Richardson by two seconds.
This achievement was followed by another team member, Emily Seymour, coming in as first female in the 2km swim.
The winner of the day, however, was Sam Sheppard in an impressive time of 22mins 55secs.
"I've just moved up to the Gold Coast from Melbourne to continue with my open water swimming and surf life saving," he said shortly after crossing the line.
"(The Evans Head Ocean Swim) was pretty tough as there was quite a bit of chop coming back along the course."
Sheppard is hard at training at the moment as he has his eyes set on the BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series, Swim The Swan, on February 2.
"I'm a bit sore from all the training over the new year," he said.
Another standout performer for the day was young Hayden Cotterm of Brisbane, who was competing in his first 750m race.
The 12-year-old took second place ahead of previous winner Jack Burnham.
Paralympian champion Jacqueline Freney was only too happy to be on the starters gun for both races.
"Ocean swimming is not for me," she said with a laugh. "I like to follow the black line in a swimming pool."
Organiser Ray Adams was thrilled with the increase in the number of competitors this year, compared to the last two swims held during the winter months.
"We had a total of 145 competitors today compared to 85 in the last swim," he said.
"Many of the competitors were people already here on holidays who have decided to enter."
Mr Adams thanked local businesses and the Richmond Valley Council for their financial support.
"All money raised will go to the Evans Head-Casino Surf Life Saving Club."