Catherine gets a big cheer after finishing Ballina swim
AT THE Ballina Lakeside Shaws Bay Swim on Sunday, the biggest cheer of the day came when Alstonville's Catherine Ryan crossed the finish line to complete the 850m swim.
The 37-year-old with disabilities left her wheelchair on the bank of Shaws Bay and took to the water with a friend for support.
Another success story on the day was young Max Pine, who is following in the wake of his father.
The 13-year-old from the Gold Coast is the son of former Ballina man and Commonwealth Games medal-winner Adam Pine.
Max crossed the line third in the 1.7km Shaws Bay Swim in a time of 23mins 23secs.
Swimming in the 12 years to 29 years category, he was first for his age group.
His father is currently working with the Australian Paralympic team.
Gold Coast swimmer Shane Barrie won the 12-29 division in a close finish with Ballina surf club member Cooper Murphy.
Barrie crossed the line in a time of 22:36, with Murphy just six seconds off the pace.
Barrie, 28, is a former professional triathlete, but said he hadn't competed for a while.
He came to the Ballina swim, which was organised by the Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore Surf Life Saving Club as a fundraiser, because his partner's parents live in town.
He said he hadn't done much training for the swim, and was glad a local swimmer kept him honest in the race.
President of the Ballina surf club, Craig Nowlan, said about 150 swimmers competed in the second annual event.
It is hoped even more people will compete in next year's swim.