20th anniversary swims a success

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Almost 500 swimmers took part in yesterday’s Beachside Radiology Coffs Ocean Swims at Coffs Harbour’s Jetty Beach. Competitors were tested in the rough and windy conditions but most finished what they had set out to do and ran up the beach to cheers from family and friends.

Zac Freuden took out the main event, the 2000m Beachside Radiology Harbour swim in a time of 29 minutes and 47 seconds, which was more than six minutes slower than last year’s winning time recorded by Ky Kinsela.

Freuden and the rest of the field had a great excuse though. The conditions served up by Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie made for choppy conditions inside the Harbour.

“That was a bit of a rough swim, a lot of rough conditions out there,” the winner said.

With 100 metres to go Freuden’s batteries were running low but he managed to have one last effort to take the win. “I got tired at the end but I was lucky to catch the last wave in,” he said.

“I stopped and I thought I better go and catch this one because I’ve been a surf clubbie prior to this and knew I had to get on to a wave before I crashed and burned.”

Finishing over a minute behind Frueden was Nicholas Bulloch from Emerald Beach, with Yamba’s Lindsey Wall crossing the line in third position.

The first female to finish the 2km swim was Meegan Hoare from Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, only a couple of seconds clear of Coffs Harbour local Mette Klinkers. These two swimmers also finished first and second respectively in the 600m event. Finishing in third position in the 200m event was TAS student, Lucy Fenwicke from Armidale.

In the 600m event, the top three male finishers were Grant Cook from Woolgoolga, Nicholas Bulloch and Richie Goddard.

The eldest competitor in the event, Patty Mills-Thorn completed the 600m swim in a very respectable time of just over 20 minutes, and well ahead of swimmers more than half her age.





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