Peter Cleary, Rochelle Youngson, John Anderson and David Slocombe.
Santos’ Perth team braved big swells, unhelpful currents, seasickness, jellyfish and a hammerhead shark as it took on the annual 20-kilometre swim across the Rottnest Channel recently.
The team of John Anderson, Peter Cleary, David Slocombe and Rochelle Youngson set off at 5:45am from Perth’s Cottesloe Beach on Saturday, 26 February. They made good early progress, despite some nasty stingers that required first aid.
A strong current picked up as the day went on, which dragged swimmers and boats to the south and made for very hard going through the afternoon.
To make things more challenging, the swell picked up and caused some serious seasickness among the team. But the hard-working support crew – Glen Herrera (skipper), Rikke Petersen (paddler) and a few others from law firm Blake Dawson – battled on.
At one stage, a police boat tore towards the Santos team with its lights flashing and horn honking, to warn of a hammerhead shark just near the boat. Rochelle, swimmer at the time, leapt onto the boat in lightning fashion and Rikke, paddling with her feet in the water, quickly retreated.
After a few minutes of straw-drawing, David was brave enough to get back in the water and the team continued on.
Nine hours of swimming later, Santos was just timed out for not reaching the 18-kilometre mark by the cut-off time.
The exhausted team completed the journey to Rottnest on the boat and enjoyed a well-earned dinner and some drinks with the Blake Dawson crew.
Employee achievements, Western Australia