Masters Swimming SAPublished: Jan 12, 2012 01:22:24 PM Updated: Feb 14, 2012 01:29:57 PM
SEPTUAGENARIAN Robert Birch is in training for his ninth consecutive Busselton Jetty Swim.
After competing in a duo in the event nine years ago, the 72-year-old Kewdale resident has been taking on the 3.6km swim solo ever since.
The event involves participants swimming out to the end of the jetty, around it and back to shore.
Mr Birch, who has been swimming for about 20 years, said he was not a great swimmer but it was not about being the fastest.
“I’m just a plodder, I always finish at the back of the field,” he said.
But Mr Birch still likes to have a goal.
“I’m hoping I’ll do it in one hour and 35 minutes, depending on conditions,” he said.
Mr Birch said he had to get his mind ready for the swim each year.
To do this he does a three-kilometre swim at Coogee Beach a few times in the lead-up to the jetty swim.
Mr Birch said he enjoyed the social aspect of the Busselton Jetty Swim.
“It’s great to share the experience with the younger ones; you can chat over the race and it’s a good leveller of people of all ages.”
Mr Birch said it was the enjoyment he got from the sport that kept him diving back into the water each year. He also swims regularly with the Belmont Masters Swimming Group.
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