Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Busselton Jetty Swim – don’t miss it!

Busselton Jetty Swim (February)

The 3.6-kilometre Busselton Jetty Swim is one of the South-West’s most beloved events among WA’s amateur athletic community. It’s so popular that the 2700 spots available to compete fill up less than a day after registrations open.

But there’s much more to it than just the ocean swim itself. Two days of events are organised around it, ensuring there is plenty of entertainment for all spectators, visitors and locals alike.

The Busselton Jetty Swim has been held every year since 1996 and this year takes place on February 9 and 10. The big swim happens on Sunday morning. It’s open to solo entrants and teams of two and four.

Why I love the Busselton Jetty Swim: Clayton Lindley

Dunsborough resident Clayton Lindley, 51, has been competing in the jetty swim since 2007 – missing only one year with an injury.

Clayton is a regular at local athletic events, having competed in local ironman, half ironman and Cape to Cape mountain biking competitions, among others. But he said the jetty swim is a very special event.

“The jetty is pretty iconic and the swim is a pretty easy event,” he said. “Last year was my fastest time, 53 minutes and 47 seconds. Over the last five years I’ve probably broken my time each year.

“A lot of spectators come along; there’s a very festive atmosphere,” he said.

Clayton is an architect and swims all year-round, at Yallingup Lagoon during winter and Dunsborough in the summer. He said one of the reasons he loves the jetty swim is he has a long-term rivalry with another local swimmer.

“He’s a faster swimmer than me, but I beat him in the jetty swim more often than not,” Clayton said. “He’s incredibly competitive and everyone knows about it, so I get people I don’t even know coming up to me and asking ‘did you beat him?’ ”

Why I’m doing the Busselton Jetty Swim: Jessica Green

Taking part in this year’s swim is local woman Jessica Green, who is competing in 40 events before she turns 40 to raise money for research into a rare syndrome called Guillain Barre.

“It’s a post-viral complication that attacks your nerves,” she explained.

Jessica was inspired to help the cause when a neighbour was left paralysed by the disease. He had previously been an active wakeboarder and motorcyclist.

“He went to bed able-bodied,” she said. He’s had to learn how to do everything again. It just shocked me so much and I wanted to do something to help people appreciate movement and get the message about Guillain Barre out there.

“Unlike lots of other sufferers, poor Chris had no warning,” she said. “He had gastro a couple of weeks beforehand, went to bed feeling heavy, and woke up paralysed.

“Ninety-eight per cent of sufferers recover in a year, but Chris is in the two per cent. He has limited trunk movement and some movement in his hands but he’s been wheelchair bound two years later. We never give up hope, and it is something you recover from, but he’s taking a really long time.”

Jessica, 39, started her fundraising efforts in October 2018 and has already completed 10 events. She plans to complete 30 more, including the Busselton Jetty Swim, before October 2019. (She’ll also be running a half-marathon the day before the swim!)

If you’d like to donate to support Jessica’s efforts and donate to a really good cause, you can do so here.

What you need to know about the Busselton Jetty Swim 2018

While it’s too late to register to compete in this year’s event, it’s certainly not too late to enjoy the event and all the festivities around it as a spectator.

This year there are several events to watch, including a new “One Mile Swim”, where competitors swim from the end of the jetty back to shore. There’s also a 222-metre event for junior swimmers.

The half-marathon Jessica is taking part in and a separate “Fun Run” will take place the day before the swim. There’ll be free entertainment on the main stage from 1.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. and the local skate team will be performing at the nearby skate park.

Swimming starts at 8 a.m. on Sunday, 10 February, and participants take off in staged groups. The first swimmers should make it back to the beach by 8.40 a.m.

There will be free family fun activities from 9.30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The One Mile race starts at 10 am and the junior event at 11.30 a.m.
A closing concert will be held from 1 p.m to 2 p.m.

You can find the full program here.

If you’re heading down to the Busselton Jetty Swim as either a competitor or spectator, Private Properties has many stunning homes to make your stay in the South-West a memorable one.

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