Get outa? my way!
BY GREG WHITE
KINGSCLIFF swimmer Kate Brennan upstaged the boys when she won the feature 2000m event at the annual Novotel Pacific Bay Ocean Swim at Coffs Jetty beach.
Churning through the water in a winning time of 27 minutes 56 seconds, the former local added to second placing in the 600m swim with victory in the female 16-19 years age category.
Sean Johnson entered as an afterthought and finished runner-up to Kate but wasn't disappointed he'd been outdone by a female of the species.
"It's rare for me to enter an ocean event as I usually do most of my swimming in the pool," Sean said.
"I wasn't going to swim but the family talked me into it."
Well-known pool competitor Geoffrey Eastwood also made light of his transition to ocean racing by taking out the 600m short course event.
The Urunga age champion sped through the water in a winning time of 8 minutes 46 seconds, 18 seconds ahead of Kate Brennan.
Event figurehead Mick Maley said while the final tally of competitors was still to be added up, it was clear all records had been 'crash tackled'.
"We were run off our feet at the registration session on Saturday when more than 90 signed up to push us over 700 starters," he said.
"In the hour before the race started we filled out another full sheet of entries.
"With the ideal conditions of flat sea and a good swell, this has been the best staging ever and the money that's going to be raised for charity is enormous."
Maley paid credit to his sterling band of sponsors and supporters.
"They are all top people and made time for me to take part as a competitor," he said.
Did he improve on last years finishing position?
"I don't know," Maley laughed, "but I'm still breathing."
For an event of this size, Maley said it was pleasing all competitors had made it through safely.
"No distress calls and everybody seems to be happy," he said.
One party very happy is Novotel Pacific Bay with general manager Greg Erwin pledging continued sponsorship for the 2008 staging during the presentation ceremony.