QUEENSLAND’S Michael Sheil carved out a private slice of history in yesterday’s Novotel Pacific Bay Resort Ocean Swims carnival at Coffs Harbour Jetty.
After completing a hat-trick of wins in the charity swim, it was announced Sheil had become the first swimmer to take out all three divisions in the one year.
He won the 600m short course title in 7min 23sec before winning the 2000m event in 25min 30sec.
Remarkably, visiting Bondi lifesaver Jake Nolan was runner-up in both the major divisions.
Sheil said he was pool racing in 1500m events before making the switch to open water.
“I’ve just been down to Melbourne for the national open water titles and didn’t do well at all,” he revealed.
“This was my first race since and to win it was great.
In the 600m race, Nolan’s time was 7min 45sec while he registered 27min 37sec in the long course event. Third placegetters were Cameron Lohs (600m) and Tjade Groot (200m).
Local Bonville 16-year-old Marlee Green was the top female competitor, finishing fourth in the 600m event in 8min 13 sec.
“I followed race coach Daniel Bannerman in the water and when I saw the opportunity I went for home,” she said.
During the presentation it was announced race co-ordinator Neil Power was retiring from his role with a committee from the Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour Daybreak accepting the organising duties.
Spectators were enthralled by the team of eight competitors from Southern Cross/TEN’s Bondi Rescue and the fine effort by Nolan.
“The idea to have them compete was raised when the exchange of lifeguards took place over summer,” a Rotary spokesperson said.
“Coffs Harbour City Council and Mike Blewitt Ford launched a project to get them here and they’ve promised to return for the 2011 race, which gives us enormous potential for promoting the event.”
Full results are posted on www.oceanswims.com.au