THE Woolamai Beach Surf Lifesaving Club provided a beautiful beginning to the San Remo Channel Challenge on Saturday, paying tribute to the event’s inaugural winner Michael Gordon who died recently doing what he loved.
Gordon died participating in a Phillip Island swimming event only a couple of weeks ago.
The former editor of The Age always supported these events and was a great friend of surf lifesaving club which runs the Channel Challenge.
Prior to the start on Saturday, a wreath in his honour was blessed and lifesavers took it out to the water where it guided the way across the channel.
After the minute’s silence, the race began.
While Daniel Mills was first out of the water, Mitchell Kibby stormed across the bridge to regain his title, finishing the race in 12 minutes and six seconds.
Kibby was the senior male champion in 2014, 2015 and 2016, but missed out last year to Nathan Buschkhuel.
Rebecca Henderson was not only this year’s junior female winner, but was also second overall, with a time of 12:50.
Luke Plant finished third overall and was the first local male across the line, while Kara Landells was the first local female.
Other winners included: Ashlee Diston (senior female), Aurel Wachter (veteran male), Karen Maidment-Wood (veteran female), Marcus Bond (masters male), Raeleigh Harris (masters female) and Linus Mayes (junior male).
In total, there were 462 in this year’s Channel Challenge.
Mitch Kibby wins an emotional challenge