THE delayed San Remo Channel Challenge finally got underway in fine and sunny conditions last Saturday but with a tricky wind blowing through The Narrows creating scheduling difficulties for organisers.
Marcel Walkington was first over the line by a clear margin completing the swim in 6:05 and the 2km run in a super-fast 4:43 for an overall total time of 11:25 which was almost a full two minutes ahead of the next best, Tamsyn Moana-Veale (13:16) who spent 47 seconds in transition, allegedly looking for her runners.
As a result, she only narrowly caught third-placed Tristan Price (13:20), a junior male competitor, who finished third overall.
Other top-ten placings went to Winston Kenyon 13:34, Rebecca Henderson 13:35, Nathan Buschkuehl 13:47, James Folvig 14:06, Luke Gold 14:09, Jack Williams 14:13, Walter Hiatt 14:18 In 10th, and local competitor Mark Rowe Mark a tick away in 14:20 in 11th.
But it wasn’t that easy for the others, some of whom were washed towards the San Remo bridge by the incoming tide that was still running through the 550-metre gap between the mainland and the island.
Although the change in tides is estimated at a certain time of day, wind conditions can play havoc with the actual change and organisers may have missed the slack tide and sent competitors out slightly ahead of optimum time.
Those swimmers who paid attention to the race briefing and headed out to the left, took advantage of the run-in tide to post some good times but those who opted for the middle of the course or the right side, ended up battling the tide on the bridge side where numerous competitors were picked up by water safety volunteers.
There was no ill-will however, all agreeing that it wouldn’t be a “challenge” if it was easy.
The race was the last of the Bass Coast Summer Series with race and series prizes awarded afterwards by local MP Russell Broadbent.

More photos in this weeks edition of the South Gippsland Sentinel-Times.
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