2016 Rottnest Channel Training – Part 1

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This week I thought I’d start posting a blog to document our training for the 2016 Rottnest Channel Swim in February.

Around this time last year, fellow Nunawading Orcas squad member and long time ‘swim twin’ Pablo Pizzuto asked if I’d like to do the Rotto swim with him in 2016. At first I was a little unsure as, other than as a member of a large relay team, I’d rarely swum any further than 2km in an open water event. But this was the start of the 2014/15 season, one that would become my biggest to date.

I decided to sign up to the Great Victorian Swim Series (GVSS) and set myself some goals including swimming double distance events, one long distance (anything over 2.5km) followed by a shorter distance on the same day. My longest swim for that season was the Mount Martha Australia Day swim, which was 5kms. I’d also received a late request to join one of Chloë McCardel’s channel swimmers, Don Wilson, and join him for a duo in the Bloody Big Swim, one that Pablo was going to swim as a solo but an event that was subsequently cancelled due to bad weather.

With the exception of missing one short event, I managed to swim the minimum of five long distance events to collect enough points for an equal first in the long distance non-wetsuit category, and second place in the short distance non-wetsuit category. Had I swum a fifth short distance I would have won that category outright.

Although not registered for the GVSS, Pablo had an equally great season having completed similar swims successfull, including his #BucketListSwim to Escape from Alcatraz in September.

After such a successful season and achieving the goals we’d set ourselves I certainly felt more prepared to take on the Rotto challenge with Pablo so agreed that we would start focussing on training and logistics.

Things started to get real when we managed to book some cheap flights to Perth. This may have been a little premature as entries for the 2016 Rottnest Channel Swim hadn’t opened yet.

Pablo, who swims with Black Ice Open Water Swim Club throughout the colder months in Melbourne, had managed to get fellow swimmer Harry Commins to organise our boat, captain and paddler. One who has plenty of Rottnest experience and has captained for Black Ice for a number of years running.

Although we had all the relevant information for our registration, and I was online the minute registrations opened, there was a very tight cutoff time to fill in all our details. They didn’t tell us about the short introduction text to include causing my first attempt to time out. My second attempt was successful but we still weren’t gauranteed a spot. We had to wait for final confirmation in the ballot with a few more nervous weeks of waiting. Finally confirmation was received and we could now book our accommodation, organising a hire car and start training in earnest.

We’ve now also set up our fundraising page and have already made a great start. We are currently leading the team fundraising chart and we’re also one of the top ten fundraisers.

2016 Rottnest Channel Swim Here We Come

We’ll aim to to keep all our supporters up to date via this blog and provide our training statistics on our fundraising page.

In the lead up to Rotto we’ll increase our training and take part in some longer distance solo swims including Master Swimming Victoria‘s 100 x 100s, Victoria Swimming’s OW Championships, the Bloody Big Swim and Mount Martha Australia Day Swim.

If you have a spare dollar or two why not support our efforts and help raise money and awareness for autism spectrum disorder (ASD – autism) with money raised going to Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect). Don’t have any money to help, that’s fine. We’d be ever so grateful if you could share our page or interact with us on social media to extend our reach. We look forward to your comments and always enjoy a little encouragement.

Just don’t mention the sharks!

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