Baker is Mandurah’s very own world record holder after competing in the 2013 Masters Swimming National Championships in Sydney.
While there, he set Australian records in the 50m, 100m, 200m and 800m freestyle events.
Then in a supreme effort, Baker ” a grandfather of three ” set a world record in the 400m freestyle event.
Baker is a member of the Mandurah Masters Swimming Club ” a club that has operated in Mandurah for more than 20 years.
‘My performance is better over the longer distances,’ he said.
‘The aim of the masters is fitness, fun and friendship. People come along to improve their health, and competition helps people attain something better.’
Baker is a long-time swimming fanatic. He joined the Scarborough Lifesaving Club as a teenager, is a foundation member of Trigg Surf Lifesaving Club and a life member of Bunbury Surf Lifesaving Club.
‘While at the masters there was only one other bloke in my age group (80-85) who challenged me for my times,’ he said. ‘I went to Italy for the world titles in ’04, but it can get expensive when you look at international comps.’
Baker is the oldest member of the Mandurah club and can complete the 400m freestyle in 7min 2sec.
In comparison, the world record for elite swimmers at peak fitness is just under the four-minute mark.
‘Swimming is a gentle sport, unlike squash or other sports,’ he said.
‘You can swim at all abilities, but to set a record you have to be dedicated. I’ve put in a fair bit of effort,’ Baker said.
He calls his wife Pamela his coach. ‘She’s very supportive and very considerate to me,’ he said.
– See next week’s Times for a special feature on the Mandurah Masters Swimming Club.