70-year-old South Perth man ‘flogging himself’ in preparation for Port to Pub swim to Rottnest Island


South Perth resident Ian Haselby (70).
South Perth resident Ian Haselby (70).

WHILE he has notched up more than 20 swims to Rottnest Island, South Perth resident Ian Haselby has this year challenged himself to complete the third annual Hotel Rottnest Port to Pub swim.

The 70-year-old will join hundreds at Leighton Beach on March 17 for the swim from Leighton Beach to Rottnest Island; a feat he failed to achieve last year because of an unseasonably strong current that saw him abandon the crossing at the 15km buoy.

“It’s something I want to do before I die,” Mr Haselby said.

“I just want to get there; I am not a world beater, just a plodder (but) I love the openness of the ocean (and) its freedom.

“I use it is as a thinking period about the day ahead.”

Apart from his early morning ocean swims, Mr Haselby trains a couple of times a week with Port to Pub event organiser Ceinwen Roberts.

He admitted the training was a challenge but enjoyed it, along with the social element.

“I am the oldest there; most of the others are half my age so I really have to flog myself,” Mr Haselby said.

Ms Roberts said the Port to Pub grew in awareness and popularity each year, but never lost its unique sense of community.

“What really sets the Port to Pub apart from other open water events is its strong sense of community,” Ms Roberts said.

“We have swimmers registering for the first time who never thought this was possible, but they feel welcomed and supported.

“We also have Olympians and champions who see the event as a serious competition and a way to pursue their swimming goals.”

Registrations close March 1.

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