IF Chittering resident Angela Whittaker had been told 18 months ago that she would swim unaided around the longest jetty in the southern hemisphere, she would not have believed it.
Eighteen months ago, Ms Whittaker could not swim.
Ms Whittaker (39) is now preparing to tackle the 3.6km solo SunSmart Busselton Jetty Swim on February 12.
She developed an interest in multisport events after watching her triathlete husband compete around the world.
There was only one obstacle to achieving her goal – Ms Whittaker had a deep-seated fear of putting her face in the water and could not swim.
Early in 2015, she made the commitment to face her fear by visiting the public pool with a friend three times a week.
“Initially, all my friend and I did was do breaststroke with our heads out of the water,” she said.
“From there, I progressed to putting my head under the water in the 25-metre pool, but struggled to breathe naturally with each stroke.”
With her husband and friends’ encouragement every step of the way, Ms Whittaker progressed to swimming the length of the 50-metre pool without taking a break.
She is now an active member of North Coast Triathlon Club and swims regularly with other club members, getting up at 4.30am twice a week to swim two kilometres.
Ms Whittaker’s proudest sporting moment was completing the 1.9km swim next to the Busselton Jetty in her very first Busselton 70.3 event in May 2016.
She now has her eyes firmly set on smashing this and completing the challenging 3.6km swim around the same jetty next month.
The SunSmart Busselton Jetty Swim weekend incorporates a range of family-friendly entertainment across the weekend of February 11 and 12, culminating in a family concert with Shannon Noll from 1pm on February 12.
The full weekend event schedule can be found at www.busseltonjettyswim.org.au.
Chittering’s Angela Whittaker (centre) is preparing to tackle the 3.6km SunSmart Busselton Jetty Swim solo next month.