IT will be a family affair for Dalkeith surgeons Ben and Tim Hewitt on Saturday, as the brothers join forces to take part in the second annual Port to Pub swim to Rottnest Island.
Ben, an orthopaedic surgeon, reluctantly replaced his former high-profile swimming partner Jaime Bowler with his brother, a plastic surgeon, in a bid to reclaim last year’s title.
Ben won the duo category in its inaugural year with Bowler, who is known as one of the best open-water swimmers in Perth.
He said he was now determined to out-do Bowler in a friendly race to the finish line, adding that the only way the duo could lose was if his brother did not perform.
“If we lose, Tim will try and make out that I am responsible,” Ben said.
“But the fact is I do have a 100 per cent success rate in this swim, and if I don’t maintain that success rate the blame is on Tim – after all, the only thing that has changed is my partner.”
Team Hewitt’s overt competitiveness is not limited to their swimming rivals.
“Our jobs are a good reflection of our roles within the team,” Ben said.
“As an orthopaedic surgeon I am the backbone of this team, while Tim being the plastic surgeon is flashier and less vital. He will start and finish the race, but I’ll be doing the hard yards – just you watch.”
Port to Pub event organiser Ceinwen Roberts believes this kind of friendly rivalry makes the event a one-of-a-kind. “The response to last year’s event was phenomenal and we have been overwhelmed by feedback about how encouraging and empowering the whole process was,” she said.
“Many of the swimmers are returning this year and we are also welcoming a whole new contingent of people of all ages and from all backgrounds.
“It is truly living up to its name as the ‘Swim for All’.”
The Port to Pub leaves from Leighton Beach on a 19.75km swim route to Rottnest Island.
Participants can swim as a solo, duo or team of four or six, with the addition of a 25km solo ultra-marathon option providing a platform for the advanced swimmer.