Wright breaks Rottnest Channel Swim record

Wright breaks Rottnest Channel Swim record
Wright breaks Rottnest Channel Swim record
Wright breaks Rottnest Channel Swim record

THE first three male and female solo swimmers across the finish line at the Rottnest Channel Swim on Saturday, including record-breaking Solomon Wright, hail from Perth City Swimming Club.

First female Heidi Gan is the President of the club that is based at Beatty Park Leisure Centre and Perth College.

The Mt Lawley resident said Samantha Watts and Josie Page, who finished second and third, trained with Wright as well as the second and third placed men Bradley Smith and Andrew Donaldson.

However, Wright now trains on the Gold Coast.

The former Bicton resident who attended Christian Brothers College crossed in 3hrs 59mins 28sec, faster than the record of 4hrs 15sec set by Mark Saliba in 2000.

Wright said he was happy with the win and the record was just the “cherry on top”.

“It was a bit of a rough day. The conditions were ok but there was a bit of swell a few kilometres out where it felt like I was going nowhere,” he said.

Dual Olympian and lawyer Gan said she didn’t know how close her teammates were until the 10km mark and then just focused on reaching them.

Dalkeith plastic surgeon Tim Hewitt was the first duo across the line with 16-year-old Byron Kimba.

However, the annual event was not without drama with more than 100 swimmers forced to abandon the race at the 12km mark after a great white shark was sighted.

Rottnest Channel Swim protocol requires any swimmers within 1km of a shark sighting to exit the water, ending their race prematurely.

Fremantle Sea Rescue also rescued five people from a 9m support boat that sank about 8km from Cottesloe Beach.