As part of its plan to develop great open water swimmers, Swimming Australia organizes a 6-part Open Water Swimming Grand Prix with AUS$24,000 in prize money available for the top male and female 10K competitors.
The series is coordinated with each of the Australian state association’s Open Water Swimming State Championships.
Four races have already been concluded, including the Queensland State Championships in Kawana Waters on October 11th, the Victoria State Championships Swimming Australia in Hazelwood Pondage on October 19th, the South Australia State Championships in Brighton Beach on November 9th, the New South Wales State Championships in the Sydney International Regatta Centre on November 30th.
The Western Australia State Championships in Sorrento Beach will be held on January 25, 2009 and the Tasmania State Championships in Hobart will be held on January 31, 2009.
The top young Australia open water swimmers will also compete in the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championship 10K race in Tumon Bay, Guam on January 12th, 2009. Belinda Bennett (shown above) will compete in both the pool and 10K race.
Australia’s national open water swimming coach Greg Towle has every right to be very excited about Australia’s future talent. "Swimming Australia plans to develop distance swimmers in the pool and in the open water – and to have swimmers coming into open water from the pool and still swimming pool events is very encouraging. Someone like Belinda Bennett, who qualified for the pool team in her own right and then made the open water team is certainly a credit to her and her coach Nick Veliades. Our guys are starting to learn how to swim smarter and that will hold them in good stead for future competitions."