Michal Skrodzki brings us a pre-race report of the 1.2K Lorne Pier to Pub race in Victoria, Australia. Organized by the Lorne Surf Life Saving Club, 4,300 swimmers are cheered on by 15,000 spectators on a tiny beach hamlet of Lorne, 150K from Melbourne.
The Pier to Pub race is featured on major news channels in Australia while Triple M broadcasts its radio program all day from the Pier to Pub with many local sports, political and TV celebrities making cameo appearances through out the day which include sporting stars, politicians and TV stars.
Swimmers in the SharkBait category (those who have swum the race more than 10 times or more) are given a priority in the entry submission. The race is split into many waves and in age categories. As Michal reports – and what our open water swimming community can appreciate – “Most people don’t enter to win but rather to conquer the course and achieve personal goals and to be able to tell their friends that they have swum the Pier to Pub. Many race their friends, family or just try to beat their time from last year and most end up at the famous pub after the race! The Lorne Pier to Pub encompasses all that is good about sport: fun, fitness and friendship are all main themes of the day.”
For the competitive swimmers, the main race begins in the mid-afternoon when the elite SuperFish category takes off (see video below). According to Michal, this year’s race may be between the pre-race favorite and 2005 champion Nick Cordner, John Van Wisse, Sam Hume, Tristan Read and Leigh Ryan among the men. On the women’s side, Harriet Brown is the pre-race favorite with Holly Burton and Emera Galletly expected to be in the running.
Upper photo by Getty Images. Lower photo by Justin McManus of the The Age.