Brendan Capell and Shelley Clark recently won the Australian 25K national championship, qualifying them for the 2009 World Swimming Championships. After Rome, they will be heading to England to participate in the Great Channel Swim across the English Channel.
Brendan (shown on left), the 2004 world 25K champion, outsprinted his training partner David Browne, winning by slim 6 seconds. Shelley Clark (shown below) had a much easier time winning by 800 meters.
In discussions with Brendan about the English Channel, he says, "I'm very excited about this oppotunity. Not so much nervous as I have done a lot of long swims before and to be able to swim the channel has always been a dream of mine. Thanks to Nova-International, this race will make it possible sooner that I could achieve. To be able to swim what is the 'Everest' or pinnacle of marathon swimming in a race format against the world's best is awesome and will do great things for the interest and health in our sport."
"The Lac St Jean [professional marathon] is the closest race to the [English] channel that I have done and both time I have done it I have finished quite strongly and handled the conditions well."
Shelley tells a similar story, "I am super excited about having the opportunity to not only swim the English Channel, but to be able to race it. It has always been a swim I wanted to do, but never thought I would have the opportunity too, due to the costs that come with individual crossings of the Channel."
An incredible summer is coming up in Europe for two of Australia's best marathon swimmers. We wish them good luck.