Shark ends Ironman triathlon swim.
I did the Western Australia full Ironman in 2012, swam right around the jetty and visibility was amazing, saw a few sting rays, some fish and a lot of sand, but no sharks.
The 2017 70.3 was an entirely different story… I was in the last start wave to go out, we had waited anxiously on the beach while wave after wave set out into the blue. Finally we got our turn and we were under way, visibilty in the water was poor, the sea was flat but the water was murky, nothing like 2012. Surprisingly the thought of sharks hadn’t entered my mind, typically during an Australian event the theme to jaws plays consistently in my mind – Mandurah 70.3 twice, IM Melbourne, IM Port Mac and IM Cairns – Crocs and Sharks….and jellyfish, but today I was comfortable, I felt I had swum well and I was just about to pass the last marker buoy about 200 – 250m from shore when all hell broke loose! I could hear the whizz of outboard propellers in the water, jet skis dashed across the course and kayakers paddled in front of the swimmers. Sensing something was amiss I stopped and lifted my fogged up goggles onto my bright pink swimming cap, a woman in a kayak yelled “get on the ski!” confused I looked around, and then behind to see a large surf life saving boat with about 20-30 swimmers with bright pink caps standing on board. The seriousness of the situation had begun to dawn on me, as did the likely cause. At that moment I lifted my feet, as if to stay as high in the water as possible, (why I don’t know) I began to paddle to the jet ski when an inflatable dinghy appeared beside me and I was plucked from the sea by David Hasselhoff. It was a surreal experience to say the least!
The surf life saving team were incredible and I don’t think any of us were ever in any real danger, every one was ferried to the beach and the TO’s scanned our timing chips and away we went. I’m told approximately 100 of the 193 swimmers in my group were pulled from the ocean. A big thank you to Busselton surf life saving and Triathlon WA.
Needless to say I posted a swim PB of 33mins, I was at 32mins when i was pulled into the boat so by rough estimation I was on for 35-36mins, I also posted PB’s in both the bike and run perhaps I was worried Megladon had invested in a TT bike and some running shoes.
The Busso 70.3 was my 25th IM or Half IM event and so far the most memorable for obvious reasons, my next race is the Edinburgh 70.3…..tell me sharks are extinct in the north sea…….