For Michael Lewandowski and Crystal Maruna, the male and female winners of the Salt 66 5km Strand Swim, the event was not only their qualifying swim for the Subway Magnetic Island Race, but also perfect preparation for their assault on the Coolangatta Gold to be held on the Gold Coast in October.
The seasoned surf lifesavers lead home a pack of 88 swimmers competing in the 5km and 2.5km races held on the Strand on Saturday morning. Lewandowski finished in a time of 59min 34 sec, some 5minutes ahead of second placed Maruna (1hr 4m 56 s). In the Sportsco 2.5km race Fred Von Knorring just beat Stefaan Demopoulos with Karina Crocker, the first female, coming in third overall. Four siblings of the Martinez family, Rod, Chris, Paul and Antonia used the 2.5km swim to prepare for their relay swim in the Subway Magnetic Island Swim.
A perfect Townsville winter's day of brilliant sunshine, calm conditions and big bright pink buoys greeted swimmers who swam under the watchful eyes of Picnic Bay and Arcadian Surf lifesavers and other paddlers.The winner of the 2008 Magnetic Island Race, Sam Hoffman, gave up the chance to swim to provide water safety for the Sportsco Junior 1km race which was won by Harry Braddick. Sam's younger brother Jordan was second with Patrick Conn third.
Townsville Open Water Swim Association President, John Barrett, praised the efforts of the junior swimmers and congratulated the 55 swimmers completed the 5km course and the 33 who did the 2.5km circuit.
Barrett said that he was very pleased with the number of swimmers, many from out of Townsville, who are preparing for the Magnetic Island Swim to be held on 18 July (entries close on 20 June).
Womens Veterans 5km Claire Lawson 01:13:06; Moo Soter 01:15:01; Donna Burns 01:19:07
Mens Veterans 5km Brad Ryder 01:09:04; Bruce Muller 01:13:22; Greg Messer 01:14:31
Womens Open 2.5km Karina Crocker 33:53; Lee Zahner 34:47; Kerri Thomas 37:52
Mens Open 2.5km Fred Von Knorring 33:13; Stefaan Demopoulos 33:28; Luke Heery 35:55
Womens Veterans 2.5km Cindy McCuthan 42:54; Michelle Monaghan 51:38; Hazel Wilton 56:40
Mens Veterans 2.5km Garth Doyle 37:44; Rod Martinez 47:30; Chris & Paul Martinez 51:17