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Rottnest Swim

Nearly 20 kms, incredibly early start, stingers, possible sharks…. not my idea of a fun day, but thousands disagree. Today was the annual Cottesloe to Rottnest Island Swim. I was so delighted to hear that Deane Pieters won the solo men’s race. Deane swam in the same swim club, City of Perth, as three of my cousins did, way back in his teenage days. As a Summer Holidays visitor to stay with my cousins, I tagged along to early morning and afternoon squad training, and the endless summer competitions.

And I will admit here, that it was the prospect of speaking to Deane that kept me keen! I had the biggest crush on him, at the tender age of 15. I could pick his arm stroke, one arm slightly crooked, in the manner of swimmers who also competed in surf lifesaving, amongst the hundreds of flying arms crowding the lanes of Beatty Park. I willed him to win at swimming meets, and was one of his biggest fans when he made it to the 1992 Olympic Games. I felt his heartbreak at being disqualified in the relay in the same Games.

And yet, he barely knew I existed. Oh well, life goes on and I found my homme and didn’t look back. In fact I have bumped into Deane a couple of times as an adult. He attended my cousin’s funeral about 6 years ago and he actually remembered me, and my name!!!! We chatted about our children. He is now the Marketing Manager for the Eagles and a couple of years ago while homme and I were at a private function at an Eagles’ Game, (being wined and dined by our bank), he popped over to our table to say hi again.

Congratulations Deano, and I am glad the sharks left you alone 🙂

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