Friday, February 20, 2009

Early start

A few hours to go.

Good luck to all the swimmers tomorrow. Just think of the beautiful island as you plough through Gage Roads and you'll be there in no time.

We would be with you, but nuptial commitments mean we will be far, far away from the coast.

Here's a marvelous story about some marvelous swimmers. It's also on the front page of tomorrow's Post. The pic is by brilliant photographer Paul McGovern.


Red Frogs? Check. Custom-made Bare Essentials togs? Check. Dad in the support boat? Check. A good night's sleep? Check.

Three Earl girls and their friend Katherine are all set to help their mate Patrick.

The fearless foursome will plunge into the water at Cottesloe Beach and swim to Rottnest on Saturday to raise funds for diabetes research.

Jessie Earl, 22, and her sisters Maggie (18) and Cathryn (15) and Katherine Loughnan (15) will get up at about 5am before their wave leaves the beach at seven-thirty.

They'll be thinking about Patrick during the four-and-a-half hours it takes them to get to Thomson Bay.

“I've had type 1 diabetes since I was ten months old,” Patrick told the POST.

“I'm insulin-dependent, so anything the girls can raise towards research will be good enough.”

It's the sixth time Jessie has swum to raise money for diabetes.

She's being doing the swim since she was 12.

Saturday will be Katherine's first Rottnest swim. It will be Cathryn's second, and the third or fourth for Maggie.

“We'll take turns at five to ten-minute shifts in the water,” Jessie said.

“During the swim we eat Mars Bars, and Starbust and Red Frog lollies.”

The Earls aren't slouches in the water: last year they were second out of all groups of four.

Katherine is excited about swimming to the beautiful island for the first time.

“I'm enthusiastic, fit and ready to rumble,” she said.

Jessie said she wasn't nervous and the team was well-prepared.

“The biggest obstacle is the cold and trying to keep warm,” she said.

“We're taking lots of towels.”

Sharks weren't a worry.

“There are so many boats and people in the water they're not a concern,” Jessie said.

The girls will be watched over by Mr Earl in a boat and Patrick's dad paddling beside them.

Patrick won't be in the water with his friends.

“I'll be catching the 10am ferry from North Fremantle and meeting them over there,” he said.

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