They’ve done it again!
Queensland junior swimmers Hayden Cotter and Lani Pallister have recorded back-to-back victories in the Lorne Pier to Pub, after successfully taking home the titles in both open and junior categories.
Now in its 39th year, the iconic event, which is heralded as the biggest open water swim in the world, was held on Saturday with more than 5,000 swimmers taking part in the 1.2km swim.
Cotter, who beat both Noah Millard (Junior Cat) and and Sam Sheppard (Superfish) by five seconds, swam the course in 11 minutes and 43 seconds, while Pallister recorded a time of 12 minutes and 19 seconds in the open category and 12 minutes 51 seconds in the junior category.
It came as no surprise that Millard finished a close second, after breaking Olympic gold medallist Kyle Chalmers’ age group record last year in 200m Free.
Speaking to SEN’s breakfast program on Monday morning, Pallister said she was thrilled to claim the prestigious title for the second year in a row, especially with the calibre of swimmers she was lining up against.
“In the senior swim I started out next to most of the boys which was a little bit nerve-racking, but it was really good, I just tried to sit on washes as long as I could,” Pallister said.
“Hayden (Cotter) and Sam (Sheppard) got away at the start but then I ended up sitting on Matt Gilling and Noah Millard for a bit.”
As the field of swimmers assembled on the start line, Pallister said she braced herself for the fierce opening stretch of the race.
“It gets pretty aggressive off the start and I had people telling me I should swim the first 20 metres with my hands closed as fists,” she laughed.
“There’s only forty in the race and there’s a pretty big start line so there’s plenty of room, but everyone seems to bunch up to catch wash.”
At 16-years-old, the Junior Pan Pac gold medallist joked that she was knocked back from the Lorne Pub for being underage, so couldn’t celebrate with the rest of the crowd.
“Hayden and I were talking, because he’s underage as well, and he said, ‘maybe they’ll let us in for a soft drink or something, but they wouldn’t let us in, so we just drove back to Melbourne,” she laughed.
Next year Pallister and Cotter will be able to record their swim via the new Swimming Australia iSwim app. It’s being launched this week and is free to download in the app store for both Apple and Android. Stay tuned to www.swimming.org.au for more details.
WRAP OF WINNERS
Male 1.2km Junior
1st – Hayden Cotter 00:11:43
2nd – Noah Millard 00:11:48
3rd – Drew Green 00:11:57
Male Superfish 1.2km
1st – Hayden Cotter 00:11:43
2nd – Sam Sheppard 00:11:48
3rd – Matt Gilling 00:12:12
Female 1.2km Junior
1st – Lani Pallister00:12:51
2nd – Grace Harris 00:13:24
3rd – Caitlin Huell 00:13:25
Female Superfish 1.2km Open
1st – Lani Pallister 00:12:19
2nd – Sophie Thomas 00:13:29
3rd – Zoe Whitfield 00:13:35
1st – Sam Sheppard (Open) 00:57:54
2nd – Robbe Dilissen (Open) 01:00:32
3rd – Luke Matthews (Open) 01:01:14
1st – Zoe Whitfield (Open) 01:06:13
2nd – Kate Murphy (Open) 01:08:44
3rd – Jasmine Cash (Open) 01:10:28
Photo Credit: Mark Dadswell