WARRNAMBOOL swimmer Brittney Berger has capped off her 2012 season with a win and an eye to bigger milestones in 2013.
Berger, 17, celebrated her Shipwreck Coast Swim Series open class debut with an overall female win in Warrnambool yesterday.
She completed the 1.4-kilometre course in 19 minutes and three seconds.
Warrnambool superfish Isaac Jones was the overall male winner, finishing in 16.02.
Berger will complete the final two legs at Port Fairy and Port Campbell.
The recent Emmanuel College graduate hopes to add another title to her 2011 overall female crown.
Berger said the Shipwreck Coast series was the start of what she hoped would be a bumper year in the water.
“I would have loved to stay and do my training here for swimming,” she said.
“I was looking at a traineeship but didn’t get it, so I am going to Geelong. If I get into my course in Geelong, I will swim down there.
“I love swimming. It’s a work in progress.
“For the next year I am going to put my heart and soul into swimming and see if I can get where I want to go.”
Berger said the warm and reasonably calm conditions at Lady Bay yesterday made the swim enjoyable.
“Last year was heaps choppy and it wasn’t as good a day,” she said.
“It was really cloudy and I couldn’t see where I was going at all. I think I got lost a couple of times.”
Berger will enter the 1.2-kilometre Port Fairy swim on Saturday confident.
“Port Fairy is my favourite. Because you’re on a cliff, you can see where the race is,” she said.
“I hate this one. It’s just because you’re so used to swimming out to the buoys for training but they put the buoys that you’re actually swimming to twice as far out.”
Berger competed in six events at the Victorian age championships, which wrapped up on December 23.
Along with the Shipwreck Coast series, she has pencilled in the Victorian open championships and Pier to Pub as priorities.
“I went all right (at the age championships). I have just finished year 12, so my training hasn’t been spot on or anywhere close to it,” she said.
“But swimming down there I was on my PBs, so I was happy with that.”
Jones, 17, set the pace in the open male section, taking out overall honours in a slick time of 16.02.
Coming off a seven medal-haul at the Victorian age championships, Jones said he was pleased with his ocean water efforts.
“It is always good in the ocean. Every year is good, it’s something different,” he said. “You never know what you’re going to get.”
Jones said the conditions enabled him to break away from the group.
“It was nice to have a bit of time to get your breath back after the start and try and finish strong,” he said.
Jones, who said he would swim the Port Fairy leg, will compete in the 200-metre butterfly at the Victorian open championships.