Warrnambool family contest Shipwreck Coast Swim Series series

A WARRNAMBOOL family will complete the Shipwreck Coast Swim Series as a group for the first time.

Peter Varley and his wife Donna and their children Tobin, 15, and Naticia, 12, have taken on the three-course challenge, which starts with the Warrnambool Surf Life Saving Club’s Tony Ryan Memorial Bay Swim on December 30.

Peter, Donna and Tobin will tackle the 1.4-kilometre swim, with Naticia entered in the 400-metre novice category.

The Shipwreck Coast Swim Series carries different challenges for each member of the active family.

Peter and Tobin completed the 2011-12 series while Donna and Naticia are first-time entrants. “They’ve got a minimum age of 14 on the long swim, which is good now they have brought in the smaller swim,” Peter said.

“Hopefully they will have a  lot of juniors. Naticia has just turned 12 so she is eligible for the 400 metres.

“So this will be her first one of these. It’s a bit of fun and completes the set of the family doing it.”

Peter said his aim was to be “back before the barbecue finishes”. 

“People swim for the challenge. They are racing their own ability,” he said.

“There are some elite swimmers in there who will do really well but it is fantastic for people to give it a go when you have the safety of the surf club and the water safety.

“I have done two. I did the full series for the first time last year and the year before I did Warrnambool.

“To do the first one is a bit intimidating when you have so many people starting and in the water and that is probably why it puts a lot of people off.

“That’s why it’s really good they’ve got an introductory one, a 400-metre one, so people can actually give it a go and hopefully it will lead them on to doing the full one if they have a good experience.”

Donna said friends, family and fitness were her main reasons for registering.

“I like to call them a swim, not a race. I’d like to see how it is each day and see how I enjoy it,” she said.

“I have been doing some swimming lessons with the tri club so I will see if I can take it to the ocean.

“I am generally a flat water swimmer, a pool with a dotted line at the bottom.”

Tobin wants to better his time from last year. “It got pretty choppy out at Port Campbell,” he said.

“I preferred the conditions out at Port Fairy and it was a good, sunny day.”

The Shipwreck Coast Swim Series’ Warrnambool leg starts at 11am on December 30.

The annual series, which also includes the Port Fairy Moyneyana Ocean Swim on January 5 and Port Campbell Twelve Apostles Plunge on January 20.


Peter Varley, Naticia Varley, Tobin Varley and Donna Lund are ready to swim.

Peter Varley, Naticia Varley, Tobin Varley and Donna Lund are ready to swim.


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