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A Freezing Swim In The Nepean River

A Freezing Swim in the Nepean River

The first Sunday in December became the race date for a number years from 1984. The race stayed in the Nepean River but moved down the river 3kms to Tench Reserve where it would remain until 1998.

1984 will be remembered by many for the unusually cold water (about 15C) as Warragamba Dam was forced to open its gates the day before. This caused a number of competitors to withdraw with hypothermia (as wetsuits in triathlon were not commonplace in those days).

Race winners were Kevin Charman and Gaylene Clews who both went onto make their name in the sport of triathlon. Gaylene in particular was a pioneer for women on the US triathlon circuit winning and placing in many events during the 1980’s. Gaylene was formerly married to Australian marathon champion Robert De Castella’s and now runs an elite Sports Psychologist practice in Canberra.