Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : February 7, 2017 Edition Contents THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2017 - PAGE 33
Saturday 11 February 2017
18 categories Event T-shirt+swimcap New split timing system
Register 8.00am – 12.15pm Marshal 12.30pm Start 12.45pm
$3450 cash prizes • Local competitor prizes
Family carnival • Market • Live music
Animal nursery • Fashion parade • Tug of war
PART OF BASS SUMMER SERIES
Cape Paterson Aquathon
RUN, SWUM AND WON! RESULTS ONLINE
SATURDAY 18 FEBRUARY
ENTER ONLINE TODAY
Designed by Matter matter.net.au
As part of trafc management and safety
precautions for this event, there will be
changed trafc conditions at San Remo.
Please be advised that Marine Parade will be
closed between Bergin Grove and Woolamai
Grove from 9.00am until 5.00pm.
Bergin Grove will be closed between Mary
Grove and Marine Parade from 12.45pm until
1.30pm. Parking restrictions will apply in Bergin
Grove and Thomas Grove.
Trafc will be one way in each direction on
the San Remo bridge during the race between
12.30pm and 1.30pm. Race starts at 12.45pm.
For any enquires please contact Council’s
Coordinator Events, Frank Angarane on the
1300 BCOAST (226 278) or (03) 5671 2211.
Remo – Channel
Challenge, Saturday, 11 February
THE San Remo Channel Challenge is an
iconic event on San Remo’s calendar, and many
budding young local athletes eagerly await their
15th birthday which is when they become old
enough to compete.
Phillip Island’s Luke Plant was one of those.
He started at the Cape Woolamai Surf Life
Saving Club as a nipper when he was six years
He quickly established himself in the event,
taking out the junior local male category in
2008 and 2009, before going on to win the local
male category in 2013, 2014 and 2016.
He finished second overall last year against
all-comers who include professional athletes.
Plant has only missed one Channel Chal-
lenge, on his cousin’s wedding day.
A keen competitor in all of the Bass Coast
Summer Series events, it was a team event that
fuelled his interest in competing.
“I got into the whole series because Hamish
Harrison asked me to be his partner for the
Cowes Classic – he was a pretty handy runner
and knew I did swimming,” Plant said.
“I teamed up with him and we did pretty well
in the team category, and that gave me bit of
taste for it.
“I thought ‘Hey, I don’t mind doing running’,
then after that started doing by myself.
“The prize pool and challenge of trying to win
the overall series is a big attraction.
“Now it’s a constant rivalry year on year be-
tween myself and Mark Rowe for the local cat-
Rowe has been a mainstay of the local cat-
egory for the past 10 years, winning six times,
including five consecutive years from 2007 to
Neither of the pair has won the overall race,
which is dominated by visiting professionals
and has been won by Mitchell Kibby for the
past three years.
Plant said it’s always tough to compete against
“I probably focus on a lot of different aspects
of fitness like surfing, but it’s been a good in-
centive to keep a good base level of fitness dur-
ing the year,” he said.
He said the Channel Challenge is always an
“There’s a bigger vibe around it than any of
the three events of the series,” he said.
“It’s easier because its bit shorter, but harder
in a way because you have to go at a higher in-
tensity for the whole time. Having everyone lin-
ing up at the bridge as you run over is pretty
“Being an event run by Woolamai SLSC is
good as well because I’ve got the whole team be-
hind me, whereas Cape Aquathon doesn’t have
as many clubbies there.
“The prize pool is good at the Channel Chal-
lenge too. Even as a junior the local sponsors
are awesome. I remember getting a couple of
“The last two years we’ve had a trivia night
for the local clubbies back at the surf lifesav-
ing club so there’s a bit of a social aspect after
doing hard yards of organising and packing up.
It’s good to have a fun night after.”
Locals rule the Channel
Phillip Island’s Luke Plant crosses the line in the Cape Aquathon recently. Plant will be
locked in a battle for the local male category with Mark Rowe at this Saturday’s Channel Chal-
lenge, with Luke winning three of the past four years and Mark triumphing in 2015. rg030617
ORGANISERS of the annual Channel Chal-
lenge have seen an event that started with 57
competitors grow into the biggest aquathon in
Victoria, with 600-plus competitors on a num-
ber of occasions.
Ron Nicholson of the Woolamai Surf Life Sav-
ing Club has been involved with the event for 20
to 25 years, and was the main race organiser
alongside Dennis Harris for many years.
He said he enjoys the uniqueness of the event.
“It’s unique with the swim from mainland
to the Island and the fact you have to wait for
the tide to swap and you’ve only 20 minutes to
cross so you have to time it right,” he said.
“The amphitheatre effect of the event is great.
With spectators up on bridge and on the jetty
they can see people swim across and run back.
Everyone that does the event appreciates when
you’re running across the bridge, there’s people
“The main thing Dennis and I enjoy is the in-
teraction with the local community. There are
so many different local organisations involved
with the event, like the Police, SES, Nature
Parks, council, the footy clubs, the schools, Li-
ons Club, Rotary Club. They all sit on the orga-
nising committee and we all work together. It’s
a great way for the lifesaving club personnel to
get to know the community and vice versa.
“The day itself has become quite a festival
for that part of world. It’s San Remo and Ne-
whaven’s big day of the year.”
The 68 year-old is a doubtful starter in this
year’s race after suffering a chest infection, but
he’ll be aiming for next year so he can compete
with his grandchildren.
Ron and Dennis are still involved with the or-
ganising of the event and have been mentoring
Mick Sullivan for the past couple of years, who
has now taken over as official chair of the orga-
Ron said the Channel Challenge gives organ-
isers great pride.
“For this type of event it’s the biggest. That’s
quite satisfying and a source of pride to every-
one involved,” he said.
“We all love the exposure it gives to the Island
and San Remo and we all enjoy the day and
Long-time event organiser Ron Nicholson
is looking forward to this Saturday’s 32nd
Channel Challenge. G110816
Sense of pride for
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