Wind and cold threatens Port to Pub swim

Amy Reid contemplates her swim to Rottnest on Saturday.

Cloudy and windy weather predicted for this Saturday has swimmers concerned the Hotel Rottnest Port to Pub swim may not go ahead.

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast cloudy weather with the possibility of rain and a maximum of 23 degrees.

First-time competitor 20-year-old Amy Reid said her biggest concerns were the strong winds and the cool temperature.

“The wind means we will probably be swimming a lot further than we originally planned on,” she said.

“We’re worried about getting cold and because we’re a bit younger and smaller, we get quite cold quite quickly so we’ve got to make sure we regulate our body temperature.

“It’s not going to be easy.”

The 19.75km course starts at the Fremantle Surf Lifesaving Club at Leighton Beach and will finish at Hotel Rottnest, with cut-off times at checkpoints throughout the course.

A decision whether to go ahead with the race will not be made until Saturday morning, meaning swimmers will need to be prepared to swim in potentially difficult conditions.

The final decision will be made by a race director, in conjunction with the Port to Pub committee, who are guided by the Bureau of Meteorology, the Fremantle Volunteer Sea Rescue Group and the Department of Transport.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the wind speed is predicted to reach 31 knots in a south-westerly direction.

Course map of the Port to Pub swim.

Paddler Eliza Huck, who will be looking after Ms Reid’s team, said a big swell could cause problems.

“If the wind is going to pick up, there is going to be a big swell, so that is going to make it harder to maintain a straight course, keep a good pace and control where the swimmers are going,” she said.

“As the paddler, that is up to me to make sure they don’t go off track.”

Ms Reid said she and her team would hate for the race to be cancelled because their hard work would have been for nothing.

The team started training in November with three-to-four swimming sessions a week, in addition to working on their general fitness.

“I would be really, really disappointed if it gets called off just because we’ve been training for so long and put so much time and effort in,” Ms Reid said.

“But if it does get called off, I know it is in the best interests of everyone, so I trust the organisers to keep us in mind.

“We’ll just have to wait and see, and I’ve got my fingers crossed.”

Competitors will not receive a refund of their race fee if the event is cancelled.

See Amy’s training and her thoughts for the swim on the weekend here.

Photos and footage: Emily Garbett.