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Eighteenth birthday gift to remember – Cormac Guthrie Wins the Bondi Bluewater Challenge

Cormac wins by three seconds
LIFESAVER and university student Cormac Guthrie made placing on hold his birthday celebrations all worthwhile by winning the blue-riband 2.1km Bondi Bluewater Challenge ocean swim.

The Bondi Bluewater’s top three Nico Love, Cormac Guthrie and Stuart Swinburn and (above) the racers get cracking. Pictures: Peter Cameron

Guthrie, who turned 18 on Saturday, on Sunday narrowly beat – by a mere three seconds – prominent University of NSW stillwater swimmer Stuart Swinburn, with Coogee resident and Bronte Surf Life Saving Club member Nico Love third.
“Stuart led for most of the way and I just edged him out,” a jubilant Guthrie said.
Love, 14, earlier showed what a great talent he is, finishing ahead of Guthrie in the men’s 1km swim.
After winning the women’s 1km race, Kate Dryden, from Thirroul, backed up to finish third in the 2.1km race, which was won by Jacqui Schafer, of Cremorne.
Ashley Finegan, who finished second and five seconds behind Schafer, is the daughter of former Australian rugby union forward Owen Finegan.
It was proven there is no substitute for youth with the top three placegetters in all four ocean swims also duplicating placings in the 13-19 years age category.
A total of 622 swimmers entered the races, hosted by Bondi Surf Bathers Life Saving Club, and swam in a challenging and choppy surf with strong cross currents.
Event organiser Grant Baldock said they were pleased with the turnout after the original event was cancelled due to poor weather conditions in February.
“It was really, really pleasing,” Baldock said.
“We’ve established a good platform for the future and we’ve shown that it can be more than just an ocean swim by successfully running the beach fun run and also the nippers’ challenge for the first time.”
Baldock said they would consider adding some sort of paddling race, either standup or ski, to next year’s event schedule.
Reproduced from the Wentworth Courier of Wednesday, May 3″
Eighteenth birthday gift to remember – Cormac Guthrie Wins the Bondi Bluewater Challenge

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