Andy Donaldson Wins Rottnest Channel Swim, Proving It’s Never Too Late To Fulfill Your Dreams
Seven-time world champion Shelley Taylor-Smith said of his swim, “When you consider the not-so-favorable conditions for the Rottnest Channel Swim, Andy’s win shows you not only his physical stamina, but his champion mindset that enabled him to stay focused despite Mother Nature attempting to distract him and teach him a lesson or two.”
He recalled his upset victory, “It was quite the journey. I was certainly underdog going in – we had a strong field that year with a couple of kids on the Australian Dolphins team.
When my coach Eoin Carroll and I decided to go for it, we had to be smart with our approach. We focused on quality training and racing smarter and this translated to only swimming five sessions a week, though these were quality. I luckily had a great team around to swim with receive advice from – I called on a few favors from City of Perth legends like Simon Huitenga, Heidi Gan, and Travis Nederpelt.
There were a few hiccups with COVID. Perth entered into a statewide lockdown one month before the swim, but other than that, we had a fairly clean 10 months to prepare. And on the day with the solid preparation, it was a case of turning up and executing.
The focus was for us to put together the best swim, and fortunately that resulted in a strong win (7 minutes ahead of second place) and almost beating the record in pretty average conditions.
A large part of getting back in was to try inspire others that it’s ‘never too late to fulfil your dreams’. ”
This year, his dream realization continues with his setting of a new record in the 34 km Derwent River Marathon in Tasmania in 5 hours 35 minutes and a win in the 27 km Palm Beach to Shelley Beach Marathon Swim in New South Wales in 6 hours 5 minutes.
2021 Rottnest Channel Swim Top 10 Overall:
- Andrew Donaldson 4:04:30.10
- William Rollo 4:10:59.42
- Kyle Lee 4:11:42.63
- Max Coten 4:19:09.79
- Byron Kimber 4:22:23.11
- Max Anderson Loake 4:23:27.97
- Chloe Truscott 4:33:20.01 – first female
- Jose Page 4:41:06.60 – second female
- Emily Miers 4:45:50.28 – third female
- Laura Shryock 4:45:57.78 – fourth female
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