144 swimrunners took part in the third edition of the Breca Jersey swimrun on Saturday, racing up to 54 kilometres around the Jersey coastline between Gorey Castle and Portelet.
Historically calm seas saw records set throughout the field.
In the 19km ‘sprint’ distance, Rob Codling and David Paddon of ‘Putney Sports Club’ edged out Reimar Petursson and Birgir Mar Ragnarsson of team ‘R-n-B’ after some unfortunate footwork by the visiting Icelandic team in the last 300m of the race. Their course record of 3:08 was a 32 minute improvement on last year’s time; in total, 16 teams went faster than the previous best.
The Women’s and Mixed categories were won by local teams ‘Whispering Angels’ - Lou Bracken-Smith and Kirstie Clutton, and ‘The Roderick Legge’ - Della Roderick and John Legge, setting course records of 3:24 and 3:25 respectively.
Elsewhere in the field, Team Hughes, Ben and Kate Hughes, had to withdraw after Kate suffered a nasty fall 2.2km from the finish and had to be evacuated from the course. Team Hughes are fundraising for Diabetes Jersey, if you’d like to support them you can donate and read their story here.
The 54km full-distance course was was won by returning champions Richard Tanguay and Nick Thorne, team ‘Horny Nutella’. The Jersey duo lead from the front, holding off the challenge from Ben Casson and Andy Child, team ‘Ugly Ducklings’, to finish in 7:25. This was enough to secure the victory, but not enough to overcome the 7:06 course record set in 2016 by ‘Deauville Triathlon’, Stéphne Sibout and Benjamin Thevenon.
Husband-and-wife team Richard Worth and Philippa Worth, ‘Is it really worth it’ finished in 7:39, placing third overall, setting a course record and winning the Mixed category. They were swiftly followed by Katie Silva and Melissa Messervy, team “Where are the bikes?”, who finished in 7:44 - fourth overall and smashing the previous Women’s record.
Bar the Men’s Sprint, it was a clean sweep for Jersey teams. Local knowledge and being able to practise the course plays its part, but really it speaks to the quality and depth of athletes on the island. If you’ve never been to Jersey, it’s a humbling place to race.
Thanks to the volunteers, the water safety teams and to everyone else who made the event possible. Breca Jersey is always a special race, we can’t wait for the 4th edition on 7th September 2019. Hope to see you there!