Fremantle Ports Swim Thru raises $5,000 for Fremantle charities
St Pat's and Freo Street Doctor each received $2,500 from the ocean event.

Published: 30/04/2018

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From left are Owen Barrett (Freo Fins), Melanie Watkins (St Pat's), Sarah Tadier (Freo St Doctor), Louise Ainsworth (Swim Thru Coordinator, Freo Fins), Paul Clifton (President, Freo Fins), Jeanette Murray (Fremantle Ports) and David Tydeman (Vice President, Freo Fins) after the Freo Fins' training session at Fremantle Leisure Centre on 28 April

The open-water swimming event held at South Beach, South Fremantle on Saturday 9 December raised $2,500 each for St Patrick's Community Support Centre and the Freo Street Doctor.

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Swimmers before the race on 9 December

 

In total, 286 swimmers finished the swim and the event was deemed a success by organisers, the Fremantle Masters Swimming Club (Freo Fins).

The Fremantle Ports Swim Thru is now one of the key events on Western Australia’s open water swimming calendar.

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The Swim Thru Fremantle was first held in 1922 and was the first ocean water swimming race in WA.

It was also believed to be the longest ocean swimming race in Australia at the time, and was known as 'The Big Swim'.

It started at the Fish Market Jetty and finished at South Beach Jetty (now demolished) at the end of Douro Road, a distance of one and a half miles.

The first race was won by tiny 14-year-old Maisie Boyle, the only female winner in the history of the race. A copy of the teapot Maisie won that day sits atop the current trophy, known as the Maisie Boyle Trophy.

The event was 'reborn' in 2003 and is held at South Beach in December each year by the Freo Fins.

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The club was formed in 1992, and is based at the Fremantle Leisure Centre with a healthy membership of around 100 swimmers from the local community.

Until 2015 the Fremantle Ports Swim Thru was a 1600m (one mile) swim, north along South Beach to the Fremantle Sailing Club groyne, returning to the South Beach kiosk.

In  2016, the event grew to offer 1.25 km, 2.5 km and 5km swims along with the popular 'come and try’ novice event.

The 2017 event successfully continued with the additional distances albeit over a different-shaped course.