A close RMIT university mate of 38 South Boat Sales managing director Rohan Veal and Melbourne swimmer Glenn Wilson, fought through his pain and exhaustion in a record-breaking swim across Port Phillip Bay, which he dedicated to his late mate and sporting partner.
Starting in Indented Head before the sun rose, Wilson crossed the bay without a shark cage and made it to Frankston in an outstanding time of 10 hours and 10 minutes.
Veal provided a brand new Jeanneau Merry Fisher 695 as lead boat and a Jeanneau Cap Camarat 5.1 as an escort for the long trip across the Bay in what was quite difficult swimming conditions with a 15-20 knot North Westerly in about 1 meter waves.
Wilson beat the previous best time by six hours and 10 minutes and he is one of only eight to have made it the whole way across since 1968. “For the last two hours my shoulder was absolutely killing me and I could not get to the finish line quick enough,” Wilson said “I’ve swam my whole life and it was quite an exclusive challenge with only eight people having swam the bay before. “Even some great ocean swimmers have failed it, so that made me feel good to have achieved what I did.”
Wilson, 38, and Charles Erasmus, 51, were always a passionate pair of swimmers, treating the ocean like a second home. During a major swimming event at Port Phillip Bay on February 22, Mr Erasmus died in the water 300m from the finish line.
With the support of the Erasmus family, Wilson vowed to continue swimming in memory of his friend and the sport he loved. “I spoke to his wife about it and she said, ‘you have to do it’,” Wilson said. “His wife and all his brothers and sisters were at the finish line and it put a bit of a tear in my eye.
“I was certainly thinking about him out there and when it got a bit tough he was at the forefront of my mind.” Wilson used the race as a training exercise for his swim across the English Channel in June.