News Good Weather Attracts Big Field to 2015 PAYCE Cronulla Shark Island Swim
30 March 2015: This year’s PAYCE Cronulla Shark Island Swim and the shorter PAYCE Cronulla Beach Fun Swim attracted a total of 783 starters, the biggest field for the past four years.
Jesse Goodyear and Taylar Puskaric were first back to the beach in their respective men’s and women’s divisions in the 2.3 kilometre PAYCE Cronulla Shark Island Swim, repeating their winning performances from last year.
Jesse Goodyear, who became the event’s youngest winner last year at the age of 15, beat home a field of 465 finishers and improved on last year’s time by nearly one minute, finishing the swim in 27:54 minutes. Second outright was Jay Turness with a time of 28:07 followed closely by third placegetter, Alex Clarke with a time of 28:12 minutes.
The first woman home, Taylar Puskaric finished seventh outright with a time of 29:41 minutes, leading home a field of 155 women. Second to finish in the women’s division was Emily Lavender, with a time of 31:02 minutes.
The one kilometre PAYCE Cronulla Beach Fun Swim was won by Lachlan Vitnell, with Samantha Kennedy the first woman to cross the line in fifth place outright.
In perfect weather conditions, Deputy Mayor, Carmelo Pesce flagged away competitors in the PAYCE Cronulla Shark Island event in two waves with the fastest group leading the charge down the beach. Representing the events’ principal sponsor, PAYCE, was Chris Ryan who was joined by special guest and Olympian, Jane Flemming to get the Fun Swim underway an hour earlier.
Outstanding performances in the senior ranks went to Georgene McKenzie-Hicks, the event’s oldest competitor at age 87, who completed the Shark Island swim in a respectable time of 56:14 minutes, beating 34 competitors home and improving on her time last year by two and a half minutes. Also deserving of recognition for determination and a great performance was 64 year-year old Paul Croft, a four times Paralympian. Despite three knee reconstructions and a serious bike accident in recent years, Paul, an arm amputee, completed the 2.3 kilometre swim in 67:07 minutes to improve on last year’s time by nearly 10 minutes.
PAYCE’s Managing Director, Brian Boyd congratulated each of the winners and thanked Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club and its band of volunteers for making the day a great success.
“There is no better organised family-oriented event of its type anywhere, nor a better venue. Once again, Cronulla excelled with a magnificent day, wonderful weather and safe conditions in the water,” he said.
“Without doubt, this is one of the best and most enjoyable community events in the Shire and PAYCE is extremely pleased to continue its association as part of a long term sponsorship arrangement with the Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club,” Brian Boyd said.
PAYCE General Manager, Dominic Sullivan thanked track and field Olympian, Jane Flemming for accepting an invitation to be a special guest of PAYCE on the day and to participate in the official proceedings.
“Jane is a director of the highly successful free Live Life Get Active community program currently running at several locations across the Shire, including one in Sylvania sponsored by PAYCE,“ he explained.
“PAYCE sponsored events in the Shire, such as the Cronulla Shark Island Swim, the Cronulla Beach Fun Swim, the Live Life Get Active program and the Sutherland2Surf Fun Run & Walk all promote community involvement and good health and fitness.
“PAYCE has been creating vibrant and healthy communities within its residential projects since 1978 and our sponsorship of these events is an opportunity to reach out to the wider community and help achieve similar positive outcomes.
“We are looking forward to continuing to work with the local community as we progress our project on the Kirrawee brickpit site, which will transform the area into a mix of residential, retail and commercial businesses along with a large park for all the community to enjoy,” Dominic Sullivan said.
A full list of the 2015 PAYCE Cronulla Shark Island Swim and the 2015 Cronulla Beach Fun Swim competitors, their times and placings is available at www.sharkislandswim.com.au