The inaugural Respect the River Enduro Ironman was held on the 29th December 2016 on the Tarwin River, Tarwin Lower. Venus Bay SLSC created the Enduro Ironman to promote Royal Lifesaving’s Respect the River campaign. Rivers account for over one quarter of all drowning deaths (26%), making them the leading location for drowning in Australia. The Enduro Ironman aimed to raise awareness of the number of people drowning in rivers every year and the preventable nature of these tragedies. The Tarwin River was the perfect location for the event as it is the primary river system within South Gippsland Shire, flowing south of the Strzelecki Ranges and emptying into Anderson’s Inlet, located near Venus Bay.
The Enduro Ironman consisted of a 288m swim, 388m board, and 502m ski. The total distance for each leg of the event was calculated based on the distance of each leg in a Surf Life Saving Ironman race. Venus Bay SLSC members formed relay teams and each relay had 30 minutes to complete as many rotations possible. Overall the club had six hours to complete the event.
Due to an imposing thunderstorm the event ceased after four hours, however in that time a total 78 relay legs were completed, across 26 cycles making up a total of 31.204km. An amazing effort by all members involved, working toward promoting such an important campaign.
A big thank you to Paul Hoffman for his tireless work in getting the event up and running. Thank you to Ann Cornish for all her assistance with coordinating and adjudicating on the day and to Marty and Elise McCorriston for providing water safety. Also thank you to the South Gippsland Shire council for the generous grant which assisted in making the event possible. Venus Bay SLSC is looking forward to seeing this event grow into something amazing over the next few years!
Respect The River – River Safety Tips
- Wear a Lifejacket
- Avoid Alcohol Around Water
- Never Swim Alone
- Learn How To Save A Life