Keeping athletes, coaches and lifesaving staff on alert in South Australia is the fact that there has been an increase in shark sightings ahead of the 2017 Australian National Open Water Championships. The annual competition is set to take place in Brighton January 27th-29th, however, that particular beach has experienced more shark sightings down under this summer than any other South Australian location (Australia Online)
Athletes aged 13 years and older will be competing across races up to 10k in length as a means of qualifying for the upcoming 2017 FINA 10k World Cup in Abu Dhabi, the 2017 World University Games, as well as the upcoming FINA World Championships set for Budapest, Hungary. The competition is organized by Swimming Australia, with Brighton Surf Life Saving Club patrolling the beach and providing water safety.
Brighton’s President Chris Parsons says, “We’ll be monitoring the situation very, very closely in conjunction with all of Surf Life Saving but we’ll be 100 percent confident the water is clear (of sharks) before we put any swimmers in the water.” (Courier Mail)
West Lakes, the site of state-level open water swimming competitions, is pegged as the backup site should a change in venue be necessary.
Details on the 2017 Australian National Open Water Championships, including the program of events and start lists can be found here.