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Tri-factor swim: man against sea

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Swimmers sprinted to the waterfront as the Tri-Factor swim blazed off early on Sunday morning (photo by Jingyi)

It was just like the calm before the storm as the Tri-factor swimming blazed off early in the wee hours of the morning on the 12th of May 2013. Athletes were arriving hours before their category to just bask in the quiet atmosphere and get mentally prepared for the gruelling competition that was ahead.

The Tri-factor swimming 2013 was the 5th instalment of it’s kind as major improvements were made to make this event a great experience for both the athletes as well as the spectators. Tents from the major sponsors such as TYR and Oakley, were set up to merchandize their products ranging from specialized goggles to men’s and women’s swimwear. 

A 750m stretch of ocean was cordoned off for the race with coloured buoys placed there to serve as a guide for the swimmers as to where they needed to swim. The main stream of athletes started streaming in as the sun made its way across the horizon prompting the official start of the annual event.

Athletes, of all ages, young to old, started by getting their body marked with the race identification numbers and getting into their swimming gear. Some swimmers came individually to break their own benchmarks as others game in a group to enjoy the atmosphere of the race and to have fun. 

The event was categorised into 5 different segments each representing a different distance category. They were the 4.5 km, 1.5km, 0.5km and the final 0.2km. The first 3 categories were further separated into the men’s, women’s open as well as the men and women’s veteran category. The final 0.2 km was for the junior category where the children came down to compete and show their competitive spirit. These events happened one after the other with sporadic breaks. 

One of the most powerful moments of the event was when physically disabled athletes such as Fong Chun Cheong and Abdul Alim came down to the event to show everyone that their disability was nothing that could hold them down and that if they could compete in events such as the tri-factor swim, anyone could.

“Actually right now, I feel quite excited because I haven’t participated in a open water event for a very long time, actually a year ago and it’s to tell everybody that if I can do this with my disability, anyone out there can. I actually got motivated to join this particular event from a friend who told me about it and that these types of events require a lot of endurance and stamina so why don’t try out and see and I decided to challenge myself,” mentioned a visibly excited Abdul Alim.

The organizers had made very sure that all athletes remained hydrated throughout the entire duration of the event by placing several water points in the main gathering area as well as the starting and finishing lines ensuring that no one is left without water or a pokka sports water drink. 

The swimmers put in their full effort as they swam great distances with boundless energy and athleticism, willing them on to complete the race they set out to complete. Round after round, they showed no weakness as they followed the routine steadily to complete the race. In the end, their hard work did pay off as they completed the race to experience a sense of satisfaction while completing a healthy work out at the same time.

“I feel so happy that I managed to complete the 3 km, and what actually motivated me is actually the spirit of never giving up and focusing on the things you have rather then the things that you don’t have,” said a beaming Fong Chun Cheong who had been nicknamed Strong Fong because of his undying knack of not giving up despite his disability. 

Everyone who started the race were champions in their own right, but prizes were awarded to the top 3 of each category and these were the much deserved winners.

Winners of the Tri-factor Swim

Female Open 3km

1st 234 Kathryn Haesner
2nd 274 Kendra Deppe
3rd 265 Sumiko Tan
4th 278 Ng Sara
5th 217 Elaine Gallacher
6th 260 Teryn Tham
7th 272 Johanna Leube
8th 267 Ali Fowler
9th 262 Rowena De Belligny
10th 255 Fiona Phillips
11th 257 Fabiana Pizzali
12th 588 Jamie Goh
13th 243 Chau Gia Yee
14th 242 Yi Zhen Tan
15th 261 Dorota Urszula Tataruch
16th 279 Sek Ling Chew
17th 276 Caroline Chok

Invitational 4.5km

1st 5 Leddin Tan
2nd 1 Emilio Jaca Rafols
3rd 3 Ian Phillips
4th 7 Chandra
5th 6 Chew Yi Heng
6th 4 Flora The
7th 2 Shawn Chua

Men Veteran 3km 

1st 361 Sam Peterson 
2nd 349 Craig Mitchell
3rd 600 Mark Wakeford
4th 327 Ng Kok Wei
5th 352 Andreas Goros
6th 368 Michael Lyons
7th 319 Allan Norton 
8th 351 Stu Nichols
9th 328 Alistair Burgoyne
10th 308 Jan John Zastera
11th 318 Jeremy Snoad
12th 362 Christoph Kaeser
13th 335 Ismail Bin Said
14th 296 Lim Beng Heng
15th 299 Richard Pollard
16th 359 Eddy Pot
17th 355 John Machulski

Men Open 3km

1st 17 Dean Seymour
2nd 152 Kenneth Gan
3rd 271 Rick Atkinson 
4th 201 Scott Beachley
5th 200 Amos Tan
6th 192 Louie Francis G Marquez
7th 203 Efren Jr Lim Tablan
8th 188 Philip Le Pelley
9th 10 Theodore Lin
10th 182 David Goh
11th 16 Scott Larsen
12th 88 Hector Jonges 
13th 198 Ryu Ishii
14th 144 Randon Tan
15th 184 Jonathan Fong

Female Veteran 3km 

1st 291 Louise Tang
2nd 800 Itsuko Tanaka
3rd 293 Victoria Allen
4th 289 Angeline Poon 
5th 283 Lorena Ferreira 
6th 288 Khoon Hsing Ling 
7th 287 Lisa Tandy
8th 285 Sarah Lay Keong Tan
9th 286 Suze Mui Keng Lee
10th 284 Fia Permadi
11th 282 Joanna Lin

Male Open 1.5km

1st 529 Ben Pulham
2nd 524 Dwayne Stewart
3rd 526 Donald Piret
4th 503 Matthew King
5th 502 Dennis Lim
6th 456 Mark Matthews
7th 453 Zhe En Phua
8th 405 Peter Richardson
9th 508 Kok Pun Lee
10th 434 Shawn Tan
11th 486 Luke Taylor 
12th 510 David McKellar
13th 509 Alan Sim
14th 439 Lawrence Cham
15th 432 Zhonghan Lian
16th 506 Johnathan Yap

Male Veteran 1.5km

1st  631 Tim Phil Johannessen
2nd 599 Marc Pelet
3rd 613 Teck Meng Ow
4th 618 Peng Fatt Lok
5th 632 Der Yen Yee
6th 629 Jet Antonio 
7th 614 Neo Alvin
8th 626 Wen-Hsian Han
9th 609 John Richard Koncki
10th 625 Joseph Kung 
11th 798 Lim Tong Peng
12th 611 Roger Koh
13th 619 Aznan Ghazali
14th 607 Toshioki Ito
15th 620 Sow Kah Puay
16th 616 Andrew Cheong
17th 604 David Lim

Female Open 1.5km

1st 592 Victoria Camelio
2nd 584 Joelyn Goh 
3rd 545 Audrey Wurtz
4th 560 Megan Gray
5th 264 Georgia Allison
6th 546 Magali Dupont
7th 598 Victoria Hill
8th 590 Lizzie Hodges
9th 589 Claire Nortcliff
10th 574 Karen Payne
11th 566 Kasmiranti Kassim
12th 597 Louisa Gregory 
13th 556 Emma Linke 
14th 595 Geraldine Ng
15th 577 Thong Yin Sheng 
16th 594 Annabel Siow
17th 554 Cindy Wee