Esperance duo celebrate Rottnest Channel Swim success

Dream achieved: Ben Murgatroyd, 15, and Maddie McGrinder, 16, celebrate with their families following an epic swim which saw them place third in their category after battling tough conditions. Photo: Supplied.
Dream achieved: Ben Murgatroyd, 15, and Maddie McGrinder, 16, celebrate with their families following an epic swim which saw them place third in their category after battling tough conditions. Photo: Supplied.

Months of rigorous training has paid off for teen swimming sensations Ben Murgatroyd, 15, and Maddy McGrinder, 16, who tackled the Rottnest Channel Swim on February 22 and secured third place in their category.

The duo competed in the 28+ division, smashing the 19.7km open water swim from Cottesloe Beach to Rottnest Island in 6.5 hours.

Choppy conditions and large swell didn't make for the pristine race conditions the pair were hoping for and proved too much for some of the 2,400 competitors.

"When we woke up it was really overcast and once we got out on the ocean there was quite a bit of swell and chop which interfered a lot with pacing and caused quite a lot of sea sickness," Maddy said.

"We dealt with it, we had measures put in place it just made the swim a little bit longer than we hoped.

"It was quite exciting because we finished the swim and it was something we had been talking about doing for a year and we were really happy we made it across the line with such good time."

Ben kicked off the race and said he couldn't help but feel the energy of the crowd as he took to the water.

"It was really crowded so I had to navigate my way around, but it was more excitement than nerves which was good," he said.

With their families cheering them on from their support vessel the pair tag teamed for most of the race and swam side by side for the final stretch.

This year's race was only the beginning, with the two swimmers hoping to take on the challenge as solo competitors in a few years time.

They thanked the Esperance community, their skipper, Esperance Sea Dragon coaches and family for their support.

They will next compete at the statewide Country Pennants competition in Geraldton on February 29.