Posted on Thursday 14th March, 2024

Ten in a row for Noosa Masters

For the tenth year in succession, Noosa Masters Swimming Club has triumphed in the Vorgee National Endurance 1000 competition. This result was emphatic, with Noosa’s 20,264 points leaving the 151 other clubs to tussle in Noosa’s wake. The ten-year record has never been matched.

But the current celebrations have been tinged with some sadness. In 2013, the club’s much-loved president Pat Mooney was suffering from inoperable cancer. Under Pat’s leadership, Noosa had enjoyed unprecedented success at competitive meets, and moderate success in the Endurance competition. To lift Pat’s spirits, and to honour his role in the club, the Noosa swimmers set out determinedly to win the coveted national Endurance trophy.

By the time of Pat’s death in April, Noosa Masters were well on the way to their target. It was a remarkable turnaround. In 2012, the club had posted 14,524 points. By the end of 2013, Noosa had grabbed the top spot on the national scoreboard with 25,161 points. Perennial trophy winners – Hobart’s Talays – were stunned. But their dismay turned to admiration when, at the national championship’s awards dinner, the campaign to honour Pat was explained to a hushed audience.

Since then, Noosa Masters have been unassailable in the E1000 national competition. Ten trophies line the display cabinet at the Noosa Aquatic Centre – one for each of the eleven years since 2013, except for the ‘COVID year’ of 2020, when the competition was suspended.

The E1000 competition is a year-long program of timed swims. Gaining maximum points means completing 62 swims against benchmark times. All swim strokes are included, and the events range from 400 metres to a challenging 60 minutes.

In the true spirit of Masters swimming, the E1000 program is both democratic and competitive. Democratic participation is assured, as anyone who completes even a single swim over the year gains points for their club. The competitive impulse sees more capable and ambitious swimmers aiming to gain top points in all 62 swims.

In 2023, of the 63 swimmers around the nation who achieved top points, eight were from Noosa Masters. But the Noosa total of 20,264 was built on the efforts of all sixty swimmers from the club. Pat Mooney would be proud.

By Brian Hoepper, Noosa Masters.

Noosa Masters swimmers celebrate their national Endurance victory