After vowing last year that she had completed her last swim, Dorothy Dickey will be lining up for her 28th race.
“I know I said never again but I do have every intention of doing the swim, as long as you can guarantee a nice calm day for me,” she said.
And the 85-year-old marvel could not be in better shape for the event having recorded two official world record swims in her age group in the past 12 months, and one un-official one.
“This year has been unbelieveable. I’ve been a busy little girl.“
That is an understatement!
Dickey was shocked when she learned she had set a new 800 metre world short course record in the 85-90 age group at the Australian Nationals in Hobart in April.
“I did the swim and the referee came over and said Dot, I think you might have broken the world record. I said don’t be stupid… anyway I did, I couldn’t believe it.
Soon after she clocked another title at the FINA World Championships in Russia.
“I did the 800-metres again and I broke that record in the long course and I thought you silly old bugger, so that was a lot of fun.”
The irrepressible octogenarian shaved a further two seconds off the time at the Masters games in Adelaide, however that event’s swims are not internationally recognized. She also managed to squeeze in an open water swim in Barbados – all on top of a weekly training regime that would pout most teenagers to shame.
In fact she is proof perfect you are never too old to try new things, having not taken up competitive swimming until her mid 50’s. Since then she has competed in all 27 Rip Views and numerous other big open water swims.
“I could swim, I didn’t have to be taught how to do that but I joined the [Doncaster] swimming club when I was 54 and I went on from there. I just kept going and I haven’t stopped going since.
“I’m still doing training twice a week – Tuesdays and Thursdays and Saturdays and I go down and have a paddle on a Sunday. It’s just great.
“I haven’t missed a Point Lonsdale swim because I enjoy it, it’s a good day down there. A lot of us go and we all congregate in our little area on the grass near the change rooms and you’ve got the shops there and you can go and have a cup of coffee. It’s a great party atmosphere.”
Upwards of 1500 swimmers will again line up for the 1.4km swim on Sunday January 3. This year’s event will for the first time include a longer 3.8km swim, starting at Santa Casa Beach.
The Rip View swim is the first of Victoria’s big summer ocean swims. It is also Point Lonsdale Surf Life Saving Club’s biggest annual fundraising event.
The event start at 11am. Online entries close this Friday evening.