Jessica's bid for first 'lap' of Bribie

Published 12:07pm 15 February 2021

Jessica's bid for first 'lap' of Bribie
Words by Nick Crockford

Thousands of people go swimming at Bribie Island – but none have ever completed the daunting challenge facing Jessica Evans.

The 33-year-old plans to become the first person to swim around the island and raise money for the RU OK suicide prevention organisation.

Sadly, it is an issue very close to Jessica having lost a family member, who lived on Bribie Island, to suicide.

Jessica's bid for first 'lap' of Bribie
The only swimming Jessica will now do is for fitness

'Hairy' start

After that devastating loss, she swam round Moreton Island last year raising $30,000 for the Black Dog Institute, which works to lower suicide rates in Australia.

This time Jessica will start her 80km fundraising swim at the top of Bribie, by Caloundra, for the “hairy bit” down through the Pumicestone Passage.

“I’m hoping to swim for eight hours on the first day,” she said, “with the tides etc there may only be 40cms of water at times.

Jessica's bid for first 'lap' of Bribie

Shark shield

“The Caloundra Coast Guard said that’s what causes 90 per cent of their call outs.”

Jessica plans to complete 30kms on the first two days and 20kms on day three, each time starting where she finished the previous day. She will also wear shark shield devices.

Weather and wind permitting, she hopes to take on her round-Bribie-swim on March 2-4, but those dates may change as more accurate forecasts become available.

Jessica's bid for first 'lap' of Bribie

Six weeks

It will be a fitting way for the Brisbane resident to end her time as a marathon swimmer and “hang up the goggles”.

Jessica competed at last year’s national open water titles, but only has just six weeks to plan, fundraise and train for her Bribie challenge.

Those hard yards are being done at Nudge College with coach David Proud and involve nine two-and-a-half-hour pool sessions each week, plus three one-hour sessions in the gym.

Jessica's bid for first 'lap' of Bribie

On board

“The help has been wonderful, but because of the (short) time, we have lower (fundraising) targets for this swim – about $5000,” said Jessica.

“Bribie Island VMR has been amazing and offered endless support and sharing local knowledge. Also, Brisbane and Sunshine Coast Guard and the water police.

“It’s so good to have them on board.”

To donate to Jessica’s Bribie fundraising swim follow this link: https://join.ruok.org.au/fundraisers/jessicaevans/the-black-dog-lap

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