Wild weather cannot stop Jess

Published 4:23pm 10 March 2021

Wild weather cannot stop Jess
Words by Nick Crockford

Jessica Evans beat wild weather and water barely calf deep to enter the record books as the first person to swim around Bribie Island.

The 33-year-old from Brisbane completed the 80km ‘lap’ on Friday - taking five days, rather than three, but smashing her fundraising target.

Jessica’s aim was $2500, due to only having six weeks to prepare for the swim. But, at the time of writing, she has $14,500 and counting!

Wild weather cannot stop Jess
Jessica Evans steps out of the water for the last time having completed her lap of Bribie

Relief at finish

The money will go to the RU OK suicide prevention, chosen because Jessica lost a family member, who lived on Bribie, to suicide.

“It was an overwhelming feeling of relief at the finish,” she said, “I was just glad I completed it. That was harder than swimming round Moreton Island, which was longer.”

Starting from Caloundra, Jessica did the length of Pumicestone Passage on day one (March 1), a distance of 39kms, some of which was just 30cms deep and through mangroves.

Wild weather cannot stop Jess
Jessica Evans, who has become the first person to swim round Bribie Island

Wild weather

She ticked off 26kms on day two around the bottom of Bribie and up the eastern side before wild weather closed stopping the team after 8kms of day three.

Day four was ruled out as the weather worsened, before clear blue skies on day five (March 5) saw Jessica complete the lap with Caloundra Coastguard marking the finish.

“Everyone was seasick on day three on the boat, apart from the captain who said we have to go as the weather was getting worse and worse,” said Jessica.

Wild weather cannot stop Jess
The only swimming Jessica will now do is for fitness

Raced out

“But on Friday we had beautiful, clear blue skies and raced out. We did the last 8kms in two hours and my family were on the boat at the finish, which was wonderful.

“It felt like a weight had been lifted at the end and we have raised an awesome amount of money. I’m so grateful to everyone who helped.”

Jessica was back in the pool on Tuesday but insists: “I’m just swimming for fitness now. Two times a week, so I can eat donuts!”

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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