The annual round the pier swim returned for its 48th instalment last weekend with high numbers in attendance.
Once again Garod Thomas succeeded in winning the men’s race, his ninth win since 2000. Second place went to Andrew O’Leary who was first to emerge from the water but was beaten on the home sprint.
The women’s event was won by 16-year-old Mari Watkins from Cilfrew, followed closely by Karys Hockin and Emily Watkins who finished second and third respectively.
The oldest competitor was 75-year-old John Glover of Swansea who was a major force in the Mumbles to Aberavon swims in the 1960s.
In the Green Stars RFC members’ category Phil Short came in first to win the Frank Burke cup. TATA Steel employees competed for the Peter Allen trophy, which was once again lifted by Mike Rose of Killay.
Numbering 75, entrants travelled from as far afield as Edinburgh and Bude, as well as a contingent of twelve from Swansea. But perhaps the most recognisable competitor was the Member of Parliament for the Aberavon Constituency, Stephen Kinnock. The 46 year old returned a respectable time of 32 minutes 47 seconds coming in at 66th place.
Safety coverage was again provided by Aberavon Surf Lifesaving Club, Aberavon Canoe Club and Port Talbot RNLI.
The awards ceremony was later held at the Green Stars’ Little Warren clubhouse and was presented by mayor Sheila Penry, club president Cllr Mathew Crowley and TATA Steel engineering manager James Davies.
This year marks the last major event to be held in the Little Warren clubhouse, which is scheduled for demolition and a housing redevelopment. Plans have been drawn up, however, for new clubhouse facilities within the Green Stars’ dressing rooms building which will be used for future Round the Pier events.
1st Garod Thomas (17.48)
2nd James O’Leary (18.30)
3rd Simon Short (18.43)
1st Mari Watkins (20.9)
2nd Karys Hockin (20.24)
3rd Emily Watkins (21.20)
Tata Steel race
1st Mike Rose (22.28 – winner of the Peter Allen Trophy)
2nd Neil Morgan (23.2)
3rd Dave Bright (23.58)
Aberavon Green Stars race
1st Phil Short (22.21 – winner of the Frank Burke Cup)