Derwent River comeback

Brenda Norman (centre), with Phil Peppiatt (left) and Clinton Millar from Sea Rescue Tasmania, was awarded three medals for completing one leg of the Derwent River swim three times.

Brenda Norman has made her swimming comeback, successfully completing the upstream leg of the Derwent River swim (34km) in just 9 hours 26 minutes last Wednesday.

Just one week after attempting to complete the double Derwent, Norman took to the water again to take on the upstream leg, which she fell short of in the double due to bad conditions.

Norman hit the water at around 4pm and was met with stable conditions and a significant southerly wind, which were favourable conditions for her type of swimming.

“The stable conditions were a nice change from my last swim,” she said.

“I was able to get a good start away from the Tasman bridge.

“I reached the Bridgewater bridge in 4 hours 41, and then swam the other way in good time.”

Norman said she was expecting the swim to take her at least 12 hours but was thrilled to hear she had completed it in 9 hours 26 minutes.

“I swam a lot better than I did a week ago, despite feeling a bit stiff and sore before jumping in the water,” she said.

“The conditions were pretty still during the night and the full moon meant it stayed light.

‘‘It felt like a completely different swim.

‘‘There wasn’t a point where I was really struggling or anything, I knew all the landmarks I was swimming for so that kept me going.’’

She said apart from a quick 40 minute swim on the Saturday she didn’t do any other training in the week leading up to the swim.

‘‘I did a little swim just to turn the arms over, but I felt pretty good so decided to rest up and spend my time sight-seeing instead.’’

Norman is the first ever to complete the upstream leg of the Derwent River and swim one leg of the river three times, but she doesn’t plan on stopping there.

“I feel like I know the combo that I need in terms of tide and direction to complete the double.

“Plans are already in motion for when I will head back to attempt the double again,” she said.