By Athletic Department Manager Malcolm Turnbull

Our Members work hard in the Athletic Department aspiring to get nominated for our AD sportsperson of the month. It’s an honour most highly sought after, no one remembers world records or world championships- but everyone remembers if you were ever Tattersalls Athletic Department Member of the Month (AD MOTM).

So for this month’s Member, this must be the pinnacle of his career- purely because this is his second nomination this year. Congratulations to our September AD MOTM- Mr Brendan Maher.

Brendan has recently completed the Catalina Ocean Swim a 20-mile crossing in 12 hours and 50mins. This channel is popularly known for holding the reputation of being one of the toughest Ocean swims to complete. Brendan flew from Coast to Coast and set an amazing time above.

Like many Ocean swims Catalina has a strict set of rules and guidelines that participants must follow.

1. In any Catalina Channel swim attempt, no swimmer shall use or be assisted by artificial aids of any kind. Swimmers are permitted to grease the body before a swim, use goggles, wear one cap, and wear one porous suit, neither of which may be designed either to retain body heat or aid in buoyancy. No wetsuits are permitted.

2. During a swim, no supporting contact whatsoever with the swimmer shall be permitted by any person or object.

3. For a swim to be officially recognized, a swimmer must cross the channel from the natural connecting shore, touch the opposite natural connecting shore and clear the water.

To go along with these rules swimmers are “Encouraged” to start their swims at midnight to avoid any excess swell tidal changes. This led to colder than expected temperatures with Brendan’s teeth chattering for nearly 90 mins before he could find his rhythm.

As you can see in the photo, Brendan started this journey in the dead of night meaning for at least seven hours it would’ve been complete darkness swimming except for the little guide lights on his accompanying raft. This is Brendan’s second large ocean swim of the year, and he has no plans of stopping anytime soon.

Brendan now has his sight set on achieving the triple crown of swimming by completing the Manhattan Island Swim (an easy 45kms swim)

Mr Brendan Maher is quite tenacious, definitely not the one to shy away from a tough challenge, and looking at this spirit, it makes the easiest decision for us to award Brendan as September AD MOTM, we just hope that he enjoys receiving this second nomination as much as we enjoy giving it out.

Well Done Brendan!

Our coach Mr Ewen Mcdonald has helped our Members a lot to perfect their swimming techniques and even prepare for such challenges and competitions, so if you too are keen on preparing for yourself such challenging swims, or even just improve your overall swimming skills, then contact the team at to book a session with our swim coach Ewen.