Sydney Hodges, Amy Prosser and Lauren Bailey

As the COVID-19 pandemic turns our daily lives upside down and inside out, Swanny Shorebreak reached out to three socially distanced Members in varying degrees of self-isolation, partly to keep ourselves busy after all our beloved surf sports events got cancelled and partly to keep them engaged in between binge-watching the Netflix back catalogue and eating chocolate, ice-cream and chocolate ice-cream.

So if there is a silver lining to this whole episode it will be that Sydney, Amy and Lauren garner the fame and riches that come with being Clubbie of the Month¹ and we maintain a connection with them whilst avoiding any physical contact.

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Swanny Shorebreak put the following hard-hitting investigative journalism questions to Sydney, Amy and Lauren via double encrypted email and then wiped down our keyboard thrice:

How long have you been at Swanny?

S: I’ve been at Swanny for approximately 40 to 273 times the incubation period of the coronavirus disease 19²

A: It was the summer of 69… no wait, 2011/12. Have dipped in and out due to family reasons and travel, the latter of which has led me to the illlustrious position I find myself in, as one third of a Clubbie of the Month.

L: Since 2017

Where are you from originally? How did you come to be in Perth/Swanny?

S: I was born on the planet Earth, in the Milky Way Galaxy. I came to Perth/Swanny because I am less afraid of new things/change/uncertainty than most apparently.

A: Born and bred in Perth. How did I come to be? Well, you see, when a man loves a woman…

L: I’m from Houston, Texas originally and was transferred to Perth for work and am still here. I love Perth and Swanny and I feel fortunate to have ended up here! I joined Swanny after running the Berlin Marathon with a number of Swanny folks (Maia, Mark G, Chris H, Bernie). A friend in common to us had included me in the marathon group and it was awesome to get to meet everyone and hear about Swanny and the wonderful people who are part of the Club.

Whereabouts are you right now? Where have you been recently?

S: I am currently at my kitchen table. This morning I went for a run in Bold Park and ran into an ex-colleague running with his dog. Later I went for a walk along the beach.³

A: I’m in my natural environment, my bed, having emerged recently to go for a ride, a run, another ride and another run.

L: I’m at my apartment in Perth after returning from the US on 18 March.

What type of isolation are you in and who is telling you to be in isolation?

S: I am not in isolation, although being civically-minded I am social distancing. Oh, and Swanny has banned me from the Club. Which is fair, as who knows what I’ll pick up in this new and dangerous world? Just walking in Cott this morning I got pooped on by a bird♠. I wouldn’t want me bringing that shit to Swanny either!

A: The only isolation I’m in is from Swanny, as directed by the covert Covid-19 sub-committee. I’ve chosen to work from home because as we all know, so much more work gets done, especially when a nap is able to be taken at a moment’s notice, and who doesn’t want that?

L: Returning from the US on 18 March means that by 2 April, I’ll be done with my isolation as required by the Australian government. I’d rather not be isolated, but if it helps in the “flattening the curve”, then I’m in. The other way to look at it is as an opportunity to do some things that you might normally not have time for. On the flight back, I made a goal sheet and some structure for the two weeks♣. Some of it might be overly ambitious, but I need to mitigate against overly indulging in Netflix♥ or chocolate.

Who is your favourite ironman/ironwoman?

S: Ky Hurst.

A: Matt Bevilacqua.

L: Ky Hurst – I’ll echo Sydney on this one.

We’re not sure what is going on here. Ky last won an Ironman title in 2002 and retired from surf lifesaving in 2015, well before either Sydney or Lauren joined Swanny. Once again¹¹ we suspect Annie, our Swanny Ironman Series organiser, needs to tell to Sydney and Lauren all about the Nutri-Grain Ironman/Ironwoman Series and that the correct answer to the question was Shannon Eckstein and Courtney Hancock. At a pinch we’d also accept Poole, Bevy, Harriet or Lizzie as suitable answers, so well done Amy!

Favourite food?

S: Chocolate∞

A: Anything snacky, but mainly chocolate∞

L: Oysters and champagne and ice cream∞

Plans for this season? What were you going to do but now cannot? What are you going to do instead?

S: Well, with Autumn coming, I’ll prune and spray the roses. Maybe get another blueberry plant. Or grow some other food. Never know when the next crisis will come leading to panic buying and empty grocery stores. In that vein, I may look into how to make my own toilet paper. If anyone has tried, feel free to drop me note.

A: I had all of the plans for Swanny, but for various reasons, I’m now focussing on half and full ironmen (the triathlon races as well as the athletes of course!). I injured my ribs doing boards and I don’t see why anyone wants to paddle a ski, so I definitely wasn’t going to be doing any of that anyway. I was going to get fully ripped at Average Joe’s, but maybe now I can use Covid-19 as my excuse next summer when I’m still not in shape.

L: I was planning on taking advantage of this two week time period to run, swim, be at Swanny, see friends and swim the Port to Pub before having to go up to site for work. Instead, I’m going to do my best to get some exercise in while in isolation, do a bit of work, catch up on some reading, brush up on Portuguese, take some time for myself to relax, finish some crochet projects and try out a few recipes.

What do you like about Swanny?

S: How varied and knowledgeable our diverse membership is! Another thing I like about Swanny is that I met my future wife there. Please record that somewhere in case immigration agents come asking about our (very real) relationship♦. Also, I think I’ve worked out the point of Points Races, so definitely liking those.

A: I’ve made some great friends at Swanny and I love spending time with them and being active at the same time. Hot showers, Sammy the seal and not being Cott♠ are also ticks for Swanny. Points Races, Swanbourne Cup Mixed Board Rescue and Club Championships. Basically any event organised by the Points Races Officer.

L: I think it’s the people that make the Club. There are so many talented people and I find that it’s inclusive and genuine.  I also enjoy a long swim in the Long Swim every other Sunday at Points Races.

Anything else that is funny or interesting?

S: I love the initiative we have at Swanny! So many volunteers looking to help out. For instance, just look at all these semi-secret sub-committees (Building, Covid-19) of experts that work so hard to make the Club a safer, more inclusive,  more fun place!¹²

A: Why did the mermaid swim across the ocean? To get to the other tide!

L: It’s been mentioned that I’m cursed for swimming to Rotto. Two years in a row, Sydney and I were meant to do it. In 2019, I had breast cancer (notice the wigs / creative head coverings in the attached pictures) and 2020 is a global pandemic. We’ll give it a go in 2021 and maybe third time’s a charm?¹³

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Notes:

1. In the end it worked out reasonably well for Jack, who got his IRB Crew Certificate processed during his reign as Clubbie of the Month. Special thanks to the Dave Parsons Project for this.

2. Based on a Google search and some quick calculations, we reckon this is about 21 months!

3. The answer I was expecting was “I’m back in Perth, having spent a fortnight in the United States with Amy”. Obviously I wasn’t specific enough with my question!

♠. Just one of the many reasons not to go to Cottesloe Beach – seagulls, stingers and sharks.

♣. Great to see the Engineering thought processes being applied!

♥. Refer to the opening paragraph, as our engagement/distraction plan appears to be working!

♦. It’s in the newsletter so it must be real!

∞Varying degrees of self-isolation should be fun!

11. See CoTM October 2019 https://swannysurfclub.org.au/clubbie-of-the-month/clubbie-of-the-month-october-2019-sasha-small/

12. Sydney probably needs a hug, but that may have to wait until 2021!

13. Sadly a carybdea rastoni infestation will plague Gage Roads in 2021 rendering Channel crossings impossible. Who knows how we’ll get out of this jimble!

Photos:

¼. Sydney, Amy, Lauren and Lauren’s Mom in Singapore, back when international travel was a thing and well prior to Singapore not letting you in and Australia not letting you in or out!

½. Sydney, Amy and Lauren at the completion of the Busselton Jetty Swim. Nice towels! (and obviously an un-cursed swim.)

¾. Lauren, Sydney and Amy demonstrating effective beach supervision and appropriate scanning techniques at an outpost patrol at Sentosa Beach, Singapore.