TOUGH: Nobbys to Newcastle ocean swimmer Alan Metcalf. – Picture by Simone De PeakSTOCKTON’S Alan Metcalf joked during the week that he would not need to worry about sharks during the Nobbys to Newcastle Ocean Swim tomorrow because they would ‘‘spit me out for being too tough’’.
The 63-year-old displayed his toughness in April when he set a world record for an open-water paddle on a surf rescue board by travelling 137 kilometres from the Sydney Opera House to Newcastle’s Queen’s Wharf in seven days.
Tomorrow Metcalf will need to display similar grit in the 2km swim from Nobbys through reefs and ‘‘shark alley’’ to Newcastle beach.
The swim has been made more difficult for Metcalf due to a torn bicep he suffered in a surf carnival at Stockton a fortnight ago.
‘‘I’m really looking to Nobbys as it’s good clean water and it’s an area I haven’t really swum a lot,’’ Metcalf said.
‘‘The bicep isn’t too bad. It’s an old injury that has recurred, but I managed to get through a few swims this week.
‘‘I won’t be competitive. I’ll take my time and enjoy the swim for once.’’
Around 400 competitors are expected for the inaugural event organised by the Newcastle Surf Life Saving Club.
One of Newcastle’s biggest chances will be triathlete Kirsten Molloy, who finished third in the Melbourne Marathon in October.
Newcastle brother and sister duo Jarrod and Erin Killey would have been hot favourites but are overseas.
Olympic bronze medallist Justin Norris will fire the starter’s gun.