Craig Clarke is an underground coal longwall mining veteran and has been associated with NEPEAN Longwall over many years on various projects. We are supporting Craig for his epic ocean swim in late August which will see him swim from Catherine Hill Bay to Nobby’s lighthouse – a total of 36km! At times he will be up to 1.5km offshore with a small boat in support keeping an eye on him. As Catherine Hill Bay used to be a coal loading jetty for some of the Lake Macquarie mines, Craig has called the swim “Coals to Newcastle”. He is raising money for Beyond Blue and the link for donations is shown below. After watching and admiring the accomplishments of Australian marathon swimmer Des Renford during Craig Clarke’s impressionable early swimming years in the 1970’s, Craig had long held a dream of one day swimming the English Channel.
In 2015, a detailed plan was mapped out for his attempt at a 2020 English Channel solo crossing and Craig started his committed preparation for this goal in 2017. The timing of COVID-19 unfortunately prevented Craig from boarding his English Channel bound flight in the first week of July but he wanted to do something special that took advantage of his unique training preparation and so this swim up the coast past Lake Macquarie and Newcastle was planned. We will be there at Nobby’s beach to cheer him home on the day.