Tugun ironman takes on London
THE Serpentine at London's Hyde Park is a far cry from Tugun's pristine beaches, but Tugun long distance swimmer and Olympic gold medal hopeful Ky Hurst will take the plunge for his country as he goes for gold on August 10.
Apparently, Prince Charles has advised the Aussie swimmer he'll need some antiseptic after he competes in the Serpentine.
The 11 hectare lake has been cleaned up for the 10km open-water swim, but it has something of a reputation for harbouring bugs.
Hurst was among several Australian athletes to meet Charles and his wife Camilla at the start of the men's cycling road race on Saturday.
Hurst's mum Kerrie has headed off to support her son, via France and Italy.
"I'm making the most of the visit," she said.
Ms Hurst who works at the Tugun Surf Club said her son was "always a swimmer."
"He was a real fish from an early age."
The ironman had to shave off a beard to compete.
"It's just not part of the image," Ms Hurst told My Daily News.
With 27 Australian surf lifesaving titles under his belt, the three-times-in-a-row ironman has made it to the surf lifesaving hall of fame.
"He's also great mates with Grant Hackett," Ms Hurst said.
"They are very supportive of each other.
"He is quietly confident of winning gold.
"I'm very confident of his ability.
"To see him take out a gold medal would be a wonderful way to wind up my overseas trip.
"It's very exciting."
With Hurst and partner Kate expecting their first child and his brother Dane and partner Denniel also expecting, there's big things afoot in the Hurst family.
"Well, there's certainly the pitter-patter of little feet on the agenda," Ms Hurst said.
"That's two grandchildren.
"I'll be a mess," she laughed.
Hurst's training regime is somewhat unorthodox in comparison to his rivals at the games.
His Ironman Man training does not confine him to swimming laps in a pool.
Competing on the Australian Ironman life saving series is tough work where speed, endurance and keen a sense of ocean awareness are developed.
"It all helps prepare him well for a 10km course at the 2012 London Olympics," Ms Hurst said.