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Australia's top open water swimmers vie for World Championship selection in Portugal

Newly celebrated Paris Olympian, Chelsea Gubecka, spearheads a 12-strong team to race in the fifth and final leg of the World Aquatics Open Water Swimming World Cup in Madeira, Portugal.

A team of eight Dolphins and four emerging open water swimmers will press for World Championship selection at the fifth and final leg of the World Aquatics Open Water Swimming World Cup in Madeira, Portugal.

Newly celebrated Paris Olympian and World Championship silver medallist, Chelsea Gubecka, will spearhead the women’s individual 10km event with the men’s and women’s individual 10km events on Saturday, December 2, followed by the mixed 4x1500m relay on Sunday, December 3.

The Dolphins leave today for Portugal after World Aquatics moved the final leg from Eilat, Israel to Funchal in Madeira, Portugal.

It’s been a stop-start series for open water swimmers with the fourth leg, slated in August for the River Seine in Paris, cancelled due to concerns about water quality.

But the all-important final leg serves as the second and final selection event for the Doha World Championships in February 2024 and comes on the back of the first qualifying event, the Queensland Open Water Championships at Coolum on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland last month.

Dolphins’ High Performance Director Greg Shaw expects air and water temperatures to hover around 22C.

“There have been some logistical challenges surrounding the relocation of this event, fortunately, they were resolved quickly – and credit to World Aquatics for their agility – to enable the athletes to focus on their preparation and we’re relived the athletes get that chance of a second qualification event,” Shaw said.

“This is a chance for athletes to double down on selection points after the Queensland Open Water Championships – a win against the international field in Portugal will earn you 40 points instead of the 20 that were on offer at Coolum and then in descending order for the Top 20 places.

“The event is the final selection race ahead of Doha … and at Doha, the Top 13 athletes will qualify for Paris. We are expecting some big performances, particularly after a successful World Championships and I am confident our marathon swimmers will continue this positive upward trend.”

Australian Dolphins racing in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal:


  • Bailey Armstrong
  • Rob Bonsall
  • Kyle Lee
  • Thomas Raymond
  • Nick Sloman
  • Robert Thorpe
  • Jack Wilson


  • Bianca Crisp
  • Jacqueline Davison-McGovern
  • Maddie Gough
  • Chelsea Gubecka
  • Moesha Johnson

  • Written by Ocean Swims on 21 November 2023
  • (Updated on 21 November 2023)

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