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Melissa Denyer
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Melissa Denyer


Australian & British / Cairns, Australia

Favourite Stroke

Freestyle & Breaststroke


Melissa is a highly experienced pool and open-water swimmer from Australia. After a competitive and successful pool swimming career she switched sports to enjoy success at National level in surf-lifesaving and International level in outrigger canoeing. She then found her niche in open-water swimming and went on to complete numerous coastal and bay swims around Australia including the notorious shark-infested Rottnest Channel between Perth, Western Australia, and Rottnest Island. Over the past few years she has completed the Hellespont swim from Europe to Asia winning the female race and has also swum across the Strait of Gibraltar from Europe to Africa. She captained the first Red Top relay to swim across the English Channel and in 2016 successfully smashed the extremely tough swim-run event in Engadin, Switzerland.


Melissa’s “day job” is as a qualified Sport and Remedial Massage Therapist. She works on many of the Red Top swimmers and is certainly in demand! She is also qualified in using kinesio tape to help athletes with both pre-hab and re-hab strategies and has built up a reputation of being able to apply a deceptively large amount of pressure through her hands and elbows!

Why Swimming

Growing up in Australia it was what everyone did. If you couldn’t swim, you missed out on so much. It’s such an outdoors and beach-oriented lifestyle that it was almost a necessity to be able to swim. Swimming was taught from a very early age in Australia -  I was good at it and enjoyed it! Swim training became a normal way of life and it was much easier to get up early on warm mornings in Australia rather than cold ones in England! Training focus was initially towards pool competitions, but then I found several other sports that used my skills in other ways. Triathlon, open-water swimming, surf-lifesaving and outrigging all kept me in and around the water and encouraged me to swim, but didn’t bore me by just following a black line all day ;-)