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Australia's new Bog Snorkelling Champ

Australia has a brand new sporting hero -- national Bog Snorkelling Champion Aimee Cameron.

Ms Cameron won Australia's only bog snorkelling event this morning (Sunday, April 22, 2012) at the Championships in Julia Creek, North West Queensland. The event was a big draw card at the 18th annual Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival.

For the uninitiated many, bog snorkelling is exactly as it sounds -- donning a mask, snorkel and flippers and swimming a lap of a 120ft trench filled with shallow, muddy water (and the occasional toad). To make things trickier, snorkelers must keep their arms at their sides, using only their legs for propulsion.

According to Ms Cameron, a tourism officer from Charters Towers, bog snorkelling is unlike anything she's ever done before.

"I swim laps, but I’m not normally a snorkeler so I found the whole breathing thing a bit tricky," said Ms Cameron.

"When you're under water, all you see is mud; I noticed a few of the other competitors hit the side of the trench and that's why -- you can't tell one section of dirt from another.

"I also got a few good mouthfuls of the bog water while I was going, so that was a little gross."

Ms Cameron completed her lap of the bog trench in 52.3 seconds, beating out Tasmania's Jannah Wright by exactly two seconds.

Event organiser Margie Ryder was thrilled to have the bog snorkelling back on the Dirt n Dust Festival's agenda following a two year hiatus due to new pool fencing laws making the event cost prohibitive.

"The absence of the bog snorkeling in recent years had left a noticeable gap in the Dirt n Dust program," said Mrs Ryder.

"Everyone loves seeing other people making fools of themselves, and that's exactly what the bog snorkeling dishes up.

"It's good, not-so-clean fun and it was wonderful to see festival-goers welcoming the event back with open arms."

The Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival is held every April. For more information, go to www.dirtndust.com.