Four hours after diving in the waters of Geographe Bay, the winners of the 2023 Ironman WA 70.3 event have crossed the finish line, in a particularly emotional affair for the male victor. Brett Johnson crossed the line with a time of 04:02:06, carrying a specially made East Fremantle Football Club jersey of his late grandfather — WA football hall of famer Percy Johnson, who passed away one year ago today. Lost for words after his race, Johnson said the win was dedicated to his Pa, who passed after a year-long battle with cancer. “My Pa died last year today,” he shared. “Last year the race was the day after he passed... I knew what today was going to mean. “I got his footy jumper made up for today so he’d (be here with me).” Along with the custom-made jersey, Johnson was dressed in a specially made Perene cycling uniform — a company named after his grandfather’s love of horses — consisting of blue and purple colouring representative of his grandfather’s love for the Fremantle Dockers as well as his time playing for East Fremantle. He was followed closely by Thomas Kearns with a time of 04:05:32 while Bradley Smith rounded out the podium with a time of 04:07:13. Claiming the women’s 70.3 victory was Ireland’s Rachael Smyth at 04:42:20, followed by Erika Tanno from Japan who came in at 04:44:49. Also from Ireland Clodagh Glynn claimed bronze for the open-age women coming in under five hours with a time of 04:54:07. The winning relay team, Scrambled Legs, were the first to cross the line for the day with a combined time of 04:00:36.