Swimmers come from far and wide for iconic event. The annual Beachside Radiology Coffs Ocean Swims on Sunday 7th April are fast approaching. The iconic event, which attracts over 600 swimmers each year, has been running for 22 years.
Swimmers come from far and wide to take part in the event. The New England region is always well represented, with a large contingent from Armidale and Tamworth travelling to Coffs to take part.
Event Director Noel Phillips said, “It is great to see so many swimmers from inland regions taking part in the ocean swims. There is a very high standard of swimming from some of the regional areas in NSW and although many of the swimmers haven’t had a lot of experience in the ocean, they often feature prominently on the podium.”
The Armidale School (TAS) is again sending a large number of swimmers to take part in the Coffs Ocean swims. They organise a bus especially for the event and leave at dawn to make it in time for the 2 km event.
Last year they had over 90 entries, made up of both students and staff members. The Ocean Swims have risen in popularity among the school community, since two boys and a teacher from TAS first took part in 2003.
Tim Hughes, the school’s Media and Communications Manager said, “We love making the trip to Coffs for the annual Ocean Swims, and it is great to see the students challenging themselves and achieving a goal they have set.”
TAS awards a trophy, the Pacific Plate, to the first student home in the 2 km event. The swim is also an important event for the Year 11 students doing their Bronze Medallion as part of Surf Life Saving with Sawtell Surf Club.
Some will undertake the swim because it is part of the school’s Triple Crown Award – for those who complete the Coffs Ocean Swim, the 14 km City to Surf and the 111 km Hawkesbury Canoe Classic during their time at the school. Others will do it as part of triathlon training, or just to achieve a personal goal. For locals looking to take part in the iconic event, there are many training options, including squad sessions at Coffs Harbour Olympic Pool, the Aquatic Centre in Park Avenue, and Sawtell and Woolgoolga Pools. There are also a number of groups who swim regularly in the ocean, including the “Mermaids” on a Saturday morning and the “Walruses” on Sunday mornings. During the week, a group from Council swims around the Jetty in their lunch break. They all enjoy the exhilaration of swimming in the ocean, where every day is different and they welcome all comers. The Beachside Radiology Coffs Harbour Ocean Swims on Sunday 7th April include the 600 m Jetty swim for ages 10 and over, the
2 km Harbour swim for over 12s, and the 150 m and 300 m Junior Swims for 8 – 14 year-olds. All events are held at the protected Coffs Jetty Beach, with qualified surf lifesavers on duty and are open to all levels of experience.
For more information and to enter, go to villagesports.com.au
Photo by Nashys Pix.