Date set for Coffs Coast Ocean Swims

In they go, the ladies enter the water for the Coffs Ocean Swims. Photo: Heaven and Earth Films.

THE COFFS Coast Ocean Swims have been scheduled to take place on Sunday 7 April at the Jetty in Coffs Harbour.

“In setting the date there were a number of things to consider,” Race Director Kerry Bayliss from Sawtell Surf Lifesaving Club told News Of The Area.

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“It had to be in term time to accommodate long-time supporter, The Armidale School (TAS), which enters 100-plus students, many of whom go home in the holidays.

“Also, not to clash with yacht races Sydney to Coffs and not to clash with winter sports.”

And then there’s the Surf Lifesaving carnivals.

“Last year our swim clashed with Surf Lifesaving Aussie Champs, however they were in Perth so it was not a big impact but something to consider, especially when it’s in Surfers Paradise as many people travel as spectators.”

Avoiding Easter, Kerry stuck the pin in the diary on Sunday 7 April.

“This lands on the end of daylight savings, so the hour goes back and we have an extra hour to prepare for the morning event,” he said.

Brooke Hanson OAM, an Olympic Games gold and silver medallist, returns for her tenth year as Coffs Ocean Swims Ambassador.

Brooke is an outstanding and enthusiastic participant in the ocean swims in and out of the water.

“Brooke will enter as a swimmer in the 600m event and is the announcer and presenter of the event.”

Taking learnings from last year’s swim, Kerry said, “During the 2023 swim, 50 of the timing tags did not make it back to shore, i.e. the straps broke.

“Very few of the swimmers involved complained.

“I think this is amazing and says great things about the swimmers.

“Although few can be in the top ten, most are very interested in their actual time.

“Athletes are ‘strange’ people,” he said, laughing.

“In the 2023 swim we had an elite group but very few swimmers entered themselves into this group.”

The result was that the elite winner on the day won by only a few seconds from a swimmer in the open division.

“We will not have an elite group this year.

“The closeness of the finishing times and the loss of tags has caused us to employ a Sydney-based company – The Timing Guys – to manage the timing.”

There are three swims: 300m for 8-13-years-old, 600m for 10-years-old and above, and 2km for ages 14-years-old and above.

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