south curl curl beach
South Curly prepares for The Fukers (image from

Stormed in but plugging on

This weekend...

Sitting here, fogged into our erie in Sydney by the worst storm in ten years, it is surreal that we should be urging you to get out to swims this weekend. But we have a duty: if you're in NSW, Queensland, or the northern part of New Zealand, you can do formal swims on Sunday, although not on Saturday, when both nations will be focussed on the centenary of the Gallipoli landings.

Sat, April 25 - Nothing. Not a stroke. We'll be marching for our old man.
Sun, April 26 - South Curl Curl-Freshwater e (NSW), North Harbour (NZ), Mooloolaba (Qld)

We're taking online entries to South Curl Curl-Freshwater on Sydney's northern beaches on Sunday.

The Big Men of Little Music.

South Curl Curl-Freshwater

This swim has established itself as Sydney's late-season classic, over one of those courses that "just has to be done", and is best done in late autumn or early winter. How many times have you ambled along the cliff-top walk between Freshie and Curly and thought, "I'd love to do this course!"? But, usually being summer, it looks a little unruly. If you're like us, it will have been often. In summer, the winds come from the nor'-east, the swell usually from the sou'-east, both of them bouncing off the rockshelf along this stunning part of the coast, fomenting mayhem in the sea just offshore. But in autumn and winter, it's much more likely that there'll be a gentle offshore breeze puffing delicately off the cliff, calming the sea, which is clearer now that it's not being churned by backwash and the gauche bumptiousness of a black nor'-easter.

That is not to say that Curly will not throw you a challenge: were you there at swim start two years ago, when the autumnal calm was shattered as the gun went up by the blundering arrival of an aggressive southerly change, unseasonal but in your face nonetheless? It made for one of the bumpiest Sydney swims in years; one of the toughest challenges, a swim when you spent more time going up and down than ahead.

After this week's storms, the forecast for Sundee is "mostly sunny" with a gentle nor'-wester shifting to a more frisky sou'-wester during the morning. The air will be 10-18C, according to Willy Weather, but the water still is warm, and the sea on the beach is predicted to drop back to reasonable levels, under a metre. Even better: the swell is predicted to be from the nor'-east, which means it will be pushing you towards Freshie more than it will hamper your progress.

More good news: The Big Men of Little Music, The Fukers, will play on the surf club patio after the swim.

The forecast
  • Weather - Mostly sunny, 10-18C (Willy Weather)
  • Wind - 20 knots WNW (Hurley Surf)
  • Swell - 2.6 ft, ENE (Hurley Surf)
  • Tide - Low 8:45am, 0.6m (Willy Weather)

Online entries to the South Curl Curl-Freshwater close at 3pm on Sat'dee, April 25... Click here

auckland marathon course

Auckland Marathon

The second inaugural running of the Auckland Harbour Marathon on Sundee, over a new course, this year (see above), along the northern beaches by Takapuna. And, this year, awgies are accepting teams, so you don't have to deal with it all by yourself, if you would like to take part but don't feel you're up to the full distance. This swim typifies the surgence in ocean swimming in NZ in recent years, most lately shown by the domination of our fine ocean swimmers tallies by Kiwi swimmers.

More info... Click here


Also on Sunday, it's the final event in the Queensland Ocean Swim Series, the Mooloolaba Mile. More info... Click here

More info

Go to for more info about all this weekend's events. Look at Featured Swims on the right of our home page, and under Swims/Calendars for the complete swim calendar.

NSW fine ocean swimmers

We have another qualifier to add to the list of swimmers following the conclusion of nine rounds of the fine ocean swimmers series NSW. Due to a double entry in the points list, now rectified, Jennifer Coogan also qualified with 483.26 points from seven swims, coming in at 15th of the 22 qualifiers. Sorry about that, Jennifer. All 22 will go into the draw for our remaining travel prize from the NSW series, to the Mana Fiji SwimFest in October. The series winner, Lisa Critoph, has selected Vanuatu as her prize winning trip, and those who've won travel prizes in the past also are not eligible to win another. So, the odds aren't bad.

Following the completion of all nine rounds of the series, qualifying swimmers are -

  1. Lisa Critoph, Elanora, 811.66, 9/9 swims
  2. Judy Playfair, Earlwood, 742.98, 8/9
  3. Margaret Wilby, Thirlmere, 650.46, 8/9
  4. Angela van Boxtel, Manly, 630.24, 9/9
  5. Sue Wiles, Wentworth Falls, 625.43, 8/9
  6. David Smith, Newtown, 611.37, 9/9
  7. Fiona Hockley, Warnervale, 574.31, 8/9
  8. Shayne Collier, Gladesville, 558.59, 8/9
  9. Mark O'Sullivan, Maroubra, 552.1, 7/9
  10. Matthew Innes, Roselands, 550.48, 7/9
  11. Kate Helsham, Potts Point, 545.79, 8/9
  12. Jillian Pateman, Lawson, 537.19, 7/9
  13. Warren Smith, Kotara, 534.24, 7/9
  14. Regina Haertsch, Willoughby, 504.24, 8/9
  15. Jennifer Coogan, East Branxton, 483.26, 7/9
  16. Graham Hill, Balmain, 458.31, 7/9
  17. Marc West, Canterbury, 455.87, 7/9
  18. Michele O'Callaghan, Warrimoo, 440.00, 7/9
  19. Megan Duckworth, Narrabeen, 429.76, 7/9
  20. Victoria Nettle, Sutherland, 423.99, 7/9
  21. Brett McCulloch, Callala Bay, 418.67, 7/9
  22. Norm McIntyre, Drummoyne, 390.53, 7/9

What's your next adventure?

vanuatu olry 250


June - Port Vila, then Espiritu Santo Swim Week - Two swims in Port Vila, then a week of ocean swimming and other escapades on Santo, Vanuatu's Adventure Island. Do either or both legs. Visiting as a tourist is one of the best ways to support Vanuatu after Tropical Cyclone Pam. Port Vila was hit pretty hard, but Santo was pretty much unscathed and life continues as usual. Air Vanuatu's schedules are a little restricted until June 25: they're flying from Sydney on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, twice weekly from Brisbane, and four times weekly between Port Vila and Auckland, between April 17 and June 25... Click here

tonga whale 250Tonga

July-August - Swim with whales - A week of swimming and whale watching in this unknown Pacific paradise, with the opportunity of getting in and swimming with the whales... Click here

Greek Islands

August - In the wake of Jason and the Argonauts, and Mamma Mia - Sail around the Northern Sporades, where Jason sailed, and Meryl Streep tried to marry off her daughter, with some of the best food you'll ever eat, and swim in some of the best water you'll ever experience... Click here

san sebastian pintxos 250Spain - San Sebastián

August-September - Pintxos, txakolí, cider, and swimming - The Basque country at the western end of the Pyrenees in northern Spain is a rich cultural mix. You'll get a taste of much of it on our inaugural oceanswimsafari here... Click here

Spain - Costa Brava

September - On the other side of Spain, the eastern end of the Pyrenees, we'll get more of the world's best water in the Mediterranean, and the world's best food, and more culchural mix, dipping our toe into the world -- and the home -- of Salvador Dalí... Click here

yasawas tavewa 250Fiji

October - Mana Fiji SwimFest and the Yasawas - One of our favourite Pacific island swim venues, a festival of swimming at Mana Island, and a week's oceanswimsafari to perhaps the most beautiful, remote swimming location on earth, the Yasawa islands. Do both or either... Click here for Mana... and here for the Yasawas

Heron Island

October 29-November 2 - Enormously popular over the last few years, we had almost 200 punters with us on Heron Island last October. It really is a good weekend of swimming in some of the most beautiful water, right on the Great Barrier Reef. It will be a cathartic experience for you, too. Have you ever swum with sharks?... Packages available soon.

Swims open to online entry on

South Curl Curl-Freshwater (Sun, Apr 26)... Click here
Queenscliff (Sun, May 2)... Click here
Terrigal (Sat, May 9)... Click here
South Head (Sun, May 17)... Click here
Vanuatu (June 6 and 10)... Click here
Mona Vale (Sun, June 21)... Click here
Mana Fiji (Thu-Sat, Oct 15-17)... Click here
Evans Head (Sun, Nov 15)... Click here

Coming soon... Tweed River (Sun, Nov 29), Toowoon Bay (Sat, Nov 28)


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