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Just a little wave at Black Head last Sundee week, but every wave has its moments. This study from Black Head habitue, General Grumpy.
Catch more of his work on our Black Head report... Click here

Pub's looking good

This weekend...

... could be a long weekend in the pub, if you're heading to Byron Bay, the State of Origin of ocean swimming. Weather forecasts are predicting more downpours, this time focussing on the NSW Far North Coast and South East Queensland, although the worst of it is expected to be over by Sunday. The Beach Hotel is looking pretty good at this point. But there's plenty more on offer in other places...

Fri, May 1 - Busselton (WA)
Sat, May 2
- Queenscliff - CANCELLED (NSW), Lake Argyle (WA)
Sun, May 3 - Byron Bay (NSW), Brighton (Vic), Bicheno (Tas)

We were taking online entries to Queenscliff on Sydney's northern beaches on Saturday, postponed from Easter, and now cancelled outright. See below for info...

queenscliff pano

Queenscliff - Swim for Saxon

This is the commemorative swim for Saxon Bird, the young lifesaver who lost his life at the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships on the Gold Coast in 2010. It's a beautiful beach (above), at the northern end of Steyne Beach from Manly. Unfortunately, awgies decided this morning (Wensdee) to cancel the swim for this season in view of weather forecasts for the next few days -- which are not pretty -- and extant and expected water pollution. Queenscliff sits at the mouth of Manly lagoon, and is highly vulnerable to problems caused by heavy rain and stormwater runoff. We congratulated the awgies when they told us this morning: it was an early call, and once they'd made the decision, they moved to tell everyone straight away.

Entries roll over to next season's swim. Awgies currently are searching for a date for that swim. We will tell you, through our event listings and our tweets and our email newsletters, what that date is, when it's decided.

The forecast
  • Weather - Cloudy, 90pc chance of rain, 16-22C (Willy Weather)
  • Wind - 13.6 knots "Moderate" SSE (Willy Weather)
  • Swell - 3.3ft, ENE (Hurley Surf)
  • Tide - High 6:59am, 1.5m (Willy Weather)

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Byron Bay

We're not taking entries for this swim, but it's worthy of note because it is the State of Origin of Ocean Swimming. We love the Byron weekend, although it's not the swim itself that grabs our attention, but the culchural activity surrounding it: informal swims every morning leave at 8am from the deck of the Byron Bay surf club. They generally involve a walk around to The Pass with hordes of like-minded punters, from all over the joint -- Byron, Bruns, Mullum, Mur'bah... all over! -- then the swim back, then it's over the road to the Beach Hotel for a cuppa, for in the mornings, the pub -- Byron Bay's Culchural Centre -- doubles as a café. Byron is the embodiment of the aphorism: The swim is the catalyst for the culcha; and, you do the swim to qualify for the culcha. That's it, above... culcha in creation.


The forecast
  • Weather - "Possible shower", although this follows several days of "Possible storm, heavy falls...", 17-25C (Willy Weather)
  • Wind - 9.6 knots "Gentle" WSW (Willy Weather)
  • Swell - 4.3ft, ENE (Hurley Surf)
  • Tide - High 7:42am, 1.4m (Willy Weather)

This forecast, for swim day, looks benign. It's the lead up that colours it, however. Byron is stunning in swell, especially from anywhere north of sou'-east. East-nor'-east means it will be coming straight in onto a bank under a dropping tide. Two or three years ago, awgies called off the swim at start time because of the swell at the finish, on Main Beach, on a dropping tide. That swell was bigger than this forecast, however. Watching the rain beforehand, we could be in for a weekend studying the Culchural Centre over the road. Either way, it's a terrific weekend, but for the entry fee: $65.

Be aware, too, that you cannot enter this swim on swim day or on the Saturday or swim weekend. Other than online and by mail, you can enter in person at Byron Bay surf club between 3pm and 5pm on Friday, May 1.

Champion of Champions

A new event in Victoria -- this is the 1st inaugural -- offering three distances: 1km, 3km and 8km. Do one, two or all three swims. If you do all three, newd, you become eligible to become "Champion of Champions", as the awgie, Chloe McCardel, styles the event. It's billed as a small event to encourage cooler water swimming, so the bias is towards newd swimmers. Wetties are welcome, but prizes and glory is oriented towards the hardier mugs.

Note: there is a total 12km in distance on offer in this event.

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.

What's your next adventure?

tonga whale 250Tonga

July 29 - August 6 - If you're thinking of coming with us to Tonga to swim with whales, we have one spot left at the current advertised package price. We booked a set number of airline seats at a guaranteed price. Once they're gone, you'll have to take whatever price is offered by the airlines. You have two weeks to book, unless someone else books it first. This is a unique opportunity: we will be the first swim group to visit Tonga for an oceanswimsafari-type tour. A week of swimming and whale watching in this little-known Pacific paradise, with the opportunity of getting in and swimming with the whales... Click here

vanuatu olry 250Vanuatu

June 3-7 - Port Vila, then June 7-13 in Espiritu Santo for 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

Greek Islands

August 14-23 - 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 Sebastian

August 27 - September 1 - Pintxos, txakoli, 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 6-15 - 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 Dali... Click here

yasawas tavewa 250Fiji

October 13-18 Mana Fiji SwimFest and the October 18-24 in 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.

Annual Awards and Brewery Night

It's coming up fast: mark Wensdee, June 24, in your diary for our annual Awards and Brewery Night at the Malt Shovel/James Squire Brewery in Camperdown, in Sydney. By courtesy of our favourite ocean swimming brewer, Chuck Hahn, and his team at Malt Shovel, it will be two hours of beer tasting, food matching, gas-bagging, gas-bragging, and our annual awards, as far as we can give them.

Tickets are free -- thank you to Chuck and Malt Shovel -- but you must book. Space is limited. You can book multiple tickets if you wish up to 4 per booking.

Go to our booking form under What's new on Click here

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Last weekend...

The multi-function beach (above)... as captured by Glistening Dave after he woke up too late to do the South Curly-Freshwater swim himself last Sunday. Instead, Dave wandered from start to finish, taking his photograrphs. This one embodies the essence of beach life in Stra'a: there's always a lot going on, with plenty of room for everyone.

See our report... Click here

Swims open to online entry on

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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