10 am Sunday, January 27th, 2013
The first swim was held back in 1974 with just 38 intrepid members of Whale Beach Surf Club competing. Sharks were the big concern in those days and local scuba divers patrolled the bottom in an effort to ensure a safe passage for the swimmers.
The concept for the swim came from Bob Lynch, the father of
Barton Lynch, our former World Champion surfboard rider.
Sadly, Bob, a police officer, was killed while travelling on his
The idea of this beach–to–beach, open ocean swim caught on,
with numbers of entrants increasing dramatically to a point just shy of 2000 in 2003 and 2004. THE BIG SWIM was not held in 2005 due to dangerous surf conditions. Now, such beach–to–beach,
or point–to–point, journey swims have become the favourite swims of fine ocean swimmers. For safety reasons, Big Swim entrants numbers are limited to 2000.
Other surf clubs have copied the concept and now run swims along the beaches. However, THE BIG SWIM still is considered the premier event that is a must for competent swimmers upwards from the age of twelve to late seventies.
THE BIG SWIM is sponsored proudly by MACQUARIE GROUP.
The Macquarie Big Swim is dependent upon conditions on the day. The organisers reserve the right to decide not to proceed with the swim if conditions are considered dangerous. In this case, there will be no rain date, no re–run of THE BIG SWIM.
ABC Radio and commercial stations are requested to broadcast news of a cancellation. Telephone Whale Beach SLSC for report on conditions. 02 9974 4944.
By swim day, Whale Beach SLSC has already committed to significant expenditure in order to prepare for THE BIG SWIM.
The Club is liable for this expenditure irrespective of whether the swim goes ahead.
Whale Beach SLSC is a registered charity and a public benevolent institution. In he event of cancellation of the event, entry fees will not be refunded.
On several occasions over the past few seasons, Sydney beaches have been affected by cool currents that have brought colder water than we are used to onto our beaches at the time of year at which THE BIG SWIM is held. In the event of cooler water at the time of the 2010 Big Swim, Whale Beach SLSC offers this advice from our Honorary Medical Officers...
REDUCING THE RISK OF HYPOTHERMIA ON THE BIG SWIM
The Palm Beach to Whale Beach swim is the longest on the Sydney calendar with an average completion time over the years not much under 60 minutes.
The unseasonably cold ocean water this year raises concerns
for all regarding hypothermia. Safety must come first, second
and third. In response to this, the organisers give the following advice to all swimmers:
- If the water temperature on the day is less than 19
degrees Celsius, wetsuits or rash vests will be allowed.
Swimmers who wear wetsuits will have their times
recorded, but they will not be eligible for prizes in age groups or open categories.
- If you would expect to take more than 60 minutes or are prone to becoming cold, a rash vest or wetsuit is very strongly advised. If possible have a friend meet you on
the beach with a dry towel; wrap up quickly.
- You may wish to bring a second cap (particularly a thick silicone cap) to wear under the race cap.
- If concerned during the swim put your hand up; the IRB's will be carrying space blankets.
- At Whale Beach there will medical attention at
The Palm Beach to Whale Beach Ocean Swim is an annual event on the Sydney Ocean Swim calendar now since 1974. The safety
of all competitors is of paramount importance.
Whale Beach SLSC Incorporated