January 21-27, 2024: Issue 610


2024 Pittwater Ocean Swim Series Kicks Off: The Newport Pool To Peak + Bilgola's 'Billy' Swims

Newport Pool To Peak Swims 2024

The first Ocean Swim for 2024 was Newport SLSC's Pool to Peak set of swims as part of the Pittwater Ocean Swim series. With a 400 metre swim, a 800 metre offering and a 2 kilometre challenge, over 600 residents and visitors lined up to dive on into the new year, including Mackellar MP Sophie Scamps in the 800m who was back to the beach among the early finishers.

Mitchell Green (Eloura SLSC) was 1st in the 800m and 2k event while Zannah Dixon and Max Barbour were both over the line in 5:03 in the 400m.

VIP guests included Mayor Sue Heins, Councillor Michael Gencher, Member for Pittwater Rory Amon and Member for Mackellar Sophie Scamps, both of whom helped out with the starts this year in great style.

Rory Amon MP for Pittwater said this week,

“The Pittwater Ocean Swim Series is iconic!

“The Pool to Peak at Newport was a spectacular start to the 2024 series, with over 600 swimmers taking part. Followed by one of the more challenging swims of the series, the Billy Swim at Bilgola Beach, which had almost 300 participants.

“Each swim would not be possible without the support of our vibrant Pittwater community. Thank you to amazing our local surf clubs, businesses, community organisations and countless dedicated volunteers.

“It has been wonderful to see people come from near and far to get active and enjoy Pittwater’s world class beaches. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the series brings!

“If you’re visiting any of Pittwater’s beautiful beaches this summer, please stay safe and follow the directions of our surf lifesavers.”

Pittwater MP Rory Amon at Newport's Pool to Peak Swims with Newport SLSC Volunteers

With a range of swims to choose from swimmers, of all levels are catered for, David Madew, coordinator of the Pittwater Series, says swimmers can test their ocean swimming skills at some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. All entrants will go automatically in the draw for an OceanFit Swim The Whitsundays tour for one, valued at $2,295.

''To be eligible to win, the Oceanfit Whitsunday holiday prize, swimmers must enter at least three of the swims in the series. “It is a dream prize for ocean swimmers. The winner is drawn from those who have entered three swims, so the winner can come be any swimmer,” David added.

''Each swim is an important fund raiser, for the surf clubs involved, so that they can purchase and maintain essential lifesaving equipment. This in turn makes our beaches safer for the many swimmers who visit Pittwater each summer,“ said David.

There are still 3 opportunities for everyone to get into the swim of things in the 2024 Pittwater Ocean swim Series: Warriewood To Mona Vale Swim (& Family Swim) hosted by Mona Vale SLSC, The Big Swim from Palm Beach to Whale Beach, and Avalon Beach SLSC Surf Swims which offers the 1.2km ‘family’ swim around the buoys off Avalon Beach and the pinnacle event, the ‘Around The Bends’ Newport to Avalon Beach 2.5km point-to-point journey swim.

Details for the final 3 swims and link to sign up in: Pittwater Swim Series 2024

While all this set-up and 'GO!' Pool to Peak activity was going on a full Patrol was also on the beach looking after those swimming between the flags - a quick picture just as they were finished setting up for the records:


A few more pictures from this year's Pool to Peak. Album HERE for those who want to download some for their own family albums - results HERE

Going for first ever Ocean Swim in your 80's

This lovely couple were met on the bus to Newport on Sunday January 7th - they were on their way to the Pool to Peak Swims where a friend of theirs, 80+ years young, was going in their first ever swim. Seeing them on the beach, waiting for their friend to come in after the first swim of the day - the 400 metres - provided an opportunity to get one of those happy snaps Summer in Pittwater is filled to the brim with. 

Going for first ocean swim with mum

Avalon Beach SLSC Members are always keen to 'get in the swim of things' and support other local surf lifesaving clubs. This mum and daughter duo from the Murray family did exceptionally well in the 400 metres swim, and had a great time in doing so.

Two more first-timers

Legendary Newport Leatherjackets social swimming group members have been seen participating in all Ocean Swims. Find out more about the group at link - all welcome, all belong

Harris Farms supplied tonnes of scrumptious fresh fruit for swimmers

a family affair

on Breakfast BBQ duty

and on the microphone - another Newport SLSC legend

Cr. Gencher, Newport SLSC President Guyren Smith, Pittwater MP Rory Amon and Mayor Sue Heins

Bilgola's 'Billy' Swims 2024

The 'Billy Swim' is the 2nd event in the Pittwater Ocean Swim Series, with swimmers able to compete in the 500m or 1.5km events, or both for those looking for an even greater challenge. On the beach this year Mayor Sue Heins started the 500m race, while Pittwater MP Rory Amon was the 1.5k starter.

Mr. Amon went from one end of the beach to the other during the running of this years' Bilgola swims, talking to residents, catching up with Patrol 9, who were supporting the Billy Swim and looking out for those taking a dip between the flags at the north end of the beach, along with congratulating all who took part as participants headed back to the surf club building where a great BBQ was on offer, along with a heap of fresh fruit, again supplied by the great people at Harris Farms.

Nikki Curtin did an outstanding job as swim coordinator, President Peter Fenley supported across the event and Ian Mac was an outstanding MC. 

Pittwater MP Rory Amon, Bilgola SLSC President Peter Fenley and Mayor Sue Heins

Some of Newport SLSC's Leatherjackets social swimming group with Nikki Curtin

Bilgola SLSC IRB members were supported by Jet Ski and IRB crews from Newport Surf Club, Avalon Beach SLSC, Whale Beach SLSC and Mona Vale SLSC - and who are all part of the annual Pittwater Ocean Swims series. 

IRB safety crews

In the water safety group

Surf Boat Rowers the Bilgola 'Colts' and Boat Captain Neil Jones provided water safety too

On BBQ duty

Jeremy from Clovelly (NSCA swim group - 'No Softies'), who takes part in Bilgola SLSC's ocean swims each year as they are a personal favourite of his, said it was a ''bit lumpy this year; but that is what ocean swimming is about, the challenge and conditions on each day''. 

Jeremy - loves the Bilgola Ocean Swims

Terrigal lifesaver Hayden Smith claimed 1st spot the 500 metre-sprint, just one whole second ahead of Lachlan Foley. The 43-year-old has two main goals in 2024; doing well in the World Championships and excelling in the legendary Coolangatta Gold.

Lachlan came home strong in the 1.5k as well, equalling teenager George Abbott over the line. George placing 1st in the 1.5k swim surpasses his 2023 result in the Billy long swim, where he came 7th out of the 286 swimmers participating. 

First female back to the beach and winner of both the 500 and 1500m Billy Swim was Lexi Harrison - again! Lexi cleaned up in 2023 by taking 1st in both these swims. Lexi was first in the 2020 500m and went on to complete the double by also being the first woman out of the water in the 1500m that year too.

Lexi regularly competes in freestyle, backstroke and medley events in State and Australian Championships. Lexi was also part of the 2018 Surf Life Saving NSW U18 Pool Rescue Development team to compete at the New Zealand Pool Rescue Championships.

Teenager Zannah Dixon secured 2nd in both these swims and regularly cleans up in Nationals and in surfing - and has done so for years. Zannah was first female and second swimmer in overall in the 1.5k in the Bilgola 2021 ocean swim. 

All Results here - PON Album for those who want pictures for their own Family Albums - with a few more below.



Pos Category Name Gun Time

1 40-49 Hayden SMITH (#96) 00:07:09

2 20-29 Lachlan FOLEY (#44) 00:07:10

3 50-59 Peter THIEL (#99)         00:07:17


Pos Category Name Gun Time

1 20-29 Lexi HARRISON (#51) 00:07:15

2 11-19 Zannah DIXON (#34) 00:07:58

3 40-49 Jane HINTON (#56) 00:09:27



Pos Category Name Gun Time

1 13-19 George ABBOTT (#109) 00:17:11

2 20-29 Lachlan FOLEY (#184) 00:17:11

3 40-49 Hayden SMITH (#301) 00:17:45

George Abbott and Lachlan Foley


Pos Category Name Gun Time

1 20-29 Lexi HARRISON (#197) 00:18:05

2 13-19 Zannah DIXON (#168) 00:19:01

3 30-39 Kate SHEDDEN (#429) 00:21:24

Lexi Harrison - two 1st again in 2024

Zannah Dixon

Mayor Sue Heins is a great supporter of all local Ocean Swims - with President Peter Fenley

Radio NB was there too!

Pittwater's MP Rory Amon and Patrol 9 of Bilgola SLSC; raising funds so volunteers on our beaches can do what they do all Summer long is what the Pittwater Swim Series is all about.

Report/photos: A J Guesdon.