December 15, 2019 - January 19, 2020: Issue 433


Pittwater Swim Series 2020

The Pittwater Swim Series 2020 commences on Sunday January  5th with the Newport SLSC's Pool to Peak series of swims, then moves to Bilgola SLSC's 'Billy Swim' on Sunday January 12th, followed by the Mona Vale SLSC's 43rd Don Jenkin Memorial Swim from Warriewood to Mona Vale on Sunday January 19th, with the BIG Swim and Little Swims, hosted by Palm Beach and Whale Beach SLSC's happening on Sunday January 26th, while the 'Round the Bends' and Avalon Beach Surf Swims round out the series on Sunday March 29th.

According to one of the organisers of the series, John Guthrie, each of the clubs now has shorter swims in addition to the traditional longer swims, ranging from 1.5kms to 3kms. In addition to the Big Swim, Avalon have introduced the ‘Around the Bends’ swim from Newport to Avalon so there are plenty of challenges for the experienced swimmers.

“The idea of the shorter swims is to get more people involved in ocean swimming so that they can gradually graduate to the longer swims. The shorter swims are also used as warm-ups for the longer distance swimmers.

“Each season we have a large contingent of ocean swimmers from other parts of the State as well as Interstate. Swimmers from around the world swell the entry ranks obviously combing ocean swimming in one of the best parts of Australia with a visit to this country” said John.

“Most swimmers bring their partners and friends as support teams and you will see them after each swim at the coffee shops, clubs and hotels. It’s a real boost for the area and we are delighted to have the support of Northern Beaches Council for the series in the form of a grant for the next three seasons.  

“The ocean swims are important fund raisers for each surf club and all funds go towards the purchase and maintenance of essential life saving equipment. It’s a win/ win for the local community and the many visitors to Pittwater over the summer season as the beaches are kept safe,” John continued.

The Pittwater Ocean Swim Series will again be giving swimmers, who complete three of the five swims, the opportunity to win a trip for two to Byron Bay, including air fares, courtesy of Travel View and three night’s accommodation at the Bay Royal Apartments in Byron Bay. The prize includes entry for two to the Byron Bay Classic Ocean Swim.

Entries and details for the swims will be via each club’s website or at

Details of each edition of the 2020 Pittwater Swim Series also run below.

Newport Pool To Peak Ocean Swims
First Of The Pittwater Series Ocean Swims

Newport Pool to Peak: Three distances: 800m and 2km, and now also 400m for swimmers as young as 10.  Start 9am (400m), 9:15 (800m), 10am (2km) (Registration from 7:30am). NB: Minimum age - 10 (400m, 13 (800m, 2km)
Entry fee: 2km, 800m, 400m - $30 ($40 on race day), Two swims (400m + 2km, or 800m + 2km) - $45 ($60 on race day)
Online entries close - 3pm, Saturday, January 4, 2020
Under 18 swimmers - Parents/guardians of swimmers aged under 18 must complete the online entry form, not the swimmers themselves. They must include their consent to the entry with full name and  phone contact. 

It’s only weeks before the Newport Surf Club’s Pool to Peak ocean swims are held on Sunday 5 January. John Guthrie, one of the Pool to Peak organisers said it’s hard to believe the swims are nearly here after a year of planning and organisation.

“For ocean swims to be successful the clubs must go through an authorisation process with various regulatory bodies and put in place elements such as registration of entries, safety procedures as well as timing and on the beach facilities such as bag security.

“We are lucky at Newport Surf Club to have a whole lot of our members as well as friends helping on the day to make it one of our biggest fund raising events. All the Pool to Peak committee members are dedicated people who are responsible for various components such as safety and first aid,” said John.

“We are very grateful we have Harris Farm Markets as our major sponsors and the Pittwater Ocean Swim Series is well supported by Northern Beaches Council who support the series with a grant.

The Pool to Peak swims include a 400m course which is intended to attract people who would like to try ocean swimming. It is also an ideal warm-up event for swimmers planning to swim the 2kms swim. There is also an 800m swim which is a great distance for graduating to longer ocean swim distances. 

“Online entries for the Pool to Peak are now open at You can also enter on the day but by booking online you avoid the queue. We are expecting entries from all over Australia as well as around the globe.

“We have introduced a level of Sponsorship known as Supporters who pay $1,200 + GST to have their logos on the patrol banner as well as the entry forms and mentions on the P2P Facebook, newsletter website and on the PA on the day of the event. 

“We are thankful to Temperzone, Johnson Bros Mitre Ten, the Royal Motor Yacht Club and Caffeine Villains Newport for their great support,” John continued.  

Newport Surf Club is now 110 years old and is a very successful club both on the competitive side as well as on the beach safety.

John suggested for those who have everything that entry to the Newport Pool to Peak ocean swims would make a great Christmas present. Better still, entry for all the Pittwater swims would make an even better present.

Bilgola SLSC's Billy Swim

Sunday, January 12, 2020, start 9am (500m), 10am (1.5km)
Entry fee: $35 online for one swim, or for both swims - not a bad deal ($45 on race day).
Online entries close: 3pm, Saturday, January 11, 2020
Under 18 swimmers - Parents/guardians of swimmers aged under 18 must complete the online entry form, not the swimmers themselves. They must include their consent to the entry with full name and  phone contact.

The main event at Bilgola is the 1.5km swim, following a polygonal course towards the northern headland, then back south, then back into the middle of the beach. The new, 500m (shorter than 800m in previous years) swim also is a circuit off the beach.

Having celebrated their 70th anniversary in 2019 Bilgola SLSC members will be on the sand and in the water to ensure this year's Billy Swim is a great experience for those following through on their New Year's plans to get fitter and enjoy more fun outdoors. Fresh fruit and water will be available for those coming back to the beach and of course you can't get those limited edition collectors items swim caps without being in this year's swims. 

Bilgola is Round 2 in the Pittwater Ocean Swim Series.

Warriewood To Mona Vale Ocean Swim

The 43rd Warriewood-Mona Vale Ocean Swim + The Bongin Bongin Swim
Sunday, January 19, 2020, 8:30am race start (900m), and 10am (2.2km)
Registration - Race day - From 7:30am (at Mona Vale SLSC for The Little Swim), then from 8:30am at Warriewood Beach for the 2.2km swim (park at Mona Vale and catch the free shuttle over to Warriewood, or park at Warriewood and schlepp back there after the swim)
Entry fee - $30 for each swim ($40 on race day) or $50 for both swims (online only - if you enter on race day for both swims, you will pay $80). NB: Minimum age - 12
Online entries close - 3pm, Saturday, January 18, 2020
Under 18 swimmers - Parents/guardians of swimmers aged under 18 must complete the online entry form, not the swimmers themselves. They must include their consent to the entry with full name and  phone contact. 

Don Jenkin Memorial Swim

Now two swims at Mona Vale -- the 900m Little Swim at Mona Vale, then hop on the free shuttle to Warriewood for the 2.2km back along the beach into Bongin Bongin Bay.

This is a "Family, Friendly Swim" run by a family focused club - Mona Vale SLSC with Warriewood SLSC helping out at their end. 

The event is named for late Mona Vale club stalwart and champion swimmer, Don Jenkin, who helped raise this swim to the standing it has today.

In 1977-78, our first Marathon Ocean Swim from Warriewood was held with 20 swimmers and years later it continues as one of our biggest fund raisers, named after founder and life member Don “Doc” Jenkin. 

This was one of the first swims held in Australia, and has been replicated by many other clubs to assist with their own fund raising events. 

The Big Swim - Palm Beach-Whale Beach

Thought to be New South Wales longest continuing running ocean swim with its first start in 1974, THE BIG SWIM presented by the Whale Beach Surf Lifesaving Club is a journey swim, not around the buoys in a bay, or up and down a beach outside the break but a true ocean swim, from Palm Beach to Whale Beach around the headland through the Tasman Sea.

Held on the last Sunday of January each year with a distance of 2.5 - 2.8 km, it is known as THE BIG SWIM because it is BIG, conditions vary from dead calm to testing south-easterly or uncomfortable nor'easter’s which can arrive early in summer with swells from all directions making for challenging swimming when you breathe to the left. It is a huge achievement to complete one swim and some have swum in over 30 swims.

The Little Big Swim

A big swim and a big season classic. Around Little Head from Palm to Whale. And The Little Big Swim, a 1km circuit off Palm Beach. You may enter either swim or both swims.

The Big Swim is Race 4 in the Pittwater Swim Series. 

There is a category for a more relaxed, back-of-the-pack type of swim - Fins & Skins. 

The next swim is on Sunday 26th January, 2020 and as a precursor the Little Big Swim commences at 8.30am with an 800 metre swim around kiddies corner at Palm Beach. This is a perfect introduction to open ocean swimming with enormous water safety and a fabulous location for a short course swim.

With registration from 7.30am for both events, the Big Swim starts off with the Elite group of swimmers at 10.00am.

Free transport from PARKING AREAS at Careel Bay soccer fields or arrive early for a beachside carpark.

Entry fees are:
Big Swim 17 years + - $50
Little Big Swim 17 years + - $40
Both swims 17 years + - $70
Big Swim 12-16 years - $30
Little Big Swim 12-16 years - $30
Both swims 12-16 years - $60

Under 18 swimmers - Parents/guardians of swimmers aged under 18 must complete the online entry form, not the swimmers themselves. They must include their consent to the entry with full name and  phone contact. 

Race day entry:
Big Swim organisers will accept up to 200 race day entries at Palm Beach on swim morning. Entry fees will be at higher cost than entries online.
Race day entry fees will be -
Big Swim 17+ - $65
Little Big Swim 17+ - $60
Both swims 17+ - $95
Big Swim U17 - $45
Little Big Swim U17 - $45
Both swims U17 - $90

Avalon Beach Ocean Swims Including The Around The Bends Swim Challenge

Sunday, March 29, 2020, 8am (Newport to Avalon), 9.30am (1km), 10:30am (1.5km)
Distances - 2.5km (Newport to Avalon), 1km Kids swim (but open to anyone), and 1.5km
NB: Minimum ages - Newport to Avalon - 13, 1km – U10 nippers (9 years), 1.5km - 10
Under 18 swimmers - Parents/guardians of swimmers aged under 18 must complete the online entry form, not the swimmers themselves. They must include their consent to the entry with full name and  phone contact. Just a phone number, a first name, or a number and first name will not do. Entries of U18 swimmers are not complete without this complete parental/guardian consent. Entries of U18 swimmers must use the parent's email, address, not that of the U18 entrant.
Entry fees - $30 for each swim or $50 for two swims. Race day entries cost $10 extra. NB: There will be no entry to the Newport-Avalon swim on race day. All entries to Newport-Avalon must be online here. Entries are offered to individual swims or to any two swims.
Online entries close - 3pm, Saturday, March 28, 2020
Registration on the day is available from 8am at Avalon Beach SLSC, and from 7am at the carpark at the northern end of Newport beach for the Around the Bends swim.
Back of the Pack - Avalon offers a Back of the Pack division for those who'd like a more relaxed swim. You can select this division when you enter online.

Newport to Avalon starts at the northern end of Newport Beach and heads out around the headland past Bilgola, then past another headland into Avalon. At Avalon, the 1.5km swim starts at the northern end of the beach, out through the break via the "North Avalon Express", thence towards the southern headland, then north to finish in front of the new clubhouse. The 1km swim is a circuit off the beach.

Organisers say... 

"Avalon boasts one of the most picturesque coastlines of all the Northern Beaches beauties. With the help of the ‘North Avalon express’, you can get an easy ride out past the flowing seaweed and sea life covered rocks to the first bouy before swimming across the beach to the pool and back to the new club house.

"Imagine the feeling of doing so with your child by your side! While Avalon’s shore dump can at times be tricky to navigate, the easy ride out and the scenic swim across the beach between the headlands make it all worthwhile, and of course offers valid bragging rights for you and/or your child as soon as landing on the sandy finish line!"

Free parking will be available in the reserve opposite Avalon Beach Public School in Old Barrenjoey Road, and in the parking area at netball courts at the end of Central Rd. Be aware, you must park legally, and the free-period applies only to 2pm. Otherwise, you can catch a bus to Avalon Beach. Parking will be available at the beach, but you’ll need to get in early and meters have been installed which you will need to feed. For those doing the Around the Bends Swim from Newport to Avalon, there will be bag transport provided to get your stuff from Newport back to Avalon, and a shuttle bus for bodies from Avalon to Newport at 12, 12:30, 1, and 1:30. You can register at Newport prior to race start (see above) and leave your car there, for later shuttle return. Be aware, parking restrictions apply: park legally and feed the metre where necessary.