January 21-27, 2024: Issue 610


Summer In Pittwater: January 2024 

Palm Beach On A Saturday Afternoon

Saturday Morning Swims At Paradise Beach, Pittwater

Bungan - Mona Vale Morning Bliss: Joe Mills Turimetta Moods

Bungan Beach, Pittwater. Photo: Joe Mills (Turimetta Moods) Friday morning, January 19, 2024

Swimmers at The Basin (Mona Vale Beach) just after dawn. Photo: Joe Mills (Turimetta Moods) Friday January 19, 2024

View over The Basin (Mona Vale Beach) to Warriewood. Photo: Joe Mills (Turimetta Moods) Friday January 19, 2024

Seagulls resting and cleaning. Photo: Joe Mills (Turimetta Moods) Friday January 19, 2024

View over Turimetta Beach Photo: Joe Mills (Turimetta Moods) Wednesday January 17, 2024


2024 Pittwater Ocean Swim Series; Newport + Bilgola

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.


Palm Beach SLSC's 2024 Adrian Curlewis Masters Carnival: 12th Edition Of Celebrating The 'Father Of Surf Lifesaving' In Australia

For many SLS athletes the best way to begin the year is to join in that carnival run on the first Friday of January annually; the Adrian Curlewis Twilight Masters Teams Carnival.

The series of swims, a board relay, ski relay and a Taplin comprising the racing clears out the New Years' cobwebs and is a great precursor to other carnivals run through February, March and April. 

This year teams from right along the peninsula attended along with a strong showing from surf clubs from Sydney's southern beachesr, with those aged in their 30's up to their 80's taking part. In fact, this years' opener carnival has become so popular two areas were utilised this year so the 43 teams competing weren't cooling their heels on the sand waiting to get into the water.

The 2024 Edition was the 12th Adrian Curlewis Twilight Masters Teams Carnival, held on the beach in front of Palm Beach Surf Life Saving Club and followed by the traditional back lawn BBQ and Presentation held in PBSLSC.

The beach events always attract interest from those still on the beach at that time of a long Summer afternoon, showcasing what surf lifesaving is all about and how maintaining and honing the skills in surf sports ensures volunteers are well-equipped to help people who may get into difficulties in the ocean, no matter what their age is.

As founder of the carnival, Palm Beach SLSC, and past president of the SLS Sydney Northern Beaches Branch, PBSLSC’s Gordon Lang explains,

‘’The Adrian Curlewis Masters Carnival was started for two reasons, the first is to honour and recognise Adrian Curlewis, one of our club’s founding members and known to many as ‘the father of surf lifesaving’ in Australia. 

The second reason was to provide a fun, fast and enjoyable event and a chance for us to all get together afterwards, share some food and a few laughs and catch up.’’

Gordon Lang, at front, with the team from North Steyne

This carnival celebrates the camaraderie between individuals across all surf life saving clubs that take part. Many of these 'Masters' will meet up again at Branch, State and Australian championships over the forthcoming weeks, and there too they will form a team of one that has as its purpose supporting each other, even if they will be vying for medals against each other.

Who won the ACMC for 2024? 

Everyone who participated or attended, including special guests such as Mackellar MP Sophie Scamps, Pittwater MP Rory Amon and Councillors Bianca Crvelin and Karina Page. 

The results indicate Manly, Freshwater, Mona Vale, Palm Beach and Newport remain strong in their Masters divisions - although every other club listed here will turn up in Aussies' 2024 medals lists.

Adrian Curlewis Masters Carnival 2024 results:

So who was Adrian Curlewis? How and why did he inspire such ways of living your life?

A little about the gentle man this carnival was named for from an earlier Pittwater Online page:

Adrian Curlewis (1901-1985) was born to Ethel Turner, author of Seven Little Australians, and Herbert Raine Curlewis, barrister and later judge, at Mosman. His parents were both very community minded, his mother donating to charities and organising Ambulance and First Aid courses during World War I while his father, who was a member of the (Royal) Australian Historical Society, also lectured at Sydney University (1911-1917). 

While growing up he was exposed to visitors such as Henry Lawson and with both parents fond of the pen, his mother prolific up until her daughter Jean’s death and publishing over fifty works and his father writing love verses for Ethel in Latin and Greek, the emphasis on developing the mind was balanced by a love of sports. Ethel enjoyed skating, tennis and surfing and the family spent many summers in Pittwater at Palm Beach. 

''We camped in a tent at the north end, we didn't own or rent one of the bungalows.'' Ian, his son, told Pittwater Online years ago.

L to r: Adrian Curlewis, Ethel Turner, Jean Curlewis and her husband Dr. Leo Charlton in the Blue Mountains - photo courtesy Curlewis family

This early T Model Ford was one of the four cars to be seen at Palm Beach in the early 1900’s. In this photo Ethel and her sister Lilian and son were having a picnic whilst Adrian, looking out to sea, seems to be contemplating what lay ahead for him. - Photo courtesy Philippa Poole

Adrian, like his sister Jean, had a great love of Palm Beach summers which, then, was a bush holiday by the sea place not the fashionable destination of the hoi polloi it was soon to become. 

He was, possibly, the second person to ride a surfboard at Palm Beach;

Adrian Curlewis learned surf-board riding from John Ralston, who had the first surfboard at Palm Beach. Later he bought his own surfboard for £5. 

"It had belonged to Manly swimmer Claude West, who put an ad. in the paper reading: 'Surfboard for sale. Owner in hospital through using same'," Judge Curlewis told me. (Surfboard riding in Australia was only six years old in 1920. The Hawaiian Duke Kahanamoku had introduced it to Australia in 1914.) From: The Australian Women's Weekly Saturday 3 February 1951, page 17. 

Adrian Curlewis, circa 1927-30 doing a headstand on his surfboard at Palm Beach - photo courtesy Philippa Poole, daughter of the 'Father of Surf Life Saving'

It was here, after witnessing the drowning of two people, that Adrian formed, with fellow Palm Beach visitors and residents, the Palm Beach SLSC.  

Adrian is at the front right, and this is the shed PBSLSC members had to begin with. 1921: Curlewis family photo

These volunteers saved many lives during their tenure while Sir Adrian went on to become President of SLSAA for forty years (excepting the years at war during WWII) and became the sole Life Governor of that Association from 1974, with his Presidency of the International Council of Surf Life Saving running from 1956 to 1973. 

Adrian’s son Ian and daughter Philippa also were involved in Patrols while growing up and son Ian, an Honorary Life Member, also gave decades of service to Palm Beach SLSC and the movement itself. 

L to R: Bill Tulloch, Ken Coles, Peter Barnes, Pat Barnes, Philippa Curlewis, Jim Tulloch in 1940 – photo courtesy Philippa Curlewis. 

''Other members included Ian Curlewis, Bruce and Laurie Seaman and Pat Tulloch.'' - Philippa to Pittwater Online, 2011.

The JSLSC ran for three seasons and included Australia’s first female Nipper – Philippa herself.

On December 12th 1928 Adrian married Betty Carr, a vibrant beautiful girl, originally from Western Australia, who shared his love of the ocean, its waves and was also quick-minded and instilled in investing in community. Betty (Beatrice Maude), apart from being mum to Ian and Philippa, was one of the ladies who helped organise dances and other functions to raise funds to keep the Palm Beach SLSC going and to purchase much needed equipment during the decades when funds from local councils were sparse.

Enlisting a week before Australia entered the war, Adrian was sent to Singapore on the Queen Mary and was one many who became a POW when the Allies surrendered this port. He kept two secret diaries while in captivity, helped in maintaining the health of fellow prisoners and organised what was known as the ‘Changi University’ which was credited with keeping up the spirits of many men.

Above: Adrian in 1927 the year he was admitted to the NSW Bar. Photo courtesy Philippa Poole (his daughter). 

Below: Adrian in 1945 on returning home. Photo courtesy Philippa Poole.

In 1945 Captain Curlewis returned home after three years in Changi and on the Burma-Thailand railway as a member of the 8th Division. Like many who fought in WWII Sir Adrian strove to fit as much as possible into the years following the war to regain not only time lost but also do what he would have done if not involved in this conflict.  

Above: Adrian on Chinaman's Beach after WWII with his health beginning to return. Photo courtesy Philippa Poole. 

The list of his post-war achievements would take pages to distil but all shine with a determination to rise above the damage war had caused.  

A short precis of these are; being Convenor and Chairman of the International Convention on Life Saving Techniques, which led to the worldwide adoption of mouth to mouth resuscitation, to also fulfilling hands on roles as chairman (1949-71) of the New South Wales National Fitness Council, or as founder (1956) of the Outward Bound movement in New South Wales, and the man who was national co-ordinator (1962-73) of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in Australia, and president (1968-84) of the Royal Humane Society of New South Wales, as well as being a District Court Judge (1948 to 1971), demonstrate his dedication to investing in people, in Australia’s development, and a huge capacity for hard work and a driven nature with a deep seated belief in improving humankind. 

As President (1934-41, 1945-75) of the Surf Life Saving Association of Australia Adrian never ceased in his insistence that ‘saving lives’ was the paramount achievement of this organisation. 

Fitness in body and mind formed a large part of this.

On becoming a grandfather the haunted look in his eyes in the years following WWII has begun to recede and the smile that was his as a boy returned. 

Pittwater has clearly been enriched in the past by Adrian Curlewis just as Australia still is today. His generous heart, uprightness and integrity even under duress, qualities that were his as a young man and even more evident as an elder, lived in his son Ian and his daughter Philippa and in the legacy of all he brought to Surf Life Saving. 

He was recognised for his devotion to Australia and her people by being knighted in 1967, although Ian told us years ago he did not like to be called 'Sir' - he was a humble, gentle man who simply liked 'getting on with it' and doing what he could to lift others up, quietly, humbly, with great respect for all whom he met as his first approach. 

His nature and perspective lives on in his descendants - they are generous, kind, open and respectful of others - and HUGE supporters of the Surf Life Saving movement.

To Pittwater, Palm Beach, and Australia’s down to earth and ‘get on with it’ peoples he remains 'Mr Surf Lifesaving' and to many the 'father of surf life saving'.

Facts and figures of annual reports do not make history, nor do they make the Surf Life Saving Association. It was the joy of living, the joy of the sea, and a joy in challenging nature with a life to save a life, with a certain knowledge that win or lose there would be no reward. That made the Surf Life Saving Association of Australia. Here lies the treasure.’ - Sir Adrian Curlewis

Palm Beach SLSC Carnival. This R&R squad competed in the first Surf Carnival to be held at Palm Beach on 1/1/1923 - Adrian is on left at back -  Photo taken by Leon Cayley, courtesy Philippa Poole

Greeting Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip at Bondi, March 1954

L to r: R.I.P. - Ian, Adrian, Betty and Philippa at Mosman when Philippa's book  'Of Love & War' was launched. Photo: Curlewis family.


A few photos from the 12th edition of the Adrian Curlewis:

In The Garden....

Lilli pilli fruits - juvenile magpies being fed - corellas preening- early morning strolls along cool tree-lined streets