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HomeARCHIVEAustralia's longest ocean swim held this Saturday

Australia’s longest ocean swim held this Saturday

Love a good ocean dip?  How’s a nine hour refreshing dip from Palm Beach to Shelly with a crack of dawn kick off sound?

Australia’s longest marathon swimming event, the 27km Ausbil Palm Beach to Shelly Beach Swim, will be held this Saturday 17 April 2021.

Organisers tell us this swim has an Australian Triple Crown rating, alongside the Port to Pub Rottnest 25km channel swim in Western Australia, and the Derwent River 34km river swim in Tasmania. We don’t know what means, but we are pretty sure it’s good. (Cheat sheet on lingo here.)

Only one athlete, Lynton Mortensen (QLD) has completed the Australian Triple Crown so far. Ausbil Palm to Shelly entrant Anna Strachan (QLD) will join Mortensen as the first female athlete to obtain the Australian Triple Crown rating upon completion this Saturday, they told us. #YTG

The Ausbil Palm Beach to Shelly Beach Swim is a prelude for the Oceans Seven marathon swims, which include the English Channel, as well as marathons around Manhattan and across the Strait of Gibraltar.

“The Palm Beach to Shelly Beach swim is arguably one of the toughest events on the Australian swimming calendar,” says event organiser and marathon swimmer, Tim Garrett.

“It is a genuine and challenging measure of how an athlete is placed not only against other athletes, but also the extreme challenge of ocean swims.”

Considered one of the longest and most challenging swims in the world, the Ausbil Palm Beach to Shelly Beach Swim typically takes athletes some six to nine hours to complete.

The stretch of water covers some of Sydney’s most picturesque reefs, is often pummelled by large, deep-ocean swells, and is a route shared with whales that migrate up and down Sydney’s coastline.

Athletes prepare for the demands of up to 12 hours of exposure to challenging, unpredictable waters through disciplined training programmes, cold water acclimatisation, mental preparation and tailored nutrition plans that maintain the energy levels required to complete these extreme endurance swims.

Australia is home to some of the best marathon swimmers in the world, including Trent Grimsey (QLD), Susie Maroney (NSW), Lynton Mortensen (QLD), Shelley Taylor-Smith (WA) and Chloe McCardel (VIC).  Chloe McCardel has entered the Ausbil Palm Beach to Shelly Beach Swim.

The Ausbil Palm Beach to Shelly Beach Swim commences at dawn, some 300 metres off Barrenjoey Head, where 38 athletes set-off, typically against the swell and winds, for the long swim to Manly. Of the 38 athletes, 8 of these have successfully completed the world renown 34km English Channel solo swim.

Paticipant Ross Youngman is also the CEO of Ausbil, who sponsor the event.  “We are proud to sponsor a community race of personal endurance against the elements,” he said. “It represents the striving and character that we all value, in life and in work.”



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Manly Observer is an experiment in providing non-sensationalist hyperlocal news on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We cover the big news across the LGA, but with a hyper focus on the Manly electorate encompassing Balgowlah, Seaforth, Freshwater, Brookvale and Curl Curl up to Dee Why. It is run by those living in the community for the benefit of an informed community. We care about an informed and connected community. That’s it. Simple. Thank you for your support in keeping quality local news alive!

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