IT’S one of the toughest events on the Victorian swim calendar.
But veterans and young challengers are already lining up for the 30th Jalna Big Bay Swim across Port Phillip Bay on Sunday, February 24.
Lifesavers from Frankston, Mentone, Williamstown, Port Melbourne and Altona have rallied to ensure the 3.2km race from Port Melbourne to Williamstown goes ahead after rough weather forced organisers to cancel last year’s event.
This month’s swim is guaranteed, with an alternative course in place if the sea is too wild.
The iconic bay swim attracts the state’s best open water swimmers – including Pier to Pub champ Sam Sheppard – and a host of social swimmers who love the challenge.
A strong throng of western suburbs swimmers is among this year’s earlybird entries. Youngsters Robbe Dilissen, Altona, and Jesse Coulson, Williamstown, finished hot on the heels of Sam Sheppard in the previous bay swim and will be hoping to turn the tables this year.
Chloe McCardel, Australia’s English Channel champion, will greet swimmers at the finish line in Williamstown. She hopes to recruit a few more swimmers for the UK Channel crossings she organises.
Michael Harwood does about 40 open water swims a year with mates from the Williamstown Dolphins swim group, and rates the bay swim “one of the best”. “It’s a good swim, probably the best straight line event in Victoria. And it’s always well organised and prepared for all eventualities,” he said.
Entrants compete for cash prizes and valuable points in the Great Victorian Swim Series in the event run by the Rotary Club of Point Gellibrand.
Melbourne’s shipping channel will close for an hour during the swim, and a community festival on Williamstown’s Commonwealth Reserve will entertain swimmers and spectators.
Proceeds from the event support Rotary charities including a Pirates’ Day for Kids with Cancer and a weekend camp for disadvantaged youths from Melbourne’s West. Swimmers can enter at bigbayswim.com.au
- Media and pic inquiries: Ron Coleman, 0411 723 669
The Jalna Big Bay Swim gives open water swimmers the only chance to swim across Port Phillip Bay. Water safety is supervised by the Williamstown Swimming and Lifesaving Club and marshal boats are supplied by the Royal Victorian Motor Yacht Club.
Every entrant gets a refreshing tub of yoghourt from our major sponsor Jalna and there’ll be a big family festival on Williamstown’s Commonwealth Reserve to greet swimmers.
Cash prizes, spot prizes and bragging rights are up for grabs for all entrants.
Swimmers who enter before February 10 get a discount on their entry fee as well as a cap and commemorative tee-shirt.
The Rotary Club of Point Gellibrand is very excited to announce that in 2015 we will also be having a Big Bay Festival to coincide with the Big Bay Swim!
This should be a fantastic day for the whole family with rides, amusements and stalls as well as local entertainment to make it a fun day out for all ages.
More news about this addition to the day will be available soon however keep the 22nd of Feb free in your diary now!