Gold Coast Explorer since Jan 2010. Always on the lookout for fun, family things to enjoy with my four kids.
Take on an ocean swim
Coffs Ocean Swims is an annual fundraising event, offering distances for both novice and competitive swimmers plus fun races for the kids. Ideally situated within the protection of the harbour, the swims are sheltered by the wavebreak wall out to Muttonbird Island and the marina and based around the jetty. This is the perfect race event to try out ocean swimming, as you are not fighting big waves. There are various events, ranging from a kids harbour swim (minimum age 8 year old), to the longer distance 2km event across the bay. Entries can be made online or on the day (will incur a late entry fee).
My youngest daughter and myself entered the jetty swim (min age 12 yo) at Easter, in 2016 and enjoyed the challenge. The setting was beautiful and the conditions perfect. Being a back stroke swimmer, which is not normally the best approach in an open water swim, proved lots of fun in this event, as you can use the jetty to keep yourself lined up and see your family wave in support, as you swim past.
Place getters set an impressive pace in the various age categories. The winners of the 600m jetty swim came over the line in 7.40 (women) and 7:16 (men). There were entrants from the 70 - 79 years age group in the 600m ladies race and I had to smile when the mature lady next to us at the start told us she was just using this event as a warm up for the 2km and went on to become a place getter in both races. Races were started by Olympic swimmer Brooke Hanson, the Ocean Swims Ambassador, a trim, fit, mother of 4, who gave a great motivational speech at prize giving. More inspiration came from a South African female competitor who had donated a kidney only just over two months before the race and was placed in her age category. The event ran smoothly, from registration through to prize giving and all proceeds raised go to charity, including local community groups such as "Rotary Daybreak, Coffs Nippers SLSC, Sawtell SLSC, Woolgoolga SLSC and the Disabled Surfers Association."
Next year (April 2nd, 2017) marks the 20th annual Coffs Ocean Swim. Whether you are an Olympic swimmer or doing your first ocean swim, this is a great event to get involved in. Committing to your entry gets you out swimming in preparation, which is great for fitness.
Note - The Beachside Radiology Coffs Ocean Swims are now part of the Global Swim Series (GSS) – a collection of independent races from all over the world that have joined together to promote open water swimming and a healthy, active and adventurous lifestyle.
If you make a weekend of it, there are a number of local things you and the non-swimmers in your family can enjoy. Click here for your Top 10 Free Things to do In Coffs Harbour.
For something different, you may also be interested in camel riding on Boambee Beach and jetty jumping off the Coffs Harbour pier.