20 years in the swim

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - SPORT -

THERE are three swim­mers who cer­tainly won’t be miss­ing the start of this year’s Beach­side Ra­di­ol­ogy Coffs Ocean Swims.

Coffs Har­bour lo­cals Michael Tonks and Greg Swan, and Brunswick Heads swim­mer Dave Alexan­der all share some­thing very spe­cial.

They are the only swim­mers who have taken part in ev­ery one of the Coffs Ocean Swims since they be­gan 20 years ago and will be lin­ing up on the Jetty Beach on Sun­day, April 2 to dive in for the 20th time.

They have raced in ev­ery­thing from big swells and choppy seas to flat, glassy con­di­tions and wouldn’t miss the an­nual Coffs swim.

Each year they take part in both the 600m swim around the jetty and the 2km swim across the har­bour.

In fact, the dis­tance they have cov­ered in the past 20 years would be the equiv­a­lent of swim­ming from Coffs Har­bour to Wool­go­olga and back.

Swan said he had taken part in ev­ery swim be­cause he loved the event, it was well or­gan­ised and there was some­thing re­ally nice about swim­ming past the jetty.

“Hav­ing par­tic­i­pated in swims all up and down the east coast, I can def­i­nitely say the Coffs Ocean swim is my favourite,” Swan said.

“Hope­fully I can do the swims un­til I’m 70, so if all goes well, I’ll still be lin­ing up for the Coffs Swims for the next 30 years or so.”

An­other 20-year Coffs Ocean Swims vet­eran, Tonks, said his mo­ti­va­tion was the fact that it was an an­nual char­ity event and also very com­mu­nity ori­ented.

“It also mo­ti­vates me to get fit each year and I al­ways com­pete in the 600m swim to warm up for the 2km swim,” he said.

En­tries are now open for the 20th an­niver­sary swims and or­gan­is­ers en­cour­age all those who have par­tic­i­pated pre­vi­ously as well as those who have never done an ocean swim to en­ter and be part of the cel­e­bra­tions.

The Beach­side Ra­di­ol­ogy Coffs Ocean Swims cater for ages 8 and over.

Events in­clude the 600m jetty swim, the 2km har­bour swim and the Coffs Har­bour War Me­mo­rial Olympic Pool 150m and 300m ju­nior swims.

All events will be held at the pro­tected Coffs Jetty Beach on Sun­day, April 2.

For more in­for­ma­tion and to en­ter go to www.vil­lage sports.com.au.

MILE­STONE: When swim­mers hit the waters of Coffs Har­bour Jetty for this year’s Beach­side Ra­di­ol­ogy Coffs Ocean Swims, it will be the 20th time the event has been held. PHOTO: ROB WRIGHT

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