Fes­ti­val’s full week­end ex­pan­sion

Multisport Mecca - - News - Grant Ed­wards

GROW­ING in­ter­est in ocean wa­ter swim­ming has in­spired an ex­panded Mooloolaba Beach Fes­ti­val next Fe­bru­ary.

Pre­vi­ously known as the Mooloolaba Mile, World Se­ries Swims will in­tro­duce a two-day pro­gram next year fea­tur­ing pad­dling races, yoga, ex­hi­bi­tions, an out­door cin­ema, as well as ad­di­tional ocean swims.

New events on the Satur­day will see swim­mers un­der­take a 2.5km Alexan­dra Head­land to Mooloolaba ocean swim. There will also be a 5km race from Mooloolaba to Alex and re­turn for long-course swim­mers.

Pad­dle board­ers and stand-up rid­ers will also be given a chance to race the same 5km course.

On the Sun­day there will be ju­nior 300m and 800m swims, along with the tra­di­tional half mile and Mooloolaba Mile (1.6km) events.

“It was al­ways our in­ten­tion to ex­pand and have ocean swims over two days,” World Se­ries Swims di­rec­tor John Guise said.

“The mile field has been grow­ing, and there is plenty of de­mand for ocean swims.

“We wanted to in­tro­duce a new for­mat on the Sun­shine Coast. Rather than just a straight ocean swim event, we wanted some more leisure ac­tiv­i­ties, pad­dle board­ing and life­style op­tions that are more fam­ily friendly.”

The Noosa event, in early Fe­bru­ary, length­ened over two days this year and proved suc­cess­ful, with the rapid im­prove­ment in long-course en­trants.

“Ev­ery year the long-course fields are grow­ing. The week­end pun­ters are look­ing to test their lim­its,” John said.

“It’s sim­i­lar to the run­ning events, where once you con­quer a 10km you look to a half marathon.

“Once you do 1km you then look to 2km or 3km. The short cour­ses are pop­u­lar as ever but there has been a steady growth in the longer races.

“The fields are grow­ing all around the coun­try. The Bondi to Bronte in Sydney is also part of the World Swims Se­ries, and we man­aged it for first time last year and it was the big­gest field they have ever had.

“I think there is now a swim­ming com­mu­nity who also do a bit of triathlon. There is a group ded­i­cated to ocean swim­ming.”

Both the days will be ac­tion-packed, with the Satur­day to have ac­tiv­i­ties from sun­rise to sun­set.

Each morn­ing will be­gin with yoga ses­sions and spe­cial guests will in­clude life­guards who fea­ture on the Bondi Res­cue tele­vi­sion se­ries, along with of­fi­cial am­bas­sador and Olympic leg­end Michael Klim.


The World Se­ries Swims pro­gram will ex­pand in 2018 with a two-day Mooloolaba Beach Fes­ti­val.

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