Cheers to 30 years with ocean swim
ABOUT 420 competitors have registered for the 30th annual Byron Bay Property Sales ocean swim this Sunday.
The popular 2.2km swim from Wategos to Main Beach is on track for another bumper year with another 500 entries expected to come in by Friday.
Past Olympians Grant Hackett, Ky Hurst and Melissa Gorman have all won the event in the past with the focus moving away from attracting the bigger names in recent years.
The race still features plenty of talented swimmers with many coming from Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
The surf club, swimming club, various community groups, scouts and others pitch in to supply the volunteer power needed to cater for the numbers that do the swim.
"As of 2pm (yesterday) we are six entries behind where we last year when we ended up with 954,” event organiser Syl Reid said.
"We're expecting the weather pattern to remain the same with very small surf and hopefully the rain stays away.
"It's a bit of a routine for the club and we're lucky that a lot of people help us out.”
Byron Bay Mitre 10 have come on board as the naming rights sponsors for the 800m mini-swim from Clarkes Beach to Main Beach.
More than $800,000 in total has been raised since that first humble beginnings of 56 swimmers $500 made from the first event.
Entrants are now making a holiday of it and the increase in numbers from Victoria and other parts of the country in recent years.
There are a lot of details such as entry fees, check-in times, contacts and locations to check out at www.byronbayocean
Online entries close at midnight Friday, with no entries taken at the weekend.
Registration can also be taken between 3pm and 5pm at the surf club on Friday.
"We might pick up a few extras and some people in town might prefer to do it that way,” Reid said.
"We just want good weather and happy people on the day.”
The main race starts at 10am.