Records ?will go
By GREG WHITE
CHIEF organiser Mick Maley has a feeling numbers competing in the Novotel Pacific Bay Resort Ocean Swims on February 25 may smash all records.
"I participated in the Yamba Ocean Swims where the numbers were up 100 on last year and this is very encouraging for the series," he said.
"We've received heaps of inquiries for our swimand this means the event is paying off."
Maley points to an article in the Coffs Coast Advocate about the 'Swimming Walruses' causing a 50 per cent spike in numbers heading down for training.
"That's around 30 people swimming around the jetty on a Sunday morning," he said.
"These will now keep swimming for most of the year for a healthier and happier community, one of the reasons I started the swims in the first place."
With Yamba being the first leg of the three-swim North Coast Ocean series, race winner Nicola Bird will now be chasing a clean sweep if she wins at Coffs next month and South West Rocks in March.
The 15-year-old Sawtell swimmer, better known for her exploits in the pool, clocked 27 minutes 46 seconds for the 2km race after saying her only intention was to beat home her father, Steve.
Another local Dennis Meagher, 67, proved age was no barrier when he took the honour of 'last man standing', crossing the line in 57 minutes 19 seconds at just his third Ocean Swim attempt.
"I'm not a speedster in the water but enjoy being involved in a great community event," he said.
"A perfect training venue like the jetty helps me stay in shape."
Mick Maley said competitors with a real chance of winning like Nicola ? and those including Dennis who are only after some fun and fitness are just the type attracted to the event.
"Not only do you have the opportunity to help out local charities who benefit from the funds raised but you can also improve your own bank balance.
"Regardless of finishing first or last there are random draws for cash prizes with a further bonus for someone competing in both the 600m and 2000m swims."
Entry forms are available from local swimming pools or go online to: www.coffsoceanswims.com