Competitors head for the water at the start of the Beachside Radiology Ocean Swim around the Coffs Harbour Jetty foreshores.
Competitors head for the water at the start of the Beachside Radiology Ocean Swim around the Coffs Harbour Jetty foreshores. Leigh Jensen

Bondi star takes out Ocean Swim

VISITING Bondi Rescue surf lifesaver Jake Nolan improved on his 2010 effort to take out the blue ribbon event at the13th Beachside Radiology Ocean Swim series around the Coffs Harbour Jetty foreshores yesterday.

Nolan won the male division of the Novotel Pacific Bay Resort 2000m swim after finishing second last year to three-time champion Michael Sheil in both the 600m and 2000m events.

Sheil was missing from yesterday’s line-up.

Nolan powered home to claim the title yesterday but admitted he and his fellow Bondi lifesavers did little specific training for the event.

“We spend enough time in the water as it is but the bosses do allocate a bit of work time to us if we need it,” he said.

“The boys came up to Coffs Harbour to have a great time and the locals have made us very welcome and we thank you for that.

“But to be honest I’ve enjoyed most of my training at Hungry Jacks and had a lot of fun down at the Hoey Moey.”

While he will keep the prestigious title, Nolan made a generous gesture of passing on his winner’s prize to runner-up Warren Keegan.

When called to the microphone for presentations, each of the Bondi boys showed as much flair as entertainers as they do as swimmers and the crowd lapped it up.

And there was a warm reception for the extraordinary performance of 17-year-old university student Marlee Green who, within minutes of taking out the Southern Cross University 600m swim, was back in the water and charging ahead to claim the big double with victory in the female division of the 2000m event.

“It’s great to win here today as I’ve hardly had any time for training,” Green said.

“Since moving up to the Gold Coast for uni the swimming has been put aside as I’m a big one for studying.”

Green said she’ll be back in competition within two weeks when she lines up at the state surf lifesaving titles but with a limited preparation under her belt, will only be a spectator at the nationals.

Meanwhile, Greg Swan and Kevin Plummer kept their 100% attendance record for the annual event intact by making an assault on the 2000m swim.

Swan finished in 31.33 while Plummer swam 41.19.

Veteran competitor Cr Bill Palmer made it back from a short Bali holiday to compete and explained that in spite of the records saying he was the third swimmer to appear in every staging, Swan and Plummer have that distinction on their own.

“I missed a couple of the early ones while I was still working Sundays at the farm and didn’t really get into this event until six or seven years ago,” Palmer said.

Nevertheless, he completed the 600m short course event with a 19.27 swim.

Spokesman for the organising committee from the Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour Daybreak, Alan Halliwell, said 499 individual entrants had taken part this year.

“That’s up 19 swimmers on 2010 and translates to just over 700 multiple entrants which is a fantastic result,” he said.

“While many entries are now made online we still had 60 or so lining up at the Yacht Club just before the start to make sure they could take part.

“There was even a bus load of kids who came across from Armidale and we thought there may have to be a delay with the start to get them processed but everything went to plan and we got underway on time.”

Halliwell said the threatening skies held back and the cooler weather made for a pleasant morning.

“All we got were a few light showers but the crowd response was wonderful,” he said.

“Somebody estimated there were 500 or more watching from the jetty and it must have been a spectacular sight for them with all those swimmers in the water.”

Full results from every division will be published in The Coffs Coast Advocate on Wednesday.

2010 Ocean Swim Major Placings

Novotel Pacific Bay Resort 2000m


Jake Nolan - 27.09
Warren Keegan - 27.19 
Josh Chapman - 27.50


Marlee Green - 27.58
Courtney Gilfillan - 25.49
Alexandra McCulloch - 30.10

Southern Cross University 600m


Alex Sutton - 9.05
Mark Raeburn - 9.28
Zach Donnelly - 9.30


Marlee Green - 10.17
Zoe Burgess - 10.20
Jess Carah - 10.28

Jetset Travel 250m


Warren Keegan
Greg Bishop
Daniel Bannerman


Alice Williams
Julia-Anne Templeton
Grace Foster

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