Now into its 21st year, tomorrow's Beachside Radiology Coffs Ocean Swims will one again fill the Jetty Harbour with swimmers.
Now into its 21st year, tomorrow's Beachside Radiology Coffs Ocean Swims will one again fill the Jetty Harbour with swimmers. Nashyspix

Join in the Ocean Swim's 21st Birthday celebrations

SWIMMERS of all ages and abilities are ready to race in the 21st annual Beachside Radiology Coffs Ocean Swims tomorrow.

It's not too late to enter the Ocean Swims with last-minute entries being taken tomorrow morning.

Age is certainly no barrier for many with competitors ranging from 8 to almost 80.

The eldest competitor in the 600m swim is John Elliott, 73, from Concord in Sydney. Stephen Parnell from South West Rocks is also turning 73 this year and is the eldest competitor in the 2km event.

The junior swims will see a lot of first-timers take to the water.

The 600m Jetty swim is the first event of the day with the starter's gun going off at 8am for the females and another 15 minutes later for the male swimmers.

The junior events for the 8 to 14 year olds start at 8.40am.

The swimmers will be diving into the water for the morning's main event, the 2km Beachside Radiology Harbour Swim, at 9.30am.

For the competitive swimmers in the 2km event the field is wide open with some of last year's podium finishers ready to defend their titles.

Expect to see Emerald Beach's Nick Bulloch and Hernani's Richie Goddard fighting for the lead in the men's 2km race and locals Lucy Alkemade and Emily Meacham go head to head with Armidale's Lucy Fenwicke vying for the women's trophies.

The Coffs Ocean Swim is one of the longest running sporting events on the Coffs Coast with a lot to celebrate in its 21 years.

One major achievement is raising more than $210,000 for local charities and community groups including Coffs Harbour and Sawtell and Surf Clubs who've been providing volunteers to assist with water safety every year.

"We rely heavily on these surf clubs for the safety of our competitors in the water," race director Noel Phillips said.

"The donations from the Ocean Swims help the clubs purchase much-needed training and rescue equipment to keep swimmers safe on the beach, not only during the Coffs Ocean Swims but all year round."

The Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour Daybreak has also played a major role in ensuring the event's success over the years and lends a hand with registrations, beach setup and running the barbeque.

"Without the help of the volunteers from these organisations, the event would not be possible and we are extremely grateful for their continued support," Phillips said.

Late entries for the Beachside Radiology Coffs Ocean Swims can be made from 6.30am on Sunday at the Yacht Club with a $10 late fee. For further information go to www.villagesports.com.au.



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