The Yamba Surf Club Ocean Swims Day on Sunday once again attracted good numbers with 227 swimmers completing the 700 metre event and 137 swimmers completing the tougher 2km event.
Testing surf conditions at Main Beach saw race organisers make some last minute changes to the race courses for safety reasons. The 700 metre swim started and finished at the protected Convent Beach whilst the 2km swim started at Convent Beach and finished at Main Beach.
Melissa Hoare from the Grimsey Swim Fit Club in Brisbane continued her domination of events in the female division. In a repeat of last year’s results, Hoare was a clear winner of both the 700m swim and the 2km swim before also crossing the line first in the Dash for Cash.
In the 2km swim 13 year old Yamba star Kalani Ives finished 2nd to Hoare with Coffs Harbour’s Olissa Onley in 3rd place. Whilst in the 700 metre swim Gemma Johnson and Elise Beaumont filled the minor placings behind Hoare.
Racing was much tighter in the men’s division of the 2km main event with the surf providing plenty of challenges for competitors. The two leaders Toby Redler and Lachlan Walker were overtaken near the finish when former Yamba club champion and Nutri Grain iron man star Hugh Dougherty and Coffs Harbours Nick Bulloch came from behind on a big wave. Dougherty won the sprint to the finish line to claim his fourth win in the event following his victories in 2006, 07 and 09.
Earlier in the day Lachlan Walker from Alstonville had scored a comfortable victory in the 700 metre swim from Nick Bulloch and last year’s winner Ben Jimmieson.
The men’s 150 metre Dash for Cash also featured an exciting finish when half the field of 32 swimmers went down one of the biggest waves of the day. Thirroul’s Jake Beaumont and Yamba’s Harry Fahey were the only two to ride the wave all the way to the beach with Beaumont sprinting to victory to claim the cash.
The day once again proved to be a successful fundraiser for the Yamba Surf Club with a big team of club workers turning up to ensure things ran smoothly. Special mention is made of the IRB crews who made sure all swimmers got home safely.
Our sponsors of the day Clarence Valley Council, Pacific Hotel, Westlawn Finance and Insurance, Seymour Whyte, Belinda’s Store, Ray White Real Estate and Yamba Community Pool provided the support to enable great prizes to be offered to winners and placegetters in all age groups.
Next year’s swim day will be on Sunday 5th January 2020.