swimOrganisers of this Sunday’s Beach Hotel Byron Bay Winter Ocean Swim Classic are predicting that about 2000 swimmers will take the plunge and compete in the event.

Former Australian swim star Hayley Lewis is one of the competitors, and regular competitor, 87-year-old Bill Ringland, is again expected to be the oldest swimmer in the event.

The quality of the line-up over the event’s 21 years is highlighted by the race’s record-holder: as a 15-year-old, former Olympic champion Grant Hackett did the swim in 19 minutes.

For those swimmers who may not want to tackle the long swim, a mini ocean swim of 800 metres will also be held.

The annual ‘Dash for Cash’ is also on again this year and swimmers will participate in a sprint to a buoy and back for cash prizes.

Online entries close at midnight tomorrow (Friday, May 1).
Late entries will be accepted at the Byron Bay Surf Life Saving Club on Saturday (May 2) from 1pm-5pm.


  • 7am: Registration opens at the Byron Bay SLSC for the issue of timing bracelets, swim caps and T-shirts.
    8am: Registration for mini-swim closes.
  • 8am-9am: Pre-race massage with Kelly Kennedy.
  • 8:45am: Mini-swim starts (along Main Beach towards The Pass).
  • 9am: Registration closes for swim classic.
  • 9am: Pre-race briefing for classic.
  • 9.15am: First bus leaves for Wategos Beach with 1st three waves of competitors. (If you wish to wear some protective clothing around to the start, it will be collected by the Salvation Army as a donation! It will not be returned to you later.)
  • 10am: Ocean Swim Classic starts at Wategos Beach (staggered start).
  • 11am: Elite Superfish division starts.
  • 12:15pm: Beach Hotel Dash for Cash (for swimmers who complete the Ocean Swim only) after finish of Ocean Swim Classic.
  • 12:30pm: Mini swim presentation begins.
  • 1pm: Presentation begins (includes valuable random draw prizes. Competitors must be present to be receive prizes).