The Hotondo Homes Broulee Bay to Breakers Ocean Swim continues to grow, as a record 420 swimmers took on the event's eighth installment.
Swim coordinator, Gary Pettigrove, said immaculate conditions - sunny, light breeze, small swell, and clear water - and a lovely community vibe made for a terrific event.
“We had a few technical hiccups (a red buoy which anchored itself to the bottom in the wrong spot and some teething problems with new timing gear) but these were well and truly overshadowed by great success with our fundraising - $12000 in total which will be shared by the surf club and the Broulee Mossy Point Community Association," he said.
The Gribble family was there in force. Quadriplegic James Gribble was competing in his sixth swim with a five-strong posse of family members swimming with him (whether the posse was supporting James or dad Roger was perhaps open to question). A large Gribble mob was also on the beach giving encouragement.
In other families, rivalries were resumed. Late entrant Barton Waser was nonchalant at the start, saying he “just wants to finish", but younger brother Lawson had a more determined demeanour and finished with the family bragging rights .
Charlotte Dunn of Canberra was trying for the third time to upstage dad Vincent. She didn’t - Vincent in the over 40s swam 25 minutes and Charlotte 29 minutes, but she’s got him in her sights – two years ago the difference was 8 minutes.
Perhaps the grandest of the family contests played out in the open event where swim coaches and life partners James Thorp and Grace Hoitink from Canberra went stroke for stroke, with Grace just edging ahead at the shore and holding off a fast finishing James for her first swimming victory over him.
Gary Pettigrove applauded the 24 swimmers who achieved 'bronze dolphin' status by completing five Broulee Bay to Breakers Ocean swims. He also paid tribute to all the sponsors and volunteers who made the swim such a success. .
Sponsors of the event include major sponsor Hotondo Homes and Tomakin Sports and Social Club, Total Eco Adventures & Broulee Surf School, Broulee Supermarket and Cellars, Offshore Surf Shop, IGA the Moorings Tomakin, Trussworx, The Lodge Broulee, fx Business Centre, Mogo Zoo, Bay Physiotherapy & Pilates, Ingenia Holiday Big 4 Broulee, Key-Sun Laboratories, Woolworths Moruya and Batemans Bay, Kardinia Wines, Bridge Plaza/Village Centre, Vikings Group, and Broulee Health Reform.
Open Female: Grace Hoitink - 20:12.
Open Male: James Thorp - 20:13.
Over 80: Alan Cameron - 38:23 (new record).
Over 70 Female: Ros Odgers - 34:01.
Over 70 Male: Terry Dixon - 29:01.
Over 60 Female: Jill Pettifer - 25:57.
Over 60 Male: Gordon Hughes - 22:30 (new record).
Over 50 Female: Debbie Newton - 21:28.
Over 50 Male: John Fox - 20:50.
Over 40 Female: Melanie Wellenberg - 22:23.
Over 40 Male: Todd Haywood - 21:16.
Over 30 Female: Anna Barnes - 22:36.
Over 30 Male: Gavin Mahoney - 22:02.
Over 20 Female: Katelyn McGreggor - 22:13 (new record).
Over 20 Male: Guy Boland - 21:41.
Under 20 Female: Ivy McFadden - 23:43.
Under 20 Male: Jack Witchalls - 21:50.
Under 16 Female: Georgie Caldwell - 20:17 (new record).
Under 16 Male: Rylie Kulkkonen - 20:08.
Flipper Female: Taylah Connaughton - 20:12 (new record).
Flipper Male: Dan Coffey - 33:06.
Under 14 Female: Arusha Chew - 7:18 (new record).
Under 14 Male: Jack Caldwell - 6:02 (new record).
Under 12 Female: Madison Amon - 6:47 (new record).
Under 12 Male: Nathan Price - 6:29 (new record).