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editor Ken Banks

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2003 – EXPONENTIAL GROWTH – Mollymook Ocean Swim Classic

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Mollymook Ocean Swimmers

EXPONENTIAL GROWTH – 2003

  • Inaugural Mollymook Ocean Swim Classic takes place April 2003
  • 25 locals competed in the Mollymook Ocean Swim Classic.
  • Mollymook represented at International Ocean Swim Race ‘Rossi Rossi’ in Vanuatu. (See following post)
  • Mollymook Swimmers compete in Wedding Cake Island Ocean Swim. (See following post)
  • Claire Payne competes in the Manhattan Island marathon swim race. (See following post)

 

Destination Mollymook Milton Ulladulla

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Inaugural Mollymook Ocean Swim Classic takes place April 2003
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Organizing the 1st swim: All Mollymook swimmers were enthusiastic attending planning meetings and fulfilling all manner of responsibilities to make this first swim a reality. The first swim was a much bigger job than we had ever imagined and only with the support from the surf club was it made possible. Gareth Davies was able to secure the “Times Newspaper” as our major sponsor, primarily in promoting the event plus many other minor sponsors who contributed to the prizes given out on the day.
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Course and conditions: The course outline in the early years is shown in the pic 1 below and the conditions in pic 2. To put it mildly ‘conditions were not ideal’. Many competitors and spectators were already present on Sunday as we deliberated on whether it was safe or not to conduct this inaugural event. With a blustery wind blowing and a rip at entry that could take you to New Zealand as one competitor had commented. Once beyond the rips and out the back it was easy sailing until back near the finish and having to once again fight these atrocious rips. So the decision was made for safety reasons that youngsters under 15 could not compete. The first race over 500 metres was for novice adult swimmers and those wanting to warm up for the main event. Would you believe a lady in a wheel chair was helped down to the beach to start in the water for this 500 metre event in these very difficult conditions. The race started in the rips and currents at the south end of the beach. The winners were back in roughly 10 minutes.  We waited for what seemed like ages. There were still about 4 swimmers way out the back not making any head way. The IRB was ordered to pick them up. One swimmer refused, adamant on finishing.  This swimmer finally relented and the race concluded with the program already way behind schedule. Paul Ellercamp was overheard saying he has never seen a 500 metre swim take so long. Conditions were appalling!
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The main event; 2 km: 84 starters lined up which included 25 local swimmers. The starter none other than the highly experienced ‘Jet’ Jackson set them on their way. Experienced ‘Iron man competitor’ Greg Miller hit the front early only to be overtaken by renown long distance competitor Deke Zimmerman. Deke set a cracking pace leading thereafter for the majority of the race with Greg Miller perhaps dropping off about 10 metres behind when they reached the turning buoy for home. Deke choose the direct route straight in among the rips and currents. The experienced iron man Greg Miller took the longer course and headed south for ‘sookie corner’ picking up a wave to run up the beach a comfortable winner. Celebrity swimmer Chad Schneider swam the 2 km butterfly.
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Local finishers: Bob White did his normal excellent job officiating the presentation with notable local finishers that included; Keith Purvis 6th, Jeff Stein 11th, Simone Everett 16, Tony Ireland 26, Gareth Davies 29, Graeme Wolfenden 35, Mark Burcher 41, Kaye Beer 44, Karelle Johnson 51, Simone Daley 58, Jan Humphries 59, Tony Whittle 61, John Smeeth 62, Bob White 63, Kim Wilson 66, Ivan Johnson 72, Peter Cooke 73, and Hans Kasch 75.
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Feedback: – One of the Best: I live in Sydney and average 10 to 12 ocean swims per season. For the first time here at Mollymook I won a prize,  it was a “Gift Voucher” from the local butcher, wrapped!  It was well organised and seemed like a real community event helped by many volunteers and supported by a host of local businesses. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday”. – John. Sydney.
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Footnote: March 2, a mere 6 weeks earlier long distance champion Deke Zimmerman swam 35 km from Parramatta to Manly and raised $165,000 for the Laukemia Unit, Royal North Shore Hospital.
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Click on images to enlarge (Most supplied courtesy Oceanswim.com)

 

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The 2 km course

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Appalling conditions

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Oceanswim.com – T shirts

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Ken – Mrs Sparkle – Claire Payne

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Dive in

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Under water

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and the swim – 2 km

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Chad