In yet another step towards bushfire recovery, 340 swimmers powered into the sea at North Broulee beach last Sunday for the 9th annual Hotondo Homes Broulee Bay to Breakers Ocean Swim.
The days of black sky and ash-ridden beaches after a summer of bushfires are still close enough that swim coordinator David Butt commented especially on the water clarity.
“It was a wonderful morning, sunny, clean water and enthusiastic swimmers, just a terrific community event after such a difficult summer and a great way to enjoy the things we love about Broulee.”
The event is organized by the Broulee Surfers Surf Life Saving Club and the Broulee Mossy Point Community Association and the $17,000 raised on the day will be shared equally between the groups.
The 1.4 km open water swim course usually goes around from Broulee Island and the headland to South Broulee Beach but the course was changed some years to suit water conditions.
“This year, the course was an out and back one in Broulee North Bay where the seas were calmer than the ocean route from Shark Bay,” David explains.
Among the competitors – who compete for $300 cash for open winners and $100 for the senior categories – was a swimmer who had just arrived from a village outside Dublin.
“It was Antoinette’s first-ever ocean swim and she simply smiled her way out of the water and onto the finish line,” David says.
Swimmers who do the swim five years in a row achieve “bronze dolphin” and are presented with a memento T-shirt. This year, twenty swimmers were honoured.
But others take it a step further, like 80-year-old Wendy Dunn, who has completed the swim eight times and took first place in the over 80’s women category.
Alan Cameron won the over 80’s male title for the second year in a row.
Winners of the open categories were Grace Hoitink and James Thorpe.
Full results will be published on Broulee Surfers SLSC.
David and the Broulee Surf Club and Broulee Mossy Point Community Association would like to thank their sponsors.
“The contribution of our sponsors to the event is extraordinary given the financial setbacks they have incurred through drought, bushfires and floods and what they may face in coming months and beyond.”
Sponsors of the event include Hotondo Homes, Tomakin Sports and Social Club, Broulee Learn to Surf Surf School, Broulee Supermarket and Cellars, Offshore Surf Shop, The Lodge Broulee, fx Business Centre, Mogo Zoo, Bay Physiotherapy & Pilates, Woolworths Moruya, Vikings Group, TrusssworX, Key Sun Zinke, and Big 4 Holiday Parks.