South Maroubra Ocean Challenge: What Happens During This Ocean Swimming Competition?

The South Maroubra Ocean Challenge is a new event for those living in Sydney’s eastern suburbs and the Southside. First mounted in 2017, this is an open beach swimming competition that does not just bring out people’s competitive side since the event also includes a barbecue party, a bar, and live entertainment.

Hosted by the South Maroubra Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC), the South Marouba Ocean Challenge is divided into 500 metre, one kilometre and 2.5 kilometre lapses.

The 500-metre swim comprises a short rectangle course off the beach. The one-kilometre lapse follows the same rectangle course but it’s stretched further to the south while swimming parallel to the beach.

The 2.5-kilometre course, on the other hand, requires swimmers to take a sharp left turn up north in the water before swimming back to the south and returning to the beach. This category is more ideal for the physically fit and strong risk-takers.

A minimum age requirement is imposed as kids under nine years old will not be allowed to compete. Swimmers below 18 years old, on the other hand, have to submit a consent form with their parents’ name and contact details to join.  

Photo Credit: Kateoloan/Instagram

Ocean swimming is growing in popularity among swim clubs in Australia than pool swimming because there’s more challenge to the competitions. Swimmers need to grapple with the tide, the wide, the height of the surf and the surrounding sea life while in the water, which doesn’t come with pool swimming.

Swimmers also learn better techniques from ocean swimming competitions since there are no skill limitations. They could be in the water alongside Olympians or first-timers in just their swim caps, goggles, and basic swimsuit.

The host of the ocean challenge has the responsibility to ensure the safety of the swimmers based on rules of open water swimming from the Fédération Internationale De Natation (FINA, or International Swimming Federation).

Apart from requiring competitors to swim around the buoy online, South Maroubra Ocean Challenge swimmers aren’t allowed to wear wetsuits unless the water temperature is below 18 degrees.

South Maroubra SLSC mounts the swimming competition every February. The contest, however, won’t run for 2019.