Peter Meallin and Anne Wallington at the Ocean Swim Classic, Wategos Beach, Byron Bay.
Peter Meallin and Anne Wallington at the Ocean Swim Classic, Wategos Beach, Byron Bay. Alina Rylko

Rivals race at the Byron Bay Ocean Swim Classic

"JUST one second would be enough," says Peter Meallin, 59, of the time by which he needs to beat his arch rival, Anne Wallington, 55.

The Byron Bay Ocean Swim Classic on Sunday provided the perfect backdrop for the pair to play out their rivalry, who despite wearing matching fluro Funky Trunks and hailing from swim club in Melbourne are fierce competitors.

Kicking off at Wategos, with views of the Byron Bay Lighhouse, the 30th year anniversary Ocean Swim over 2.2km finished at Main Beach.

A mini, 800m event from Clarkes to Main Beach was also available.

Ms Wallington said a 24-swimmer crew from the Aqua Hawks Hawthorn club was enjoying its seventh year travelling to the event.

"It's the best race conditions we've ever had," she said, despite having to wade into the water slowly to avoid rocks.

Aqua Hawk team mate Esther McConnell was using the Wategos Beach swimming race as part of her preparation for the 32-kilometre English Channel swim, which can take up to 27-hours to complete.

"Comradery is very important when you embark on a journey like the English Channel, so the Ocean Swim, even though it may be 1% of the distance and in water that is 10 degrees warmer, is an opportunity to bond," Ms McConnell said.

More than 300 competitors took part in the Ocean Swim Classic on Sunday, with the oldest competitor aged 86.

While the Department of Primary Industry's Shark Smart App didn't registered any sharks in the area of the swim on Sunday, DPI aerial reports did show a 2m bull Shark at Sharpes Beach Ballina early Saturday morning.

A 2m Whaler Shark was also spotted at Brunswick Heads at 10:12am on Sunday, with no swimmers or surfers reported near the sharks.


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