Safety first at 30th Ocean Swim Classic
SAFETY first is the watchword at this year's 30th annual Byron Bay Property Sales Ocean Swim and Byron Bay Mitre 10 Mini Swim.
The Winter Whales who host the events have asked MJ Visual Media to film the event using a drone camera and on-shore cameras. They will then produce a promotional film of the event for distribution later.
At the same time as gathering footage of both the start and finish of the two swims, the drone will provide an extra set of eyes in the sky to watch over swimmers.
Byron Bay Winter Whales president Peter Bennett said this extra surveillance would be in addition to the coverage offered by members of the Byron Bay Surf Lifesaving club who patrol the entire route using the rescue boat, jet ski, kayaks and rescue boards.
"We wanted to do something special for the 30th year of the swim,” he said.
"Not only will it give competitors in the race a chance to see the race from a whole new angle but those waiting on the beach for the finish will finally be able to see what the start of the race at Wategos is like.
"We can also then use the final film to promote future events.
"The Ocean Swim is probably the safest day to swim in the bay because it's covered by surf lifesavers in surf skis and about half-a-dozen powered craft.”
This year's race will also see the deployment of a giant new inflatable start/finish gate. Competitors will also wear electronic ankle bracelets that will give them accurate timing as they cross the finish line.
"No matter where they run in the race, most competitors are always keen to do a personal best,” Mr Bennett said.
"We also get a lot of serious professional swimmers who take part in the swim as part of their training.”
Competitors will be able to take a look at quick-rough edit of the footage later in the day with plans afoot to broadcast next year's swim live at the clubhouse as it happens.