Competitors charge into the waves for the 2011 Ocean Swim.
Competitors charge into the waves for the 2011 Ocean Swim.

Veterans form part of large entry in ocean swim event

ABOUT 1200 entries have rolled in for the annual Byron Bay Property Sales Ocean Swim Classic on Sunday.

Bill Ringland will be the oldest competitor at 91 and will take part in the 800m mini swim after years of competing in the 2.5km swim from Wategos to Main Beach Byron Bay.

Paul Lowther (83), Geoff Ross (82) and Ocean Shores swimmer Clive Condie (81) will swim in the main race.

Australian ironman champion Ky Hurst will headline the race with the 800m mini swim also named after him this year.

"The entries are pouring in and we should get about 1800," swim committee secretary Syl Reid said. "We've got a lot of people coming from Brisbane and Gold Coast and it amazes me how far some people come for the mini swim alone."

The event is hosted by the Byron Bay Winter Whales and raises funds for charity.

There were about 550 people registered a fortnight ago with entries expected to continue pouring in until the cut-off time at midnight tomorrow.

Locals will also be given the opportunity to register between 3-5pm at the Byron Bay Surf Club tomorrow.

The event was postponed last year due to dangerous conditions and has only been cancelled once in 1996 because of beach erosion.

Reid is confident conditions will be favourable on Sunday.

"It is supposed to be a bit of a southerly with variable winds," he said.

"It should be pretty calm and the water is beautiful at the moment. I think a few people are waiting to see what the weather is like but it should be good."

Event organisers discourage anyone from swimming in the races that haven't registered.

The winners of the open men and women division will take home $850 prize money.


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