SWIM STARS: Grant Hackett is among the big names to have competed in the Byron Bay Ocean Swim since it began in 1988.
SWIM STARS: Grant Hackett is among the big names to have competed in the Byron Bay Ocean Swim since it began in 1988. Chris McCormack

Byron Bay Ocean Swim continues to attract big names

PAST Olympians Grant Hackett, Ky Hurst and Melissa Gorman have all won the Byron Bay Property Sales Ocean Swim since it started in 1988.

The event has grown to the point where it now includes the Ky Hurst mini swim with up to 2000 competitors entering each year.

Hackett won the event many years ago while Hurst, who still competes in the Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Ironman Series, has swum in more recent years.

Gorman made the event her own at one point and has won it more times than any other female.

Entries are starting to flow in for the swim being held on May 3.

"We have about 300 already and a lot have come in this week after Easter," event co-ordinator Syl Reid said. "There was 1710 last year and that was a bit down because the conditions weren't too favourable leading in.

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"We don't have any notable names coming yet but we usually have them confirmed when it gets a bit closer."

The main swim is 2.2km from Wategos to Main Beach with the 800m swim starting at the Pass.

George O'Brien won the Superfish division for the top male swimmer last year when he came in with a time of 28 minutes and 54 seconds while Chelsea Gubecka won the women's division.

"That alone brings some quality swimmers here," Reid said.

"We get a lot from south-east Queensland and lot of people enter in groups."

 

Entries can be made online at http://www.byronbayoceanswimclassic.com.au until midnight the Friday before the race.

Hard-copy entry forms can be found at the Byron Bay Beach Hotel and swimming pool opposite.

They can also be found in the reception area of the Bay Royal Apartments.