2016 Annual ocean swims survey winners announced

The ocean swimming community has spoken, and they overwhelmingly favour a 2km journey swim, think $30-40 is a fair price to pay for entry and want organisers to focus on providing highly visible swim buoys, low water safety to swimmer ratios and fast access to swim times and results.

That’s just a small snapshot of the results from OceanFit’s annual ocean swims survey, brought to you by Hamilton Island’s Whitehaven Beach Ocean Swim and Vorgee goggles.

In just its second year, nearly 1,000 surveys were completed by ocean swimmers throughout Australia, providing us with the most comprehensive insight into the sport of ocean swimming in Australia.

For the 988 participants, it also meant a chance to win a trip for two to Hamilton Island to participate in the Whitehaven Beach ocean swim, including flights ex Sydney, two nights accommodation and island activities.

And the winner is…

There can only be one winner, and this year’s major prize goes to Paul from Canberra – congratulations! Paul isn’t a seasoned ocean swimmer, but he’s a keen runner and tries his hand at mini triathlons. Paul is looking forward to getting into ocean swimming this season and there’s no better place to start off an ocean swim obsession than Whitehaven Beach!

There are also a whopping 30 consolation prizes that have been won, with winners walking away with either a new pair of Vorgee Missile goggles, OceanFit clinic vouchers or OceanFit online training challenge vouchers.

The full list of winners is below.

Initial insights from the survey

We have only just scratched the surface of the results so far, but already there are some really interesting insights for swimmers and organisers.

Here is a little snapshot:

  • When it comes to a memorable swim, the course layout and water safety are far and away the major indicators. Organisers need to focus on a very well marked course, and plenty of courteous water safety.
  • Of all the things a swim organiser can put on for the event, it seems having the swim timed and results posted quickly will make swimmers the most happy.
  •  Only 6% of swimmers are actually out to win in any way at a swim, the rest just swim for fun and to beat their own personal goals.
  • It looks like swimmers have deeper pockets this year, with 75% of people happy to pay over $30 for a swim, compared to only 52% last year.
  • 50% of participants train by themselves in preparation for their very first ocean swim, with 5% saying they didn’t train at all – wouldn’t that be nice!
  • The bell-curve continues for favoured swim distance, with 11% favouriting the 1km distance, 30% the 2km and 8% the 3km. The was a much stronger push for longer swims this year, with a big call going out for 5km and 10km swims to be added to the calendar.
  • There is often talk about the starting system employed by organisers, however, the people have spoken and they prefer it just the way it is – with individual age group and gender waves. To balance this, the suggestion was to also have an elite category for the 11% of swimmers looking to win their age group or overall.
  • When it comes to sharks, only 17% of swimmers have decided against entering an ocean swim because of the perceived threat of them – that’s good news! Most people are rational and understand that we’re swimming in their domain. The concern seems to be minimised by all the swimmers and water safety around.

Feeling unfit for summer? Check out our 8-week online training challenges you can follow to get yourself fit, strong and healthy, just in time for the ocean swimming season.

The 30 other lucky winners are…

Vorgee Missile goggles (valued @ $29.95)

  • Emma Savage (Eastern Suburbs, Sydney)
  • Jennifer Cabasson (Lower North Shore, Sydney)
  • Nick Wardrop (Queensland)
  • Ann Petersson (New Zealand)
  • Romy Stuhler (Lower North Shore, Sydney)
  • Genevieve Gardner (Queensland)
  • Peter (Unknown)
  • John Smith (Eastern Suburbs, Sydney)
  • Ben Browne (Lower North Shore, Sydney)
  • Irene (Queensland)

OceanFit clinic voucher (valued @ >$159)

  • Marie Buckton (Central Coast, NSW)
  • Alexis (Victoria)
  • Dominic Upton (Unknown)
  • Martin Brannan (Western Sydney)
  • James Allsop (Central Sydney)
  • Louisa Horne (Central Coast)
  • Joel Lucas (Hunter, NSW)
  • Rob Illidhe (Eastern Suburbs, Sydney)
  • Jana Kuznik (Central West NSW)
  • Anders Ingeisten (Unknown)

OceanFit online training voucher (valued @ $79)

  • Annette Whitten (Western Sydney)
  • Nicky Kerr (Victoria)
  • Karen Abbey (Unknown)
  • Steven Laramee (Unknown)
  • Kim Harland (Tasmania)
  • Dean Hancock (Mid North Coast, NSW)
  • Ryan Bromfield (Central Coast)
  • Stefan Perumai (Inner West, Sydney)
  • Mark Kehoe (Northern Beaches, Sydney)
  • Dex (Eastern Suburbs, Sydney)

All winners will be contacted by email to organise prizes. Unfortunately there’s no swapping or gifting of prizes.

Event organisers, get in touch

Are you an event organiser? Get in touch with us so we can share the results of this survey to help you create even better ocean swims for the ocean swimming community. The insights we have can help you achieve increased swimmer satisfaction for more new, and repeat, entries.

Email Andre today.

More insights to come

There’s loads of data to crunch, with fantastic insights into just what makes ocean swimmers tick, so as we find a new nugget we’ll share it with you right here on our blog.

Keep an eye out for them this summer.

Many thanks for participating in this year’s survey and also to Hamilton Island and Vorgee for your continued support.

If you haven’t already been to Hamilton Island for the Whitehaven Beach ocean swim, then book your flights now – you won’t regret it.

Whitehaven Beach Ocean Swim




This post was written by Andre Slade

Andre is the owner of OceanFit with over 20 years in the swimming education, lifeguarding and coastal safety industry.

2 thoughts on “2016 Annual ocean swims survey winners announced

Leave a review