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Cole Classic ocean swim
Sun, 4 Feb 2018
Cole Classic ocean swim
The Cole Classic on Manly Beach is one of the most popular and prestigious ocean swims in Australia.
It takes place every year on the first Sunday in February and attracts upwards of 4,000 participants across the two race categories.
The race has a 1km and a 2km category, with both starting from Shelly Beach.
As well as these two swims, the Cole Classic also has a special long distance event: 5km from Shelly to Freshie and back.
The Cole Classic is also one of Australia’s longest running events, having been started by keen swimmer Graham Cole in 1982, after he competed in a similar event in Hawaii.
He came back to Sydney, and was keen to establish something similar for Australia’s keen ocean swimmers.
Thus, the Cole Classic was born.
All official finishers of any of the events will receive a Cole Classic medal.
The first three in the elite field will receive a trophy, as well as the first three boys and girls in the 9-10 and 11-12 categories.
In the 2km and 5km events, elite and age category winners will receive a trophy, as well as the winners in each team category.
Finally, the first three male and female finishers in the 5km event will also receive a trophy.
Clubbies to the rescue
The Cole Classic may seem daunting, but each event will be extensively patrolled by surf lifesaving club members from Manly Surf Life Saving Club, as well as other local clubs.
If you get in trouble, raise your hand.
There will be more than enough personnel on hand to make it a very safe day, and a great way to make the most of the Sydney summer.
Both the 1km & 2km swims have an alternative dependent on surf conditions on the day; if Manly is inaccessible due to rough surf, both events will start and finish at Shelly.
Both the 1km and 2km courses of the Cole Classic begin on Shelly Beach.
The 1km event heads away from Shelly Beach, before turning towards Manly and eventually finishing near the surf club.
The 2km course follows a similar path, before turning away from both beaches and out for around 250m, before coming back in and also finishing at the Manly Surf Club.
Both events have an alternative dependent on surf conditions on the day; if Manly is inaccessible due to rough surf, both events will start and finish at Shelly.
The 5km Shelly to Freshie return event heads out from Shelly following the 2km course north continuing on towards Queenscliff Bay, before rounding two buoys opposite Freshwater Beach and heading back to Manly and completing the 2km course to finish on Manly Beach.
The 1km swim heads away from Shelly Beach, before turning towards Manly and eventually finishing near the surf club.
The 2km course follows a similar path to the 1km swim, before turning away from both beaches and out for around 250m, before coming back in and also finishing at the Manly Surf Club.
The 5km Shelly to Freshie return event heads out from Shelly following the 2km course north continuing on towards Queenscliff Bay, before rounding two buoys opposite Freshwater Beach and heading back to Manly and completing the 2km course to finish on Manly Beach. *Note: Swimmer Competency Form required.
While you’re there
Manly is a world famous surfing beach, and enjoys beginner friendly waves all along the beach. You may have to share them with the locals, but when in Rome…
Apart from the obvious beach attraction, there are loads of bars, cafes and restaurants within a block or two from the golden sandy shores. Take a walk down the corso to see what Manly has to offer, you won’t be disappointed. Need some new surf gear? You’re in the right spot.
If you crave the best Manly has to offer for your post-swim coffee and sustenance then try Three Beans Cafe for its organic coffee, the locals favourite and retro Showbox Coffee Brewers on Whistler Street or Fika Swedish Kitchen that serves up classic Swedish dishes like knäckebröd (crispbread with egg and Kalles cavier).
Travel and parking
We’ll be straight up, this is a huge event and parking is tight! We suggest making a day of it and catching the ferry to Manly – what a great way to start the day!
If you must drive, get there early. There are two big public car parks located on Central Avenue, one in Whistler Street and one in Wentworth Street. All day pre-paid parking is available in the National Car Park.
If you think of yourself as lucky, you could chance your luck at getting a street park within a block or two if you are arriving later in the morning for later swim starts, you could catch an earlier swimmer leaving – good luck with that!
We’ve done our best to provide up-to-date information on all the swims we list on our calendar. However, we ask that you please consult the official event website or registration location for final information, schedule, costs and terms & conditions before registering. Spotted an error? Please let us know.
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