Open water swim groups are booming at Williamstown

Open water swimming is a rapidly growing sport and Williamstown Beach is the home of Victoria’s biggest open water swimming program.

Thousands of swimmers enjoy our beautiful beach, abundant sea life and and marine sanctuary each year. Williamstown Swimming and Lifesaving Club host the Victorian Open Water Championships each December and the WOW Challenge public participation swim festival.

Every Saturday morning and Wednesday evening after work (during daylight savings) there is a free swimming group and swim coaching classes.

Check out our short promo vid here.

The Melbourne Ocean Swimming Club ( a free swimming group based at WSLSC) and Williamstown Open Water Swim Coaching host hundreds of swimmers during summer months.

All groups meet 15 mins early in front of WSLSC:

Mid Week Mussels Free OW swim group- 6pm Wednesday.

Challenge Yourself – Learn to Swim in the Sea – 8am Saturdays.

Open Water Skills Group – 9am Saturdays- Learn about sighting, drafting, breathing, body position and tactical OW skills. For pool swimmers and triathletes.

The Mussels Free Swim Group – 10.30am Saturdays – Set your own distance and pace – “It’s not a race.”

Multiclass and Special Olympics OW Squad – 12noon on 11 November, 2 December, 11 December. For the first time, a supported inclusive, respectful OW squad for multiclass and Special Olympics athletes.

Contact Coach Jason to find out more.

 

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Once I swam to Altona, and back …

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A swim from Williamstown Beach, out across the deep blue water to Altona Beach … and back? That’s 7.6km of swimming in the sea.

Are you crazy??

That’s what I first thought when the idea was put to me. I’m the guy squatting at bottom left of the picture above.

In the pic above are some very good swimmers. And then there’s me.

From the left, Freya is in the pink cap is super fit and so is Adam next to her. Vince at the back accompanied us on a Rescue Board. Grant, the muscleman at front & centre is an English Channel swimmer. Behind Grant is Faris and Simon (yellow cap). These two are talented freestylers who never stop, just like Joanie on the right.

In this pic (below) is the approximate course we take to Altona from Williamstown SLSC.

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Leaving from the beach, we turn right at the end of the rock groyne and swim over “the Crystals.” This area is alive with plants, animals and every colour, but watch out for spiny urchins and sharp, slippery rocks.

crystals

At the end of the rock wall, we pass the old harbour and into Jawbone Marine Sanctuary we cruise.

Of everything to think about while swimming in the sea, I was most conscious of boats and powered water craft. But here I could relax and enjoy the sightseeing.

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There’s no boats and no fishing allowed in Jawbone and volunteers are helping the marine environment recover and prosper here and all the way around the Bay to Point Cook.

From Jawbone we swim, via the boating markers, past the historic fishing village near the mouth of Kororoit Creek  into Altona Coastal Park.

altona-sea

I thought I would stop at Altona Dog Beach and get a lift back with Mike, who kindly drove my towel and drink over. But everyone else was jumping back in to swim all the way back. I couldn’t be the only one stopping at halfway.

In the end I surprised myself and completed the 7.6km round trip. This was the first time I had ever completed a big swim out in the sea. My trip to Altona and back really opened my eyes up to a great experience.

I’ve been swimming in the sea every week since my trip to Altona, two years ago.