Head 2 Head Ocean Classic

2016 head2head Ocean Classichead2head-pic

Start 2016

Start Head2Head Ocean Swim 2016

The annual Head2Head held on 17 January 2016 was a huge success for the Club, with the event running smoothly, the weather turning to fabulous conditions, and participants and volunteers thoroughly enjoying the community feel of the event.
The day commenced with the ski paddle race, a 12km triangular course heading 2km out to sea before turning toward the northern headland and back to the Surf Club. 3 laps saw strong competition. It was a fast paddle, at 1hr 15minutes and a juggle for the lead for the entire race. The crew on the helicopter had the best vantage point.

The helicopter was an excellent addition to the race this year, with air and sea safety being paramount to organisers and participants. Grant Burley donated his chopper services to the Club, and took up Dave Quinlivan who was attacked by a great white in September. The crew on board the chopper did a sweep before each event, and hovered above swimmers ensuring there was monitoring of the ocean. Not one sea creature was sited, but the racers were reassured to see it checked.

Carolyn Turnham, the female winner of both the 700m swim and the 1,500m swim commented that it was simply the best ocean swim she had participated in. When she heard the chopper would be in place, she found it immeasurably reassuring and loved swimming with the chopper above protectively. Marine Rescue boats from Forster and Crowdy Head were also in position, with the lifesavers on boards and the jet ski as well as IRBs to watch the swimmers at sea level.

The event also attracted two ‘celebrity’ entrants. Lochie Hinds, 20yrs, was the youngest person at 16years of age to swim the English Channel. Lochie is a regular ocean swimmer and swims with Bondi SBLSC. It was his first time entering the Head2Head, and he was the first to finish in both the 700m and 1,500m swims. The “perfect distances, and perfect weather” of this years event see him planning to return for more! The 77 volunteers to the 103 swimmers brought a community feel to the event, and he appreciated Director Surf Sports Noelene Young out front on a ski to guide them in.

The Head2Head also attracted another English Channel swimmer, John Koorey, from Forster, who was the first Australian male to cross the English Channel when he was 25yrs. Now in the 70+yr race category, John participated in the event for the third time this year. John is also a regular ocean swimmer.

The Surf Club hosted a lunch following the swim, with awards presented and a focus on raising funds for the Westpac helicopter service. This event should grow from strength to strength. The Club would like to congratulate all participants in the three races, and particularly thank the volunteers, Marine Rescue and Grant Burley for helping to make a safe and successful event. The event would not be possible without the generous support of sponsors LJ Hooker Real Estate Hallidays Point and Walker Legal & Conveyancing of Taree.

View from Helicopter 2016

View from Grant Burley’s Helicopter of Head2Head Ocean Classic


Race results for the 2016 Head2Head Ocean Swim are available at: