Coogee Island Challenge Ocean Swim
The Coogee Island Challenge Ocean Swim (Coogee SLSC Island Challenge) is an ocean swim held in Coogee Bay, Australia. The Coogee Island Challenge has 2 separate events held at the Coogee Surf Life Saving Club, organized by Coogee Surf Life Saving Club and race director Lisa Bolton, in the Sydney eastern suburbs:
- 24 November, 2013 – Cold water challenge
- 13 April 2014 – Cool water challenge with a Swim Cap Amnesty around Wedding Cake Island
Cool Water Challenge
This popular ocean swim saw a record 1,800 competitors taking the plunge in November 2011. In 2013, the April iteration of this event atttracted 1,241 starters. The event offers a 2.4 km swim around Wedding Cake Island, the 1 km Splash and Dash, the 800m Junior Dash, and a 200m Dash for Cash. The Coogee Island Challenge coincides with the Surf Club's Anzac memorial service, and Coogee Diggers RSL has sponsored the Dash for Cash swim, to be held after the Anzac wreath-laying ceremony.
- 2.4 km around Wedding Cake Island
- 1 km Splash and Dash
- 800m Junior Dash
- 200m Dash for Cash
Coogee is well-protected from the heaviest swells by Wedding Cake Island, but this can be deceptive, for with the island and rock platforms at both ends of the beach, the water inside can become quite choppy. Rarely much of a break at Coogee, but there is usually quite a sharp shore dump (see above). Swimmers outside Wedding Cake Island are likely to experience a sweep, but the course generally is set well off the island to optimise safety. Keep your eye out around the island for the stunning bottom, both inside and on the island's outside.
11 (800m Junior Dash), 13 (2.4 km & 1 km)
Four-swimmer teams in both the 2.4 km and 1 km swims (see team info below - Team entry forms will be accepted online only).
Wedding Cake Island
Wedding Cake Island is an island off Coogee Beach, Sydney, which protects the beach from most swells. It is also known as Lemo's Island. The most probable source of the name is the shape of the island - it resembles a wedding cake, particularly when the white water breaks over the island, giving the appearance of 'icing'. Another theory is that bird droppings on the island gave the appearance of icing on a cake. Apparently the island was also formerly called Gingerbread Island.
The island is a good scuba diving spot and also is the site of ANZAC day commemorations by the local surf community. Every year in commemoration of ANZAC day, surfers load up their surfboards and backpacks with cartons of beer and drink, and paddle out on their boards from Coogee Beach to Wedding Cake Island.