• Editorial

Welcome to oceanswims 2.0

As the new owner of oceanswims.com, Andre Slade gives a background on where he’s come from and what is planned for the future of the website.

It is with great pleasure and tremendous honour that I, along with my wife Juliann, have taken ownership of oceanswims.com.

The website was the brainchild of Paul Ellercamp back in the summer of 1999 and it has grown to become the respected home of ocean swimming in Australia.

Jules and I come to oceanswims.com with a proud history of our own, as the owners and founder of OceanFit, which was established in 2009 on the golden sands of Bondi Beach. OceanFit’s pioneering ocean swimming education is world-class and often imitated, and we expect to continue to deliver at this high level with oceanswims.com.

A personal connection

We are a small family business with a passion for the ocean and swimming.

I grew up in a town called Gisborne on New Zealand’s east coast, and my early years were spent immersed in the ocean; swimming, surfing, sailing and surf lifesaving. From there, I studied and then travelled the world, teaching these sports across the UK, Europe, US and Canada. On my way home in 2007 I ‘popped into Bondi’ for one last summer on the road, got a job at Surf Life Saving Australia, joined Burning Palms SLSC and then never left.

OceanFit started out of a project I was leading for SLSA – the development of new junior development resources for nippers – and inspiration from Bondi SBSLSC stalwart Grant Baldock, whose surf swimming sessions I had got right into.

The ocean swim school has taught more than 5,000 swimmers how to enjoy the freedom of the ocean and our swimming holidays have become popular with ocean swimmers looking for an awesome open water experience.

Jules hails from Toronto, Canada, where she grew up swimming and lifesaving on the lakes, including more than 10 years of experience as a lifeguard. She became a member of the Canadian surf lifesaving team and competed internationally, and more recently as a member of Bondi’s successful masters’ team she has won club, branch, state and national masters titles, including the gruelling Coolangatta Gold in her age group.

Jules is a physiotherapist and the mother of our two beautiful Australian daughters, Bailey (2 years) and Jessie (6 months).

Together, we met and married in Bondi and are due to become Australian citizens later this year. We’re currently living on the Gold Coast and continue to be involved in surf lifesaving, squad swimming at Miami and ocean swimming with the Gold Coast Open Water Swimming Club.

Andre with Bailey and Juliann with Jessie

What’s in store for oceanswims.com

We have great plans for the future of the oceanswims.com website and business and can’t wait to share them with you. You will already notice a significant change, with the website having already been updated and refreshed, along with a new look and feel for the oceanswims brand.

Many of you will be familiar with some of the features of the new website.

We have brought over the events calendar and directory from OceanFit which allows you to find events, social swimming groups, clubs, pools and swim buddies.

There is also a brand new magazine section where we’ll tell the stories of the ocean swimming community from across the country and share engaging articles to enhance your ocean swimming experience. To get it started, we’ve copied over some articles from OceanFit, and our new content star, Suzie Ryan, has already produced some fantastic articles for your reading pleasure.

If you would like to contribute to the magazine, we’d love to hear from you. We’re looking for feature article journalists, state event reporters and general content writers.

We’re super excited about taking on over 20-years of history from Paul, but it will take us a little while to adjust to, so please bear with us as we find our feet, get all the content updated and meet up with as many of you as possible.

We really look forward to the future of oceanswim.com and thank you for your support.



oceanswim.com | OceanFit

Learn more about the transfer of listings from oceanfit.com.au to oceanswims.com here

  • Written by Andre Slade on 5 September 2021
  • (Updated on 5 December 2023)

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