- Date26 Feb 2023
The City Ford Bondi Sydney Blue Water Challenge harbours one of the suburb's best-kept secrets, but one that ocean swimmers have been privy to for years: the best time to swim is towards the end of summer.
The water is warm, the crowds have gone back to work, and preparations for the City Ford Sydney Bondi Blue Water Challenge are well underway.
It is a unique event in that it not only offers three swims of varying distances (500m, 1.5km and 3km) to challenge everyone, but also a 2km and 4km soft sand run - that's two to four laps of the famous Bondi Beach, respectively.
The event falls on the last weekend of summer (officially), so after your swim, pick one of the many cafes and bars that line the streets of Bondi and relax with a drink and something to eat while indulging in a bit of people-watching... the perfect way to end the day, and the summer.
The City Ford Sydney Bondi Blue Water Challenge is a unique event that caters to ocean swimmers and runners. It has three swim distances: 500m, 1.5km and (the new) 3km.
The 500m swim distance is perfect for nippers or novice ocean swimmers looking for their first challenge. The 1.5km and 3km races draw top talent from the next generation of open-water swimming superstars, who swim alongside the weekend warriors.
Those that prefer to stay on land can challenge themselves in the 2km or 4km soft sand run with laps taking in the southern end of the iconic Bondi Beach. The runs are open to all ages 10 years plus, however, you can only do one distance due to the staggered starts.
The 500m course is around two marker buoys set approximately 200 metres from the shoreline in front of the Bondi SBSLSC.
The 1.5km course is a rectangle-shaped course. Participants leave the beach and pass the gate buoy on their right. Heading towards Icebergs, turn left around the two marker buoys at the south end of the bay, swim north across the bay and turn left around the two north marker buoys. Then swim south and turn right at the final gate buoy and after a short run, finish under the blue arch.
The 3km course follows the same course as the 1.5km swim with participants completing 2 loops before turning right at the last marker buoy.
Please note that the swim courses may be altered on the day depending on surf conditions.
2km and 4km Beach Runs
The 2km and 4km beach run courses will be run on the soft sand along the promenade, starting just north of Bondi surf club. Participants in the 2km course will complete 2 loops and participants in the 4km race will complete 4 loops of the beach. The run will finish in front of Bondi Surf Club through the blue arch.
When it's time to celebrate after your swim, you're spoilt for choice within striking distance of the beach. Venture north to the North Bondi RSL, or behind the beach to Ravesis (across the street on the corner of Hall & Campbell) or south to the Icebergs club.
All these places also serve coffee and food, so either way, you'll be covered.
After brunch, explore the inner streets of Bondi off Hall street for fantastic shopping, hang out and people watch at the Icebergs pool, or for the very energetic, take a walk along the coastal walk towards Bronte.
Hopefully, by this time in the season, the parking will be better... but just the thought of a sunny day will fill up every last spot before sunrise.
There is beach parking along Elizabeth Drive and behind the Pavillon, 2-hours parking within a couple of blocks of the beach, and free parking lightyears from the beach (but the walk to the beach will be a good warm-up). Try Military Road up past the golf course in North Bondi.
Swimmers are encouraged to carpool or take public transportation.
The buses to Bondi are 380, 381, 333. The 389 also comes to Bondi, but you'll need to get off on Hall Street or at the North Bondi terminal and walk.
If the weather is looking great, get there early as it'll be heaving.
Wetsuits, flippers, and snorkels
The City Ford Bondi Blue Water Challenge is a fun community event aimed at all swimming abilities. Competitors may use extraneous aids such as flippers, snorkels, floatation clothing or devices in any of the swims, but will not be eligible for any prize or qualify as an official place-getter.
Swimmers with disabilities
We encourage all swimmers to participate. If you require assistance during the swim, please contact us. We will make every effort to make it a safe and enjoyable swim.
Swim race rules and conditions
Beach run race rules
The organiser of this event, Bondi SBSLSC, is a registered charity. This event is a major fundraiser for the club and other local community charities, and all proceeds go towards providing volunteer services to the community.
Cancelling your entry
Should you wish to cancel your entry, for any reason, at any time, the following applies:
Should the event be cancelled due to poor and/or dangerous ocean conditions, or Government-mandated health restrictions, the following will apply:
The organiser thanks you for your understanding and support.
Adult = 17-years-old and over
Child = 9-16-years-old
Single Beach Run
Swim & Run Combos
Single Beach Run
Swim & Run Combos
Transfers: You can transfer yourself to a different distance or transfer your entry to another person via your Race Roster dashboard. Fees apply.
Bondi Beach NSW, Australia
2023 results - Review this event
2022 results |
2021 | 2020 results | 2019 | 2018 results | 2017 results | 2016 results
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Simon Cobden27 Feb 2022 at 2:27pm
Well run. Had bananas at the finish 👍!
Simon Glastonbury27 Feb 2022 at 6:41pm
That was a lot of fun! Thoroughly enjoyed that. And will do it again. Very well organised and run event.
If I could whinge about one thing, it would be nice if we could start on time. Parking at Bondi is expensive!
Simon Cobden27 Feb 2022 at 6:42pm
Well run. Liked the free bananas at the finish 👍!
Patrick Thompson28 Feb 2022 at 12:11pm
Well run and good to keep it on notwithstanding heavy rains.
yuki28 Feb 2022 at 12:35pm
It was a fun race!! The waves were bit hard but I really enjoyed it.
Staffs were really fantastic (о´∀`о)
Super friendly and the ceremony after race was amazing!! Everyone enjoyed and celebrate the swimmer’s prizes. 80’s finished their swimming and gave us our happy future or our goal. I want to join the competition again!!!
Ronald White1 Mar 2022 at 12:25pm
What a great day Thanks again for all the Bondi Surf Club Members for looking after us Swimmers Norm & I will be back next year 👍🥳🍻
Mark Lewis3 Mar 2022 at 12:27pm
A well organised and well-run event. I particularly wanted to give a huge shout out not only to the Bondi Surf Club as an organisation but also the volunteers (particularly those on the course) that not only made sure that we were safe but also made sure that we didn’t get lost during the swim. I look forward to having the opportunity to participate in this event next year.
Anthony White26 Feb 2023 at 2:10pm
Really well organised and the water was beautiful
It’s such a great setting
Zara26 Feb 2023 at 2:37pm
This was my first surf ocean swim (so it was a reallybig thingforme) . I managed
Zara26 Feb 2023 at 2:41pm
This was my first surf ocean swim (so it was a really big thing for me) . I managed to fo my swim unassisted and with no aids (a huge achievement).
I dld not see much water safety in the 500 m event. Given that this was for beginners like me, it would have been good to see water safety in the surf zone and out the back (at least for peace of mind).
Apart from that it was fabulous.
Loved the fresh fruit on finishing.
Can we organize a return/recycling of swimmer caps?
Hanka Laue-Gizzi26 Feb 2023 at 3:35pm
Amazing swim. Well organised, felt very safe with water safety doing an amazing job.
kieran gallagher26 Feb 2023 at 4:32pm
An amazing event, not just because conditions were perfect, but because of how seamless it all ran. I entered from the car on the way in and anticipated delays and clunkiness. I read greeted with a smile and a really short queue and it was all smiles from there. The Bondi clubbies should be commended for their professionalism and energy. Thanks a bundle. Well done team.
Clara Hawker26 Feb 2023 at 7:12pm
Great and well organised swim. Thanks,
Geoff Meers26 Feb 2023 at 8:24pm
A classic Sydney summer day and awesome organisation from the Bondi clubbies!!
Thanks for a memorable experience!!
Matthew27 Feb 2023 at 8:47am
The event was well organised, and I enjoyed the fruit on offer at the end of the race.
Whitey28 Feb 2023 at 8:24pm
What a great day, well run like always. A big thanks to all the volunteers who give up their time to make it one of the best ocean swims. Next year 80 Plus event! Cheers 🥂