We're well and truly out of the main ocean swimming season in Sydney by May, but all too often the weather at this time of the year for the South Curl Curl 'Ken Ward Memorial' Ocean Swim takes the cake.If the air temp is variable, the water almost always isn't, with autumn temperatures still hovering around the 20-23 degrees - superb for swimming!
Not far up the northern beaches (a hop skip and a jump north of Manly), the 2km journey ocean swim, supported by Freshwater Community Bank, a branch of Bendigo Bank, is the most popular distance and course combo with ocean swimmers for the challenge and adventure, yet there aren't that many on the calendar.
Swimmers are provided with a fantastic course taking in a small amount of reef, blue water and a mostly sandy bottom.
Spectators can enjoy 100% views of the swim as they follow along on the coastal walkway from South Curl Curl to McKillop Park and Freshwater.
Starting in front of the South Curl Curl surf club, this 2km swim will not return to this beach, instead, you'll head through the breakers, then south around the headland before a sharp right-hand turn takes you to the middle of Freshwater Beach.
There are usually four starts 5 minutes apart and if weather conspires against this course, an alternate course may be offered on the day.
If you're heading back to South Curl Curl then head straight up into the surf club to dine and get your caffeine hit from Gusto on the Beach - the cafe is tucked right inside the club with unparalleled views of the beach.
If you're sticking around Freshwater, you'll need to head a couple of blocks back for a range of cafes to suit every taste.
Freshwater and South Curl Curl beaches are close together, so it doesn't really matter whether you park at either of the beaches. If you park at Freshwater, you'll need to walk to the start at South Curl Curl, if you park at South Curl Curl you'll need to walk back to the car after your swim.
Maybe the go is to park in the streets somewhere in the middle.
The 167 bus route runs right past the start at South Curl Curl, and also one block from the finish at Freshwater.
Health & Safety
Online entries only
All swimmers should have pre-registered, as this simplifies our processes on the day.
You should bring your own water bottle, however, water refills will be possible.
Apart from the requirement to obtain a cap and swim number, everyone should remain outside and at a safe social distance.
There will be a pre-swim briefing on the beach @ 8.15am to explain the course and any event specifics.
We have separated category starts to ensure we limit the number of competitors in close proximity. The first wave commences at 8:30 and each wave will be exactly 5 minutes apart.
This year there are no post-race presentations, and race results will be posted online.
The organiser of this event, South Curl Curl SLSC, 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 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.
Note: There are no on-the-day entries
Curl Curl NSW, Australia
Australasia’s largest ocean swimming community