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132 swimmers take on Australia's largest rip

We caught up with Rip Swim event director Grant Siedle to find out how swimmers fared crossing the entrance to Port Phillip Bay this season.

The Rip Swim season has finished with 132 swimmers taking on the challenge of swimming 3.2km across the entrance to Port Phillip Bay, including 29 who completed a return journey.

The Rip Swim, the brainchild of Grant Siedle, is a thrilling swim across the entrance of Port Phillip Bay from Point Nepean to Point Lonsdale and is regarded as one of the most notorious and thrilling waterways in the world with swimmers even crossing through a shipping lane.

“We had four Rip Swim crossings this season, two in January and two in February,” said Mr Siedle.

“Our first swim of the season was actually a double swim which we haven’t run before and that was a great success, with 29 swimmers taking part.

“We started on the Point Lonsdale side and swam from the beach across to Point Nepean and back again.

“It was a great swim and we had the right tides to make it a perfect swim and now we have quite a few people saying ‘I want to do the double next time’ for a greater challenge.”

The entrance to Port Phillip Bay – ‘The Rip’

This past summer saw incredible weather and ocean conditions ensuring all 132 swimmers enjoyed completing their Rip Swim successfully.

“We have had really beautiful weather down here at the Rip this summer season, it has probably been one of our best summers,” said Mr Siedle.

“The sun has been shining and there has been a light wind which is great because swimmers haven’t had to deal with too much chop.

“We got all the tides right over the season to make sure they gave swimmers that nice little push along while swimming.

“Our last swim of the season on 19 February, we had some exciting conditions with big swells and rolling waves of 10-15 feet at the pier on our way into the finish, so that added a bit of excitement to that swim.”

Each year Mr Siedle has loved to see the teamwork involved in getting across the ‘Rip’ and this year was no different.

“Overall this season it has been really nice to see the teams working together really well,” said Mr Siedle.

“I found that this year the teams were working really well together and staying in their pack with their kayak.

“Watching them stay together and work together as a team has been really satisfying to watch this season.”

A huge ship sailing past a swimmer

There were a couple of standout performances this year, with Mr Siedle excited to see a group of Sydney swimmers take on the challenge of the ‘Rip’.

“We had a couple of groups from Balmoral and Manly and it was nice to see them coming interstate and taking on the ‘Rip’.

“Usually the swim is very Victoria-focused because the ‘Rip’ is so famous down here, so seeing interstate people taking on this exciting body of water is exciting to see.

“Another great standout was in the double-crossing, where we saw 15-year-old Cam Tregaskis become the youngest double ripper.

“He did the Double Rip which is roughly 7km in 1hour 42 minutes in no wetsuit which was just an incredible feat.

“It was great to see him swim a fearless swim with his dad John being his paddler, so it made for a great family adventure.”

Video interview: Cam Tregaskis talks about his double Rip crossing

While the summer season of the Rip Swim is over for another year there is one more Rip Swim this year – the ‘Winter Rip Swim’ on Saturday 9th of July 2022.

“Our Winter Rip Swim is a non-wetsuit swim and the water is about 12-degrees, so it is a bit fresh but it is a great challenge,” said Mr Siedle.

“Swimmers who want to do the Winter Rip Swim will need to do some cold water preparation and a 75-minute swim in under 14-degree water to qualify.”

To find out more information, visit the Rip Swim website.

  • Written by Ocean Swims on 26 February 2022
  • (Updated on 10 August 2023)

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