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Dori Miller: Still got it and handing it to the young guns

In the lead-up to the Bondi Blue Water Challenge, local swimming legend Dori Miller talk of her love for ocean swimming.

Dori Miller, Director of Surf Sports at Bondi Surf Lifesaving Club, is an all-around ocean lover, competing in marathon swims, ocean swims, surf lifesaving and pool rescue.

Ms Miller, who found ocean swimming when she moved to Australia, jumped right in and hasn’t looked back since.

“I really got into swimming after I had had a decade off when I was doing triathlons,” said Ms Miller.

“I found that I much preferred to swim longer distances than cycle longer distances, so I started swimming more.

“When I moved to Australia I found the ocean swimming community and absolutely loved it.”

Now in her ’50s, Ms Miller regularly makes the open surf race final each year at the Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships, showing the young guns how it’s done.

“I do still make the open surf race and belt race and I keep saying I will retire but I don’t,” said Ms Miller.

“I do it for a bit of fun and make sure I am not completely over the hill yet.

“I must say, I am nowhere near the elite swimmers that I stand next to on the line but it is such an honour to be in any Aussie final.”

Ms Miller swimming the English Channel

One of Ms Miller’s favourite things about ocean swimming is travelling the world experiencing amazing and epic ocean swims while meeting new friends who share the same love of the ocean as her.

“I’ve had some pretty cool experiences ocean swimming, one being doing the Loch Ness Monster one-mile swim as a ‘nude’ swimmer was a lot of fun,” said Mr Miller.

“Watching the sunrise and seeing the white cliffs of Dover turn pink was pretty special, too.

“I’ve done the English Channel a few times too and each time it was different conditions and challenges I had to deal with but that is probably one of my favourite marathon swims I have done.

“Here in Australia I always love the Captain Christie Swim in Gerringong. It’s a great course and very well organised by the Gerringong SLSC and I also love the South Head Roughwater because you just can’t beat the scenery.”

Being a member of the Bondi surf club, Ms Miller loves swimming in the annual club swim, the Bondi Blue Water Challenge. Asked what her favourite part was, her reply was simple “the difference of each leg.”

“You can have a different experience in each leg of the champagne-glass-shaped course, depending on the conditions,” said Ms Miller.

“You really get a bit of everything and that makes for a fun and exciting swim.

“The 2.1km swim is a really different view of Bondi and the water at Bondi has been quite warm and clear lately.

“So if there was ever a time to do the Bondi Blue Water Challenge, it would be this year.”

Events discussed in this article

  • Written by Ocean Swims on 23 February 2022
  • (Updated on 10 August 2023)

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