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New week-long swim festival for the Gold Coast

Inaugural Gold Coast Swim Week to include the Cooly Classic and Swim The Gold Coast events plus clinics and training sessions.

It’s official, the Gold Coast can now lay claim to Australia’s largest swimming festival!

World Series Swims has today unveiled ‘Gold Coast Swim Week’ – a seven-day celebration of swimming that sees two existing major events join forces, plus leading coaches and special guests hosting clinics and training sessions at Gold Coast beaches and pools.

The 14th annual Cooly Classic Ocean Swim will open the program on April 30. This is the Gold Coast’s largest ocean swimming event, with swims from 1.0km to 5.0km starting at Snapper Rocks. It attracts a huge range of abilities, from past and present Olympians to the general public of all ages, including age categories from 8 to 70+ years.

On the following weekend, May 6th, Swim the Gold Coast – a 21km marathon distance swim, from Kirra Beach to the iconic cityscape of Surfers Paradise. This marathon distance has individual and team categories that require support boats to participate, plus a new 10km course has been added for 2023.

The marathon event has had a bumpy start since launching in 2020, with COVID-19 and then last Summer’s severe weather forcing cancellations. There were entries from the UK, USA, NZ and around Australia when it launched in 2020, signs that this event will take off in future.

Organisers, World Series Swims, have worked hard with local partners and authorities to ‘bulletproof’ the event as much as possible for 2023. There are more contingency options, a new 10km event and the earlier May date, their preferred timing, are just some of the tweaks for 2023.

The new 10km event, from Burleigh Heads to Surfers Paradise, will be a welcome addition for many swimmers and it only requires a support paddler to enter – no support boat and skipper needed. It also serves as a great stepping stone from traditional distances, like 5km courses that are becoming more popular at annual ocean swims around Australia.

The week-long program also includes daily sessions for smaller groups, where swimmers can learn from elite coaches at pool clinics and join in with local swim squads at multiple beaches along the Gold Coast.

Event ambassador, Michael Klim, is looking forward to reuniting with former swimming friends to play a role in the week’s events. Over the weekend, in Los Angeles, Klim was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2022. He is a three-time Olympian, multi-time world champion and 21-time world record holder.

“This is huge for swimming – over one week on the Gold Coast we are bringing the pool and open water swimming communities together”

“Our Junior clinic will be a real highlight for me, I’m really passionate about the next generation of Australian swimmers and we hope to create a really memorable experience for them on the Gold Coast”

Michael Klim teaching at the pool during a junior swim clinic

“We’ll have a mix of pool clinics and workshops teaching technique and skills, plus open water sessions with some great local coaches and squads…and a couple of huge events to open and close the festival!”.

The credits and deferrals from COVID-19 postponements have also now finished, so the full complement of entries will be available for all events when entries open later in October.

Interested swimmers can now pre-register for free and get the first choice of events before entries open to the general public on October 20.

For more information on the event, and to pre-register, visit www.worldseriesswims.com.au or follow on Facebook and Instagram @SwimtheGoldCoast and @wss

Events discussed in this article

  • Written by Ocean Swims on 10 October 2022
  • (Updated on 4 August 2023)

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