Over 600 people took part in the events over the weekend with 431 swimmers entering the crystal blue water of Tathra from the historic Tathra Wharf and swam either the 600m or 1200m course into the beach.
The swims took centre stage of a weekend of fun and fitness, which included the 2km Coastlife Beach Fun Run and the Bega to the Beach Mountain Bike Ride. The weather on Saturday was perfect for both the Fun Run and the Bike Ride, with excellent numbers for both events.
Swim event stalwart, John Fox, had a massive day out on the Sunday, winning his 600m Age Swim by a long margin and also taking out the 1200m swim in front of James Macri, from Melbourne, who has won the last three years. John's time was 15:08 not far off the event record set by James in 2016 of 14:16. Jenna Freeman took out the women's 1200m swim in a time of 17:11. Congratulations to those who took out the Splash for Cash and went home with the prize money and some amazing framed photography from local Tathra photographer, Kit Goldsworthy, along with a bag of local goodies. Other major prizes were provided by Tathra Big 4 Holiday Park, Tathra Beach House Apartments, Sundeck Perisher, Lake Crackenback Resort, Tathra Beach and Bike and Trek bikes.
Amusements R Us once again provided a great carnival atmosphere in Tathra over the weekend. They are a great supporter of the event, and present the event organisers with a generous donation each year.
The weekend culminated with volunteers, competitors, sponsors and friends sitting back on the deck while taking in the stunning vista of Tathra Beach and listening to the music and antics of the Jonathan Richmond Experience. A great night had by all who attended.
A big thank you to all our sponsors of the events, particularly Bega Cheese who continue to be our major sponsor of this great community event and to Steve and Linda Sass from On the Perch, who were our 1200m Swim Splash for Cash sponsor this year. Also to all the wonderful volunteers who continue to support the event. Tathra Wharf to Waves is run solely by volunteers - it takes over one hundred volunteers to make this event happen - people who contribute their time and skills.
Our vounteers do everything from setting up the courses for all events, cooking the barbeques, cleaning up after the event, not to mention the Tathra Surf Lifesaving Club members providing crucial water safety. There are the guys who erect the specially designed platform on the historic Tathra Wharf (and take it down again at the end of the day), and the people who help at the finish line. There are the people at check points on the bike ride advising you of the track conditions, people on stand-by with First Aid and water stops. There are age wranglers looking after swimmers and wharf marshalls. So take a bow volunteers - you are the backbone of our community.
If you are a regular swimmer in the Tathra Wharf to Waves, go to our Photo Gallery and see if we have captured you in action. Then check out all the results over the weekend.
In 2015 Dave Forrest, a Tathra local who is currently volunteering on the Africa Mercy hospital ship and had never missed a Wharf to Waves event, created and had officially sanctioned, a swim in Toamasina (the 501 Ocean Trek – 501 is the postcode of the region and the name of a restaurant on the beach) held at the same time as our event. In 2016 he convinced a couple of extra swimmers to become involved and held a swim in Madagascar, where the ship was currently based. Dave, who runs the teaching academy on the Africa Mercy hospital ship said, “Wharf to Waves is more than a just an ocean swim to me. So many people give up so much time to organise the event; it’s an annual celebration of the Tathra community and its beautiful natural environment.”
In 2016 Dave swam both events with an Alaskan swim champion, a Canadian life guard and a triathlete from the UK. Both the 600m and 1200m swims were held in the ocean on the main beach in town. This was seen from the ship so they had spectators on board. In 2015 they had to contend with a cyclone so had to complete one of the swims in the pool, but this year they completed both swims. Mr Forrest said events such as this were markers in his life. “To me this is more significant than New Year’s Eve. It marks the end of one year and the beginning of another.”
This year, Dave completed his 600m and 1200m swim in Benin, West Africa, alongside Dr John Borrow, also from the Mercy Ship. Their results have been recorded. And for those interested, Dave's time for the 600m Swim was 10:30, Matthew Notts 12:17!!
*The Mercy Ship is a floating hospital bringing healthcare to developing nations. All staff are volunteers who have stepped aside from their comfortable lives and work to help those less fortunate. Tathra locals, David and Justine Forrest and their family will work on the Mercy Ship for 3 years. AJ Collins, another Tathra resident and surgeon at Bega Valley Hospital, is a regular visitor on the Ship undertaking surgery for 3 weeks at a time in his vacation period. To find out about the 'miracles' that take place on the Mercy Ship, and to make a donation for this work to continue visit The Mercy Ship. Alternatively, you might like to help through a donation to David and Justine.
For other events held in Tathra throughout the year visit Tathra Tourism.