Family swim proves popular

Ocean swimmers take the plunge at the Queenscliff180 Family Swim. Story and picture: Mark Heenan Media. 177147

Ocean Grove locals took the ocean water plunge at this summer’s popular inaugural Queenscliff180 Family Swim on Saturday.
Warm conditions, blue skies and clear water treated male and female competitors in the 600m and 1km events held at Queenscliff Pier.
Formerly the Queenscliff Blue Water Challenge, the new Queenscliff180 Family swim was the brainchild of co-organisers Liam Petrie-Allbutt and Sam Sheppard, a seven-time winner of the Pier to Pub.
“The idea was to bring parents who could normally swim 500m to 800m potentially with the current and have a go at a 1km swim, while their kids have a go at the 500m swim to get more participation happening,” said Petrie-Allbutt.
Excellent conditions attracted 400-plus competitors.
Ocean Grove based Stewart Owen said the family-based swim was an enjoyable experience.
“The full 180-degree arc makes probably definitely more of a family friendly swim,” Owen said.
“It is a great course and it was always beautiful swim here – the water is always really clear and clean and is terrific.”
Owen, who finished in 12:49 in the 50-59 age group 1km swim, competed at the former Queenscliff-based swim organised by the Boroughcoutas Swimming Club in recent years held across the Australia Day weekend.
Ocean Grove local Mark Stone came fourth in 10:02 in the 50-59 age group in the 1km swim.
It was a double celebration for Melbourne-based ocean swimming champion Kelly Stubbins.
Stubbins won the 1km Swim Open age female section in a fast time of 09:10 and also took out victory in 09:19 in the 1km swim 30-39 age category.
Male winner James Mace recorded the fastest race time with 08:36 in the 12-17 age category, while Darius Schultz came second in 08:54.
William Boyton (06:07) won the 600m in the 13-15 age category while Caitlin Matthews was the first female across the finishing line in 06:17.