Since 1988 an ocean swim from Wategos Beach to Main Beach has been held annually to raise money for selected charities and local organisations. Covering a distance of 2 klms, this Classic Swim is open to all competitors aged 12 years and above.
2008 saw the first running of a fun mini-swim event to introduce interested swimmers to the joys of ocean swimming. The 800 metre course from Clarkes Beach to Main Beach is open to all swimmers aged nine years and over.
Since 2013 we have had two new major sponsors: Byron Bay Property Sales, sponsoring the Ocean Swim Classic and Ky Hurst, sponsoring the Mini Swim. The swims, run by the Byron Bay Winter Whales, are now part of The Great Australian Swim Series - and will be the first of five in the series.
All profits from entry fees and sponsorship are donated to local charities including Byron Bay Surf Club, Camp Quality, Westpac Helicopter Rescue, Breast and Prostate Cancer Organisations, Marine Rescue, , St Johns Ambulance, The Salvation Army and Early Intervention etc. To date, the Byron Bay Winter Whales have distributed $590,000 to various charities.
The Swim won the 2012 Byron Shire Community Event of the Year.