Overview and FAQ

The series involves four swims in open water at Warrnambool, Port Campbell, Port Fairy and Portland.

We have also introduced a short course swim, the aim of which is to entice novice and beginner swimmers of all ages to have a go at ocean swimming.

Port Fairy

The Port Fairy Swim is also known as the “Port Fairy Moyneyana Open Water Swim”. The Port Fairy Swim is held on Port Fairy’s East Beach. The course, out through the break, heads west along the beach and back in to finish at the Surf Life Saving Club.


The Portland Swim is also known as the “David Tapscott Portland Ocean Challenge” in honour of David Tapscott who was a life member of the Portland SLSC, and also to promote Prostate Cancer awareness. 


The swim is held at Portland’s sheltered Nuns Beach which is popular with swimmers.  The remains of an 1853 shipwreck can still be seen in the water at the northern end of the beach.


The Warrnambool Swim is also known as the “Tony Ryan Memorial Swim”. The Tony Ryan Memorial Swim is held in picturesque Lady Bay. The start is to the west of the Warrnambool Surf Life Saving Club house (a 10 min walk). The finish is on the beach at the Warrnambool Surf Life Saving Club clubhouse.

Tony Ryan was the driving force behind the introduction of the WSLSC’s annual Pier to Club swim in 1984 which was to encourage long distant training and fitness. The swim was from the breakwater to the club.


The WSLSC recognised Tony’s long contribution to swimming and life-saving by naming the event the Tony Ryan Memorial Pier to Club Swim after his death in 1991.


The swim was then included as part of the Shipwreck Coast Swim Series (in 2004) and was renamed the Tony Ryan Bay Swim

Port Campbell

The Port Campbell Swim is named “The Jon McLeod Memorial 12 Apostles Plunge”. The plunge is held in the breathtaking cliff bound bay of Port Campbell. The course challenges swimmers to a lap of the bay heading out into the open sea between the heads.

The new name is in honour of the club Life Member, and ocean swimming devotee, Jon McLeod. 



Online entries open in November each year.

Online entries close 6 pm the afternoon prior to each swim (get in early)

On the day entries are no longer available on race day



$35 for 1 swim (early bird) or $120 for all 4 swims – Short Swim $25 per event 

24 Hours prior (No “on the day” entries)

$45 for single swim

The short course swim is $25 per swim


All swimmers receive one series T-shirt for participating in any number of swims.

Please note that your requested size may not be available.

Swim Categories

For awards, swimmers are entered into categories based on their age and gender.

For all 4 swims your age on 1st January is used so if you have a birthday during the series you do not change categories.

Swim Briefing:

A pre-race briefing will take place at the Clubhouse just before each wave starts, where important information about the swim course and other details will be shared. Due to the changing nature of our events and locations this is critical to attend

Prizes and Results

At the completion of the introductory swim spot prizes and category placings will be announced.

Complete results will also be posted online after each swim.

Overall Series

People who complete all 4 feature swims are automatically included in the overall series results even if they enter each swim separately.

Name and DOB must match exactly across all 4 entries for a series result to be calculated. (Be careful when registering – or inform us of discrepancies)

Swim Waves

From 2021 the long course swim will be run in a number of “waves” with a “feature wave” held last of all wherein we encourage our faster swimmers (or previous winners of categories) to register.

These waves can be selected as part of the registration process, but the organisers reserve the ability to move swimmers depending on conditions and other factors.

Short course swimmers are a single category and start as a single wave. (Generally just prior to the feature wave start time)


We aim for the short course swim to be around 500m and the Full course around 1.2km.

The actual swim distances will be lower than this when including wading and tides.

Goggles and Caps

If you swim with either you’ll need to bring your own!

Pre-race schedule:

This procedure will vary according to location and you will receive specific and detailed instructions the night prior to each swim as well as a reminder of which wave you have chosen.

However the general schedule is to arrive at check-in 45mins ahead of your wave, then be aware of announcements as your time approaches as the start position may be some distance from the check-in desks dependant on water conditions.

Updates and Announcements:

Looking for the latest updates and announcements?

Check your email accounts and our Facebook page for announcements specific to each swim event. Stay in the loop and don’t miss any important information about the Shipwreck Coast Swim Series, Victoria’s original ocean swim series. 

Age Restrictions


It is recommended that the minimum age for the feature swim is 14 years and for the introductory swim, 12 years. The ocean is an unpredictable environment and you should be aware of your or your dependent’s abilities and limitations and assess the conditions on the day before deciding to participate. Anyone with any doubts about their ability to complete the feature swim course on the day is welcome to consider the short course swim as an alternative. Please see the registration desk if you wish to change your registration.

Join us for a true open water swimming experience in the stunning bays of Port Fairy, Portland, Warrnambool, and Port Campbell.

Dive into the adventure and make unforgettable memories at each swim destination!

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