Organisation of Event

Under the umbrella of Busselton Allsports Inc the Busselton Jetty Swim committee consists of a small group of seventeen dedicated committee members whose sole aim is to organise the annual Jetty Swim. This event was the brain child of Max Higgins and was initially arranged as an event of the Busselton Triathlon Club (Busselton Allsports Inc). The first swim being held in February 1996.

The event is staged with the help of many volunteers who give freely of their time. Organisations such as the Busselton branch of the St John Ambulance Association; Busselton Volunteer Marine Rescue Group: Busselton Surf Life Saving Club with assistance from other clubs in the area; and local branch members of the State Emergency Service provide their services to ensure the smooth running of the event.

Description of Event

The swim creates a grass roots celebration born by our local icon, the Busselton Jetty.

In the tenth year of the event it was anticipated that 1000 swimmers and paddlers ranging in age from 7 – 75 would participate in the 2005 Busselton Jetty Swim. In fact the registrations were only just short of this target. By 2007 the entries did pass the 1,000 mark (1008) with a record 2084 individual swimmers for the 2016 event.

Due to the refurbishment of the Busselton Jetty at the time of the event, the 2010 swim was staged without the ability to have teams participate. Instead, a 1km swim from the beach out and return to the finish line was offered. A record of 1082 individuals registered overall with 171 entries in the 1km swim.

The inaugural swim in 1996, attracted 82 participants (18 solo females, 30 solo males, 8 four-person teams and one duo team), mostly local. Competitors travel from the Perth metropolitan and surrounding areas. Good support is provided from the districts of Bunbury and Margaret River. There have also been several interstate and even overseas competitors in recent years.

An estimated 5000 spectators enjoy the event. The atmosphere comes from the swimmers and their supporters who eagerly attend to encourage their grand children, husbands, mothers, brothers, sisters or grand parents. In many cases swimmers are not sports minded but participate for personal challenge or to raise funds for their own charities by completing the course as part of a team.

2016 event provided additional attractions for spectators:

  • Music and entertainment (Saturday and Sunday)

  • Twilight carbo meal on following early check-in for those registered swimmers on the Saturday

  • Family Beach Races and Sandcastle competition on the Sunday

  • Celebrity Paddle Board Race.

The 3.6 kilometre swim is unique as spectators can view the entire course around the Busselton Jetty.  In fact, the first time the public had full access to the Busselton Jetty after the $27m refurbishment was on the Sunday morning of the 2011 swim.  The official opening of the 'new' Busselton Jetty was held the previous night.  A fantastic way to celebrate the Busselton Jetty opening!

The 2016 event celebrated the 21st year of the Busselton Jetty Swim.

The event attracts novice, experienced and elite swimmers. Participants can swim solo or join a team of two or four who complete a section each. It encourages the involvement of interested people of all ages, in many cases motivating them to train and eventually compete. People swim for a personal challenge or just to be a part of a great event.

A highlight of the day is when every one stops to applaud the last swimmer (or as we call it – the ‘most elapsed time’) over the line.

Economic Benefits to the Community

  • The swim attracts participants and their supporters, who utilise accommodation houses, caravan parks or bed and breakfasts for a minimum of 1 night, usually for 2 nights.

  • Restaurants, caféand other retail outlets benefit

  • Profiles the area as a prime tourist and lifestyle destination

  • The compounding economic benefits to the town is estimated at $80,000

  • Funds raised surplus to staging the next event, will be directed back into facilities that enhance the ‘swim’.

Objectives

  • The Swim aims to celebrate our local icon and heritage, the Busselton Jetty

  • Create an opportunity to foster participation and encourage a personal training program

  • Continue to encourage the many teams made of families, often including three generations of swimmers in a team

  • Attract swimmers from WA, interstate and overseas, developing a profile event for Busselton and Western Australia.

Target Group

  • All ages

  • A record field of 2200 plus is anticipated for the 2017 event

  • Over 5000 spectators are expected

  • The swim attracts participants from the region and metropolitan areas

  • Approximately 80% of registered competitors for the 2016 event were from areas outside the immediate Busselton/Dunsborough/Yallingup locality.

 August 2016
 

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