The 2023 Australian Open Water Championships heads west

Courtesy: Swimming Australia

Elite swimming is set to return to Western Australia with the iconic Busselton Jetty as the center stage for the 2023 Australian Open Water Championships and Ocean Swim Festival.

Hundreds of athletes and thousands of spectators will gather in the picturesque Southwest region of WA, with the Ocean Swim Festival taking place January 25-28 in Busselton.

The championships will showcase the Busselton Jetty with the 5km, 7.5km and 10km courses, all based on the iconic attraction. Athletes will compete in a series of Australian Open Water Championship events that will also act as qualifiers for FINA international events later in the year.

The Ocean Swim Festival will also appeal to a broader audience beyond elite athletes, with the community swim event expected to engage hundreds of amateur swim enthusiasts, while spectators will enjoy a range of activities on the coast, which include food and wine activations, as well as a floating cinema.

The events will be held with the support of the Government of Western Australia, through the Tourism WA Regional Events Program, funded by Royalties for Regions, as well as the City of Busselton.

Western Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism, the Hon Roger Cook MLA, said he is delighted to see more open water swimming events in WA.

“The WA Government is proud to support this fantastic event in 2023 as it moves to one of our main tourist cities and is set to boost local businesses in the area, including cafes, restaurants and accommodation providers.

“The Southwest is the perfect location for this event with what seems like countless tourist attractions and experiences for visitors from outside the region to enjoy, from the world-famous gourmet produce of the Margaret River region, to the stunning nearby beaches. of Busselton. and Dunsborough waiting to be explored.

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“This event is expected to attract thousands of visitors from across WA and other states, pumping millions into the WA economy.”

Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:

“This is another exciting event to add to the Southwest sports calendar, helping add vibrancy and excitement to the region.

“’The Ocean Swim Festival couldn’t come at a better time with the new direct flight between Melbourne and Busselton bringing interstate visitors to the region three times a week.

“Events like this help grow the region’s economy and support local businesses.”

Swimming Australia CEO Eugénie Buckley said it was a welcome return to WA for a top-tier national event.

“We really are spoiled for choice when it comes to open water swimming in Australia, but there are few better places, both from an athlete’s and spectator’s perspective, than WA’s idyllic southwest coast,” said Buckley.

“Open water swimming is experiencing prolific growth as a discipline and this event will attract our top athletes from across the country as an important step in their preparation for next year’s World Championships and the Paris Olympics later on.”

“We are particularly pleased to return to such a proud swimming community as Western Australia, where our sport has always been so warmly supported and embraced in the past, and we look forward to working with the state government and the city of Busselton to deliver another memorable event. ”.

Busselton City Mayor Grant Henley said he was looking forward to welcoming the event to the region.

“We are very excited to have been selected to host the National Open Water Swimming Championships in Busselton for 2023,” said Mayor Henley.

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“With our pristine bay and superior views from the shoreline and jetty, we are confident we can deliver a world-class experience for competitors and spectators from across Australia and internationally.”

Swimming WA CEO Sophie Row also welcomed the announcement.

“Swimming WA is delighted to see the National Open Water Event and Ocean Swim Festival take place in our home state in the state’s ‘event capital,’ Busselton,” said Row.

“Western Australia is the natural home for open water swimming with our clean, pristine waters along our incredible coastline and our beautiful rivers, dams and lakes. WA Swimming hosts Australia’s largest open water swimming series and this event is an excellent opportunity for us to showcase WA’s leadership in this popular and growing activity.”

“We are particularly excited to add a whole new dimension to the national events, by adding the Ocean Swim Festival and Community Swim, which will create a fantastic atmosphere for everyone.”

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