Thousands Compete in the World’s Largest Open Water Race in Australia

The Lorne Pier to Pub is an annual, 1.2-km open water swimming race held in January at Lorne, a town located on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia. It began in the 1970s, when members of the Lorne Surf Life Saving Club dared each other to dive from the pier, swim through Louttit Bay and finish by body-surfing the waves onto the Lorne foreshore, before attending the Lorne Pub.

The race today consists of the same process. Contestants must register for a ballot to take part. Swimmers times are recorded at the finish line, and published in the Herald Sun Newspaper the next morning. The race is completed on average in 22 minutes, but the quickest race time is 10 minutes, 30 seconds.

The race attracts up to 4,000 competitors, and in 1998, it entered the Guinness Book of Records, with 3071 swimmers, making it the world’s largest open water swim. The race is organised by the Lorne Surf Life Saving Club with major partner Nib, and supported by the Rotary Club of Highton. Proceeds from the race go to the Lorne Surf Life Saving Club.

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