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The Start
  • The start is staggered. This improves safety for swimmers overall and allow swimmers with comparable speeds to swim together. It makes for great racing.
  • Swimmers leave Palm Beach generally with males and females in separate waves, in age categories with up to 200 swimmers in each.
  • Distinctively fluoro coloured cap are provided to identify groups and to be clearly seen in the water for their safety.
  • In 2020 there will be up to 2 final waves being the fins and skins groups, entrants will be permitted to swim with flippers and / or wetsuits
Wave Sequence
  • Wave 1 comprise elite and other faster swimmers, it is known as the Elite Wave.
  • Swimmers who rank in the top 10% in terms of fastest times overall will be eligible to start in this wave. The top 10% will be determined by reference to the Order of Precedence maintained by Swimmers who have not competed in ocean swim before could submit a 1 km pool time for consideration.
  • There will be 100 places available for starters in the Elite Wave. Entry into the Elite Wave will be closed 30 minutes before race start time at 10am.
  • In 2020 please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with details and attend the timing tent on the morning of the swim for approval.


Electronic Timing

An electronic system was introduced by Whale Beach SLSC.

  • Each entrant is fitted with a secure ankle band with a unique computer chip.
  • At the finish, entrants run over a special pad equipped with sensors which read the chip, instantly tabulating the finishing time and referencing the entrant’s name.
  • Times recorded by the official electronic timing are the only acceptable times.
Times & Results
  • Times will be displayed on a large digital clock at the finish line at Whale Beach.
  • Around 30-45 minutes after the last swimmer finishes the race, placings in the various categories can be announced and prizes awarded.
  • A full categories placing list will be placed on display.
  • Results will be posted as soon as possible via website





Go Here for the Palm Beach Surf Cam


Swims n Fins - A separate division allowing swim aids such as flippers and wetsuits

Start Waves

The Big Swim starts in separate waves,

find out the number and starting time of your wave here.

Useful Links


Sea Surface Temperature


  • Register at BIG SWIM and/or Little Big Swim tent for your ankle band and swim cap.
  • Wearing a distinctive cap is compulsory for safety reasons.
  • Flippers are only acceptable in the Fins n Skins event