The Lake Daylesford Swim Classic was a more sedate affair this year. Instead of a thrashing and splashing mass of swimmers pressing for an advantage at the start, swimmers started on their own, timed themselves over a 1.2 kilometre course and logged their times on a website. The emphasis was on participation and on continuing the event in a COVID-safe format. Swimmers were not limited to the Lake Daylesford course. The 1.2k swim could be done anywhere – lake, ocean or swimming pool – and could be done at any time between February 14 and February 28. In all, 30 individual swimmers completed a total of 47 swims with some swimmers logging multiple times.

Erin Corbyn, a first time swimmer in the Lake Daylesford Swim Classic, was declared the winner of the women’s event at the close of the 2-week event window. Erin swam the Lake Daylesford course in a wetsuit in a time of 19:17. Erin Richardson, a ten time swimmer and two time winner was the runner-up with a 1.2k swim in the Federation University pool.

Six time LDSC winner, Justin Rodda, was declared the men’s winner in a time of 15:14. Justin swam at Point Lonsdale in a wetsuit. Tim Bach was the men’s runner-up with a wetsuit swim around the Lake Daylesord course.

The Neoprene Cold Current Award is given to the fastest swimmer without a wetsuit. Ross Hardie did a 1.2k swim without a wetsuit at Dendy Street beach in Brighton in a time of 19:04 to win the Cold Current Award.

Swimmers could swim as many times as they wanted in an attempt to improve their swim and post a faster time. This enabled race organisers to identify a Most Improved Swimmer. Margaret Hodge improved her swim from 38:00 to 35:14 over three swims to win the Most Improved Award.

The Kelly/Lister family did their swim at Ricketts Point, Black Rock. Clockwise from right: Kaarie Stephens, Mary jo Kelly, Tony Kelly, Rebecca Lister, Alex McGregor.

The “Family Values Award” is awarded to families who make a special effort to join the Swim. For the second year running the Family Values Award was presented to the Kelly family who fielded five swimmers: Tony, Rebecca, Mary Jo, Alex and Kari.

Instead of an event photographer capturing the action in the water and on shore, swimmers were encouraged to submit a photo or a selfie of their swim. The Best Photo was judged to be one by Alec Giudici of his father, Marco Giudici, taken from the footpath above the west shore of Lake Daylesford. The photo shows Marco knifing through a mirror-like Lake Daylesford leaving an expanding wake behind him. The photo captures the essence of a solo-swim event.

Event Organiser, Greg Stewart, was pleased with the outcome. “Many open water events were cancelled altogether this summer because of COVID restrictions. We were please that so many people participated, particularly those who have swum the event many times in the past.”

The event is a fund raiser for the La Faek Diak Foundation which operates a small medical clinic in Bacau, East Timor. The event raised almost $1,800 for the Foundation. “The economic situation in East Timor is very tough because of COVID and because of other local issues. The clinic is doing it hard so it’s good to be able to give them some help,” said Dr Stewart.

A highlight of  Lake Daylesford Swim classic is the presentation ceremony which wasn’t held this year because of the nature of the event. “My wife, Beth Quin, is the compere of the prizes presentation and she sources all of the prizes from local op shops,” said Dr Stewart. “The op shops are probably overstocked this year because Beth hasn’t gone on her usual buying spree. Everyone is suffering because of COVID! But we’ll be back next year bigger and better than ever!”