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Australian Dolphins | 24 January 2023

Path to Paris Begins in Busselton

The iconic Busselton Jetty will be the centrepiece of the first major Australia-based swimming event of the year, as the 2023 Ocean Swim Festival and Australian Open Water Championships gets underway from tomorrow in Western Australia’s picturesque South West region.

The event is proudly supported by the Western Australian Government through Tourism Western Australia and the City of Busselton, and will see the return of elite swimming to Western Australia, as Australia’s leading Open Water event.

375 athletes have entered the Australian Open Water Championships, running from January 25-28, headlined by the blue riband 10km event on the opening day of action.

The sole Olympic event on the program, the Men’s & Women’s 10km Australian Championship is the first step in the qualification process for those athletes looking to secure their place on the Australian Dolphins team for Paris 2024.

Proud West Australian and Dolphin #828, Kyle Lee, said he’s looking to build on the momentum of a successful 2022 that saw him make his debut at the World Championships in Budapest.

Last year was a very special year for me so coming into 2023 it would be amazing to make another Australian team to use the lessons learned from that international experience,” Lee said.

It’s very important to have that experience and getting to race some of the top guys around the world has really helped my progression.

Lee also expressed his joy at the opportunity to be racing in front of those that matter most.

It’s nice to be swimming in a venue where I’ve raced plenty of times but the main thing is having my family and friends here to support me.”

The Ocean Swim Festival is expected to attract a broader audience beyond elite level athletes, with a community swim event on January 26 anticipated to draw hundreds of amateur swimming enthusiasts.

A variety of distances are on offer for the community swim, including 500m, 1.25km, 2.5km, 5km, 7.5km and 10km options, with registrations to be taken right up to race time.

Spectators attending the Ocean Swim Festival will also be treated to a number of onshore activities across the four days, including music and entertainment for kids, a night market and even a floating cinema.

For more information on the 2023 Ocean Swim Festival and Australian Open Water Championships, click here.