Bega swim coach Zoe Philipzen has some advice for new starters in the Tathra Wharf to Waves.
Past event winner Philipzen says the iconic ocean swim is not as hard as you would think, but certainly more challenging than the same distance in a pool or fresh water.
“It is less favourable in the ocean, you’ve got the swell and the wind factor,” Ms Philipzen says.
“You want everyone to breathe bi-laterally [breathing to each side], but it can be frustrating because if you get a prevailing nor-easter you’ll cop a mouthful of salt water,” she said.
She said perfect conditions for Tathra were a southerly where the wind is cut around the wharf.
The forecast this year is for a mild day with clouds clearing while swimmers should escape the brunt of a 20-kilometre wind blowing from the south east.
The forecast swell on Sunday is also expected to be mild with one-metre conditions easing as the morning progresses.
The biggest piece of advice Ms Philipzen had for anyone competing, was to focus on the buoys and cut straight lines.
“It’s a 600m swim right, but you don’t have a black line to follow like in the pool, so if you don’t focus you’ll swim 800m because you’re shifting left and right,” she said.
“We do certain drills in the pool like water polo, you’re focusing on the buoy, concentrate on your breathing and every 10-20 strokes do a couple of water polo strokes and focus.”
For those having a go, the Wharf to Waves is fun and “doable” for kids as young as 10 and competitors in their 80s.
“It's an amazing event and for anyone that ever wants to do it, we’ve got eight and nine-year-olds waiting to turn 10 so they can get involved,” she said.
“You don't have to be a great swimmer and there are opportunities to get better and have a goal of doing it.”
She also said there is a small armada of lifesavers and support boats on hand for both moral support, or to assist swimmers from the water if they tire.
The Wharf to Waves swims are Sunday at Tathra with registrations at the Tathra Surf Life Saving Club from about 7am.