The 2021 swim is currently postponed
Geelong’s only open water swim, the Moorpanyal 1000, held each year at North Shore, has been postponed. When restrictions ease we’ll be back, bigger and better than ever.
North Shore Residents Group launched the swim way back in February 2000, to celebrate the turn of the century, and committed volunteers have conducted it on the last Saturday of February 21 times, growing from an initial dozen starters to around 150 swimmers in recent years. After consulting residents and supportive North Shore business leaders, Group President Bruce Cohen announced health must come first, yet he was hopeful improvement in virus controls might open the door on the popular swim being staged in late spring or early summer.
A determined group of local swimmers have been training over the customary 1000 metres of the swim from St Helens Park jetty for several months, mostly on Thursdays. Others have prepared at Ballarat, Werribee and Melbourne’s western suburbs, plus regulars from the Geelong region. Industrial and commercial supporters based in North Shore have promised their ongoing support when the Moorpanyal 1000 does become possible.
In other news, City of Greater Geelong’s parks team has been busy right through the summer at keeping Moorpanyal Park in good shape. Hard work pays off: the park is being used more than ever! After Eastern Beach, which has been in the news about overnight campers, Moorpanyal Park is by far Geelong’s second family beach, with lots of young family groups making good use of the playground and barbecue facilities, plus a clean sandy beach stretching 200 metres plus. The Lascelles Wharf end of the park continues to attract angling groups and the almost ever-present lone fisher-persons. The clifftop and beaches area have been chosen for wedding ceremonies, also for the scattering of ashes and memorials by families of long term Moorpanyal bay-watchers. Dog walkers also value Moorpanyal Park and respect the ‘pick-up poo’ rules. Sport, church, school, work and community groups meet and value Moorpanyal Park. Many northerners, when passing by, enjoy it as a snack spot with a view.
NORTH SHORE RESIDENTS GROUP President signals ‘down with covid’ and looks forward to when we can reschedule the swim.
Its neighbours include the Ford Motor Company’s product development team, Shell Refinery, Incitec Pivot’s fertiliser works, Midway forest products, Geelong Port, surfware specialist Quiksilver, Victorian Regional Channels Authority, newcomer giant Boral asphalt and cement producer, and a busy range of other industrial pursuits, warehouses and workshops. This marriage of bayside housing, enjoying some of the best views in Geelong, living cheek by jowl with the region’s gritty, noisy industrial enterprises and wharves, charged with the task of producing much of Geelong’s manufacturing wealth and exports, has fostered some strange bedfellows. Like much of the Northern Suburbs, North Shore is one of those places that much of Geelong prefers to ignore and forget. The industrial back streets become a convenient dumping ground for those who are lazy or prefer not to pay tip fees. Stolen cars, old refrigerators and industrial and domestic rubbish commonly was dumped along the North Shore clifftops or steered into Corio Bay. Twenty one years back, dramatic change was taking place. Residents, sick and tired of heavy industrial traffic driving through the residential area 24 x 7, formed North Shore Residents Group and lobbied the Victorian Government for a bypass road. Abery Road followed. Around the same time, North Shore Residents Group, searching for a way to celebrate the 21st century, chose to hold a celebratory swim in Corio Bay from Moorpanyal Beach – “to the yellow stick and back!” approx.. 1000 metres. Fourteen swimmers turned up. Gradually the swim has grown and tradition with it: swimmers keep turning up, residents prepare tea and coffee, and cook prize-winning sausages for swimmers, friends and family. Nobody goes hungry. Local industry has become part of the swim: Incitec Pivot funds caps and makes communications gear and outdoor furniture available, Midway funds the sausages, Quiksilver donates surfware and accessories, Geelong Port assists with computer recording etc, Jennings Internet maintains this web page, Neverfail sends bottled water, Victorian Regional Channels Authority assists with security coverage. Residents tackle many pre-race and race day tasks, Geelong Volunteer Coast Guard oversees swimmer safety, Geelong Cross Country Club helps with swim detail recording. This is Corio Bay’s only open water swim – a journey to remember!
Thanks to our sponsors!The Moorpanyal Park 1000 is free to enter because of the great support given by industry and commerce in the Geelong region. The North Shore beach is a favourite of Northern Suburbs families, including a great many students and retired people who swim year round at the Waterworld complex. The Moorpanyal Park 1000 encourages them to prepare for an open water swim without the expense of the high profile swims. Not only is entry free, everything from the sausage sizzle to the prizes are free too. It’s a morning to be enjoyed with the whole family that won’t cost you a cent: even parking is free! It is our generous sponsors, along with our helpers, mostly local residents, who make this swim possible, and such a wonderful event. Our heartfelt thanks to all the businesses that contributed. Organised by the North Shore Residents Group as a community service and supported by City Of Greater Geelong, Boral Geelong, The Training Room Geelong, Biscuit Interactive, Jennings Internet, Xtreme Technology, Surf Life Saving Victoria, Fortune5, Geelong Advertiser, Millar’s Cafe, Popcultcha, Geelong Ports, Geelong Volunteer Coast Guard, Incitec Pivot, Midway, Neverfail Springs, Pace Physiotherapy, Quiksilver, Rotary Club of Corio, St. John Ambulance, Victorian Regional Channels Authority, Ber’s Butcher, Admiral Thrawn, Wathaurong Glass & Art, Geelong Cross Country Club and many others.
Thanks to all our helpers!The Moorpanyal Park 1000 started as an annual swim in 2000 with just fourteen swimmers. Now averaging more than 100 contestants, it continues to grow. It was the brainchild of North Shore residents Jim Anderson and Dale Jennings. Together they organised a team of people who donated their time and talents to make the swim possible. Thanks to all of these people for their ongoing support of the Moorpanyal Park 1000, and special thanks to members of the North Shore community. Peter Dixon- Swim Controller Terry Makin- MC Dr Michael Carroll- Doctor Medical back-up Jeffrey Walker- Geelong Cross Country Club Time clock and PA Peter Barrow Coast Guard Geelong- Safety boat Norm Spalding & John Way- Safety boats Tony Veitenheimer- Event equipment Lorene Wilks- Timekeeper Richard Dilena & Matt Jackman COGG Management- New sand and beach clean David Saunderson & Tom O’Connor COGG Noel Kimberley Geelong Ports Ken & Elise Isaac- Promotions Will Lee- Drone photography Admiral Thrawn, Vinko Ljubanovic and Kathy Ryan- IT Ian Guthridge- Marquee Thanks to all swimmers, supporters and sponsors for making this such a wonderful free community event.
We welcome your feedback. If you can help out with sponsorship or prizes, that would be great.
Also, let us know if you’re keen to swim when things get back to normal.