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Brighton Icebergers

Melbourne Port Phillip Bay Water Temp Range:Winter 7c to 12c -Summer up to 22c 

Olsen-Hooper 2011 Annual Swim Group Photo 

Welcome to the home of the "Brighton Icebergers", the year round open water swimming group founded by John Locco – sea temp in Winter 7 – 12 deg C rising to 22 deg C in Summer.

Say iceberg and most people will think of a floating ice mass of which around only 10 per cent is visible above water. Say ‘Icebergers” in Melbourne and most will relate to those of us who swim all year round in the bay off Brighton Pier, about 11kms from the City centre. 

Brighton Icebergers – Some History 

In the 1980's when John Locco, the prime mover in the preservation of the Middle Brighton Baths and environs began swimming around the Brighton pier with his great mate Robert Hooper, little did he envisage how the number of swimmers would grow, events multiply and sorties undertaken to compete in ocean swims around Australia and the Globe.  Brighton Icebergers have swum all over Australia,  San Francisco, (annual Alcatraz Swim), across to New Zealand's Lake Taupo, Lake Zurich, English Channel and even conquered the challenging and treacherous rip swim across the entrance to Port Phillip Bay.

The Brighton Icebergers, with much history behind them, have access to two great facilities for year round swimming.

For those who enjoy the shorter distances and questionable security of an enclosed steel fence ( stingrays and occasional jelly fish still gate crash) there is the historic Middle Brighton Sea Baths. Jutting out into the bay for approx 100m and 50m wide the original structure opened in 1881 .Storm, sea damage and age saw it undergo three major restorations the first in 1934 following a violent storm, the second in 1986 to restore the ageing structure and the last being in 2001 when a major upgrade saw significant modernisation which added two restaurants, a steam room and gym.

The second and larger contingent of Icebergers, whose passion is open water swimming, has its base 100m away at the Royal Brighton Yacht Club (RBYC) located adjacent to the Baths.

Established in 1875, the RBYC is the home of Australia’s first Americas Cup Challenge. The yacht was “Gretel”, funded by Sir Frank Packer and the skipper was RBYC yachtsman Jock Sturrock. Australia didn’t win on that occasion in 1962 but we gave notice we were in play. Another attempt followed in 1967 with “Dame Pattie” and in 1983 John Bertrand, a skipper with strong Brighton connections, took the olde mug from the USA off Newport Rhode Island with the revolutionary wing keeled “Australia 2 ” and as they say the rest is history. In Summer 2006, the Yacht club completed a multi million dollar renovation which added excellent gym space, steam and sauna rooms, new bars as well as restaurant & cafĂ© destinations.

Icebergers who swim out of RBYC – cover a series of year round open water courses ranging from “Morning Glory” over 250m, “No Brainer” over 1.5km and the’ Big Course “out to the Reef Marker is over 2km. Teabags are occasionally spotted – one quick dip and out – but essentially those who swim here like distance and open water swimming. An interloper Kiwi in the Club, Paul Percy, along with Aussie Legend John Olson has also introduced the ANZAC course which stretches the distance (and swimmers) via marker buoys to 5.4km.

Open Water swimming is never routine. Every day brings different sea conditions at Brighton - swells, currents, chop and winds. The power of nature is respected. Regularly joining the Icebergers on their swims are some resident penguins, bottle nosed dolphins and an elderly stingray who lives along the route of one of the swim courses.

The Brighton Icebergers welcome female swimmers, it has an active group of female swimmers headed up by Jane Zacharin and Melinda the flying doctor Kemp. 

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Welcome to the Brighton Icebergers

Welcome to the home of the "Brighton Icebergers", the year round open water swimming group founded by John Locco – sea temp in Winter 7 – 12 deg C rising to 22 deg C in Summer.
The Brighton Icebergers, with much history behind them, have access to two great facilities for year round swimming.

In the 1980's when John Locco, the prime mover in the preservation of the Middle Brighton Baths and environs began swimming around the Brighton pier with his great mate Robert Hooper, little did he envisage how the number of swimmers would grow, events multiply and sorties undertaken to compete in ocean swims around Victoria and the Globe..Read More..
2018 photo  2017 photo 2016 photo  2014 photo
2013 photo
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2011 photo  2010 by Jenny Roberts Thompson 2009 by Andrew Miller 2008 by Jenny Roberts Thompson 2007 by Andrew Miller
Click on each photo to view enlarged version.

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