Sri Chinmoy National Capital Swim
Swim the full 9km length of Canberra's Lake Burley Griffin – solo or in a relay team of 4
About the event
The construction of Lake Burley Griffin transformed a sheep run into a graceful modern city: Canberra's aesthetic, geographic and architectural heart.
From end to end, the lake presents pristine natural beauty, a playground for recreational enjoyment and competitive sports, and a grand arena for the display of national monuments, symbols and icons. Government House, Parliament House (old and new), the National Museum, National Library, National Gallery and High Court grace its shores with natural reserves, manicured parklands, beaches and civic promenades.
Named after the city's chief architect, Walter Burley Griffin, the lake was completed in 1964. 50 years may be middle-aged in human terms: yet this is one of the youngest lakes in the world!
Tackle the entire length of the lake as a major athletic goal; or join with friends to complete the journey in relay.
- 0745 solos + >50 teams
- 0800 relay teams
- Solo $70 earlybird; $90 from 27 October, 5pm
- Relay team $90 earlybird; $120 from 27 October, 5pm
- Add $10 one race licence fee for non-TA members
- (all solo awards are presented for 'no wetsuit' and 'wetsuit' categories)
- 1st to 7th Male and Female Under 50
- 1st to 3rd Male and Female 50-59
- 1st and 2nd Male and Female 60-69
- 1st Male and Female 70 and Over
- 1st All-Male; All-Female and Mixed Relay Teams
Check the full course and the courses for each individual leg of the Sri Chinmoy National Capital Swim on the following satellite maps.
We are most grateful to Steve Barry for loading and providing links to these satellite images. The maps show precise distances and can be navigated at will.
Sri Chinmoy National Capital Swim (full course) (link is external)
Leg 1: Scrivener Point to Weston Park (west beach) (link is external)
Leg 2: Weston Park (west beach) to Yarralumla Bay (link is external)
Leg 3: Yarralumla Bay to Commonwealth Place forecourt (link is external)
Leg 4: Commonwealth Place forecourt to Grevillea Park beach (link is external)
Download the full course map in PDF form for printing.
- For solo swimmers
- For relay teams
- Participant waivers
- Water temp & wetsuits
- Registration & start
- Course marking
- Safety & emergency
- Cut-off times
- Finish, awards & results
- Withdrawals & refunds
- Contingency plans
- Course records
Solo swimmers must follow the same course as the relay teams, and have their number recorded at each transition point. Swimmers may take rest at any transition point, remembering that the clock does not stop.
Each solo swimmer must provide his or her own helper, who will accompany the swimmer in their own craft - either kayak, canoe or water ski. Each helper may only be responsible for one swimmer. Helpers will be issued with a chest number to be worn throughout the race. Swimmers may take food and drink from their helper, but are not permitted to touch their helper or any craft while in the water. Except while serving food or drink, the helper must stay 3 metres clear of their swimmer, and must give way to overtaking swimmers and craft at all times. It is the helper's responsibility to ensure the timers record their swimmer's number at each transition. Helpers must not interfere with or obstruct the progress of any other swimmer. To do so will incur the disqualification of the helper's swimmer, even if he or she plays no part in such interference.
Wetsuits and Non-Wetsuit Competitors
Main awards will be for solo swimmers not wearing wetsuits, though all solo swimmers completing the course will receive a finisher's award, whether wearing a wetsuit or not. Please notify with entry if you intend swimming without a wetsuit.
Criteria for Entry
All solo swimmers must include with entry a detailed athletic history, including results of previous competitive and endurance swims.
Relay Team Legs
There are 4 legs, as follows:
Leg 1 Scrivener Dam boom to Weston Park west beach, 1.8 km
Leg 2 Weston Park west beach to Yarralumla Bay swimming area, 2.5 km
Leg 3 Yarralumla Bay swimming area to Commonwealth Place, 2.9 km
Leg 4 Commonwealth Place to Grevillea Park beach, 1.8 km
Relay Team Categories
Categories for teams are:
Minimum age for Relay Team members is 14 years. All Relay Team members under 18 years of age will be accepted to compete only if entry form is accompanied by a letter of permission from a parent or guardian. If entering online, the permission letter(s) must be mailed or faxed to the organisers.
Composition of Relay Teams
Relay Teams may include 2, 3 or 4 members. Each team member must swim one or more complete legs. Each leg must be swum by one team member only, and cannot be sub-divided between team members. One individual may swim separate legs for different teams, as long as these legs are not consecutive.
Replacement of team members is allowed, provided the replacement does not alter the category of the team. Replacement members must sign the official waiver form at Registration. Also at Registration, names are to be confirmed for each member doing each leg. Changes to this schedule are permitted on the day, provided transition marshals are informed of the change in advance of the leg concerned.
Accompaniment of Team Members
Relay Teams may only accompany their swimmers in any craft, by prior agreement with the organisers.
All competitors who have entered or have been entered into this event online, whether as solo swimmers or relay team members, as well as all replacement team members, must sign the participant waiver before commencing their respective leg or legs of the race. Copies of the waiver will be available at each transition point.
Any competitor who commences a leg without first signing the participant waiver is subject to immediate and automatic disqualification, and is no longer deemed a participant in the event.
Average temperature in Lake Burley Griffin at this time of year is 17C - 21C, though water temperature can vary markedly from one part of the lake to another.
Wetsuits of no more than 5 mm thickness are allowed for both solo swimmers and relay team members. There will be a separate category for solo swimmers not wearing wetsuits, though no disctinction will be made in the relay teams divisions between wetsuit or non-wetsuit wearers.
Swim caps will be issued at Registration,and must be worn throughout the race.
Start (start of leg 1): Scrivener Dam boom, off Scrivener Point
First Transition (start of leg 2): Weston Park west beach
Second Transition (start of leg 3): Yarralumla Bay swimming area beach
Third Transition (start of leg 4): Commonwealth Place Forecourt
Finish: Grevillea Park beach
Transition Procedure - Solo Swimmers
Solo swimmers must come to within 5 metres of shore at each transition point, close enough to stand up and have their race number recorded. If instructed to do so, solo swimmers must come ashore and have their condition monitored by medical staff. Swimmers must comply with the instructions of medical staff, including any directive to take rest, receive treatment or withdraw from the race. Failure to do so will result in immediate disqualification.
Transition Procedure - Teams
Team members must report to the timing crew to have their name and number recorded, sign the participant waiver, have their number written on and swim cap issued, no less than 15 minutes prior to expected departure. Swimmers may NOT write their own number on themselves! The swimmer exiting the water must come through the chute and have his or her number and time recorded and be cleared by the timing crew, before 'tagging' the next team swimmer in the transition compound, who is then free to depart.
There will be aid station supplies at each transition point. These will include water, sports drink, First Aid kit, vaseline, sunscreen (all available to swimmers only). Hot soup will be served for all swimmers and official helpers at the finish.
Driving Directions to Transition Points
Start, Scrivener Point. Scrivener Point is off Lady Denman Dr, just to the north of Scrivener Dam. Access to Lady Denman Dr is from Parkes Way or Tuggeranong Parkway coming from the north, or from Cotter Rd coming from the south. Please note that Scrivener Point is a drop-off only area. There is NO PARKING at Scrivener Point or along Lady Denman Dr. Parking is in the car park off Lady Denman Dr just to the south of Scrivener Dam. Please allow 7 - 10 minutes to walk to the start.
Transition 1 - Weston Park west beach. From Scrivener Dam, follow Lady Denman Dr south. Turn left on Cotter Rd, then left again into Dudley St (the first set of traffic lights). Turn left at the roundabout into Novar St, then left again at the next roundabout into Bentham St, at the Yarralumla shops. Turn right into Banks St. Follow Banks St all the way until it becomes Weston Park Rd and enters Weston Park. Turn left into Prescott Lane and park in the car park near the end of Prescott Lane.
Transition 2 - Yarralumla Bay swimming area. From Transition 1, follow Prescott Lane back to Weston Park Rd. Turn right on Weston Park Rd (which becomes Banks St), then left into Brown St, which becomes Alexandrina Dr. Turn left into the gravel car park immediately after the intersection with Hopetoun Circuit.
Transition 3 - Commonwealth Place Forecourt. From Transition 2, follow Alexandrina Dr eastward. Turn left at the roundabout into Flynn Dr, passing under Commonwealth Ave bridge. Turn left at the traffic lights into King Edward Terrace, then left again into Parkes Place. Park in the car park on the right, off Parkes Place.
Finish - Grevillea Park. From Transition 3, return on Parkes Pl to King Edward Terrace, turning left onto King Edward Terrace. Turn left again onto Kings Ave and cross the bridge. Go around the large roundabout to turn right onto Morshead Dr. Turn right at the next roundabout into Menindee Dr, and park in the car park in Grevillea Park.
Registration and Start Procedures
If necessary, changes to team membership or swimming order can be made at Registration prior to the race start. It is preferable however, to please advise us of any changes before the close of entries.
Compulsory Registration for all Solo Swimmers, their helpers and Leg 1 Relay Team members will take place from 7 am at Scrivener Point (off Lady Denman Dr just to the north of Scrivener Dam).
Registration closes at 7.30 am for Solo Swimmers and their helpers, and at 7.40 am for Teams.
Relay team members for legs 2, 3 and 4 will register at their respective transition point, at least 15 minutes prior to their anticipated departure.
Please note there is very limited at Scrivener Point, or along Lady Denman Drive. Park in the car park on the southern side of Scrivener Dam and walk to Scrivener Point, about 700 metres - allow 7 to 10 minutes for the walk.
All Solo Swimmers and their helpers must attend Registration. Only the first Relay Team swimmer need attend, along with any replacement team members.
Race numbers will be written on the backs of swimmers' hands. Helpers' race numbers and packs will be issued, along with last-minute event information.
A pre-race briefing will be given 5 minutes prior to each wave start at Scrivener Point (off Lady Denman Dr to the north of Scrivener Dam).
There is limited parking at the start. Additional parking is available in the car park on the southern side of Scrivener Dam, 700 metres from the start. Please do not park at the National Aquarium.
Start Times and Procedure
The race will start in waves in deep water from the boom off Scrivener Point. Swimmers may position themselves anywhere along the boom, and must be holding the boom with one hand at the start.
Solo Swimmers will start at 7.45 am.
Relay Teams commence from 8 am.
The course will be marked by swim buoys.
All swimmers must follow the course as set on the day. All swimmers must swim to within 2 metres of every designated swim buoy on the course. It is the swimmer's choice whether to pass to the left or right of each swim buoy.
Solo swimmers must come to within 3 metres of the shore at each transition point to have their number recorded.
Safety and Emergency Procedures
The race will be patrolled by 3 boats and a flotilla of canoes and kayaks for directional assistance and safety alert.
Sports Medicine Australia personnel will be in attendance at each transition point and at the finish.
Swimmers finding themselves in any difficulty should immediately signal the nearest craft for assistance. Provided they are not propelled in a forward direction, swimmers may rest on a safety craft indefinitely. Swimmers must obey all directions from race officials at all times. Race officials have the right to withdraw any swimmer from the event at any time.
Cut-Off Times and Procedures
The following cut-off times appear in 24-hour clock time according to Eastern Daylight Savings Time, asssuming that the solo swimmers commence at 0745:
Leg 1 - 0850
Leg 2 - 1010
Leg 3 - 1120
Finish - 1230
In the event that a solo swimmer has not reached a transition point by the cut-off time, he or she will automatically be withdrawn from the race.
In the event that a relay team member does not reach a transition by the cut-off time, his or her team may continue, commencing the next leg at the cut-off time, and will be ineligible for any awards.
The race finish is on the beach at Grevillea Park.
The Awards Ceremony will be held in Grevillea Park at or about 11.30 am.
Special awards will be presented to all Solo Swimmers. Awards will be presented to the first placed team in each of the all-male, all-female and mixed teams divisions.
Full race results, including split times for each leg for both solo swimmers and relay teams, will be posted on this website as soon as practicable after the event, along with a race report and photo gallery.
Refunds (minus $10 administration fee) will be made if signed advice of withdrawal is received in writing no later than 5 pm on Monday prior to race day.
Inland water bodies are occasionally affected by various natural phenomena such as blue-green algae or bacteria. All areas of Lake Burley Griffin are tested regularly and rigorously, and are subject to closure by the National Capital Authority if the levels of any potentially harmful organisms rise above certain standard measures.
In the event that swimming is prohibited in some part of the lake on the day of the race, an alternate course will be advised. In the event that swimming is prohibited in most or all of Lake Burley Griffin, the race will take place in another of Canberra's lakes, either Lake Ginninderra (pictured) or Lake Tuggeranong. In this instance, the distance of the course and the distance of each relay leg may vary from that advertised. Advice of such changes will be posted on the event website at the earliest opportunity.
In the event that swimming is prohibited in all of Canberra's lakes on the advertised race date, the race will be postponed to a later date. If the race is postponed due to lake closure, entrants may elect to transfer their entry to the revised date or place their entry on hold. Entries 'on hold' will be valid until used once for the same event within 3 years successive to the originally advertised date of the race.
Solo Swimmers sans Wetsuit
Male Under 50 - 1:53:44, Benjamin Freeman, 2014
Male 50 - 59 - 2:09:06, John Fox, 2014
Male 60 - 69 - 2:32:57, Jeff Banks, 2008
Male 70 and Over - 3:15:35, Tim Mather, 2015
Female Under 50 – 1:55:27, Jessica Traficante, 2013
Female 50 - 59 - 2:38:16, Jo-Anne Danne, 2008
Female 60 - 69 - 3:08:36, Janet Gorst, 2014
|Leg||Record Holder-Male||Time||Year||Record Holder-Female||Time||Year|
|1||Benjamin Freeman||19:24||2015||Jessica Traficante||19:27||2013|
|2||Benjamin Freeman||33:05||2014||Shanyn Sparreboom||32:55||2006|
|3||Benjamin Freeman||38:56||2015||Jessica Traficante||38:19||2013|
|4||Benjamin Freeman||20:51||2014||Jessica Traficante||21:48||2011|
Solo Swimmers with Wetsuit
Male Under 50 - 1:50:04, Oliver Bourne, 2014
Male 50 - 59 - 2:28:05, Stephen Meredith, 2004
Male 60 - 69 - 2:43:27, Stephen Meredith, 2011
Male 70+ - 2:50:26, Geoff Llewellyn, 2009
Male 80+ - 3:06:04, Geoff Llewellyn, 2013
Female Under 50 - 2:12:39, Alanna Hale, 2005
Female 50 - 59 - 2:40:29, Jannion De Tomasso, 2014
Female 60 - 69 - 2:37:11, Jannion De Tomasso, 2015
|Leg||Record Holder-Male||Time||Year||Record Holder-Female||Time||Year|
|1||Oliver Bourne||19:23||2014||Alanna Hale||25:50||2004|
|2||Oliver Bourne||32:02||2014||Alanna Hale||36:28||2005|
|3||Warren Keegan||38:00||2013||Alanna Hale||41:30||2005|
|4||Oliver Bourne||19:55||2010||Bonnie Frankcom||27:24||2009|
|All-Male Team||2:05:20||Dickson Old Timers||2006|
|All-Male Team Over 50||2:31:48||Rod and Reel (Andrew Dawes, Rodney Smith)||2016|
|All-Male Team Over 60||2:48:33||The Old Guys (Alex Gosman, Terry Dixon)||2016|
|All-Female Team||2:09:55||Terry Told Us||2004|
|All-Female Team Over 60||4:22:32||S.A.S.S.Y (Deborah Johns, Helen Rubin)||2016|
Fastest Splits for Relay Swimmers
|Leg||Record Holder-Male||Time||Year||Record Holder-Female||Time||Year|
|1||Adam Rudgley||21:04||2014||Nicolee Martin||24:23||2015|
|2||Mitchell Nemec||32:29||2008||Jessica Traficante||34:04||2009|
|3||Lars Miller||38:00||2004||Jessica Traficante||38:34||2008|
|4||John Fleming||22:41||2006||Grace Hoitink||21:57||2014|
2016 Dec 4thSri Chinmoy National Capital Swim, 4 December 2016
“Splendid” is a word that almost suffered from over-use on Sunday 4 December, in the mouths of those describing the weather and conditions for the 14th annual Sri Chinmoy National Capital Swim. If swimmers had been asked to pre-book the conditions in advance, this is the day many would have dreamed of.
Among the Solo Simmers (No Wetsuit), the girls were right up there with the lead boys; Emma Gillingham and Isabella Coghlan both swimming superb races to place 2nd and 3rd outright. Swimming smoothly, powerfully and with great determination, Emma won the Women’s race in 2:05:10, from Isabella’s 2:07:40 and Jenna Freeman in 2:21:21.
Ben Freeman, the defending course record holder, swam a superbly controlled race over the full 9km to win outright in 1:58:45, the only competitor today (including all teams) to break the gold standard 20hour barrier. Behind him were two lion-hearted youths in Eskindir (“Skinny”) Gavel (2:08:54) and Ned Wieland (2:10:29).
Lloyd Dobson triumphed in the Male 50-59 with 2:49:50; and Greg Gourley, a stalwart of this race, celebrated his 60th birthday by taking out the Male 60-69 premiere trophy in 2:59:36.
Nicole Martin won the Female 50-59 in a fine 2:50:13; with Jannion Di Tommaso continuing her winning run at this race, winning the Female 60-69 in 3:15:38.
Sarah Murphy took out the Women’s (wetsuit) race in 2:44:00; while Sue Lyon took out the Female 50-59 with 3:10:30. Peter Turner won the Male 50-59 (wetsuit) with 3:03:09; and Bob Weldon the Male 60-69 (wetsuit) in 3:17:02. Geoff Llewellyn continues to amaze and inspire us all, taking out the Male 80 and Over division just days after his 83rd birthday, in 3:33:35.
A feature of the teams categories this year was the number of pairs not only participating, but doing extremely well. In the All-Female Teams, the pairing of “Claire and Katie” (Claire Fishpool and Katie Binstock) headed all of the more numerously-membered teams, winning in 2:44:06.
Three more pairs even set new course records, all in the “Veterans Teams” categories: “Rod and Reel” (Goulburn’s Andrew Dawes and Rodney Smith) broke the previous record in the All-Male Team (All Over 50) with their 2:31:48; while the illustrious pairing of Alex Gosman and Terry Dixon (“The Old Guys”) laid down a new best time for the All-Male Team (All Over 60) of 2:48:33. Yet another pair of Deborah Johns and Helen Rubin (”S.A.S.S.Y.”) set a new best-time for the All-Female Team (All Over 60) of 4:22:32.
“3 Mates and a Carp” (Greg Mitchell, Matty Hardy, Tyrone Compton and Mick Hanbury) proved too good in the All-Male Teams (Open), winning in 2:30:34; while late entry “The Swimpsons” (Oscar Johnston, Kylie Message and Guy Jones) took out the Mixed Teams division in 2:23:00.
The organisers wish to thank the members of the Canberra Canoe Club, YMCA Sailing Club and Sports Medicine Australia for their invaluable and much appreciated service. Congratulations to all swimmers who took to the water on this memorable and most enjoyable occasion.
2015 Nov 29thSri Chinmoy National Capital Swim, 29 November 2015
To swim 9km non-stop is a remarkable human achievement, attainable by a select few. Even to complete the distance in relay is a great credit to all participants in this rare event, celebrating the capacity of the human spirit by swimming the entire length, end-to-end of Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin.
There were some phenomenal accomplishments today, including outstanding times from the winning male – Benjamin Freeman’s 1:54:10 barely outside his own course record by 26 seconds – and the winning female – Emma Gillingham’s 1:57:23 within 2 minutes of Jessica Traficante’s 2013 fastest time. Benjamin and Emma were in a class of their own, though only one team followed them in (the winning Mixed Team combination of Haydn Valle and Amanda Tully – “CRUIZ’n’it” – in 2:07:05), before another of the standout finishers of the day, 2nd Solo Male in 2:08:37 from 14-year-old Ned Wieland. Ned is certainly one to watch as he continues to surprise even himself with his astonishing and ever-blossoming capacity.
Course records tumbled in several categories, including Tim Mather’s new over 70 (no wetsuit) time of 3:15:35; Jannion De Tomasio who bettered her last year’s Female 50-59 (wetsuit) record by setting a new best time for Female 60-69 (wetsuit) of 2:37:11 – giving her two current records in separate categories, with the older category the faster time! Geoff Llewellyn (over 80); Lachlan Lewis (over 70) and John Kennedy (over 60) teamed up to set a new Over 60s Male Team best time of 3:27:42.
Solo leg records were broken by Benjamin Freeman (leg 1 in 19:24 and leg 3 in 38:56); and a new fastest time for a female in a team for leg 1 by Nicolee Martin of 24:23.
Notwithstanding all these stellar individual performances, which gave one the feeling at the finish line of rubbing shoulders with giants, the show-stopper which drew a standing ovation from the assembled throng on the beach came from Eli Ball, the final swimmer to finish. His time of 3:39:01 would not normally have turned too many heads, especially in the elite company assembled today. The jaw-dropping factor was the stroke – Eli swam the ENTIRE 9km length of the lake butterfly!
The spirit of aspiration and adventure, of daring to challenge the seemingly absurd and downright improbable – embodied by Eli’s swim, captured everyone’s imagination and admiration. It is always inspiring and thrilling to witness the boundaries of the possible being stretched and transcended with such a dauntless and fearless resolve. Thank you, Eli!
The event was attended by soft cloud cover and a gentle breeze upon a mild lake, boding well for all participants and allowing for all to focus on their own application without having to contend with additional challenges from the elements: a day for all to be grateful.
2014 Nov 30thSri Chinmoy National Capital Swim 2014 – Results
The Sri Chinmoy National Capital Swim for 2014 – celebrating the 50th anniversary of Lake Burley Griffin – was staged in Canberra on Sunday 30 November 2014. Full results, by category and overall, follow:
2014 Nov 30thSri Chinmoy National Capital Swim Race Report 2014
Records tumbled in a calm lake as swimmers celebrated the 50th anniversary of Canberra’s centrepiece Lake Burley Griffin in style, covering its entire 9km length in the 11th annual Sri Chinmoy National Capital Swim.
Making his debut at this race, 17-year-old Benjamin Freeman swam the fastest time without wetsuit assistance of 1:53:44 (including record times for 3 of the 4 relay legs en route); while the swimmer whose time he beat, Oliver Bourne – who today chose to wear a wetsuit – returned the swiftest time ever of 1:50:04 (and 2 of the 4 relay leg records for one wearing a wetsuit). Oliver led from the outset, with Benjamin never more than a few minutes behind, the pair offering a tandem masterclass in swimming with grace and strength.
Other records to fall included:
* Male 50-59; John Fox (2:09:06)
* Female 60-69; Janet Gorst (3:08:36)
* Female 50-59; Jannion De Tomasso (2:40:29)
* Mixed Relay Team; Team GLAN (1:55:54, including new leg records for fastest male in leg 1 to Adam Rudgley with his 21:04; and fastest female in leg 4 to Grace Hoitink for her 21:57).
A record solo field of 40 swimmers (later joined by 18 relay teams) started the morning from Scrivener Point (near Scrivener Dam), with relay transition points at Weston Park west beach, Yarralumla Bay swimming beach and Commonwealth Place, finishing the 9 km length-of-the-lake at Grevillea Park beach, not far from the head of the lake.
Despite a few light showers, almost windless conditions made for a smooth lake and swift, untroubled swimming.
Aside from the record-breaking performances mentioned above, other category winners were:
* Female Under 50; Jenna Freeman (2:05:37) (3rd outright without a wetsuit)
* Female Under 50; Alison Taylor (2:52:01)
* Female 60-69; Helen Rubin (3:41:09)
* Male 50-59; Stuart Hodge (2:51:24)
* Male 80 and Over; Geoff Llewellyn (3:09:46)
* All-Male Team – CRUIZ'n'it (Haydn Valle & Brandon Pyke), 2:17:31
* All-Female Team – Viking Youngsters (Lisa Moore, Anne Smyth, Suzie Gunning, Nicolee Martin), 2:39:40
Full results – both by category and overall – are published, along with a spectacular photo album from an unforgettable morning.