Busselton Jetty Swim was announced last week as a finalist in the Perth Airport Western Australian Tourism Awards, presented by Tourism Council WA in the Festival and Events Under 50,000 category.
Busselton Jetty Swim was recognised for its long history of the event and acknowledged for its grassroots genesis in the South West and its constant growth to one of the largest open water swims in WA.
The brainchild of Busselton Jetty Swim committee president Max Higgins, the Swim initially formed part of a Busselton Triathlon Club (Busselton Allsports Inc) event and was first held in February 1996 for 82 race participants.
Since then, the event has grown exponentially and forms part of a full weekend of community focused entertainment with 2948 swimmers participating in the 2019 event.
Long serving Busselton Allsports Incorporated committee member Stan Wood, supported by his wife Kathy Wood dedicated 100s of hours to the submission process.
The labour intensive process was made easy with 24 years of history, statistics, images, video, testimonials and data thanks to a highly efficient and fastidious record keeping system the committee embedded from day one.
"The success of the Busselton Jetty Swim is only as a result of the local community support over the many years," Mr Wood said.
"What started out as a simple concept of swimming around the jetty has grown way past any of our expectations. The swim continues to be popular and in demand because of the great vibe over the weekend, the beauty and tranquillity of Geographe Bay and the challenge of swimming around the iconic landmark, the Busselton Jetty. The Busselton Jetty Swim has remained true to our values over the 24 year history of ensuring we continue to provide an affordable participatory event that is both fully inclusive and fun."
The voluntary organising committee of 18 dedicated and hardworking members work year round on the management and delivery of the event to keep up with the demand and to ensure a safe and highly successful event for the South West.
The organising committee are also proud to announce the launch of the theme for 2020. Swimmers look forward to seeing the new design and theme each year which is reflected in all the marketing and merchandise for the event.
The organising committee workshop the numerous ideas and put pen to paper to produce a creative design with a Busselton and Jetty flair.
In 2020, the event theme is "Silver Celebration", a crest design created using elements from a number of other year's designs.
The theme was a vision of Simon Mansfield, Busselton Jetty Swim long serving committee member.
Mr Mansfield uses his creative skills, knowledge of Busselton and passion for the event to design the theme each year.
He wanted to commemorate the 25th anniversary with a symbol combining both the history of the event and the elements of Busselton Jetty.
"I wanted to embrace the 25th milestone with a design that embraces the event and surroundings," Mr Mansfield said.
"A celebration montage highlighting the fun and relaxed nature of the swim while still focusing on the swim and the Busselton jetty. Remembering where the swim has come from, its beginnings, while also celebrating the 25 year milestone. The swim has a rich heritage and with the 25th anniversary it is an ideal opportunity to bring together the features that make it the great event that it is. It is fun to see if you can identify the past designs".
The concept was then designed by Wendy Paine, Busselton Jetty Swim committee member and Planet Graphics business owner.
Working closely with Simon and the committee, Wendy placed all the elements from the last 25 years in to the crest, keeping Simon's vision alive.
The event in 2020 will also commemorate the milestone with the Busselton Jetty Swim Silver Celebration Exhibition at Railway House throughout January and February, showcasing the long history of the event.
Registrations for WA's iconic swim around the longest timber pile jetty in the southern hemisphere are now open for 2020.