Australia & Oceania

Northland sailor survives swim for his life

Todd Vercoe slogged for three hours through rough seas, thunderstorms, lightning and the threat of sharks.

When he finally reached land he etched "SOS" in the sand with his foot in the hope rescuers would see his plea for help.

It might sound like a scene from a castaway movie but the life-threatening experience was real for the keen sailor, who thought he might not survive the exhausting swim off Northland's coast on Saturday. Still shivering, wrapped in blankets and sipping a hot coffee at Whangarei's St John Ambulance base an hour after being rescued, Mr Vercoe, 36, a house painter from Langs Beach, recounted his ordeal.

He was one of three aboard a nine-metre steel-hulled sloop that left the Bay of Islands about 8.30am on Saturday, destined first for Tutukaka, then Whangarei.

"We had the boat on autopilot and were motor sailing to keep the speed up to make it into Tutukaka before it got dark," Mr Vercoe said.

He estimated they were about 9km offshore when he had decided to relieve himself off the back of the yacht.

"That's when I fell in. I was yelling and screaming as soon as I hit the water. But there was no way they could hear me over the motor and they were both in the cabin below deck."

That's number 6 for Adam Walker

Adam Walker successfully crossed the Cook Channel.

He started around 09:00 h New Zealand time and finished in 8 hours 36 min the 6th and in his words hardest of the 7 Oceans.

Now all that's left is the 'easier' North Channel between Scotland and Ireland to become the fifth person to complete the 7 oceans.

Australian Chloe Mccardell breaks record swimming 16 straight hours in spa

Australian Chloe McCardell was forced to abandon her Cuba-to-Florida attempt in 2013, before Diana Nyad’s successful swim, after suffering a jellyfish sting.

So for her latest World Record endurance swim, McCardell swam in a bit of a more controlled environment

The Australian swam 16 hours straight in a “spa” (think Endless Pool) in Melbourne.

This challenge wasn’t nearly as long as the one done by Diana Nyad, but it provides a whole different type challenge.

Australians protest at plans to kill sharks in Perth

Thousands of people have been taking part in protests in Australia over a plan to kill large sharks.

The Western Australia government is set to install baited hooks off Perth's popular beaches in response to seven fatal shark attacks in three years.

But protesters say a cull is not the answer, and will only damage the sea's delicate ecosystem.

More than 4,000 people gathered for a demonstration at Perth's Cottesloe beach alone.

"Without the sharks there will be no future for humanity because they balance out the ecosystem and every living creature in the sea is really important," one protester said.

At a demonstration in Melbourne, one protester said: "We're better than killing wildlife in vengeance. We need to use the science that's there, to work with the science that's there, to learn to live with these creatures instead of culling them."

Two-day Rottnest Channel swim being considered for 2015 event

PERTH'S Rottnest Channel Swim is set for a major overhaul, after a record number of applicants were turned away from the 2014 event.

The world's largest open water swim will get bigger under a plan to split it over two days or two concurrent races.

Rumors: Marcel Wouda as open water coach in Australia

Update December 15, Marcel has rejected the Australian offer. He said that during an interview on tv. He's staying loyal to his present swimmers.

December 12, LONDON - The job of the National Open Water Coach for Swimming Australia is the loosening tongues in the Netherlands. One name is mentioned and buzzes along the pool lines.

Jarrod Poort takes win at Ocean Swim Series

Australian 5km open-water swimming champion Jarrod Poort has proved too good in the second round of the State New Zealand Ocean Swim Series.

4 days untill start of Season in New Zealand

4 Days to go until the Series kicks off with the State Harbour Crossing.

There are under 100 spots left! Get your entry in now to avoid disappointment. Online entries close this Friday at midnight if the event doesn’t sell out before then.

Locals compete with renowned swimmers in Fiji

THE annual Mana Island Ocean Swim Festival ended on Saturday with local teams from Nadi and Suva competing with established international swimmers.

Winners of the race included Wally Eggleton of New South Wales, Australia, who took out the open grade 10 and three kilometres race around the island while 19-year-old Zoe Elkerton won the one-kilometre race.

Another big one for Trent Grimsey

Trent Grimsey is without a doubt one of the greatest open water swimmers on the planet.  He’s the swam the English Channel faster than anyone, he’s won the FINA Grand Prix series and stood a top many podiums during his career. A couple of months ago he announced his retirement from open water swim racing.  However, a great athlete like Trent can’t be held back. He’s taken a courageous look at himself and realizes he’s got a lot more racing inside of him. So next up he’s got an eye on something truly mind-blowing; competing in 2015 Enduroman Arch to Arc Ultra Triathlon.  Here’s what Trent has to say about the next step in his athletic career: