Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Olympic hero Michael Klim and his former Australian teammate Geoff Huegill will join marathoner John van Wisse and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic hopeful Sam Sheppard in St Kilda Beach in Melbourne on December 13th for the inaugural Hotel Urban St Kilda Mile Ocean Swim presented by Milk & Co.

Victorians will rub shoulders with some genuine stars of the pool and open water next weekend,” said Klim [shown above]. “I’m excited to be swimming with Skippy [Geoff Huegill] again – he jumped at the opportunity to take part.”

The Aussies know how to throw an open water swimming party: the inaugural event will offer a range of ocean swimming events from a 3.8 km long course to a free 300m Kids course aimed at getting more kids involved in open water swimming.

Pre-race favorite Sheppard, a 4-time Lorne Pier to Pub champion, is going to Melbourne from his training base on the Gold Coast especially for the event. “This is a really well timed event for me ahead of the Lorne Pier to Pub,” said Sheppard who finished 7th in a recent FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup, only 5 seconds behind the winner. “It’s also a great hit out for Victorian’s looking to compete in other open water swims this summer.”

Event Ambassador Klim draws a crowd, as usual. “From corporate groups, life savers and triathlon clubs to some of Australia’s fastest open water swimmers, we’ll have a great mix of competitors on the start line.”

But it is not all about competition and racing. The Hotel Urban St Kilda Mile Ocean Swim also supports the John Maclean Foundation that works to change the lives of young Australians using wheelchairs.

Ricky Jeffs, COO of Erdigroup, the parent company of Urban Hotel Group, said, “As a passionate supporter of sport and an advocate of all that St Kilda has to offer, myself and the team at Urban Hotel Group are excited to be involved with an event that brings together both local and sporting communities in the very heart of this vibrant location.”

For more information on the event, follow on Facebook.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association