Can Tooers sail home to victory at the 2021 Big Swim

by Emma Brown 02 Feb 2021

Congratulations to all the Can Too swimmers who conquered the 2021 Big Swim and Little Big Swim at Palm and Whale Beach on Sunday, to raise over $300,000 for Australian cancer research.

There was a flurry of activity in the ocean and online with around 250 Can Tooers crossing under the finish archway and posting their achievements online, as part of Can Too’s social media competition – Post Your Pics to Win. Please see a selection of the highlighted posts following.

Can Tooers showed grit and determination in rough conditions with a strong dumping swell that was dense with seaweed, especially in the 1km URM Little Big Swim.

Can Too’s youngest participant, 12-year-old Zachary Yacoub showed that the family who swims together, stays together. Zach took part in the Learn to Ocean Swim program with his father, Can Too 10K Hall of Famer, Hany Yacoub to complete the 1km race. (Zachary and Hany are pictured below).

“He loved it and was very chuffed with himself and I was a very proud dad,” said Hany. 

Hany posted a special shout-out to Team Captain Angie Stevenson (pictured below) who supported Zach during the program’s open water training sessions.

Angie conquered her first Macquarie Big Swim - the 2.8km race from Palm to Whale Beach. She also smashed her fundraising goal to become a $25k Can Too Hall of Famer.

Team Captain, Angie said that she also loved every minute of the Palm to Whale Beach swim.

“I never had the desire before to swim around the headland, it seemed scary to me, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, it was such a good vibe,” said Angie.

She was also proud to see how far Zach had come since the start of the Can Too ocean swim program.

“I was so impressed with our whole pod as a lot of the participants came from the Run into Spring running program and were not naturally swimmers, so to see them take on the pool and ocean instead of the pavement was so inspiring,” she said.

First time Can Too swimmer but long time Instagramer Abbie Williams posted that the 1km swim was a very special one (pictured above).

“Being in a wave (pun intended) of the bright orange that has become Abbie’s own little community, it was impossible to wipe the smile off Abbie’s face,” she posted.

Craig Dwyer also posted a special mention of Can Tooer, Chris Formosa (pictured below second from left), who knocked eight minutes off last year's Palm to Whale swim time.

“It shows how much work you've put in Chris. You should be very proud of your achievements and you're supporting an equally incredible cause in Can Too and Cancer Research,” wrote Craig.

Can Too swimmer Liz McLellan (pictured below centre) felt that all the little pearls of wisdom shared during the swim program all came together on the day. 

“Thank you to everyone who supported us in our goal swim 1k today!  CanToo is the best thing I have ever done,” posted Liz. 

One of the Monthly Swimmers, ex-Olympian Carl Wilson, who has collectively raised over $40,000 for the Foundation, watched his son Jack and daughter Laura finish 1st and 2nd overall in the 2.8km iconic ocean swim, but he was just as thrilled to see the orange sea of Can Tooers achieve their swimming goals.

“Congratulations to the hundreds of Can Tooers. It’s a real thrill to see them and their supporters celebrating their success from doing things they didn’t think they could do,” said Carl.

Congratulations to first time Can Tooer, Evelyn Craigie who won her age category and to long time Can Tooer Susan Cohn for winning her age group, both in the 1km race.

Can Tooer, Toni Hinchley also secured 4th place in her age category.   

“This absolute wonder woman of a mum completed her first ocean swim today! And not only that, but she also finished 4th in her age division!," posted her daughter Lauren on Instagram, see her post below. 

Please see the slideshow below to view the photos and posts from the iconic swim event plus further below check out some highlights of insta story videos including one of Zach and Hany finishing their swim. 

You can still Post your Pics to Win

The Sydney Learn to Ocean Swim program’s second official goal swim is coming up at the North Bondi Classic on Valentine's Day - 14 February. The perfect day to show your Can Too love in the 'Post Your Pics to Win' competition.

It's simple to enter just:

1. Post your pics to Insta or Facebook and
2. Tag: @CanTooRunSwim or #gocantoo
Deadline: By 5pm 16 February

You'll then go in the draw to win $100 off your next Can Too program registration. Check out our upcoming programs to choose your next Can Too goal, including the Balmoral 5km and Autumn 2 and 2km swim programs. Register and find out more here.