Devil of a Swim

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Devil of a Swim was last held on Sunday 20th March 2011 in Bicheno in Waubs Bay on the East Coast of Tasmania, Australia and is organized by Shane Gould. There is a social and competitive swim that focuses on participation, challenge, and marine awareness as well as highlights the plight of the endangered marsupial Tasmanian Devil.

Waubs Bay is 400m from the main shopping area of Bicheno.

There are 1K and 2K in Waubs Bay and a kid's event and a 5K Swim out to and around Diamond Island and back. In the 5K, all swimmers must be at the halfway point (land side of the island) within 50 minutes

The event is supported by Surf Life Saving Tasmania and the event profits go to local Bicheno Nippers Club.

The expected water temperature is 17/18°C, but it can be warmer if the east coast current comes down. Wetsuits are recommended.

Email for expressions of interest to


About Waubadebar

Located on Tasmania's East coast, 195 kilometres north-east of Hobart, Bicheno was established as a whaling centre as early as 1803. It was at this time that the sealers and whalers arrived and began using Waubs Boat Harbour (one old name for Bicheno, another was Old Fisheries) as a base for their activities on the east coast. The sealers and whalers actually predated the first official settlement of Van Diemens Land. They lived a primitive and dangerous life and were known to be particularly cruel to the local Aborigines who they enslaved and prostituted..

The name “Waubs” is an abbreviation of “Waubadebar” a female aborigine with an heroic and tragic life. A strong swimmer, she saved two white men from drowning by swimming them to shore one by one, when their boat was smashed against the rocks during a storm. It was rare for any honour such as a place name to be bestowed on an aborigine.

Her grave is located at the back of the Lions Park, near the Silver Sands Hotel. The headstone reads “Here lies - Waubadebar a female aborigine of Van Diemen’s land, died June 1832, aged 40 years.” It seems that she was a sealer’s woman and that she died in a boat off the coast whilst travelling towards the Furneaux Group of islands and her body was brought ashore and buried. John Allen, an early settler, in his notebook, dated 24th June 1840, mentions “Waubs Harbour”. Sufficient was thought of her memory for the local settlers in 1855 to contribute funds to erect a headstone. The Devil of a Swim is in honour and memory of Waubedebar as I presume her rescue effort was 'a devil of a swim'. ==Distance== 1K, 2K, 5K, 10K




Name Shane Gould

Event Information

Month: April

Website: Devil of a Swim

Water Temp: 17-18°C

Class: Charity

Wetsuit: No

Charity: Yes

Relay: No

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