Giants of the Bay Race
Giants of the Bay Race is a 30 km (18.6 mile) marathon swimming competition from Portarlington to Pt Lonsdale in Victoria, Australia. The race caters for solo swimmers and teams of 2, 4 or 6 swimmers. It is one of the longest open water swimming races in the world (see Marathon swims). The second annual race will be held on 9 March 2013 and serves as a means to raise awareness and funds for Autism. Solo swimmers must pre-qualify for the longest open water swim in Australia.
The swim course follows the Bay coastline and finishes near "The Rip" the entrance to Port Philip Bay.
The Rip is said to be one of the most treacherous stretches of water in the world. It is so dangerous and inherently risky that ships require local expert pilots to takeover their ship going in and out. There are very fast tidal currents caused by the rip and the swim is scheduled to ensure tidal assistance of up to nearly 5 knots at times.
The Rip, also known as "The Heads", is a dangerous stretch of water in Victoria, Australia, connecting Port Phillip and Bass Strait. It is the only entrance for shipping into Port Phillip and hence into Melbourne. Because of large tidal flows through the relatively narrow channel from the bay to the ocean, and a high rocky seabed, The Rip has claimed many ships and lives. Geographically, it is the roughly triangular area of water between the land points of Point Nepean, Shortlands Bluff and Point Lonsdale, these 3 form The Heads.
The Rip is generally considered to be located in the triangular area of water between the land points of Point Nepean, Shortlands Bluff and Point Lonsdale. The entrance between Point Lonsdale and Point Nepean is 3.5 km wide but the reefs projecting from these points reduce the navigable width to about 1 km. Within 800m outside The Heads, there is a shallow rocky flat known as the Rip Bank. The water deepens outside this flat to 30m and inside the Heads to as much as 90 m. This inequality of depth combined with tidal streams running up to 6 knots, causes the world-renowned dangerous conditions. The variation in seafloor depth within the rip itself can be anywhere from 100m to less than 5m among the rocky reefs and shoals.