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Gorman chases fifth
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Previous Byron Bay Ocean Swim Classic winners Trent Grimsey and Melissa Gorman will line up at the event again on Sunday.

WORLD champion Melissa Gorman will headline the 23rd Beach Hotel Byron Bay Ocean Swim Classic on Sunday.

Gorman, who has won four out of the past five 2.2km Byron races, will take time out from her busy training schedule to participate in the race.

Gorman won the 2009 5km world championship race and finished third in the 2010 10km race, in which she was disqualified and then reinstated to third after controversy surrounding unsportsmanlike behaviour.

Last year was a big year for the Brisbane-based swimmer, who claimed bronze in the 800m freestyle race at the Commonwealth Games in India.

While Gorman is expected to be a clear favourite in the women’s event, the men’s event is a little more open.

World championship 25km silver medallist, Trent Grimsey, also a former Byron winner, has entered, along with his two younger brothers, Codie and Ridge.

Grimsey surprised by finishing fifth last year behind Australian open water team-mate and surf champion Ky Hurst.

Hurst has yet to enter but he is known for his late entries.

Grimsey is a three-time Australian champion and is in good form after finishing third in the 1500m in the pool at the Australian championships.

Sydney Olympic gold medal winner Chris Fydler, who won gold in the memorable 4x100m relay, will also compete.

More than 2000 swimmers are expected to contest the event across a number of age groups.

“The Grimsey brothers from the Sunshine Coast all achieved great results in the recent Australian Open Water Swimming Championships and they will swim in the event on Sunday,” swim committee secretary Syl Reid said.

“The Member for Port Macquarie Rob Oakeshott is also swimming.”

Sunday’s event also includes a mini-swim, which is designed to introduce competitors to ocean swimming.

The 800-metre event starts from Clarks Beach and finishes at Main Beach.

The winner of the open men’s and open women’s events will receive $850, while medals will be awarded to winners in the mini-swim.

Online entries will be taken until midnight tomorrow and in person at the Byron Bay Surf Club tomorrow afternoon from 3pm to 5pm.

Buses will transport swimmers from the surf club to Wategos on Sunday.

For more information on the big swim go to www.byronbayoceanswimclassic.com.au

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