Sri Chinmoy Lake Swims

Yarralumla Bay Canberra

Choose from 3 options - 5km, 2.5km and 500m

Canberra's oldest lake swims, held since 1987
Held in the beautiful surrounds of Yarralumla Bay
Suitable for recreational and serious swimmers
Friendly, supportive atmosphere
Well-marked, easy to navigate courses
On-water safety support by Canberra Canoe Club
Trophies for age group placegetters in 5km and 2.5km swims
Junior categories for 500m race
Post-race pancake breakfast
Full results published online same day

About the event

The Sri Chinmoy Lake Swims offer 3 distance options: 5km, 2.5km and 500m.

The swims are intended as a true test of swimming ability and skill, for swimmers not wearing wetsuits. Hence Awards are presented only to those swimmers who complete the event without wearing a wetsuit. Swimmers may wear wetsuits if they desire, though they will not be eligible for Awards. Results of all finishers will be published on this website, with the wearers of wetsuits noted in a separate section.

In addition, each November the Sri Chinmoy National Capital Swim is staged along the full 9 km length of Lake Burley Griffin for solo swimmers and relay teams of 4.




    • 8.10am
    • $15 until 5 pm, Mon 18 February
    • $20 after 5 pm, Mon 18 February
  • View course map »


    • 8.05am
    • $25 until 5 pm, Mon 18 February
    • $35 after 5 pm, Mon 18 February
  • View course map »



Prachar Stegemann
0404 071 327
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Award Categories

Awards are presented in the following categories:

5 km and 2.5 km Lake Swims
Male and Female Under 50: 1st place to 3rd place
Male and Female 50 - 59: 1st place to 3rd place
Male and Female 60 - 69: 1st and 2nd place
Male and Female 70 and over: 1st place

500 m Lake Swim
Boys and Girls Under 13: 1st to 3rd place
Boys and Girls Under 17: 1st to 3rd place
Male and Female 17 and over: 1st to 3rd place

Course Records

Sri Chinmoy Lake Swims

Distance Age Category Male Time Date Female Time Date
500 metres Under 13 Henry Palmerlee 8:05 26/2/2012 Elizabeth Wigney 8:57 8/3/2015
500 metres Under 17 Oscar Johnston 8:06 21/2/2016 Elizabeth Wigney 7:50 19/2/2017
500 metres 17 and Over Wayne Miller 8:00 10/2/2013 Ursula Ditton 8:52 10/2/2013
2.5 km Under 50 Max Green 35:37 19/2/2017 Grace Hoitink 35:41 18/2/2018
2.5 km 50 - 59 John Fox 35:40 19/2/2017 Anne Smyth 40:25 21/2/2016
2.5 km 60 - 69 Tim Booth 43:27 26/2/2012 Christine Stock 52:55 21/2/2016
2.5 km 70 and Over Tim Mather 49:16 21/2/2016      
5 km Under 50 Benjamin Freeman 1:04:53 19/2/2017 Jenna Freeman 1:10:12 8/3/2015
5 km 50 - 59
Mark Wieland 1:17:29 10/2/2013 Anne Smyth 1:29:11 10/2/2013
5 km 60 - 69 Graeme Wolfenden 1:34:16 19/2/2017 Pauline English 1:47:17 19/2/2017
5 km 70 and Over Russell Wenholtz 2:00:00 26/2/2012      


Previous Results

  • 2018 Feb 18th
    Sri Chinmoy Lake Swims (5km, 2.5km & 500m), Canberra, 18 February 2018

    Canberra-bashing is a thing. Mostly it’s do to with politics and the thought-bubble that ”Canberra” is responsible for all the country’s woes, real and perceived. Yet the outlook from Yarralumla Bay swimming area on Sunday 18 February 2018, would have melted even the crustiest Canberra-sceptic into an avid Canberra-lover.

    In the 31 year history of Sri Chinmoy Lake Swims at Yarralumla Bay, no-one could remember a better day. Warm, crystal-clear, radiant, the water calm and inviting, the very air smiling with contentment: swimmers and spectators alike were treated to Canberra at its very best on a perfect late-Summer’s morning.

    The standout swim of the day came from Grace Hoitink. Grace was too classy for the entire field to take out the 2.5km race outright in 35:41, smashing the women’s course record in the process. Melanie Wellenberg’s 36:43 brought her 2nd in the Female Under 50 and 4th overall. Anne Smyth took out the Female 50-59 in 44:04; and Clare Wall the Female 60-69 with 1:07:12.

    James Johnston won the Male Under 50 category, and 2nd place outright in the 2.5km race in 35:54, from Nicholas Grinter’s 36:13. Andrew Dawes won the Male 50-59 with 39:02; Tim Booth the Male 60-69 in 46:48; and Terry Dixon the Male 70 and Over with an excellent swim of 49:38.

    The 5 km men’s swim saw a tremendous race between elite swimmers Benjamin Freeman and Ned Wieland, with Ben winning in the end in 1:06:10 from Ned’s 1:06:16. The same two had placed first and second in last year’s 5km race, with a winning margin of 4 minutes: by closing that gap to a mere 6 seconds, Ned has placed Ben on notice! Ned’s father, Mark Wieland took out the Male 50-59 in 1:21:51; and Greg Gourley the Male 60-69 in a sprightly 1:36:30.

    Meanwhile the women’s 5km race went to Caitlin Risstrom in 1:21:49 from Nicola Johnstone’s 1:28:42. Suzy Gunning was the winner of the Female 50-59 in 1:36:24. One of the closest finishes came in the Female 60-69 category which saw a magnificent race between Pauline English (1:50:48) and Janet Gorst (1:51:09).

    In the curtain-raiser event, the 500 metre swim, Oscar Morgan was first overall and won the Boys Under 17 in 8:41; Thomas Palmer took out the Boys Under 13 with 9:18; and Ronald Miller the Male 17 and Over with 9:11.

    Charlotte Hyett took out the Girls Under 13 with 10:56; Natasha Tilley the Girls Under 17 in 10:14; and Leisa Cass won the Female 17 and Over with 9:13.

  • 2017 Feb 19th
    Sri Chinmoy Lake Swims, Canberra, Sunday 19 February 2017

    The Sri Chinmoy Lake Swims are the oldest established lake swims in Canberra, having been staged from Yarralumla Bay swimming beach since 1987, making the 2017 edition the 30th anniversary of this prestigious event. Optimum conditions – a balmy 24.5 degrees water temperature, mirror-calm lake surface and zero wind – greeted a field of 114 swimmers for the 3 distances: 5km, 2.5km and 500 metres.

    Brother and sister, Ben and Jemma Freeman were doubly victorious in the 5km swim held on Sunday 19 February. Ben took line honours with a fine swim of the 2-lap course in 1:04:53, while Jemma clocked 1:12:32. The other podium places were taken by Katelyn McGregor (1:22:54) and Jen Reid (1:27:06) for the women; and by English Channel aspirant Ned Wieland (1:08:05) and Nicholas Grinter (1:16:24) for the men.

    Perry Blackmore swam his furthest distance to take out the Male 50-59 with 1:24:21; while Graeme Wolfenden won the Male 60-69 in 1:34:16. Nicolee Martin won the Female 50-59 with 1:29:20; and Pauline English the Female 60-69 in 1:47:07.

    The largest field of the day took to the water in the 2.5km race, which also produced the closest finish, with a sprint to the beach between overall winner Max Green (35:37) and Male 50-59 winner John Fox (35:40). Oscar Johnston (36:38) and Alexander Lakic (37:09) took the minor placings in the Male Under 50s. Tom Booth was fastest amongst the Male 60-69 with 45:57; and Tim Mather in the well-contested Male 70 and Over with 49:17.

    Janelle Ahern won the women’s race in 45:36, from Vanessa Goodspeed (46:26) and Ivy Prosser (46:45); with Anne Smyth taking out the Female 50-59 in 42:48; and Merilyn Bassett the Female 60-69 with 1:04:13.

    The shortest race of the day was the 500 metre dash. Elizabeth Wigney literally showed the rest of the field a clean pair of heels, winning outright as well as the Girls Under 17 in a swift 7:50; Sophie Green took out the Girls Under 13 with 10:11; and Heather Landsdowne the Female 17 and Over with 10:11. Oscar Morgan won the Boys Under 13 in 9:42; Leon Richardson the Boys Under 17 in 9:27; and Trevor Matthews the Male 17 and Over in 9:18.

  • 2016 Feb 21st
    Sri Chinmoy Lake Swims, Canberra, 21 February 2016

    The 30th edition of the Sri Chinmoy Lake Swims from Yarralumla Bay swimming beach was held in perfect conditions on the morning of Sunday 21 February 2016. Cloudy skies overlooked a still, calm lake as 106 swimmers covered the various distances of 5km, 2.5km or 500 metres.

    The brother-sister combination of Ben and Jenna Freeman dominated the 2-lap 5km race: Ben just a minute outside the course record with his 1:05:35, while Jenna was similarly dominant in the women's race, winning in 1:10:21 which also placed her 3rd outright. Splitting the siblings was outstanding junior talent, 14-year-old Eskindir Gavel with a spirited swim of 1:08:21. These 3 were in a league of their own, even lapping several of the 2.5km swimmers.

    In the Males 50-59, Keith Bennett (1:35:41) won despite Greg Gourley and Alex Gosman both finishing within a minute of him. Evergreen Geoff Llewellyn took out the Male 70+ with a gallant 3:09:04. Marianne Tecsy, visiting from France, won the Women 50-59 in 1:39:49; and Janet Gorst the Women 60-69 in 1:47:13.

    James Johnston won the Men's 2.5km swim in en excellent 37:41; Phil Aungles the Males 50-59 in 46:22; the impressive Tim Booth the Males 60-69 in 44:20 and Tim Mather the Males 70+ in 49:16. Georgia Hardy swam fluently for her 39:49 to take out the Women's 2.5km race; Anne Smyth not far behind with her winning 40:25 time in the Females 50-59; and Christine Stock the Female 60-69 in 52:55.

    In the 500 metres swim, Oscar Johnston took our the race outright and won the Boys Under 17 in 8:06; Morgan won the Boys Under 13 in 10:19; and Mick Hanbury the Male 17 and Over in 8:51. Jocelyn Mara won the Women's race in 9:10 in a sprint from Leisa Cass' 9:12; while Abigali Adera won the Girls Under 17 in 9:48.

    Enjoy the excellent photo album from the morning.

  • 2015 Mar 8th
    Sri Chinmoy Lake Swims Canberra 2015

    Was it a dream?

    Can a morning really have dawned so perfect? –  under a pale blue sky with painted-on stationary balloons, a pristine mirror of calm beckoned swimmers eager for its embrace.

    In 3 waves embarking on quests of 5km, 2.5km or 500 metres respectively, a record field of 116 swimmers heeded the call of immersion, celebrating the lake and its morning wholeheartedly.

    Teenage brother and sister duo of Benjamin (17) and Jenna Freeman (18) fulfilled the promise of the day with historic wins in the 5km swim, setting new course records for both men (1:07:25) and women (1:10:12). They also took the quinella with first and second placing outright.  On a morning for fast times, next home were Samantha Young (1:13:13), Meagan Wigney (1:15:19) and James Stokes (1:15:43).

    First in the Male 50-59 was evergreen Greg Gourley with 1:33:39. Deborah Davis took out the Women 50-59 in 1:53:03 and “superfish” Janet Gorst the Women 60-69 in 1:51:24.

    The one-lap 2.5km race was won for the men by Phil Foster from the UK in 38:17 from his compatriot Greg Smart in 39:43; while Nicola Ross took out the women’s race in 41:59 from Irishwoman Eimear O’Brien’s 44:01.

    Male 50-59s were led home by Canberra stalwart Phil Aungles in 46:49; Terry Dixon taking out the Men 60-69 with 51:07 and Russell Wenholz the Men 70 and Over with 1:07:43.  Sue Bowden meanwhile led home the Women 50-59 in 56:12 and Merilyn Bassett the Women 60-69 in 1:03:04.

    The shortest race of the day covered 500 metres. It seemed like a sprint in comparison to the longer swims, yet for some, just to cover this far was a supreme achievement.

    When there’s only one entrant in a category, that entrant can be assured of a win and so it was with Max Green in the Boys Under 13s. Not content with just winning his category however, Max took the entire race outright with his outstanding swim of 8:19. Next best time belonged to Wayne Miller from the Male 17 and Over with 8:27 from Mick Hanbury’s 8:43. Under 13 girl Elizabeth Wigney was not far behind, taking her category with 8:57 – and likewise winning the women’s race – from Jessica Wallis in 9:07.  Just between these two came the first Under 17s girl, Abigail Adera in 9:04. These girls showed the “grown-ups” how it is done, with the best Female 17 and Over being Kari Harlovich in 9:51.

    So, was it a dream? Perhaps only the photo album from the morning can tell us for sure...