This merry month of May sees Byron Bay play host to not one , but four major sporting events.
Starting on April 27 and running until May 3, the Byron Underwater Festival is the first of the events to be held.
The festival promotes the beauty of what lies beneath the ocean and the fact that Julian Rocks is one of Australia’s top 10 dive sites.
One of the world’s leading dive legends and underwater pioneers Neville Coleman will be a guest of the 2009 festival.
There will also be an underwater photo and video worskhop and a shoot-out competiiton; wildlife and artists presentations and marine visions open medium art competition with more than $5000 in prizes.
On Sunday, May 3, swimmers from all over Australia will converge on the Bay for the milestone 21st Beach Hotel Byron Bay Winter Whales Ocean Swim Classic.
This year’s swim is expected to attract more than 1500 swimmers with national and international swimmers competing.
Former Commonwealth and Olympic swimmer Hayley Lewis will swim in this year’s elite superfish category.
The following weekend will be busy with the staging of the annual Byron Bay Triathlon on Saturday, May 9 and the finals of the annual Byron Bay Malibu Classic on Sunday.
In its 29th year, the classic will start on May 8 and longboard surfers from all over the east coast from Sydney to Noosa will compete.
There will also be a contingent of surfers from New Zealand.
Presented by the Byron Bay Malibu Club, the three-day contest will be held at Wategos Beach.
The major sponsor is the Byron Bay Bowling Club and all money raised will be donated to the Cape Byron Headland Trust, Coastal Patrol and Westpac Rescue Helicopter.
The Byron Bay Triathlon on May 9 is an iconic event and one that is popular with professional competitors.
It is one of the few Olympic-distance races now held in Australia and is the last race of the triathlon season.
The race involves a 1.5 km swim, 40 km cycle from Byron Bay to Lennox Head and back and a 10 km run along the Byron Bay foreshore and town.