Illawarra cricket was washed out but 200 brave swimmers made a splash and the world’s biggest one-day rugby tournament the Kiama Sevens was unaffected by today's severe weather.
All four grades of Illawarra senior cricket were called off, while South Coast cricket is facing a washout, with 50 to 100mils of rain expected to lash the region over the next 12 hours.
The torrential rain caused a headache for organisers of the two-day Splash ‘n’ Dash aquathons at Wollongong Harbour but 200 ''brave souls'' weren't deterred.
Festival organiser Rob Battocchio said Saturday’s event proceeded, and there were even late entries.
‘‘We’ve had to mitigate around the weather and are going ahead the best we can,’’ Battocchio said.
‘‘Everything will be okay on Sunday beginning with the Mini Swim.’’
Mr Battocchio said the aquathon and fun run would proceed and any updates to courses would be made in the morning.
Illawarra Zone 16 mens bowls official Brian Gibson said play was extremely doubtful for the opening round of pennants.
A decision would be made on a club by club basis, but some grade 3 and grade 6 matches had been moved to the indoor facility at Warilla Bowling Club.
Matches not played in round one would likely be rescheduled to a ‘‘catch-up’’ day on Sunday April 28.
The 41st Kiama Sevens was unaffected by the weather with play starting on time at Kiama Showground.
Meantime dangerous surf conditions have forced the closure of all 17 beaches in the Illawarra today.
Wollongong City Council lifeguards confirmed ‘‘big stormy conditions’’ were making ocean waters unsafe and said heavy run-off into creeks also posed a danger.
The Bureau of Meteorology warned of hazardous conditions all day for coastal activities such as swimming, surfing and rock fishing.
Heavy rain is expected throughout the day with the chance of thunderstorms and winds from the east to southeasterly reaching up to 50 km/h.