Ian Thorpe leads the celebrity arrivals at The Sapphire Project launch in Sydney

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    Former Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe leads the celebrity arrivals at The Sapphire Project launch in Sydney

    Ian Thorpe rugged up against the cold weather when he stepped out for The Sapphire Project launch in Sydney on Tuesday.

    The 38-year-old former Olympic swimmer stepped out in a pinstripe blazer with a black scarf knotted around his neck for the charity event.

    He rounded out his all-black ensemble with a knit jumper, tapered leg pants and lace-up brogues.

    Keeping warm: Ian Thorpe rugged up against the cold weather when he stepped out for The Sapphire Project launch in Sydney on Tuesday

    Keeping warm: Ian Thorpe rugged up against the cold weather when he stepped out for The Sapphire Project launch in Sydney on Tuesday

    Ian seemed to be in good spirits ahead of the event, smiling happily and posing for photos with fellow guests. 

    The former world champion affectionately embraced underwater photographer Valerie Taylor as they posed together on the black carpet.

    Valerie, 85, rested her head against Ian’s chest and laughed happily as they hammed it up for photographers.

    The right stripes: The 38-year-old former Olympic swimmer stepped out in a pinstripe blazer with a black scarf knotted around his neck for the charity event

    The right stripes: The 38-year-old former Olympic swimmer stepped out in a pinstripe blazer with a black scarf knotted around his neck for the charity event

    Man in black: He rounded out his all-black ensemble with a knit jumper, tapered leg pants and lace-up brogues

    Man in black: He rounded out his all-black ensemble with a knit jumper, tapered leg pants and lace-up brogues

    An engrossed Ian even held Valerie’s hand as she stood chatting with him on the black carpet ahead of the event.

    And it wasn’t just Valerie who was charmed by the former freestyler, with Tourism Australia director Hayley Baillie wrapping her arms around him in a hug.

    Also in attendance was Jarrod Scott, who put his model moves on display, posing with a blue umbrella.

    Warm welcome: The former world champion affectionately embraced underwater photographer Valerie Taylor as they posed together on the black carpet

    Listening in: An engrossed Ian even held Valerie's hand as she stood chatting with him on the black carpet ahead of the event

    Warm welcome: The former world champion affectionately embraced underwater photographer Valerie Taylor as they posed together on the black carpet

    Hug it out: It wasn't just Valerie who was charmed by the former freestyler, with Tourism Australia director Hayley Baillie wrapping her arms around him in a hug

    Hug it out: It wasn’t just Valerie who was charmed by the former freestyler, with Tourism Australia director Hayley Baillie wrapping her arms around him in a hug

    The 31-year-old model looked suave in a midnight blue suit, blue patterned shirt and black brogues, and styled his hair slicked back. 

    Tom Waterhouse also stepped out for the launch, donning a classic camel-coloured trench coat.

    The 38-year-old businessman and racing heir also wore a black suit with a white shirt and blue patterned tie. 

    Working the camera: Also in attendance was Jarrod Scott, who put his model moves on display, posing with a blue umbrella

    Working the camera: Also in attendance was Jarrod Scott, who put his model moves on display, posing with a blue umbrella

    Covered up: Tom Waterhouse also stepped out for the launch, donning a classic camel-coloured trench coat

    Covered up: Tom Waterhouse also stepped out for the launch, donning a classic camel-coloured trench coat

    Sam and Cameron Bloom were also on hand, posing happily together ahead of the charity event.

    The real-life couple were the subjects of last year’s biopic, Penguin Bloom, with Naomi Watts portraying Sam. 

    The Sapphire Project, in conjunction with The Great Barrier Reef Foundation, is committed to promoting ocean conservation.  

    Date night: Sam and Cameron Bloom were also on hand, posing happily together ahead of the charity event

    Date night: Sam and Cameron Bloom were also on hand, posing happily together ahead of the charity event

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