Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sydney Harbour Swim ... lots of meeja, no sharks ...

So what did you think of The Sydney Harbour Swim Classic? Notice how many meeja were there, but by the time the presos came around, there were none to be seen. Hard to escape the conclusion that they weren't there to find out who won ... they were there for blood! Sadly, they were foiled, although even more sadly, they might have been happier had they been at Avalon yesterday morning instead ...

Good event at the Harbour? What did you think?


  1. Well i did think it was a very splendid event, despite being "pipped at the post"...(damn!)...
    and despite being a little breathless with anxiety over the course. thank goodness those jelly fish were there to distract me.
    Not too impressed though, when I arrived home, to discover that my prizepack had been emptied of its cache of sunscreens...must have been a mix up.
    Whoever took he wrong one home, call me. I have your hat...

  2. Didn't worry about the Noahs, but the guy in the white budgie smugglers scared the bejeepers out of me. Wonder if he forgot his usual attire and opted for his y-fronts instead?

    Great swim, thanks to all involved. See you next year.

  3. A very enjoyable swim. Great location, well organised and importantly the best safety out of all the swims i've done this year...i guess it needed to be.

    Conditions were pretty good for ocean swimming, not too much chop.

  4. Can the organisers please let us know when approx the results will be up?

  5. What a great day and location. Every year I come away so impressed with being able to do the Harbour swim right under the Bridge and Opera House. Congratulations to all the organisers on another top event.

    I especially loved the carpet of Jelly Fish at the start of the race. I assume that was the work of the divers herding them all onto the course to protect everyone from the sharks. :-)


  6. Results have been on for several hours. See the link at the top of the home page.

  7. Hmmm, 2km? A bit short I think. Can anyone with a GPS confirm.

  8. This is my 4th Harbour Swim, as always a very enjoyable swim, a well run event, great venue, however yet again a course of abt 1.6km as it always used to be, last year they claimed it was 2km and again this year, I very much doubt it is....Adding the 1km event they just conning us for more money for no extra swimming!!

  9. This is my 4th year of the Harbour swim, always a well run event, great location, enjoyable swim, but 2km , I don't think so, it is same as it's original 1.6km event. They jumped on the two swim bandwagon last yeat, conning for more money for no extra swimming!!

  10. The gps in a prophylactic recorded the main event at just over 1.9km. It clearly was well longer than the shorter swim, which was around 1km.

  11. Great event and great location. Adam Wilson clearly understands what it takes to run a quality swim. My first attempt at a harbour swim - will definately be back again next year.

  12. Fifi, you have my second prize, oceanswims has your prize....don't leave town!
    The Glistener

  13. Anyone know if there was an official photographer and if so what the web address is? Can't find any ref on the harbour swim web site to photographs being available?

    Great event, shame my wife came out of the 2k event with a black eye because on of a male swimmers swam over the top of her and then kicked her in the face pushing her googles into her eye.

    Thanks to the Life saver for checking she was OK and good to carrry on. Those guys and gals are great. Cheers guys.

  14. Overall another well run event, and you can't beat the location. However, yet again, some blockhead (I think in a light blue cap) decides that after swimming for 2km/35mins that the last 5 seconds will turn him into a real man instead of a idiot. As I climbed out of the water onto the steps (making sure not to interfere with anybody), this blockhead basically crash-tackles me and the two nice ladies next to me in his attempt to get up the stairs as quickly as possible. If you were that blockhead, I was the guy who turned around (after helping up the lady next to me) who told you eff off in no uncertain terms. Get a life and have some respect for your fellow ocean-swimmers.

  15. "The gps in a prophylactic recorded the main event at just over 1.9km."

    And winner did it in 19mins...???
    Based on the top 10 times it was no more than 1.7km. My guess is 1.6km.

  16. Dear FiFi
    Sorry to have pipped you at the post. Am still in shock that I came 1st but revelling in the glory - I wonder how long it will take my work mates to get sick of me telling them I won :) Its certainly raising the profile of ocean swimming in the work place. I am now considered as competing in an extreme sport and either ignorant or stupid to swim in such death defying events. Can you believe how much meeja was disappointed they must have been we werent shark bait. HAHAHA

  17. I'm new to swimming and even newer to ocean swimming. Living way out west (among the gum trees), one doesn't get much time in the ocean, let alone much in the way of 'shark action'. With the media hype having the desired effect on all my country locals, I was scared witless before the race.

    Erring on the side of caution,I asked the guy at registration if there were likely to be any problems - response "No, the divers have been down doing a sweep and it looks OK, (adding) at the moment". 5 minutes later, a fellow competitor was on her mobile appeasing her friend with "I'll be OK, but the waters might run red". Did I say I was scared witless? By this stage, I was scared *#itless!

    Then it came time to jump in the drink and mill around with the other bait fish. Something hit my leg and I asked everyone within hearing distance "what the *^#* was that"? I must have started a chain reaction, because my words kept being echoed around the throng. I was just about to wig out and go home (a long way from the ocean - never to return), but I could hear Spot's voice in my head "stop doodling".

    So stop doodling I did, settled in to a nice enough pace to look at all the pretty jelly fish, pull faces at the man with the underwater camera, stop and say 'sorry' when I swam into a nice man, checked out the guy in the boardies, and won a 'random' prize.

    Where was I going with all of this rambling? Thank you to the organisers, volunteers, oceanswims, and fellow competitors - I have not had this much fun since I jumped out of a plane. I am now an addicted Scaredy Pants.

  18. What a shame with all the media there was no mention of all the money Adam Wilson and his team raised for charity. Like all the swims do each week.

    Mr August

  19. Agree there is a huge big media beef up! I am a resident of Avalon. I went to make my own assessment of the event. Pictures from the day included

  20. I was the one with the tie-dyed saggy speedos (thanks chemically enhanced 'Boy' Charlton pool!).

    Lovely swim, fantastic day. Most enjoyable was I did the 2k only 8 minutes slower than the 1k. I must have done that second half faster than Thorpey! Thanks organisers, I'll be contacting Guinness World Records.

    Bit of a grumple that the starter told us the wrong 1k course, I saw the leading girl head in the wrong direction and we relied on the lifesavers to set us right. Thank god, those guys do can do everything.

    Apart from that, another wonderful outing - loved it, and thanks very much to all you hard-working organisers.

  21. Nice swim, couple of comments.
    1. Your headline - lots of meeja, no sharks - surely that's a contradiction as meeja = sharks.
    2. 1.9k measured by a GPS in a prophylactic? Come again (if you pardon the expression). While I would be delighted to think I could do 1.9k in 34.30, the fact it takes me about 42 minutes to do 2k in a pool makes me sceptical (not to mention ashamed), particularly as I had to stop twice to empty water from my goggles.

    (I'll get some of those nice VIEW goggles next time I see you Paul).

    Obviously things appear bigger when they're wrapped in a prophylactic.

    However the really great thing about the swim was its inclusion in the Fine Ocean Swimmers tally - a tally I rather like, as I'm sitting at 62nd out of about 1700, or in the top 4%. That's more like it. The one thing I've yet to come to grips with in ocean swimming is my inability to crack the top 5%, which was a given in my running days - in fact I'm struggling to crack the top 80%.

    So thank goodness for a competition where I can make the top 5% just by showing up regularly, in spite of my minor handicaps (age, lack of ability, style, being a Pom, etc).

    Finally, my non-swimming friend who lives in the depth of Wiltshire, UK, far from the sea has sent me a warning about swimming that I thought I'd share with you. It made me laugh, so here it is.

    Heading - Warning: Swimming is dangerous.


    Great pic of you in the Cole Classic (some brilliant photos there), but I couldn't find the other ones. Can you send me a link?

    However, I am a bit concerned that nobody has taken the trouble to explain to you the risks involved in swimming. So - assuming you are still alive to read this - I have compiled a list of things that, if known to be present in the water, or even if there is the teensy-weensiest possibility of them being within 10km of you, YOU MUST NOT SWIM.

    Things with claws
    Things with teeth
    Slimy things, especially leeches
    Anything with gills
    Any other animal that swims around in the hope of killing or maiming anything that comes near it
    People wearing funny rubber hats
    Jet skis
    Jet skiers (even if they're not jet skiing)
    Surf boards
    Body boards
    Boogie boards
    Oil tankers
    Container ships
    Cruise liners
    Large ferries
    Small ferries
    Trawlers and other fishing vessels
    People from Wales
    Boats with outboard motors
    Boats with oars
    Severed limbs and other assorted body parts
    Assorted bodily fluids issued by any of the animals above, especially people wearing funny rubber hats in your proximity
    Discarded tampons, condoms, plasters and any other personal/medical equipment
    Food that floats
    Photographers trying to photograph you when you are fighting off jellyfish
    Jagged rocks
    Smooth rocks

    and, now I come to think of it: water.

    Hope this helps.


  22. Can anyone give me a suggestion for these itchy bumps all over my torso? They're driving me crazy, not to mention making me feel a bit sick/dizzy/feverish. I have so far used calamine with Lignocane,Stop Itch Plus,Stingose,Soov,Ice packs, hot packs, alcohol (topically and orally), dettol, and am sucking down Polaramine (according to manufacturers instructions of course)...and yet...THEY STILL ITCH!!! Put me out of my misery! Next year I'm wearing a bikini so the little buggers (whatever they are)don't nest down my front. Sharks schmarks...these are the harbour villans.

  23. There was massive confusion about the course for the 1K swim on Sunday. Many people were. Afterwards there was no one to talk to about it.
    The guy at the microphone said to swim to the buoy at Mrs Macquarie Chair and then swim straight back.

    People took 3 routes.
    1) they swam to the buoy off Mrs Macquarie's Chair then right back
    2) they swam to the buoy in front of Mrs Macquarie's Chair (in Farm Cove) then right back
    3) they swam to the buoy off Mrs Chair then turned right and went around the bouy near Mrs Macquarie's Chair (in Farm Cove) then headed back to the Opera House.

    What was the correct route?
    I swam route 3. What was the distance for this route?
    Route 3 is definitely NOT what the guy at the microphone was telling people. He also said the course was 1.1K long.

    Please advise.

    Chris Pedersen

  24. Reverse the 2km harbour swim course.

    For a wow factor, I suggest the organisers switch the direction of the 2km course
    Instead, of going clockwise across to Mrs Macquarie's chair and then into Farm Cove, go the other way - that way swimmers get to see what the 1km swimmers see on their return leg - the vista of the harbour bridge, city and Oprah House (named after the talk show host, no doubt) .

    The 2km swim has been lacking a wow factor since it was switched away from Fort Denison and into Farm Cove a few years ago ( one of the reasons i didn't swim it this year, the other being I entered the 1km swim instead - for moral support for a friend who did the 1km swim but is now living overseas who was back in town with his family and wife)

    I understand the switch into Farm Cove was for safety reasons, but reversing the course direction without altering the course layout would add that something special again

    PS Full marks for the organisation and water safety on Sunday, even if there was a little confusion about which was the first turning buoy for 1 km swim

    As for sharks, I feel sorry for those who have been attacked and it is awful, and yes, sharks are around but the risk (outside of night time dawn, dusk, dirty water and water with lots of fish is minimal, especially when 800 of my closest friends are also swimming

    And where is the meeja hysteria for the 212 people who drowned last year, most of those in rips on unpatrolled surf beaches? And where is the education campaign to show people how to spot a rip and how to get out of one?

    The public knows to swim between the flags but not why they should swim between the flags

    Three people have been attacked by sharks in as many weeks in Sydney, but to put that in perspective the national drowning toll is each year, year in , year out - and it's about the same number each and every year as those killed in the Victorian bushfires ( and that's not to lessen the awfulness of that tragedy)

    Remember most of the sharks in this town are in State Parliament in Macquarie Street or in the office towers of the CBD

    John Macleay
    A happy ocean swimmer

  25. Great swim, and the safest morning of the whole year to swim in the harbour... all those meeja choppers flying around scared off anything with teeth.

    This is one of the only non-surf-club-organised swims that is really well organised and a good day out. I wonder whether any of the assembled Fairfax sharks were taking notes?

    A lack of sausages was the only complaint... I can normally sniff out a sausage sizzle at 500 paces so I don't think I missed it if it was there, and some food available to nibble on at the end of an energetic swim would have been good, and a money raiser for the various people involved.

    I've got some itchy bumps too jane g... sea lice I think. Ugh. I'd rather have an itchy arm than a bitten-off arm though. Stingos keeps it at bay for a few hours. :)

    Does Mr OS.c swim in circles whilst wearing the GPS-in-a-prophylactic to take his lovely pitchas? As much as I'd like to say I swam 2k in 30 mins, sadly I suspect it was closer to the 1.6 mark.

  26. Dear rosemary:

    Unless i improve my finishes, I deserve to be pipped!
    Alls fair in oceanswimming!
    just off now for some sprint training....(the lurking sharks didn't seem to have the desired effect of speeding me up.)


  27. Isn't it wonderful how all the whales are coming back since we protected them.

  28. I AM A GOOSE!!!

    I got sucked into the meeja hype and didnt do the swim. . . BUGGER

    I have always wanted to do it but didnt for some reason. . . SORRY FOR THAT... sounds lie it was tops as they always are1!

  29. I'm also with Jane G...does anyone know what causes these itchies? I'm covered in them - everywhere that the cossie covered! I don't remember this being part of the fun (see previous comment).

  30. To Jane - don't scratch and to Fifi - don't sweat, I have your bag (discovered in amidst the goggles at the pack up). I also have someones pink and tan towel that was left over my crips chair at the end.
    What all of you questioning the brand new GPS's accuracy are forgetting you are not swimming in a pool. There are surprisingly strong currents in the Harbour and this year they were smiling on you all improving your times.
    The tips I have picked up on sea lice over the years (mostly from our current Australian 25km champion Shelley Clark, who won this title only yesterday): don't scratch, use Stingose, Calamine, Pinetarsal cool baths or what ever gives you relief. If you are really bad you may need anti-histamines. they will improve in time but can last over a week.
    The next issues is your swimmwear as the little buggers are trapped in there and can reactivate and bite you again evidently. The tip is to wash your cossie out really well and they don't like lavender oil so put some in the final rinse and dry your cossie in the sun. Good luck with that and well done everyone. A special congratulations to Adam for putting on such a wonderful well run, safe event (again).

  31. Oh bi-directional currents..

  32. Not sure if this is a good idea, but it seems to have worked. I took the bluebottle approach to the itching and showered in the hottest water I could handle. That, combined with antihistamines, stopped the itching for a good 12 hours. I don't think I'll put those swimmers on again though...I don't trust them. Thanks for the tips.

  33. Strong tide and currents in the harbour, yes there are, however this event in 2006 and 2007 was run as a 1.6km swim, exact same course as 2008 and this years, albeit now a 2km swim....
    Oh well will know doubt swim it again next year 1.6km or 2km!

  34. sueyanne, yes, thats my towel...and I will stop crying for sunscreen immediately.:-)

  35. HEY, JANE G!
    the little buggers are most probably caused by jellyfish larvae (it's a misnomer to call them sea lice, which are parasites that can cause grief to fish like salmon). The condition is known as 'sea bather's eruption'. I was itching all week and so too was my brother-in-law, as they managed to crawl around his budgie smugglers!

    Mrs Sparkle is right. They can hang around and strike again, so disinfect the cossie and leave it in the sun for a while!

    And to finish - thanks Johnny Rotten (thought you was dead) for following my blog!

  36. I know, I know Sid's the dead one. I'll never live this down (DAVO).


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