Sunday, April 26, 2009

Autumn swims at last ...

Welcome, welcome to a new swim ... South Curly to Freshwater finally got done, after failing last season due to big seas, and after a prelude this season that included big seas. A course that has to be done, but which some said couldn't be done. This could be another new classic. Perhaps that is what this season, now approaching closure, could be about: the discovery of new classics.

Meanwhile, over on the south side, Coogee-Bondi had its second outing under new management, and Avoca finally got done on the Central Coast ...

Tell us what you thought ... And please leave your name on your blob ... we like to know who's talking to us, and we can't award the James Squire Blob Award if we don't know whom you are ...

Press the Comments link below to leave your comment and to read what others are saying ...


  1. Let me be the first to say the Coogee to Bondi was a cracker!

    For starters, I love a journey swim. Then there was the new challenge for me of the longer 5km distance, and swimming with a paddler.
    I'd never done a 5km swim before and was a bit concerned about the distance - enough to slot in a few pool swims during the week. I was also wondering how much tougher the conditions were going to make the swim after a week of big seas. I needn't have worried... the ocean was almost flat apart from the westerley buffeting around Bronte and Tamarama. The buoys, although few in number and only placed where necessary, made for good milestones during the swim, and before I knew it, we were turning at Mackenzies into Bondi.

    The 8.30am start was great - easier to get a park down at Coogee, and enough time to get on with family arrangements from lunchtime. Sure the early start made the buoys hard to spot swimming into the sun, but the landmarks (and paddlers) were a great guide.

    A big thanks to the organisers and everyone who helped on the day - I'm only sorry I couldn't kick on to the 'Bergs and the presentation to thank those responsible in person and swap stories with other swimmers and paddlers.

    I look forward to doing this swim again - maybe next time we'll get lucky and be able to see the bottom the whole way. Also, hopefully the South Curly to Freshwater won't clash next time 'cos that also sounds like a good one.


  2. In the Coogee photo "mermaid Jo & friend" the friend is Craig Swan who with his sister Bronwyn first organised this swim for 2 years, back at the start of the century, and helped Jo revive it last year. Bronwyn, a nurse, was out on the rescue boat. The flags at the Bondi end were actually one Aussie & one Kiwi (with the red stars) but we can forgive James making that mistake. With the bags I needed another North American, Dave, to take some. Thanks Dave. The swim looked great from the cliffs.

  3. Sth Curly to Freshie swim how good was that!A nice challenging swim, best walk for spectators ever.This is a pure grassroots 2km swim, may the it be blessed with favourable conditions next year.
    Cee ya next year

  4. Hi,

    South Curly was indeed a good one ansd a combination of an off shore wind, a fading break, clouds clearing away 5 minutes before the start, warm seas and exceptionally good marking of the course made my pre-race apprehensions fade away.

    I've always been very wary of South Curl Curl - it's here that, as a freshly arrived Pom with 2/3 of bugger all swimming skills, I foolishly went into a thundering 2 metre surf back in the very early eighties and almost didn't re-emerge. That near death experience put me off big waves in general and Curl Curl in particular for many years and i wans't kee to repeat the experience, although my swimming is a lot stronger, if no faster, these days.

    I needn't have worried - getting through the break was a non-event and the warm sea was a pleasure to swim in. The waters, and indeed the sky, were clear, particularly compared to Molly last week, but the chop and the backwash off the rocks made for a bit of a rough journey, but again nothing compared to last week.

    Not much more to say except the organisation was excellent and the boyos (I chatted to a Welsh guy who was washing them after the swim) were big, fat, bright, easy to spot and there were lots of them. By far the best marked course I've swam.

    These destination swims are great fun and make me feel I've actually got somewhere rather than gone in a circle. Maybe someone can organise a destination swim series where we do swims from beach to beach, starting at Palm Beach to Whale Beach and going further down every week until we reach Maroubra.

  5. Big thanks to Mermaid and all of the organisers for the Coogee-Bondi yesterday - awesome job.

    Can't believe how the conditions cleared up for the swim, well at least for the swimmers! Half way through the swim I stuck my head up and commented to my paddler how perfect the weather was, little did I know she was getting pelted by the wind! Sounds like the swimmers had the easiest job!

    Loved the extra bit of distance on this swim, made it that little bit more challenging! Looking forward to next year!

  6. I thought the South Curly swim was just lovely, of course.
    Bryn Russel did a great job.

    Since my mother always told me to defer to guests, and I have such good manners, I diplomatically came fourth so as not to hurt anybody's feelings.
    Thats my story, and I'm sticking to it...

  7. How GOOD was the South Curly to Freshie swim!!!! Given the pumping conditions on Saturday I thought it would be a wash out for sure, then turn up sunday and its great conditions! Great course (and bouys!), bit of bump out to see for some larks, water temp was still good and walking back from freshie in my speedos was refreshing and a nice treat for the morning walkers no doubt.

    Who were the guys swimming back from Freshie though! That looked epic. Made me think how cool an out and back course would be. I.e. swim to freshie, get out, run round some flags and then back to south Curly!

    Anyway, great race. I am going back to the Uk next week so this is was my last Ocean race for the forseable future and what a CRACKER!

    Cheers to the organisers!

  8. South Curly was a great swim. I made sure I stopped a few times to take in the view. I've always wanted to swim around that headland and yesterday was great day for it. The course was well marked out which made for easy navigation.
    The only bummer was getting stung half way round - in April!
    Just over 2k?

  9. Carn all you C2B 5k'ers!

    Did summint happen out there that no one wants to talk about? After all the brou-ha-ha following the Mollymook swim there doesn't seem to be too many of youz havin ya two blob's worth about it! Didn't anybody swim over the top of anyone, or scratch or heel-waft, or miss a bouy, or simply marvel at the beauty of the marine reserve that youz were swimmin over, or anythin?

    I wish was out there with yuz, it was such a crackerjack day. I opted instead for conducting my daughter's 3rd birthday party, bang on her actual birthday, at the kiddies bike track in Centennial Park, where she went absolutely mental on the prezzie we gave her, her first bike. I reckon the swimmin race mighta been easier work but I don't regret for a second missin the it for the sheer joy we saw her experience.

    Even so on Satdy night I was secretly hopin for accutely localised subtropical cyclonic coastal weather conditions to visit themselves upon youz, but not us in the hinterland of the park of course, so that I could perhaps join youz on a rain date later this month.

    I'm glad it went off for yuz, but yuz should whoop it up a bit more to tease me for next year. ANZAC day falls on a Sundy next year thus my daughter's birthday will be on the Monday. Tell me, which day do I have to schedule the party for?

    David Love.

  10. I did the South Curl Curl swim and a little note to all those people out there who didnt do a swim this past weekend because of the weather, well you missed a great swim!

    The water was absolutely the perfect temp, clear and inviting! The course was very well laid - great buoy placement and a cracking BBQ at the end up on the balcony surveying the beach.

    I agree with Mr OS.C that these late seasons swims are great. South Curl Curl was definitely a winner in my book and a must for my 2010 swims calendar.

  11. Well done CurlyFresh for a big effort first-up. This swim had a really good feel to it. Good course, well laid out & patrolled. Kept us well out to sea to avoid the backwash from the swell, still managed to swallow a few gobfuls in the chop around the last headland. Navigation was easy, some useful headlands & tall buildings to aim for in line with the buouys. Still managed to put in the usual few dozen extra strokes by heading for the middle of the beach instead of finish line tucked into the northern corner, the blokes in the surf boat put me back on course. Prescription googles, maybe next year. Well done to the young volunteers who helped out with registrations and serving refreshments on the deck.

  12. Did the Coogee to Bondi for the first time this year and loved it. Great swim in every possible way - well organised (thanks Jo et al and big thanks to my paddler Ken for braving the wind in your creaky old kayak), spectacular course, challenging distance and the weather even turned up at the last minute.

    Only gripe was all the wetsuit wearers. Given the distance and the amount of time in the water I can understand some of the slower swimmers wanting a little extra buoyancy and a little more warmth but I don't understand why there were so many swimmers who finished in the top 10-20 wearing wetsuits.

    There may be a valid reason for it - and if there is I'd be happy for someone to rain on my whinge but as I see it, anyone who is good enough to swim 5km in less than 80 minutes doesn't need the assistance of a wetsuit to help them get there.

    Although I'm not so militant as to advocate a total ban on wetsuits for this swim, next year it might be an idea for organisers to put an asterisk or a 'W' next to all those swimmers who donned the neoprene floaties. If we adopt this approach, no one whose main reason for entering is to finish will care about an asterisk next to their name and for those who are there to challenge themselves AND their peers, it will be a fairer race.

    Now for the howls of indignation from the aggrieved wetsuit wearers...

  13. That's the way Chris!

    I reckon they're all soft too.

    Good on ya,


  14. Coogee/Bondi.
    I paddled for a Yank who was over here and Overtanned. To any swimmers by paddling for a fellow swimmer you can experience something worthwhile and keep the sport growing, I recomend anyone to have a go. The paddle on Sunday was more of a challenge than swimming due to the offshore wind.
    To the organisers I recomend that the escort paddlers come in at a seperate section of the beach as a capsized kayak and paddle will certainly give a finishing swimmer a headache.
    To the wife of a veteran swimmer who paddled as escort,I hope Hubby realises what a lucky bugger he is, well done.
    To all the photographers who supplied pictures this season for the oceanswims site well done as they seem to be getting better each year.
    The only downside this year has been some of the comments to the pictures, the editor might have to taken out the back and have words said, not commonly found in the dictionary.
    regards peter mccrae.

  15. RE: The Sth Curly Ocean Swim,
    The Organisers of this swim sure know how to run an great Ocean Swim. Well done to you all at Sth Curly.

    These guys were so switched on even the race started on time, just like they said it would. I am sure many of us hate standing at the start line waiting and waiting for the organisers to get organised. Well Sth Curly, they did what they said they would and while most other Ocean Swim organisers are still working out what to do to get a race underway, we where well and truly in the water and on our way to the finish line with the Sth Curly Swim.

    I wish the others could be this organised!

    Fantasic Course, Fantastic Organisation, Fantastic Pre-Race Briefing and what a Fantastic View once you finished and enjoyed the scenic walk back along the coastal walkway to Sth Curly at the end for the event BBQ and presentation.

    Well done Sth Curly for a fantastic ocean swim event and I am a definate for starting in their 2010 Ocean Swim. What Date? so I can put it in my diary!



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