Sunday, April 19, 2009

Now, THAT was an ocean swim ...

Just back in town after four hour drive from Mollymook ... and THAT was an ocean swim! Rising seas, chop, wind in your face, no two strokes the same ... rain squalls rolling through, obscuring beach, headlands, landmarks ... and dumped at the end on a shallow bank! It was a terrific swim, so much fun, and full credit, as the footy players would say, to the boys at Mollymook for going ahead in very difficult conditions ...

DY called off ...

Shellharbour, Saturday ... what a wonderful little swim, short, sharp, fast, with a breeze and swell behind us rolling over rocky and weedy bottom back into the beach ...

We love these regional swims ... They make us feel as if they're really pleased to have us there ...

But what did you think?


  1. It was a shame about the weather today and I fuly understand why the Dee Why ocean swim was called off this morning.

    Just for my own information, do all surf clubs notify "ocean swims" of their intention to cancel a swim beforehand as I checked the website before 8am this morning and there was no notification of today's cancellation?

  2. Wow Mollymook was intense! Good on them for letting us have a crack at it! Biggest seas I think I have swum in... have to say about half way down the beach I did have a freak out when I saw the size of swell rolling through and I couldnt see more than about 5m ahead because of the rain. But somehow I manged to get all the way home.

    Second year I've done the south coast swims and its such an awesome weekend! Highly recommend making the effort next year!

  3. yep, terrigal was an excellent swim. went back to bed on sunday morning when saw surf report but when i checked the terrigal slsc webpage again an hour later there was a friendly little message telling everyone that the swim was still on. so husband and i sped down the highway and arrived just in type to put goggles and cap on and dive into grey-blue depths. he used his usual term of endearment for me ("psychopath") when we saw the water. got swept around for 2km - big swell and v windy, but somehow navigated the course to get to the end with dry lungs. great course - well-marked and good to start altogether to minimise loneliness mid-swim! loved the water conditions - just put your head down and go for it. much more interesting than following the black line of the pool. highly recommend this swim - the volunteers were very friendly and helpful, and there was a mountain of bananas, apples and water at the end. hopefully they will work with next year so that you can enter online. thanks v much terrigal slsc! unfortunately husband has now beaten me in 2 out of 2 swims, but the margin is decreasing so bring on avoca next week.

  4. I chose Dee Why over Terrigle just for the potential waves.Something reminded me of the good old days when ocean swims were run in real waves.Entered online. Woke up Sunday and checked the Surf Cams.Dee Why cam was out so I checked other beach cams including Terrigle.You could see Terrigle would go ahead and they were set up.Checked Dee Why's website every 15mins until 8.15am but no messages. I guessed OS.C was down south and there would be no stop press.Rang Dee Why Surf Club for an update but couldn't get an answer and no voice messages.The Dee Why surf cam was still down. Decided to go to Dee Why and not Terrigle given I'd paid my money and it appeared to be on.Arrived at 8.55am. Whilst to me it was clear they intended to cancel. I was bemused to see them taking money for entries so I went over to the table and was told that the 2km was on.(I get it..just run the longer event because it's dangerous).Anyway as I was registering they made an announcement blaming the council lifeguard for not opening the beach.
    Next time guys just cancel at 7.30am or 8.00am like other swims and dont take any money on the morning.Place a quick note on your web site or at least leave a voice message on the phone or at least answer the phone. Perhaps when the surf cam is fixed you can just place a sign on the beach. Anyway there were multiple options here and would have allowed Terrigle to get more swimmers.I went to my old club beach Manly and had a great swim in some fantasic waves. So I wasn't too annoyed.

  5. "This is your fault" I told as I shivered in the pouring rain waiting to enter the pounding waces at Mollymook after a 6am start to the drive from Sydney.

    It's true - why else would I subject myself to a 6 hour (both ways) drive to be tossed about like a pancake on Shrove Tuesday if not to complete my second country swim and qualify for the "Fine Ocean Swimmers" title? Or more realistically, given my dramatic lack of swimming speed, to try to make the top 50. To his credit, who else but oceanswims could come up with a competition that would allow a fat old near non-swimmer to come that high up the field just by turning up often enough.

    Ten minutes later, having given up all idea of trying to do a (self-comparatively) fast time, I was actually rather enjoying myself. Thanks to the semi-sheltered start at the far North of the beach I'd reached the first booey without actually drowning and the hypnotic up, down, sideways and out two metre (or so it seemed) swell was quite relaxing, in a strange kind of way.

    The large arc of the beach and the extremely limited visibility rendered the first orange booey, 700m from the start, invisible. I have no idea whether a) I swam around it; b) if it was towed away mid-race, as someone told me, or c) it was swallowed by a great white whale.

    I do know that after what seemed an age of being churned like a lump of curd in a Swiss cheese factory and mercifully seeing the Mollymook surf club ahead or the starboard side, a helpful water safety guy pointed waaaaaaaaaaaaay out to sea and I realised I needed to swim far away from the welcoming shore if I wanted to go round the last orange booey.

    Which is when it became a little surreal. It's not often that I find myself battling really quite large seas, on a strange beach, in a squall of wind and rain that obscured everything from view - not just the booey but other swimmers, the shore, the headland - everything.

    It was dark, gray and lonely, although luckily not cold.

    In spite of a deep streak of cowardice I managed to convince myself that yes, there was a booey and a shoreline there somewhere, that the squall would pass, that no matter how big the waves were I would still float over them rather than be engulfed and that I would live to swim another day. And thus it was.

    Once I'd turned round the final booey the strong waves helped propel me the long last leg towards the beach and I managed to maintain my proud record of never having caught a wave to shore, instead being tumbled and tossed by a couple that broke just before they reached me. The second one grabbed me and tumbled me so comprehensively that I had to fight quite hard to get my head up for a breath.

    As I staggered to my feet a lady swimmer was just behind me and as we waded home she thanked another guy who had assisted her and complained that she had called for help three times, twice while out to sea, putting her hand up, and once coming back through the break, and no-one (apart from her helper) had responded.

    I confess I was too preoccupied with saving myself to hear her, for which I apologised, but I must agree that the water safety people seemed pretty thin on the ground (or the water). Of course it can't have been easy with a field that was scattered across the bay, with extremely poor visibility and with big waves but it could have been a big problem if that lady hadn't been able to carry on unaided.

    So, as oceanswims said, THAT was an ocean swim. It was a real challenge and well worth the long trip. I don't know if I'd be game to go out in anything bigger - I'm not even sure if I'd be game to go into those waves again - but all in all it was fun.

    Oh, and it was a bit of a letdown, after reaching the final booey and congratulating myself on my fortitude and pioneering spirit in getting there, to see mr oceanswims calmly bobbing there with his camera as if it was as flat as a falpjack. Somewhat like dragging yourself to the peak of Everest only to find Sandra Sully there waiting to interview you.

  6. Any news on whether DY is to be rescheduled or is it just going to be next year?

  7. Have to say I can't share the enthusiasm for the weekend's Mollymook swim. If Steve Hall's description is accurate (and from what I saw at Maroubra on Sunday I would guess it is), then those conditions weren't just challenging, they were life threatening.

    To quote my girlfriend (an experienced lifesaver and ocean swimmer): "if you can't see the buoys, the other swimmers and the coastline because of the rain and the waves then the water safety people can't see you", and this was amply demonstrated by the woman who got into trouble and three times called in vain for help.

    The range of abilities of people attempting these swims means that even in the calmest weather there are usually a couple of swimmers who get into trouble of one kind or another and need assistance. Take away the water safety and throw in big seas and bad visibility and you have a lethal combination.

    That's not a real ocean swim. That's a drowning fatality waiting to happen.

  8. encourages events to let us know as soon as possible about changes to swim arrangements, such as cancellations, postponements, transfers of venues, etc, so that we can let you know. But we can't force them.

    We heard of the imminence of the DY cancellation shortly before 9am when a swimmer sms-ed us (we were in Mollymook). This was too late to do anything about notifying swimmers through

    DY organiser Ian Nicol tells us: "We cancelled the event and have not set a standby date this year. I don't recall us having to cancel before. One time, we shortened the course and swam two laps.

    ... we had some keen starters and we did not like to disappoint them.

    At about 6 am (Sunday) morning, I saw the (Manly Hydraulics Laboratory) wave data and it looked like the swell was dropping after an overnight peak. We started to set some buoys before 8 am. There was a way in and out from the shelter of the southern 'kiddies corner' but the swell size increased again and, as the tide dropped, it became dangerous: large close-out sets more than 250 m out and very strong and turbulent water flows developed. The beach was declared closed by 9 am and the events were cancelled."

    Sometimes, conditions change abruptly like this. The combinations of swell and tides on exposed beaches can be unpredictable.


  9. Hard to the power of sick down The Mook or what!

    (for bibligraphy reference please follow the link )

    The weather turned pretty nasty down The Mook on Sundy but to the credit to of the organisers, they still held two of the three races. The 2km was the toughest bloody race that I’ve ever been in, even tougher than the B2B of ’07, where plenty of punters couldn't get out and had to do "the walk of shame", as me ol' mate Fergie calls it, back to Bronte.

    A little after nine o'clock in the morning it looked like there was a real chance of them bailin out on the whole show; with a call for a show of hands at the first race briefing to see if "anyone wouldn’t be too disappointed if they called the races off." Whether it was down to peer pressure or sheer determination, nay a hand was raised. That's why I reckon youz're all hard to the abovementioned power; water safety personnel, volunteers and competitiors alike. None of us was there for a haircut!

    So they ran the kiddies’/novices/old farts’ warm-up 500m race first off the beach in worsening but challengingly manageable conditions, which I did as registered participant. A few parents went in it unrego’ed as well just to give the kiddies a bit of support and extra safety. Good on em I say!

    By the time that was done and we’d been shuttled up the Northern end o the beach to start the biggie, the swell wind and rain had worsened considerably. But the organisers held their nerve, as did we. We set off tucked right into the corner of Banisters Head and caught the equivalent of the North Bondi Express out. Even so plenty of swimmers still got clobbered by a set or two on the way. Then it was simply the hardest 2km slog I have ever swum, against the increasing Sout-east ground swell and Southerly Buster wind. The rain squalls and mist were so bad at times you could hardly make out the shape of the southern headland, the only available point of reference, let alone see the buoys. Without a glimmer of exaggeration I reckon this race is probably one of the best and toughest dead reckoning navigation exercises any of us will ever experience at sea in our lives.

    Thence upon return to the southern end o the beach, most of us got dumped by a 5-6ft sucky close-out beach break over a shallow bar. And it was still f!@#ing raining. I reckon there’ll be plenty more written about it on The Two Blob's Worth!

    I reckon we should all get triple Hahn points just for completing it!

    A massive thanks to the organisers and their seconds, loved the free sausage sizzle van out front o the Surf Club, just what the doctor ordered.

    All up a great weekend. Fridy’s n Satdy’s weather was lovely. We (my wife n kids loved it too) will be back next year for a longer stay for sure. Plenty of pretty places around there to visit, and the Mook n Dulla itself is just gorgeous.

    David Love.

  10. I thought Molly was fantastic and I take my hat of to the organisers and water safety crew for proceeding. It was really exciting being out there in the middle of the ocean unable to see land or the next person in front of you as yet another huge squawl of rain came through. It was how ocean swimming should be.

    Just one question though - I would love to know whether that last buoy moved during the race. I could have sworn that it was way further out to sea when I went around it. I had to swim 300m+ outwards from my swim line parallel to the beach, to tick it off. However, maybe this was just my general disorientation from the poor visibility. There were a lot of people that seemed to miss it altogether and head straight for shore.

    Thanks again to the Molly crew. I will be back (6 hour drive and all)

  11. Shellharbour was a fantastic swim. I reckon it's great when swims are planned for Saturday's. It gives you the opportunity to do more of what can become a very crowded calendar. Swims on Saturdays (as well as Sundays) gets my vote!

    Hats off to the Shellharbour crew. Excellent swim, great venue, great organisation. The swim starts in the boat harbour; you navigate out beyond the breakwater, head north around a low headland and into the beach. But all the way along, you are swimming along reef, observing fish, fish and more fish. Better than the Manly Aquarium (minus grey nurse sharks).

    Despite having a paper system of time recording, the presentation was happening within an hour; somebody was doing something right! The BBQ was that good, that I had to have one of each, the mobile coffee van was a treat to get a real coffee; and then Shellharbour SLSC had a back up plan for when the van left! Brilliant!. The presentation was held on a beautiful outdoor grass amphitheatre. Many generous prizes ensured that (nearly) everybody left with something. Thanks Shellharbour for a great day.

    I then decided on Terrigal, for Sunday. Another great day, despite the rain. I had a hit out in both swims - great value for money at $30 for both swims (that works out at $10/km). It's not a journey swim but a beaut triangular course. The conditions on the day were great; a neat rolling swell, which occasionally broke over swimmer's heads. Plenty of water craft and plenty of spectators, and a well organised swim -Yes, and more fish!! Another great BBQ; and I've put on a kilo. Great to see so many Nippers involved. Well done Terrigal!

    John Bamberry

  12. Shellharbour on Saturday was a great warm up - much better than last years amended due to weather course.

    Mollymook, well what a swim! I love the huge swell and the challenge of navigating via landmarks (when I could see them) rather than the buoys.

    Every 30 strokes and a quick look to navigate. Swimmers calling to each other to find someone who can see the bouys and then everyone following. Meercats in blue caps is what it reminded me of.

    I will definitely be making the 6 hour return trek next year.

  13. A very challenging and enjoyable swim at Mollymook with welcoming hosts and great facilities. A rolling southerly swell and intermittent rain showers made for a memorable ocean swim run by experienced organisers skilled in an event that has spanned seven years.

    And yes - I was at Mollymook not Maroubra!!

  14. A lot of debate re Mollymook.It is all very well to slap each other on the back after we finish, but it can be a very fine line between disaster
    ans euphoria. One reason the safety craft were thin on the surface was that they were all at the rear of the peleton dealing with the swimmers who were in conditions that were far beyond their ability. Some thirty minutes after the start, they were fully engaged in supporting
    swimmers in the water who were hardly beyond the first buoy, until one only jet ski with a ramp could return them to the beach.
    Realistically the swim was a farce, and the organisers were just lucky that no one was hurt.
    Ocean swimming is fun, but lets not let bravado and ego get in the way of good old common sense
    Chris holt (Clovelly)

  15. Your photo of the crowd before the Molly race captured the apprehension that I felt. For me this event proved that I had got better and better at ocean swimming this year, it took me about 10 attempts to get through the breakers at the start of the Palm to Whale. I felt exhilarated after finishing this swim. Although I had wondered for much of the swim if I was the only person in it. Then I collided with another swimmer out in middle of the ocean, somewhere near Mollymook, and I think we both appreciated the knowledge that we were not alone. Perhaps because I was so far out at sea, I nearly swam right into into the final buoy. I agree that it is not safe to race when you cannot see the swimmers (beach, headlands, etc). But I felt such a surge of accomplishment to finish this tough swim. Something I did not feel in the 'fair-weather' swims. The ocean swimmers are a tough mob. Thanks to all at Mollymook for putting on a great swim, despite the weather. I'll be coming back. I loved the massed start. Just like the olden days.

  16. I thought it was a great swim in miserable conditions. I've love the last few gentle Mollymook swims, so this was a good taste of the other Mollymook. I agree that at times I seemed to be on my own, but was reassured by the intermittent sight surf skis or the red rubber ducky. Great spirit by fellow swimmers supporting each other. My sense of achievement grew and grew as I watched the swell grow throughout the day. Thanks to the organisers and thanks to everyone who swam. Dave

  17. My brother-in-law (another Davo)and I are keeping our caps from the 2009 Mollymook Beach Ocean Classic as souvenirs of this gruelling swim.

    For most of the 2km I had no idea where I was. I couldn't see the middle booey because of the mountainous swell. I couldn't see ahead of me because of the driving rain.

    But I was lucky enough to latch on to another swimmer who was happy to have me around and, after some directions from the support team, we got back on track.

    I must say I never felt scared or alone as the support team appeared to be keeping a watchful eye on everyone.

    My "swim partner" is a bit older than me (I'm 49) and has an American? accent. If anyone out there in ocean-swims land knows her, please pass on my grateful thanks. She is amazing!

  18. The contrast between Shellharbour and Mollymook over the weekend displayed the two extremes that ocean simmers face.

    Shellharbour was lovely and calm, with very little chop and not much swell. The challenge was to get into a rhythm and try to sustain that cadence for the comparatively short 1.2 km. It was a pool swimmer’s delight. The whole atmosphere and panorama was enjoyable. In years to come I’ll look back and recall how “nice” it all was – I like experiences such as those (these days we need to sniff out times like this to keep ourselves sane).

    Mollymook on the other hand was wet and wild, with rising swell and driving rain. I remember distinctly another time in similar conditions when a couple of mates and I sought out a swollen creek to ride a tyre tube through the newly-formed rapids. Those adventures remain vivid because we survived. Mollymook was a bit like that. In years to come I’ll look back and recall how I made it through the swells, chop and driving rain, and as my memory starts to distort in old age (that began on Sunday afternoon as I drove home!), my stories will have the sea much bigger, the rain much heavier and distance much longer!. Seeing those pictures Mr os.c took out in the water reminded me again of how much I enjoy challenges, and the ocean can surely throw those up at us (I recall back in the 70’s on the Mid North Coast when the local Surf Life Saving swims were only called off when the seas were too flat!).

    The debate rages as to what the host clubs should do when conditions become rough. I know there were many times at Mollymook I was swimming by myself and could not see any safety craft, buoys or even land (I had to check when I finished just to make sure that the middle orange buoy was still there, because I never did get to see it in the swim!). This is the type of challenge I love, but should I expect the organisers to run events where safety cannot be guaranteed just to indulge people like me? I’d like the answer to be “yes”! Had I have cramped or flailed, and waved my right arm in the manner that we practiced on the starting line, I doubt whether any one would have seen it for the majority of the swim (and the consequence of this would have been disastrous).

    I’m very glad they let us swim at Mollymook and that no one got into significant trouble. I will cherish the memories and the sense of achievement in finishing. I begrudgingly understand if they had called it off, knowing that the safety concerns must apply from the bottom up (for even the weakest swimmers in the event).

    The weekend away was just what I needed, and (with no flack ever coming back to haunt me for errors in judgement – we were all very lucky on the day), I’m selfishly uplifted and ready to tackle another mundane week “at the office”.


  19. I wasn't at Mollymook but it looked like the swim of the season. I haven't heard so much post-race buzz since the Bondi-to-Bronte THAT year. Instead I was at Dee Why...3 swims to choose from and I pick the one that cancels. I'll always pick Mollymook over other swims from now on.
    What I don't get is the people criticising the decision to go ahead with the swim. No one forced you to go in it, read the waiver you signed and make a decision. Hazardous sea conditions are one of the risks. Have a dip first if you're not sure about the conditions and use your own judgement, use your own common sense?...but just because you can't make the swim, doesn't mean it should be cancelled for everybody.

    Well done to the organisers at Mollymook SLSC. Hope to see you next year.

    John Haw

  20. Hi,

    When are the Mollymook swim results being posted (Mollymook is listed however there is actually no link with the results there)? - are you close to calculating the final standings for the 2009 Hahn Super Dry Fine Ocean Swimmers Series?


  21. I also swam Shellharbour on Saturday and loved the atmosphere and friendly nature of the swim, I also enjoyed Mollymook, and yes there are risks involved in swimming in the ocean, I enjoy a bit of a swell, but when the safety of people are compromised you do have to stop and think.
    I normally end up swimming alone in most of my ocean swims, but was fortunate to swim alongside another lady and male at Mollymook and it was great to have company in those conditions, i did a fair bit of breastroke looking for landmarks and those bouys, we swam in towards the middle one, not knowing that it had apparently had been moved at the start of the race.
    Then to hear someone ranting and swearing (also doing some breastroke) that it had been moved, we changed direction and went on our way. I was lucky that i could see the peoples arms and legs that i was swimming with, and being a quite experienced ocean swimmer kept looking for landmarks/bouys and even water safety which i saw none of at any time whilst i swam. I came out of the water slightly dissapointed, but glad that i made it back safely.
    It was great to see that people were helping each other out and sticking together in small numbers.
    It is cause for concern however that a lady put her hand up for assistance 3 times and no help came. I would only suggest that more water safety be put in place and do not change course after a race has started.
    I am in agreeance and glad that the swim was not cancelled, people need to make the right decision on whether or not they want to swim, test the conditions out beforehand. But moving bouys once a swim has started definately added to the confusion.

    Addicted to Ocean swimming....

  22. A couple of points re Mollymook ...

    As of Tuesday night, we still don't have the results in an appropriate format. We received them yesterday, but the format for times was not what we need in order to calculate the Hahn Super Dry Fine Ocean Swimmers pointscore, so we have had to ask that they be done again. As soon as we receive them, we shall post them. Sorry for the delay. It's beyond our control.

    Secondly, as we understand it, the 2nd bouee, half way down the beach, was moved after race start because the water safety people felt it was too close in to the reef at that point of the beach, as the swell appeared to be rising. So they moved it out to assist in keeping swimmers in safe water. We believe the water safety people did the right thing. If they hadn't acted, you could all have ended up being pounded onto a reef.

    That's ocean swimming. Just because the bouee is in a certain place at the start does not absolve individual swimmers from looking for it as they swim. The general route of the Mollymook swim is clear. In this case, unlike in other cases earlier in the season, the bouee was not moved gratuitously.

  23. Regarding the middle buoy, I'm absolutely certain it was moved *before* the race started. I looked at it when we got to the start and it was a fair way in (to make the middle point of the "M" course), but by the time the race started it was obvious that it had been moved way back out, almost in a straight line to the far headland and final buoy. I was surprised the starters didn't mention it - I guess they didn't notice and/or weren't told either. Obviously lots of swimmers missed the move as well, as after the first buoy I saw everyone take a 30 degree turn to the right. I kept swimming straight ahead, keeping the far headland directly ahead, and found myself alone for most the the middle section. I was wondering why everyone seemed to heading closer to shore to get pounded by those huge waves. ;-)

    Anyway, 1) always check the position of the buoys before the race start, and 2) be honest with yourself about your ability to swim in such conditions. Some people clearly shouldn't have been in the water that day.

  24. The middle buoy at the Mook was definitely moved just BEFORE the start of the race, I saw it with my own eyes; and rightly so for the abovementioned reasons. It happened just after recieving our last briefing and blind Freddie could see it being done with a rubber duckie. I pointed it out to a bloke right beside me, remarking that the course was now virtually a straight line between northern and southern headlands. He in turn pointed it out to some one else, and within a coupla minutes a coupla ladys told the man with the loud haler who had his back turned to the action while he was adderessing us. He in turn responded by telling everone who would listen that this was the case, and even stated the worsening reefbreak reasoning.

    I reckon that swimmers should keep their wits about them while still on the beach and take notice of stuff like this. It ain't rocket science.

    It's commonsense that one wouldn't wanna swim too far into the bay anyway; not only because of the worsening beach and reef break, but also beacause you are swimming further than you have to, and have to fight the swell a little harder and more head on to get back out to the final mark.

    Such navigational tactics are one of the few advantages that a slow but strong portly middle aged swimmer such as myself has to remain in the slightest bit competitive. I should've kept me mouth shut on the day and even more of youz would've wandered off likes Brown's cows into the bay.

    So to hear the rest of yuz all whinging about it get's my goat. Get over it, it's OCEAN swimming, warts and all, and it's part of the challenge. Isn't that why we we're in it?

    If ya don't like ocean swimming, stick to so called "open water" swimming which pretty well just means there's no roof on it. The water might be a bit muddy sometimes and there may be a bit of a current or wind chop, but the buoys will be a lot easier to see, there'll be heaps more of em, and they won't move around, or be moved round half as much.

    David Love.

  25. Yes we were all told about the second buoy moving just before the race and it was justified for safety reasons. Despite knowing it had been moved, i still followed quite a few swimmers with a 30 degree right hand turn after the first buoy. I think I did this as I presumed the guys in front knew where they were going and probably swimming straight on my own amongst those dark skies didn't look that attractive.

    Testing ones navigational abilities, dealing with big swells / chop, different weather, ocean creatures are obviously all part of Ocean swimming and we enjoy it predominantly as its rewarding to overcome these challenges. I do think though that having more bouys (TALL & FAT ALL THE WAY UP) along the course would provide less confusion, more safety and most importantly more enjoyment. it would surely allow swimmers to concentrate on swimming better times and getting fitter.

    Stanwell Park, Tama to Clovelly, Mollymook could all of had more buoys on their courses.

  26. The Cronulla Shark Island swim was a model for buoy numbers and placement. "Cans" should be used (i.e. tall and fat all the way up). Stanwell, Tamarama to Clovelly and Mollymook had far too few. Any idea how much those things cost? Perhaps we could have a special fundraiser.

    I missed the starter at Mollymook telling people about the buoy being moved. Without a megaphone and in those conditions unless you were within 10 feet it would have been nigh on impossible to hear him.

  27. All I heard on Sunday morning about the Mollymook reef was that one should stay in the green water and not the white water....common sense- but thanks for the reminder!
    I was at the far side of the starting pack and did not happen to hear the race marshalls' advice about the repositining of the bouy- I was too busy wishing they would start the race as I was loosing body heat rapidly!!!Really I have only myself to blame for not scanning the water prior to jumping in it- as Davo did- to confirm the position of the bouy(s)one last time.

    I had serious doubts about starting the race and was very close to pulling out- I didn't and now I'm glad. I did have a few very stern conversations with myself "out the back" after a few moments of panic - the swim was a huge challenge for me and I could feel my fear wanting to take control -no thanks!!- my adventure brain got me into this and it can jolly well get me out- the middle of the ocean is no time to let fear and panic take over!!! I finished the swim (BAD time!)and I know that this experience has made me a smarter and slightly braver OCEAN swimmer- THANKS!

  28. We were certainly not told about the buoy being moved at Mollymook. If something was said, only a handful of swimmers standing next to the starter must have heard it. All I heard was white buoy - seaward side, orange buoy - beach side, orange buoy - seaward side then finish. Why else did almost everyone turn right after the first buoy if they been told it had moved ?

    Part of the joy of ocean swimming is taking on the challenges the ocean throws at you. This includes the swell, the surf, the chop, the wind, the current etc but should not include trying to guess where the organisers have hidden the buoys. And in those conditions they were hidden. If they had to move them for saftey reasons as Mr. Osc says, it would have been extremely prudent to have some water safety sitting on the path from the first buoy to where most of the swimmers thought the second buoy was, to tell them they were heading into trouble. In normal, safe conditions, sure you can let swimmers make a navigational mistake but not in the conditions at Mollymook.

  29. "More buoys-more buoys-more buoys-more buoys, now EVERYONE sing along...more-buoys-morebuoys...."

    C'mon we need more of them, make it easier for everyone!!

  30. Ah, I don't know... I certainly can't swim fast... so the only advantage I have is being able to navigate thanks to Spot & Mermaid drumming it into me. If you have too many bouys you might as well have lane ropes.

  31. Slight exaggeration on the lane ropes there Tom, just 1 or two extra over a 2km + course would be sufficient.

  32. Interesting results from Mollymook - apparently I'm still out there swimming. Perhaps someone could ask the organisers if they're still out there looking for competitor no.45; I hope so.

  33. The moving bouy was spot.


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