Wednesday, September 30, 2009

You lookin' at me, IMG?

It's a shame really, because I rather enjoyed the Bondi to Bronte swim, but I've decided to boycott all swims that contract IMG in preference to for their on-line entries.

You've put your (rather considerable) guts into promoting ocean swims and it's a true passion for you. You're at as many swims as you can physically get to, you write lengthy (some would say rambling but I'd never say that) reports, take great pictures and you are a genuine and long-term enthusiastic advocate for the sport of ocean swimming.

I wouldn't have become as involved in the sport as I am without your website and your enthusiasm and I'm sure that's true for many other swimmers. In fact I truly believe that your website has at least doubled the number of participants in the sport in Sydney, probably elsewhere as well.

Competition is supposed to be good but I don't want some johnny come lately corporate entity "dominating" the sport of ocean swimming and squeezing out genuine people like you who've given so much to the sport.

And I call on all other lovers of ocean swimming to follow my example. Swim organisers, chooce whoever you want to use to promote tyour events - but don't expect me and other fans to turn up if you screw with the web site and the person that made it all happen in the first place.

People power (or swimmer power) rules, ok!

Steve Hall

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sydney 2009 World Masters Games

The start list for the Sydney World Masters Games Open Water Swim 17/10/2009 is available to registered entrants.
Entries have already closed 31st July.
3k open water swim around Chowder Bay, 2 laps and an in-water start & finish.
Looks like a tight rectangular course, 4 x 90-degree turns on each of the 2 laps.
For those swimmers who were not put off by the higher entry fee, or the cooler water or the prospect of swimming off Clifton Gardens, it should be a big event.
Total 660 starters split over 6 waves, so expect some jostling for position at the start and around the buoys.
Link to the Event Swimming & Open Water Swimming Guide ..
The ruling on wetsuits seems to be fair "Wetsuits may be worn ... however the competitor will NOT be eligible for a medal."
No mention of FINA open water swimming rules regarding obstruction & interference with other swimmers, I guess common sense will prevail on the day.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Just swam Alcatraz... on study tour of US health care reform...

... for the first time ... perfect conditions: hardly any breeze, glassy surface, no chop, except from the occasional passing fishing boat, water c. 17C, little current, since he tide was just on the turn. More coming...

Here's os.c (left), just in the process of escaping from Alcatraz...

There is a fellow swimmer, not sure whom, ditto escaping... there 's much pressure for the group to swim together, so the incoming tankers and bulk carriers don't have to swerve too much to get into the port...

And here we are (below) with our cobber, Gary Emich, organiser of the Alcatraz Challenge Aquathlon, taking us, with his wife, Peg, who took the pic, on a tour of some of the San Francisco area's more spectacular but inaccessible (to pedestrians) topological highlights...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fathers Day Swim at Burleigh Heads ...

The Burleigh Heads organisers sent us this report from yesterday's swim...

Ironman legend Dean Mercer (that's Deano, at right, leading the field home... Looks like there was a bit of a wave on at Burleigh...) has shown he has still got what it takes to mix it with the best, not only in Surf Life Saving but also ocean swimming, after winning both the one and two kilometer events in the inaugural Burleigh Ocean Swim today.

Dean Mercer, who has recently relocated from Mooloolaba to Northcliffe, trailed up and coming Ocean swimming star Codie Grimsey for most of the two kilometer race, but Mecer’s years of surf swimming experience paid off, he caught a late wave to beat home the 25 year old from Brisbane.

“Conditions were fantastic out there, it was great to have an event like this to train for ahead of the Coolangatta Gold. It was also great my three young boys could be here to watch me, especially being Father’s Day, what a way to spend the day,” Mercer said.

“I was really lucky to get that little wave at the end, I’m really pleased I’m still up there with these younger guys. I still have a bit of work to do now though ahead of next month’s Gold.” Grimsey finished second while Dev Lahey also from Northcliffe came in third.

“I really thought I had him, to race against a legend like Mercer was fantastic, but he got a sneaky wave and all I could do was watch him cross the line. I definitely need more surf training,” Grimsey, who is a member of the Australian Telstra Dolphins development squad, said.

Mercer also backed up with a win in the one kilometer race, beating home 19 year old clubmate Dev Lahey, and Codie Grimsey who was again unlucky finishing in third.

The men’s Dash for Cash saw a five way race for the $500, while Mercer was amongst the mix, it was 16 year old Lennox Heads rising surf star Hayden Thomas who emerged from the water first, dashing across the line to snatch the cash.

“I wasn’t going to do this race because I was pretty buggered from doing the two kilometer race earlier, but stoked now I’ve got $500 bucks in my pocket, might be able to get Dad something now,” Thomas joked.

Nerang swimmer Kate Brookes-Peterson, 25, took a clean sweep of the women’s races, winning all three elite events, the one and two kilometer swim as well as the dash for cash.

“I am heading over to Dubai in about six weeks for several World Cup open water swimming races, so the $1,500 I won today will come in really handy,” Kate said.

“I was really nervous when I saw Hayley Bateup at the start of the two kilometer race, but I have been training very hard and finishing 8th in the World Championships in Rome recently has given me a lot of confidence.”

Miami Pro Ma swimmer Laura Baker,15, finished in second in all three women’s elite events, while Katlin Zillman finished third in the two kilometer, and Kurrawa’s Samantha Burley, 14, finished third in the one kilometer, while local girl Miranda Davies came third in the Dash for Cash.

“We had over 400 entrants, from ages12 to 60, it was a great success, and we just hope everyone will come back next year. It will definitely become a regular event on our calendar,” Michael Boyce, President Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park SLSC, added.

We're hoping the organisers also will send us full results. Tell us what you thought of the Burleigh swims... Did you take a pic or two at the swim? Click the comments button below and tell us about it, or show us, and don't forget to tell us who you are...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Gold Coast Weekend ...

I'm heading to the Gold Coast this weekend to get me some of that hot QLD weather and warm water.
Have entered the Burleigh Ocean Swim Sunday 6th Sept.

I'm looking to do a couple of early morning training swims Saturday & Monday - ocean or pool.

I'll be hanging out in front of the Burleigh Heads SLSC early (from 7am) Saturday morning and probably the Burleigh Heads SLSC Sports Bar Saturday nite. Showing my colours - any Sydney ocean swim Tshirt.

I'll be staying somewhere in the vicinity and have transport.

If anyone is interested in joining me for a swim, please email me or pick me out on the day.