Monday, November 30, 2009

10 great ocean swimming icons...

WA-based Brett McCarthy posted this list during the off-season, with a view to prompting debate. There were 9 responses at the time, but we reckon it's probably a debate better run now, as the season really gets moving. We figure, too, that the debate at the time may have confused "icon" swims with "favourite" swims. Easily done.
Check the original debate below (you'll need to go into the stored blogs area at the bottom).
Coogee yesterday got us thinking about it, but, and we really think you have to include Wedding Cake Island amongst any list of icons. It really stands out...
So, read Brett's blob and tell us what you think (click the Comments link below).

Everyone would have a different view on this and much of that would depend on what part of the country you live in and how many swims you’ve done. My list has been compiled from swims I’ve done (5 of the 10) and from what I’ve read about the other swims. I suppose it takes into account a whole lot of factors including the course (very important), how many people do the swim each year, how long it has been going for and its historical significance.
1. Rottnest Channel Swim
2. The Big Swim - Palm to Whale Beach
3. Cole Classic, Manly
4. Pier to Pub, Lorne
5. Bondi to Bronte
6. Dawny Cockatoo Island Classic
7. Busselton Jetty Swim, WA
8. Swim Thru Perth, Barrack St Jetty to Matilda Bay
9. Byron Bay
10. Magnetic Island Townsville

Brett McCarthy


  1. It's hard to nominate your icon swims without confusing "icon" with "favourite". We got to thinking about this whilst circumnavigating Wedding Cake Island last Sunday. One criterion surely must be "achievement of significance", in the sense that swimming around Wedding Cake is an "achievement" as in the completion of a journey of some significance.
    Similarly, swimming from Palm to Whale is an achivement of some significance in defeating that damn, pesky headland, which pretends to be there, but isn't, another one hiding behind, several times on the way out from Palmy.
    Busselton? It's out and around a very long pier, to finish near where you started. That's a journey, although the start and finish are near identical. Lorne? An icon because there are so many people, although the course itself, whilst very pretty in surrounding landscape, is pedestrian. The Cole? May well lose some lustre as Fairfax insists on gouging swimmers for doing it, this year charging $47/$57 according to whether you're an "earlybird" entry 7 1/2 weeks in advance, or waiting until closer to the event. An icon swim also must be held in fond regard. Fairfax is in danger of destroying that with the Cole, after all the good work the Cole Family put in over 25 years.
    Rottnest? Undoubted.
    But what are your nominations?
    Click the comments link below to put in your bob's worth...

  2. I think there may be a new kid on the block. The Geo Bay Swim from Quindalup to the Busselton Jetty. I swam the 19.2 km with five other solos last month plus a total field of 49 swimmers including duos and teams of five. Perfect conditions in the warm Leeuwin current as you cruise up the coast past some of the prime real estate in the country. No waves, no headlands, no stink boats, just you and your paddler tuned in to Macca on a Sunday, as you cruise up the coast in the pristine crystal clear waters of Geographe Bay. Crabs on the sandy white floor, the occassional ray, sea grass meadows in water no deeper than 3 metres. Sensational stuff!


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