Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sweltering on the beach, boardwalk...

It was sweltering on the beach at Toowoon Bay on Saturdee, and on the boardwalk at the Dawny pool in Balmain on Sunday. Flat conditions in the sea, clear water, at Toowoon Bay, and calm in the harbour off Balmain.
Tell us what you thought about the Toowoon Bay Ocean Swim and Dawny's Cockatoo Challenge...
Dawny was Race 1 in the Hahn Super Dry Fine Ocean Swimmers Series 2009/10, now supported, too, by Olympus Imaging and by View Swim Gear.
Click the comments link below to make your contribution...

 Pics here by Sevadevi.

Tired old bugger.


  1. It may have been hot, but overall, we got the best conditions ever for a Dawny! Well done to the organisers for another brilliantly run event. Three cheers!

  2. Ta to the kayaker who chased me and pointed me in the right direction as I missed the turn buoy for home. A different colour for the turn buoy would help as this git no longer can see where I am going.
    Peter Mccrae

  3. What a fantastic weekend of ocean swimming !
    A lovely ocean swim in perfect conditions at Toowoon Bay, a new beach for me. And a beautiful harbour swim around familiar Cockatoo Island.
    There should be an ocean swim on every Saturday & Sunday in summer !

  4. Great conditions and having such a well organised event made Dawny a ripper this year - will be back next year for sure. Thank you organisers very much

  5. Great swimming conditions at Dawny, thank you to the organisers for yet another top effort. Also TY to the guy who matched me stroke for stroke most of the 1.1km, love a race within the race!!

  6. The Dawny swim was excellent. But geez, the island has long side bits. I thought it was thinner.

    Overall, a well-organised event with yummy fruit and a tasty fry-up at the end.

    Well done.

  7. What a great swim at Dawnies on Sunday, and a perfect start to the season.

    Ideal water temperature for a long swim (thank you global warming), good conditions and great after swim service (how sweet were those mangoes, thank you Mr Harris Farm), and a great bbq.

    Starting the race at 9.00am was a great move. It would be great if other races in the season started at that time as well, for a few reasons...
    1. shark feeding is finished by that time
    2. the nor-easters have not started to blow and make for choppy conditions
    3. the bluies have not begun to float into shore
    4. there is still time to go out for lunch
    5. our country competitors will not have a late drive home.

    Anyway, it is only a suggestion, as early swimming on a beautiful day is magical.

    Looking forward to the season, and the resultant pics and comments on the website.

  8. On a weekend of “hottest day on record” temperatures in my hometown, I had to make the difficult choice, a weekend of ocean swimming, or demolish a shed. Hmm…. me thinks, ocean swimming will do fine…. So to get my glut of swims, it’s Sat’dee at Toowoon Bay. I’ve had a go at this swim since it started in ’05 (please correct me if I’m wrong os.c), so wouldn’t miss it for quids. To get value for the travel time, I swam the 1 and 2km swims.

    On arrival, I had to go round the block twice as I realised the usual car parks were full. A good sign… I noticed quite a few more bods than usual on the beach, so knew it was going to be a cracker of a day. I must admit, I was too busy having a flat white to notice the 400m event, but need the pick-me-up after the drive down from the Valley. I ran into the die-hards that I meet at most races, some doing all three events on the day.

    The 1km this year, was more trapezoid than rectangle. It’s a great hit out, straight out, hang a left, hang a left, hang a left, chuck a right, run up beach, grab ticket and bottle of water. The 2km is the same course – just add 4 more left turns. It’s a great course, because your first turn is a few hundred metres off shore, so there’s time to be spread out before you meet the calamity of the first turn. No such issues on this course. My challenge is to try and finish the course before being passed by Luane Rowe or Shelley Clark, as the women’s wave starts a few minutes after the men’s. No such luck, as I blink, there they go.

    I was well pleased to see that the presentations had been a vast improvement on previous years, which I must admit, had taken its toll on my patience. It is now a very professionally run event, with great swim, keen volunteers and a cracker of a venue.

    Sunday, I made my way down to ole Sydney Town to experience the wonder that is the Dawny’s Cockatoo Challenge. I haven’t swum in a harbour-side pool since the early 70’s, when as kids we use to swim at Manly, before the promenade was destroyed. But it was great to have a venue where you can relax in the grand arena that is home to the oldest swimming club in Australia (according to Leichhardt Council). It reminded me somewhat of somewhere in the Mediterranean (not that I can remember my crossing being a ten-pound pom); even the Colosseum, where swimmers will be thrown in to battle the jelly fish. Then, like gladiators, we march out the side gate, to face the throng of harbour water.

    The starter does a cracking job of getting the show underway; the course is very different from any that I have come across, because you need to stay within the buoys to stay out of the way of the boats etc. Watching the people ahead of me, I realise the trick is to swim close to the island and it’s infrastructure, but not so close that you bounce off the rocks. From a safety perspective, I think swimmers should not swim under piers as some swimmers did, and should be warned of the dangers of entanglement.

    On my journey around the island, I focussed on navigation, and although I didn’t end up in dry dock, it might be hard for some swimmers hard of sight to work there way around; it is an interesting navigational challenge when most of what you are swimming by, towers over you (literally). Having a personal interest in Australian pioneering history, I realised after the swim, that I thought more about what I was swimming past, than the swim itself. I felt in no man’s land at times, thinking, it’s me and that wharf, until I hit a jelly-fish the size of a dinner plate to snap me out my colonial heritage tour. Heading back towards the finish, I found it easier than expected as I could sight the Dawny Baths, that green tug and the crowds at the finish.

    To top that off, a fantastic bbq and feast of fruit. Another well run swim and a great day. When I got home, I pulled out my copy of “The Islands of Sydney Harbour” to continue on my heritage sojourn.

    phew John Bamberry

  9. A great day at the Dawnie.

    The trepidation which I usually have when swimming in the harbour was quickly evaporated by a combination of the great atmosphere on the boardwalk, a beautiful swim in good water and excellent after-swim fruit and food.

    As a first timer at the venue I found it an exceptionally challenging swim to navigate but will definately be back next year hopefully navigating more efficiently.

    Congratulations to the organisers on a great day.

    Chris Flanagan

  10. This was my first Dawny and I was so impressed. The realexed atmosphere before the race was wonderful. Enjoyed the swim and post swim bbq and fruit!

  11. In the weeks leading up to Dawny I had decided that I wasnt fit enough to circumnavigate the island and that I could only manage the short course but then, thankfully, I talked myself into doing the long course and gee am I glad I did. What a great day out. Beautiful weather, lovely in the water and what an awesome bbq, and lets not forget the fruit! Thanks to all the Balmain Water Polo people and all the contributors for a great swim/day out - I will definitely be back next year.

  12. What a great way to start the season. This was my first Dawny swim, first time at the Balmain baths too. I'll be back!

    Friendly organisers, and friendly swimmers too - I guess I always prefer the smaller swims for that reason. Me and another bloke did a bit of "after you", "no, after you", "no, really, after you" before clambering up the steps at the finish. Well it was half politeness, half exhaustion and needing to catch our breath!

    Thanks for the free BBQ, and the free fruit while we waited for the free BBQ!

    Any chance we could swim anti-clockwise next year, to give the left breathers something to look at too?!

  13. Great value for both events, $30 for 2 swims at Toowoon Bay and $30 for the long swim at Dawny. I entered both online 'early entry' which actually closed only 33 hours before race start, quite reasonable.
    I noticed neither of the events last weekend hired the electronic timing tags, so there's an inevitable delay in posting results while the times get transcribed from the manual sheets.
    Is there any chance of getting the results online from the organisers soon ? Some of us are waiting to update our swimming records and label our swim caps correctly. Not that we're obsessed about it or anything ...

  14. First time at an obviously well run & friendly swim & all the above comments are valid. So how come 72 hours later no results? Have I become spoilt in the computer age, have I missed something or is it time to upgrade the current hourglass & abacus to new ones?

  15. Yes, indeedy, Greg, you are spoilt. At Dawny, it is part computer age, part the olde worlde, as we feel it on the boardwalk at the Dawny pool. The Balmain Water Polo people don't have the resources of many other swims, do much of their work by hand, and have day jobs, as well as getting their kids to sport, after school lessons, etc. They are working feverishly to get the results done, but their latest expectation, in sometime next week.

    Please be patients. It's our fault: we should have warned you all on our report page that the results wouldn't be immeejat. But they do them much, much quicker these days than they used to.

  16. This was my very first open water swim and although the distance looked very daunting from the starting point...once I got into the rythym of my stroke,I thoroughly enjoyed the swim...conditions were absolutely perfect and there was none of the 'scrum' conditions that you might expect with that number of people in the water..the whole thing was very well organised and I am now looking forward to taking part in more events like this in the future...thanks for the update on when we can expect the times to be posted!

  17. I'd just like to say a huge thank you to all of the organisers and volunteers at Toowoon Bay last Sunday it couldn't have been a more friendlier atmosphere.

    Being a first timer at an ocean swim it was a bit daunting when I first saw how far out (to me anyway) the buoys were but I thought I have to try.
    I'd just like to say a HUGE thank you to the lifesaver that stuck with me all the way from the back buoys and encouraging me along the way, it was really comforting to have him there!

    Even though I came last I'm still really proud that I finished. It was wonderful to even be clapped at the finish (even though I almost fell over when I got out of the water!)
    I'm determined to get better at this, but if I come last so be it, at least I had fun, felt a part of something great and didn't get rescued (but almost). Thanks Toowoon Bay and see you again next year!!

  18. Good on the Dawny organisers for getting the results ready for this week. It was a really good swim and I don't do too many harbour swims, but this was great course and a well run event. I was disappointed with the expected time frame for results, but they addressed that, so well done everyone.
    Now for the gossip, I saw a bloke cut one of the turning cans...not naming names, but I know who you are now that the results are out and I will be naming you privately to every ocean swimmer I know. So, for all you can-cutters out may be saving a little bit in time, but you're losing a lot in reputation.

  19. Spoilt Greg (again)November 27, 2009 at 8:43 AM

    Dawny results are now up!...and it's this week not next. Thanks to the person(s) responsible. You've got a unique swim that deserves good support.

  20. Thanks for the results.
    Wow, swimmer numbers were way up, 272 finished the long swim this year, compared to only 163 last year (it was windy & overcast last year), and 209 the year before.
    I thought the queue for the BBQ seemed a little longer this year!
    Looks like this will be the trend this year, more swims & more swimmers.

  21. John.....Before you go burning someones reputation!?
    How can you be so sure that the person you saw can cutting is the same person who's repuatation you may mistakenly damage based on getting the results???
    If you are SO willing to activly go around and tell every ocean swimmer you know "privatly" who you might have seen cut a can maybe it's your own reputation you should be worried about.

  22. Yeah, good point "anonymous". Tell me your name and I'll let you know if I'm mistaken or not. Interesting you are not denying the can-cutting, just the identification. Cap and goggles are a pretty good disguise but when you have a big black number on your arm......

  23. Hi john.
    I'm not sure what u r trying to imply?
    I also saw someone can cutting on the day so i'm not denying it went on.
    All i'm saying is b4 u r absolutely sure don't bring someones reputation down by mistake...thats all.
    If u r so sure u time u c that person...confront them on it.
    If u have the courage of ur conviction??????

  24. Hi "anonymous"..I was thinking that it must have been you who cut the cans. And after reading your message, you do seem to like making things shorter than they should be.


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