Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bar Beach bumpy...

Baths2Bar Swim, Cooks Hill, Sunday, Dec 20, '09

Glistening Dave says: "Sure is crowded up there, if this is what it's like on a cloudy overcast day, what's it like on a hot sunny day? And the built environment, sure blends well with the landscape."

It was a grey and bumpy day... no two strokes were the same, lungsful of ocean at every second stroke, swirling currents, booees you couldn't see, water clear, clean, bit of weed, but it became opaque when we blundered into a rip. Around the last booee -- the only booee of any size, but in a pale yellow, it faded into the background of the white-capped, tossing sea -- we came in through a rip. Most booees, one saw only incidentally.

Person against the sea. 

In through the rip, the more experienced reported: "I was watching the bottom sliding under me the wrong way!" Goodness knows what the Back of the Packers must have thought, a good many of whom had to be pulled out or otherwise assisted from the water.
But that's Bar Beach. It's always problematical, wide open to the sou' and sou'-east, usually difficult in some way, often in many ways. Tide was up, and there were frequent larger sets coming through, but they were breaking into plenty of water. Only problem was the current, the currents.
Always interesting to do a new swim. Special treat at the end: the Cooks Hill surf clubbers had rigged up a diesel generated heater, connected the mains water through it, and we all had hot showers right there on the beach. Lovely touch.

Pics by Mrs Sparkle and os.c, photograrphs by Glistening Dave


  1. To the team at Cooks Hill: thanks for a fun day in less than glamourous conditions. I found myself wondering if this swim would even have gone ahead had the setting been one of our precious Sydney beaches, perhaps one with over 2000 entrants. Did this cross anyone else's mind? There was certainly plenty of water under those sets so it was bumpy but safe. The eight-wide hot water showers were an excellent touch and worth spreading the word about. Happy to have travelled to do this swim.
    Tacoma Jim

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed this swim and I enjoyed the bumpy challenge that it presented. It was well worth my drive from Sydney - pity about the weather but I will definitely be back again next year. Great points to note were the on time start and the considerate starter who decided to wait until the set had finished coming in before setting us ladies off! Thanks to everyone at Cooks Hill for a very enjoyable day out!

  3. My 1st ever Ocean swim and I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one that struggled in the conditions, i probably struggled a little more than some, but i made it and keen to go again.

  4. This was my first Cooks Hill ocean swim and there were some good things and some bad thing I have to say about the Cooks Hill swim. The bad points first. Firstly, I am nowhere to be found in the results, did anyone else find that. I think I came in around the 26, 27 minute mark. My race number was 78. Secondly, I thought the age groups were a little too big. A 19yo up against a 34yo, 35yo up againt a 50yo etc. Thirdly, I thought more prizes would have been nice since the age groups were such a big gap.
    The good points. The challenging conditions, I quite enjoy conditions like that, some other swims would probably have been called off in similar conditions. The hot showers were a great touch.
    All in all though I will be back again next year.
    Bill M

  5. Too right Jim,

    if it was the Cole they would've deadset had everybody marshalled on tsunami alert up in the carpark on the bluff. Hats off to the organisers and their minions for going ahead with it. The challenge was great, and I loved the "puffin Billy" hot showers.

    But what made things a little it harder was the water safety people out the back continually telling me to veer left at the end when having taken a deep sea course up the beach, I really wanted to swim wide to the northeast of the aforementioned dreaded rip. I know there are submerged rocks up the northern end but I reckon the tide was well high enough to swim in over them; and the waves didn't seem to be sucking up quite as bad and were breaking much more consistently over there. But if time is money, we certainly got our money's worth swimming in against that bloody rip! And just like Bilgola the week before, I ended up with enough sand where-the-sun-don't-shine to fill the kids play pit, and enough seaweed to roll up sushi for the whole family.

    Speaking of family, I'll bring em along next time for the whole day of family fun: i.e. the face painting and sand modelling comp, etc.

    See yuz in the infamous Bar Beach bone-jarring shorebreak next year.

    Merry Christmas and all the best for the new year,


  6. Well run swim..last year & this year.
    Great venue/clubhouse location.Great viewing.
    Plenty of parking and good caps...not the cheap ones that fall off or rip....Some people like collecting caps..Professional timing system and short runs at either end. Good BBQ etc and free food coffees etc.Finally a swim that puts something good on for kids.Great initiative.
    The prizes although few are really good.
    Most of the age group winners were old in their category.Hot showers is impressive. Dash for cash that gives lesser swimmers a chance..i.e swim in only.Great view from the balcony.
    They thought it out well.
    They may want to consider recognising 2nd & 3rd in the elite...otherwise JK may be the only swimmer in elite next year......
    Great work Cooks Hill...hope you made some decent money.. you deserve to..

  7. Ediquitte
    Breaststroke = Train not too do it.
    To train yourself NOT to do breaststroke during an ocean swim--swim heads up like a water polo player. Arms and feet always moving. To train:
    1. Use a water polo ball if your lap swimming. This will cause you to get used to the co-ordination.
    2. About 250 metres to get used to it.
    3. Then build out a little distance.
    4. Then alternate at the midway point of a pool jumping into Polo style.
    5. In the Ocean-do what you normally do. Swim head down and go to a polo style when targeting cans or the finish line.
    Your times will be better. "A moving body stays in motion, a body at rest sinks."


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