Saturday, December 5, 2009

North Curly - Swim meets grim

The 3 Points Challenge at North Curl Curl is one of those rare events when two sports of different culchas meet -- ocean swimmers and triathletes, or, more correctly, aquathletes, since there are just swim and run legs. They are different culchas, one epitomised by paunchy bellies, budgies and swim caps, the other by bright, colourful uniforms with sponsors signage plastered all over their nether regions, and grim faces. One thing we will say for aquathlon is the running rips the weight off you much quicker than swimming, and the grim, taut smiles on the aquathletes faces testify to this: gaunt, boney, whippets, they are. Unlike all us middle-aged mugs who wallow in the sea until we're washed back in by the surf.

Will we or won't we? The show of hands went up when os.c spotted two blueys in the break near the starting line at North Curly, prompting this spontaneous act of democracy.

Another thing we can say, however, is that ocean swimmers, as a race, human race, swim better than aquathletes/triathletes, many of whom appear lost without their wetties. But they run better than us, those of us who do run, who ain't many of us. The other source of smugness we take is that it costs much less to get into ocean swimming than it does into aquathlon/triathlon: they have to spend thousands to equip themselves, so they must take themselves very, very seriously, indeed. And, in the end, when their knees give in, their shoulders give up, their hips are into the second replacements, they will come to ocean swimming, which is much kinder on the ageing body than the constant jarring and muscle tightening of the road sports.

Killer's Wingman, Paul Mitchell, came down from Murwillumbah for the V8 Rockapes at Homebush Bay, er, the 3 Points Challenge at North Curly. Just goes to show: anyone can do this sport. Wingman and Killer have a personal trainer known as "The Cockatoo", for his hairstyle. (If this is not the Wingman, we apologise. Looks like him, though.)

It was a lovely day at North Curly. We were alarmed when we spotted two blueys mooching about in the break right on the shore by the starting line, but there was nothing out the back or around behind the headland, apart from clean, bumpy water.
Not hard to see why this event zooms up in numbers each year: the aquathlon part of it is unusual, with the run interspersed with three short swims, and now the ocean swim takes us north around the headland towards DY: not just another circuit on a familiar beach.

Where do they get all these characters? And this is just the Prepubescent Boofheads Wave in the 3 Points Challenge. The real Boofheads - Killer's wave - was still to come, not to mention the Fragrant Wave.


  1. As always great report by os.c on North Curly's ocean swim and 3 Point Challenge. I was a bit late for the ocean swim so didn't know a thing about the blueys hanging around which was great as I didn't even think about it!

    I thought the swim was good if not a little disorganised with the water crew a bit all over the place and not really paying attention to what was going on.

    The u-turn buoy out at the heads was a recipe for disaster with people swimming in opposite directions in bumpy conditions - eventually they were all over each other, myself included!

    I also thought the actual course needs some work as the buoys were positioned in a way that caused a lot of confusion for people coming back in and the result was a few swimmer cutting the course short and swimming straight back into shore after going past the rocks near the heads.

    On the other hand the 3 Point Challenge was absolutely great with so many helpful volunteers and great organisation by all involved.

    The photo above of the under 39 wave doesn't tell half the story! With the amount of young guns all starting on the same wave, by the time we got to the first buoy there was basically no way anyone could swim with that many people around. It felt like I was in a gay pool party with hundreds of fit men in budgie smugglers floating about!!! After that the crowd did spread out a bit more though.

    The run was tough with lots of ups and downs, cross-country, soft sand, road, a bit of everything really. Some really good runners out there and a few incredibly fit and fast girls too!

    Overall a great day organised the the SLSC so well done to everyone involved and thank you to all the volunteers for their help and support for this event!

    PS: swim results are already available at

  2. By the way a bit harsh on the triathletes grim - we're not all like that :-)

  3. Hey Os.c - "gaunt,boney, whippets", "grim faces","they must take themselves very seriously indeed". Now hang on a minute is this a universal view of a triathlete?

    Why not publish the photo that you took of me emerging from the surf at the end of the first swim in the 3 Points and have an on-line poll on how I appeared. "Is this person: 1. Gaunt,boney & whippet like. 2.Grim faced 3.Looking like he's having a good time but could lose a few kilo's. Vote now by pressing the button."

    There I am, wearing a Warringah Triathlon Club suit waving my arms in the air with joie de vivre, yelling as I went past "Get out of my way or I'll run you over" (that was a joke by the way).

    Reckon you get all types doing both sports - just that it's a bit hard to see a grim face when it's either gasping for air or is pointed towards the Continental Shelf.

    Maybe not such "different culchas" when both activities get people involved in healthy exercise. It was a "lovely day at North Curly", I'm glad to be alive & able to do it & I reckon the divide between the sports is maybe not as wide as you think.

  4. 3 point challenge was great - thanks for organising and big thank you to all the support and help along the way - much appreciated

    couple of suggestions

    1) more wave starts needed - being in the first wave was carnage - finally got some free water about 300m into the 400m swim

    2) the run variety and challenge is awesome but the run distances seem to dominate the event - hows about stretching the swim legs a bit - even the balance up a bit

    thanks for hosting the event and c ya next year

  5. Had a great time, my first biathlon and after this one will definitely not be my last! Small waves made the 3 swims not too hard but the soft sand at the end of the last run was a killer for us novices! Agree with some of the other blog comments that we ran into people coming the other way, we need to spread the field with two buoys to swim around out to sea.
    Great to support the local surf clubs but was pretty surprised that the late entry fee was $50 and they had run out of t-shirts, (which turned out to be the case for some who were not late registrants). Prices are getting up to the outrageous Cole Classic prices, so it will limit the number of swims and clubs that we can support in one season.


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