Sunday, December 19, 2010

Return to normalcy at Cooks Hill...

 Just a quick note - Cooks Hills was a return to the ocean swimming conditions that we know and love... water c. 20C, clear, very clear, gentle, reassuring swell, light offshore breeze... cloudy, but oh, so lovely... and the hot showers! Rigged up on the beach through a fire hose run through a gas heater on the promenade... certainly a treat, and one of the idiosyncracies of this swim that marks it into our psyches...

Such a good result for the Cooks Hill club as organisers, too, with 312 mug punters finishing, after 249 last season. This was the first of its three outings that this swim has enjoyed a reasonable day. It was postponed the first year, from memory, and last season was a day from hell. But today, il etait formidable!

Maybe you did the open water at Penriff...

More later, but tell us what you reckon...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Billie, Brighton, Freo, Carlton, Bay of Islands, Champion Lakes, all points between...

Gosh, we're tired. Always are after Billie. Reason being that we always have a quiet little drink with the Billie organiser, Cap'n Graham Foran, after Billie, in their Bilgola Berger Bar, which is half a surfboat cut down the middle. It's the best bar on the circuit, capping off the best day on the circuit. Billie is, without doubt, the best boutique ocean swim of the season. We love going there. And while the water was cool again today, and brown, almost impossible through which to see, it was a smoothish flat, fast swim, with just a little swell onto the bank at the start, and a ripple to bring you home again. And no-one could miss the booees, with the hot pink balloons dancing gaily above them.

Next year, there is talk of all the Pittwater swims, from Newport to Palm Beach, getting together into a mini series. That will make Billie even better.

But tell us what you thought of Billie, and Brighton, Carlton Park in Tassie, Freo and Champion Lakes in WA, and the Bay of Islands in NZ...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Wetties... Yay or nay? Bondi-Bronte raises perennial issue...

There are a lot of things one could talk about regarding the Bondi to Bronte swim, but the most contentious point concerns wetties: whether they should be worn? Should they be allowed below a certain temperature? And if they are allowed, should wettie wearers compete with newd swimmers, ie in open company? What happened to the old Back of the Pack division, in which punters could use whatever swimming aids they like -- and wetties are a swimming aid -- whilst conventional swimmers relying on their own ability rather than the capacities of the level of scientific aid that they can afford, compete in the open divisions?

Tell us what you think...

And whilst you're about it, tell us what you thought of North Curly on Sat'dee, Toowoon Bay on Sat'dee, and Mornington, also on Sat'dee...

Swim Pricing & Professional Organisers

I just went to register for the Bondi to Bronte swim. Haven’t done it for a while but I’m now fit enough to have ago now.
What’s with the pricing ??? $40 normal and $50 on the day ??
I was waiting until today because cold water and me aren’t the best of friends or my low level asthma. Is it just me or as a few swims start to get professional organisers the price doubles?
I would mind a lot less if ALL the money went to the actual surf clubs, but does it??
I would think not, so I would like to know what % actually does. I believe charities that use professional organisers have to declare somewhere what % ACTUALLY goes to the surf club (I could be wrong here but If it isn’t it should be and/or they might not classify the surf clubs as charities).
So Bronte (and by extension the Cole Classic), what is the % of my money that goes to the clubs.... Care to let us know?
In the interim, I will go to a couple of extra  races where all the money goes to the clubs and they don’t see me as a cash cow..   and , if by chance, I feel like making a donation to a professional private profit-making organisation, I’ll drop in to my local bank.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cool at Coogee, newd in the Bay...

Aquagirl is back, and she's set herself a new task: swimming newd throughout the Victorian ocean swimming season. In Victoria, newd means sans wettie. She did her first newd swim from Aspendale to Edithvale on Sat'dee. Check out her report on then come back here to tell us what you reckon...

In Sydney, it was cold... the Coogee people were saying 16C on race day, but we reckon it could have been a degree or so lower than that, although coming back from Wedding Cake Island, we swam through a large warm patch, and there weren't even any other swimmers around!

But the pic above was the story of the day. There were 1,169 entrants when online entries closed on Sat'dee arvo, with some 90 doing both swims. According to the results, there were 788 in the main swim and 348 in the shorter swim. Amongst all that lot, more than 100 were pulled out, according to the telly news, and more than 100 were treated, mostly for hypothermia. We were amongst them, although we engaged private nurses, who provide services you can't get in the first aid tent.

But how can you trust the news on the telly... Channel 7 called us after the swim to ask how it had gone, so they knew the water was cold. But at the end of their bulletin, their newsreader finished off the weather bulletin with the line, "And Sydney's ocean temperature is 19". Bull's bloody twang!

Not that we mind cooler water, but it is different from Sydney's norm. This is perhaps the fourth year in the last five that Sydney has experienced this sudden upwelling from the deep creating the sudden and abnormal temperature drop.

But there you go...

Tell us what you thought. Best blob this week gets a carton of James Squire...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Balmain, Cronulla at late spring best, but blowy at Redcliffe, Raby...

Well, what a glorious day it was at Balmain for the Dawny swim around Cockatoo Island... Balmain at its best, with a gentle but spirited nor'-easter blowing through the jacarandas, whipping up a few little whitecaps on the harbour, lifting the skirts of the glitterati in Darling Street, and an anti-clockwise swim around the island (see background above) for the first time... It truly was a beautiful day. About the only complaint was that the sales weren't on on Darling St, according to the laydees. 
The same day before, the Cook Classic at Cronulla offered a 2km swim as well as the 1km. It was a glorious day then, too. We didn't get down there, unfortunately, ensconced over the barbie on the boardwalk at Dawny.
It was blowy at Redcliffe on Moreton Bay for the 1st inaugural Great Australian Swim, according to a tweet pic from @seppo311, a lass named Michelle. But the organisers tell us...  "We had a bit of windy weather and light rain - made anchoring the buoys a challenge but we had a good turn up with an additional 50 or so walk up on the day - even in wet / windy conditions - a great start event and we can learn a lot from it".
Assuming, because it also took place in Moreton Bay, albeit at the southern end, it would have been blowy at Raby Bay, too. Our informant there told us so. But how did it go? Please tell us.
We'll have our Dawny report up later Sundee night.
But tell us what you thought... hit the Comments button below to tell us... 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pan Pacific Masters Games Gold Coast

Pan Pacific Masters Games Open Water Swim
Sunday 14th November
Lake Hugh Muntz, Mermaid Waters, freshwater lake
Laps around a 1.25k circuit
1.25k, 2.5k and 5k events
Was well run by Queensland Masters Swimming
with some improvisations, like the finish line was a water-polo goal with the net cut out
Mentally, having to go around around the course 4 times was quite tough,
tiring after 1 lap and still 3 laps to go
Plenty of medals on offer at the awards ceremony in the age category and team events  

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Narrafun at Narrabeen...

Nice new swim at Narrabeen this am... Water was good, not as cool as we expected, brisk nor'-easter and nor'-easterly swell pushed the water southwards along the beach. Not a big swell, but it had some power crashing onto those banks. Long run out at the end, though, up the beach, across the beach, and up the race to the surf club's front lawn had us wondering whether this was a swim or a run.

The Narrabeen club ran the swim very well, particularly for a first time swim. Results available on the beach and preso done, it seemed, within minutes of last mug finishing. Good effort for this club. We weren't sure of the circuit off the wide open beach, but all in all it was noice. Lots of banks, gutters, rips, holes, dumps to contend with. Lots of fun.

Brickbats, however, to the swimmer on the tail end of the leading pack in the blue-caps wave (over 40s) who deliberately cut the booee by five metres. Can't believe people do that. But we got you on video, sport... we just hope your friends can identify you from the footage. Watch for our report coming soon.

But what did you think...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Burleigh Forresters get season moving...

We went to Forresters on Sat'dee... a luvverly, low key way to get into the ocean swimming season... water cool (c. 18C), a feisty nor'-east breeze and chop.. I's a swim hidden away from the world, down steep stairs set into the sand hills... if you didn't know it was there, you'd miss it. But what a pretty swim! The entire distance over reef, often very shallow, including behind the island that forms this swim's heart. Very noice, too, to meet new ocean swimming cobbers with whom we've exchanged emails over the years, Liz and Col amongst you... Thanks for talking to us. No-one else does...

On Sundee, mugs on the Gold Coast turned out at Burleigh Heads for the annual Battle of Burleigh which, when we were young boaties, back in the 70s, was a reference to a drunken brawl that some of our boatie friends had after the Stray'an surf life saving champeenships at Burleigh in 1973. Zipper and Mad Eyes still talk of the Battle of Burleigh with reverence. Different reference now, of course...

We'll have a more complete report up soon re Forresters, and our good friend and reformed water poloist, Roger Muspratt, has promised us some words on Burleigh later on Mondee. "As the sun rose slowly in the east  (take in wire services)..,." Roger wrote on Sundee evening, to our daytime, weekday email address, so we didn't get it until arriving at work at 5am (4am Qld time). "Revived that one from 1973," he said. "More to come. Monday. Honest. Beautiful day though. Burleigh at its best."

We hadn't realised Roger had been part of the '73 action. We wonder whether he knows Zipper and Mad Eyes...?

Results are online now from both Burleigh and Palm Beach, in Sydney last weekend, Sat'dee, October 16. Check the Stop Press box on the os.c home page...

And tell us what you thought....

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Blowing blueys to sea at Palm Beach...

It was on at Palm Beach... a new season under way... Glistening Dave was there (check out his pics on But tell us what you thought...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rising cost for the maturing rank and file...

I started ocean swims many years ago, at the time may be less than 10 swims per year available.

I am now 65 and retiring soon. When I became 60 I recall in one race I was 2nd oldest. Now swims cost $40 minimum and no class for those over 60 or younger ones in some races.

Ten swims per year $400?

The number over 65 is very minimum and if they consider a discount for those over 65 the loss to the club would be minimal it may even increase due to extra swimmers.

Richard Capper

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A swim in winter...

We had our first swim in the ocean in six weeks today... just a dinky little one along Mona Vale beach to the cliffs, then we walked back along the sand. Felt good. We don't get enough exercise in winter, but this gave us a 1.6km swim and about an 800 metre walk back. We spend too much time sitting at a desk as a rule. Anyway, we had our new old GPS in a rubber bag sticky-taped onto our noggins, and here's where we went...
And here are a few mugs heading out through the rip by the rocks at Mona Vale...

Where have you been swimming n winter? Tell us... click the comments button below...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sink or Swim - Buoyancy in Salt Water & Fresh Water

An interesting question from Chicago Sandy on this blog ...
"I know that salt water = high buoyancy = faster time, but wondering if anybody has done both and would like to comment."

I would say anything that improves a swimmers buoyancy will result in faster times, as less energy is wasted maintaining the swimmers body position on top of the water

Swimmers in salt water, or wearing wetsuits, or with more body fat (or lower bone density) will float better

The extent to which a times will improve in salt water vs. fresh water will vary with a swimmers body shape and technique

I am fairly unsinkable in the ocean. I haven't yet figured out why

I might throw it over to one of the swimming nerds on this forum to explain the science

Monday, July 26, 2010

Magnetic Island to Townsville Swim

Picnic Bay Start. Photo: Karen Uhlmann

This was a good challenge
An 8k swim across Cleveland Bay from Magnetic Island to Townsville
Conditions were tough, with a big wind swell, although the tide and wind direction were in our favour
A few nervous swimmers at the start, some attempting their longest ocean swim

The timing of this swim in July was perfect - A trip away to Tropical North Queensland in mid winter. Warm water 23c - no wetsuits required for Southerners. And a good race to train for out of season.

Good effort by the Townsville Open Water Swimming Association. This event was well run. A professional race briefing, A relaxed start on Magnetic Island, Friendly volunteers at the finish, Water safety boats and a chopper all the way, Festivities in the surf club afterwards

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Mona Vale not really Cold Water Classic...

Who did Mona Vale "Cold"? What did you think?
Water was brisk for the first 20 metres or so, but after that there was this lovely sensation of warmth washed over us, and stayed with us all the way around the "1.2km" course, out around the pool-topped rock shelf. We felt a little cool only when we'd stopped for a bit to take video.
In the break coming in, we ran into Doug Lucas, preso and chief awginisah at Long Reef, and we suggested to him that about now would be a good time to run a swim around Long Reef headland. We're hoping...
Tell us what you think...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Personal achievement - Andrew does Manhattan

To cut a story short ... I made it!!

But what a tough swim. This may be my toughest yet and I am not doing any that have a remote chance of being as hard.

Didn't travel well. Landed in NYC with a flu. Decided to see a doctor on Madison Ave who prescribed some antibiotics. During the course of Friday I completely lost my appetite and anything I forced down wouldn't stay, antibiotics!? Not great starting the event with nothing eaten since Thursday but relied on my swim nutrition to get me through. Feeling very average during Friday night and into Saturday and next to no sleep.

Anyhow started off after considering withdrawing and started to feel better for a while. Until the Harlem that is. Harlem turned my stomach at one point and I thought it was all over for me. Fortunately I did make myself hold drinks down or else I know my lifespan for exercise reduces. I had no choice. Paddler and crew also didn't stop the drinks just because I wasn't keeping it in.

Hudson was pretty choppy and I forgot what a long leg it is. The Empire State Building is a partly mid town land mark that follows you around and for a while doesn’t allow you to think you are getting closer. Battled it out in the Hudson for approximately 4 hours after 5 hours to Spuyten. Not sure of my placing but time was just around 9 hours.

Hudson was bordering on cold for me due to being tired and was looking forward to the finish line so I could guarantee that I had made it. You never know if you never try. Just keep swimming. I will make it if I don't stop.

Happy that I gave it a shot and in time it will have been worth the effort. Now to try and recover and enjoy the rest of the holiday.

Best to all!! I am really stuffed!! The strange things we do?

I also want to acknowledge my Physio for having no shoulder pain. My friend Selwyn for his E3 drink it gave me the chance. Two great paddlers Mike and Terry that encouraged me on when I needed it and shepherded me around the course. And also my crew Orin, the Skipper and the NYC Swim Observer (as well the kids on the boat that didn't know who I was but) who cheered me on and seemed quite excited about it all. I couldn't let them go to school on Monday and tell their friends that their Australian swimmer didn't make it). Also my family for putting up with me over the past few months of training!!...  And also to save the thanks for the other most important person that got me around but couldn't be there on the day for their own email . . . my lovely and very special Coach Pauline.

Thanks heaps Pauline!!


Andrew Page

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

And the Last shall be First

12 months of swimming tragic

Distance Tallies 2009/10

That's amusing, if not a little ironic
Given that I usually finish worse than midfield in every race
And did actually finish lucky last in my first attempt at a longer swim last year

Anyway thanks to os.c and the Statsman for keeping track and publishing the distances
It keeps it interesting for us slower swimmers

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Caloundra's warriors...

The 1st inaugural Caloundra Kings of the Coast swim last Sundee was a nice one, by all accounts. Check out our report (on, then come back here and tell us what you thought...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Nuttiness at Noosa...

Obviously everyone will be waiting to read what new levels of nuttiness were reached at the Noosa Blue Water swim on Saturday.

This year's nuttiness was the cap on the number of swimmers. It meant a number of people missed out on swimming altogether or were forced to switch from the 2km main swim to the 800m event.

This is the first time in the seven-year history of the swim that the 700-swimmer limit has been reached. And that was despite a huge downpour the night before. People who were planning to come to Noosa swim did not come. They don’t want to do the mini-swim.

Furthermore, numbers won’t sit on the ‘rev limiter’ for long. If numbers can’t go up, they’ll go down. This isn’t nuttiness on the part of organisers USM who handle major events such as the Noosa and Mooloolaba Triathlons so a few hundred in an ocean swim is a doddle. Even the bike rides the day after the swim expected an overall peleton of 2500.

No this is general Noosa nuttiness, in this case the Noosa Parks folks. In the past, this has required swimmers wait up in the bush before moving down onto Ti-tree Beach for the race start. I can’t even take a guess at that one.

For a couple of years, swimmers had to walk from the bus drop-off point at the National Park carpark to Ti-tree by the fire trails rather than the regular footpaths, obviously so that ocean swimming hooligans did not crowd out the regular National Park-goers. At 7am.

Even this year, we were instructed to straggle along the National Park footpath in small groups.

This precious ‘Noosa’ attitude condemns this event to small-time status, never able to grow to a Byronesque 2000. What would Noosa do if 300-odd people turned up the day before the event for a walk-the-course social swim like they do in Byron?

Part of the attraction of ocean swimming is the social aspect, swapping tall tales of well-remembered disaster swims with people you may not have seen in the previous 12 months. This multi-day festival of ocean swimming could happen at Noosa because it as all the natural attractions of plenty of coffee shops and a stunning A-to-B style course which can range from flat track mill-pond conditions and bright sunshine like last weekend to three or four years ago when a howling westerly blew up a huge chop that must have been half a metre, no at least a metre, or more. Ask anyone.

I haven’t spoken to anyone at USM but it must be frustrating to have their swim capped at 700 when they see the explosion in ocean swimming in Queensland (and Byron) in the past couple of seasons with the three new Weekend Warrior events, Burleigh hitting 500 in their first year and Byron breaking 2000.

They (USM) ran their usual tight ship fronted by the cheerful and knowledgeable Benny Pike on the microphone.

The things they can control, USM do well. World champion Melissa Gorman is now a Noosa regular. Three weeks ago, she trailed men’s winner Ky Hurst home by just seven seconds at Byron. At the weekend, she blew the women away in the first few hundred metres for a comfortable win.
In the men’s race, Brendan Capell had to wait until the final few metres to score from Dev Lahey, the Grimsey brothers and Commonwealth Games butterfly hope Nick D’Arcy.

After a hectic couple of months, in fact the only two months that get hectic in Queensland, our season comes to an end with the new 3.8km Weekend Warriors event at Caloundra. As with the two previous ‘Dubya Dubya’ events, there are a couple of contentious points. First, there are only three age groups: under 17, 17 to 36 and over 36. Also suits are in. So if you are philosophically opposed to suits, do you stick to your conviction and battle the double handicap of swimmers almost 20 years younger with suits on, or get rubbered up in the best suit you can beg, borrow or buy. The temptation to join the dark side is strong since I do have a black beauty hanging in the wardrobe. No no no no – how could I wear a suit after all the ridicule I have handed out in the past. But it’s just a suit. It’s not as though it’s a burqua or something.

I’ll let you know.

Also, at the moment, we are going against the prevailing conditions. That is, check-in and briefing are at Kings Beach before the field is bussed to the start at Moffat’s to swim roughly south (i.e. against the sweep) back to Kings.

- Roger Muspratt

There were the usual nutty suspects of the café in Hastings Street with the chairs facing the footpath and more roundabouts per kilometre than in any OECD country.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

South Head Roughwater...

Lovely day at Watsons Bay today, watching the peloton dribble in from South Head.

Check out our video reports...

Leave us your thoughts...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

End of season mooching...

1. Can the sport of oceanswims settle on the one colour cap for age groups as I do not want to go home and throw out 20 to 30 caps a year. For us tragics I would rather buy my own to fit my big melon?

2. Can there be a Family entry fee and a pensioners or over 65 year entry fee?

2. Can the oceanswims lose their purple cone buoys? Swimming around looking for purple buoys is a time waster?

Peter McCrae

PS Congratulations to Don Boland for a mighty effort this year.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Byron (Lord), and swimming in memory of...

 We couldn't be at Byron Bay this year, and we are very sorry we missed the 200th anniversary of Byron (Lord) swimming the Hellespont, which fell today (Monday, May 2). We would loved to have celebrated it with a Mondee morning swim from The Pass back to main beach. To our mind, the Fridee, Sat'dee and Mondee swims of Byron weekend are the highlights of the weekend, followed by a cuppa and brekker, as Le Roi Roy calls it, at the pub. Sundee's swim is the just the catalyst. We're in Fiji right now, in the very remote Yasawas, at Otto and Fanny's, one of our favourite places in the world, helping with arrangements for our visit back here with a peloton of ocean swimmers in September. We're also doing an awful lot of sitting on the beach reading, and gazing into the distance, through the breeze, over the Blue Lagoon, over the sou'-eastern horizon...

But tell us about your Byron experience...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Lake swims in Sydney, swell rises for Bondee...

Coogee-Bondi conditions seemed Yrpean lake-like, judging by reports and pics we've received so far, but a lovely day was had by all, albeit cool. Except for some punters wondering whether it really was 5km. We'll wheel out our Goggle Earth later to see for ourselves.

Conditions at Bondee on swim am seem very different: looks like an onshore breeze breaking up the surface, swell's up (one website claimed 2-3m!), but surfcam on Coastalwatch, which predicted "1 ft", looked nowhere near that big. But the break looked long, and swim start is just prior to low tide, so it should be interesting with Bondee's banks.

But tell us what you thought...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

More chock-a-bloc April swims...

It's Sat'dee, but already it's started... Glorious swim at South Curly to Freshie this am, we're told. A wonderful speech by Luane Rowe, 1st laydee, challenging Darrin Jones, 1st boofhead, to make it a "proper" race next year and "leave the skins behind". Darrin swam in a fastskin. Yuck!! Has he no self-respect? Good girl yourself, Luane! Let's see whether he's game to take you up on it.

And another boofhead, Nick Abrahams, emails us, to blob... 
Not sure whether you did this mornings  Curl Curl-Freshwater swim but out of the 9 swims I've done this year it was probably my most enjoyed. Of course the good conditions influenced this feeling but the many buoys used was significant in making this great. Apart from the obvious benefit of not having to worry about navigation and swimming a good line, mentally it's such a win for everyone - by seeing buoys regularly one feels progress and has short term goals in seeing buoys ahead. I know there was the vote on your site about the TYPE of buoys but when there's many the type is not so much of an issue. I'd really appreciate if you could encourage your surf club friends to employ as many as possible. Many swimmers made this comment today.
  Wish we could have bin there. We're at Forster on Sat'dee night (see above), preparing (in the bar at Koorey's Dorsal hotel) for the Club to Club on Sundee. DY2K and Terrigal also Sundee. Tell us all about them...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Autumn rolls on, in glory...

What a cracker of a weekend for autumn ocean swimming... on the South Coast of NSW, you could have a weekend ocean swim fest with Shellharbour on Sat'dee, Mollymook on Sundee... Can't or won't leave Sydney? Then Long Reef's re-run was Sundee. And in Qld, there was Hervey Bay and the new privately organised swim at Coolangatta...

We had a long day driving down to Mollymook and return, up at 4am, etc... but what a glorious day in typically autumn conditions. The South Coast at its best.

Tell us about your ocean-swimming weekend...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Lessons from Tama...

Ploughing through the sea en route to Shark Point, one became aware, as one rolled to breathe to the left, of a helicopter remote, high in the distance. As one stroked, breathing right, then breathing back left again, the helicopter homed in, closing in on one, until it got to the point where it seemed almost right above our heels. As we watched it, we thought, That’s what helicopters do when they’re homing in on a shark! We dismissed the thought, however, not because we thought there wouldn’t be any sharks in that area – we were heading towards Shark Point – but because we had other things on our mind, and we knew that, even if there were a shark in the area, it wasn’t likely to be a threat to us. We’ve long regaled awed observers with the line that, “We don’t run ocean swims at shark feeding time…” And that’s true: anyone who swims at 6am, alone and in the vicinity of places like Shark Point, is asking for trouble. Just as are those who swim at 8pm, such as surfboard riders. But even if sharks are around the place, at 1130 AEST, on an April morning, they’re more likely to be curious and peripatetic than hungry and aggressive. We hold to that line. Still, in the long experience of ocean swimming in Sydney, we are unaware of a shark ever really being a problem. There have been plenty of sightings, but none have been a real threat.

As it turns out, according to the organisers of the TamaCloey 2.5km Cliffside Odyssey, there was a shark hanging around, maybe three of them – depending upon which account one listens to – and it was that shark, or those sharks, that the Lifesaver helicopter was watching. We were, at the time, perhaps half way between Broant Beach – as our friend Gordo overheard US servicemen on leave from ‘Nam pronounce it back in the early ‘70s – “Where should we go?” one said to the other. “Bondee, or Broant?” -- schlepping through the kind of water that most wouldn’t dream of traversing by oneself in mid-summer. It wasn’t sharks that held our attention. It was technique. Specifically, technique in real ocean conditions, in chop, against a breeze, through backwash from a rock platform colliding with ocean swell.

About that time, we passed our water safety cobber, Tama’s John “Sigh” Macleay. Sigh said to us afterwards that our stroke looked “tired” at that point.  We could understand that, although we know we didn’t feel particularly tired at that point. We’d latched onto a match race: a boofhead who rounded the first booee off Tama just after us, passed us as we took pitchers with our Brownie Starflash-in-a-plastic-bag, then paralleled us as we trekked along the cliff-face, around Shark Point, over the bar into Cloey and along the bay to the finish. The match race pushed us, and we loved it. We’re still not sure which of us got there first. And we were quite impressed with Sigh’s observation. Perhaps Sigh was mixing up “tired” with “relaxed” and “loping”. We wish. We know we certainly didn’t feel particularly tired at that point. We had been focussing, until so rudely distracted by the helicopter, on achieving the perfect technique for getting through conditions disrupted by rolling swell and turbulent backwash. It was, we remember thinking, just the time when we need to bring our streamline into play.

We recall a time when we were boaties, many years ago. We were boaties at Broant, in fact, and we remember how we practised our long, languid strokes when we were pulling into a chop. Long, languid strokes are the equivalent in surfboats of streamline in swimming. In ocean swimming, we thought, it’s the swimmer with the better streamline who will do best. We recall the late Coach Sandra telling us, poolside at Sutho one weekday morning, that “Swim training is all about swimming faster with less effort”. That means streamline. Streamline is the fastest, easiest way through the water. Imagine you’re a torpedo: arms out in front, head between the arms, chin almost on chest, toes pointed… That’s streamline, because it presents the body through the water offering the least resistance. It’s possible, with a good streamline, actually to propel your body through the water through rhythm and suppleness, without even pulling a stroke. The best swimming, indeed, is the stroke that minimises the disruption from the streamline. This brings into play the concept of catch-up, by which the leading arm stays out there virtually until the recovering arm catches it up, before the leading arm then pulls through while the recovered arm stays out in front, straight but relaxed and supple, becoming the leading arm itself. And the recovering arm stays close to the body, the elbow high, the wrist hanging nonchalantly below it, the fingertips trailing gently through the water, also maintaining as much as possible the body in streamline. To little kiddies, the streamline is presented as the “torpedo”, for you are doing your utmost to present your body as a torpedo to the resistant force of the sea. It’s not for nothing that torpedoes are shaped like cigars. Torpedo, streamline, is the easiest way through any water, but it’s especially the easiest way through choppy seas.

This is what we were thinking of as the helicopter hovered above our heels. Sharks occurred to us, but they didn’t occupy us. Around Shark Point and into Clovelly, the swell came from behind, picking us up as we pulled in towards the bar at Cloey, and throwing us forward. You’re pushing along, and you feel a following swell pick up your feet. Your toes rise higher than your body, you’re heading downhill, so your body accelerates. A supple body, too, melds to the shape of the swell. The swell travels the length of your body, for it’s travelling more quickly than you can possibly hope to travel, lifting your body as it goes, so that the highest point moves forwards, from your toes, up your legs, along your torso, past your shoulders, your neck, your head, and out your fingertips at the end of your outstretched leading arms. This, too, is where streamline and suppleness become all important, where it’s critical that the impedance to your progress through the water is minimised by a good torpedo body position. And the better your body can meld into the shape of the water, the more supple it is, then the more push you will get from that transient swell. That’s when you’re surfing at sea.

You can measure your success at this by how you pick up speed from following swells relative to the coves around you. It’s not uncommon that you can pick up half a body length per swell, even more, against an adjacent swimmer who doesn’t offer the same skill set. Different swimmers will get different benefits from sea surfing like this, but much depends on your skill, your ability to offer to the sea a technique conducive to working with it, not agin it.

And that’s what we thought all the way into Clovelly Bay.

A similar thought had struck us as we headed out through that monstrous break at Glamarama at the start of this swim. We had stood there on the rocks watching the first half dozen waves hit the break. In they would wade, stridently, until they hit the first half difficult set. The power of those waves was clear. They weren’t all big waves, but they pushed back most of those whom they hit. Locals had told us beforehand the way to get out at Tama that day: stick as close as possible to the rocky northern point, head out over the rock shelf, then dive under the swells and let them take you out. The starkest implementation of this advice came from Maurice Westerweller, who picked his way on foot over the rock platform, then slid into the sea near its point, finding a benevolent trench in the rocks feeding into a current that rushed him out. On the rocks, he’d been behind the leading swimmers beside him in the break. But once in himself, within metres he’d established a clear advantage over them. So it was good advice, but advice that many swimmers seemed unable to implement. Tama’s always is a difficult break: there is a drag and a rip to the south, but it will take you onto the southern cliff before it sweeps you out. You have to hug the northern rocks to find the outward current there, then pick your way through the sets. It’s a question of finding the middle ground: between the northern rock platform, while keeping out of the southerly drag.

When we started, we understood immediately why all those punters went backwards when they hit the break: those swells, broken or unbroken, were very powerful. Some breaks are like that. Big or little, broken or unbroken, the waves rush at you. Most punters at Tama, too, would wade into the water, crashing through the swells defiantly. Few went under them until they found much deeper water. And each time a defiant ocean swimmer met a wall of Tama whitewater, they went backwards. The cost wasn’t just yardage – metrage – it was in energy, too. Standing up to those swells took energy, and with a longish swim ahead through unco-operative chop and backwash, the unnecessary expense of energy in the break at Tama would take a toll later in the swim.

For ourselves, we took a slightly different route to most when it was our turn through the break: we veered away from the rock platform before we reached its tip, heading into the slightly deeper water to the right where we could dive under the waves a bit more deeply, and where the breaking waves hadn’t quite reached their zenith of power, breaking into slightly deeper water. We went under one wave… two waves… three waves… while still on the rock shelf. The rocks were covered in sand, and there was weed growing from them, and this gave us something to grab. We remember our Uncle Bonehead giving us our first lesson in bottom-grabbing on a biggish day at Caves Beach when we were littlies. We remembered his example, and implemented it. It was good, effective. But something else struck us, too: that as we went under those waves, and as the force of those waves hit us in the face… it did just that: it hit us in the face. Every time it hit us in the face, we felt it push us back, and we gave up some of the precious distance we’d just gained heading into the wave, thrusting ourselves forwards and under it. It hit us in the face. The wave hit us. Then the epiphany hit us.

We’ll take you back to an exchange in the oceanswims blob on TamaCloey, where someone made a smart comment about how swimmers should learn to dive under waves, and another smarty retorted that the idea of diving under waves was a dazzling revelation: it had never occurred to them! The original comment was not far from the truth, however, and it didn’t deserve the sarcastic response. Some people should think before they react (us included, very often). For the epiphany that struck us whilst our fingertips grappled with the sand and the weed and the rock off Tama’s northern point was all about technique and streamline. As we dived under a wave, we felt the wave rush past us. It was a good feeling; we felt omnipotent. The wave could do nothing to us. We were smarter than the wave. But as most mugs do, we were lazy, and our head drifted up. And as soon as it drifted up, the force of the wave hit us in the face and drove us back. Holding the bottom hadn’t been difficult whilst we maintained our streamline, but it became a struggle immediately we lifted our head, and the wave drove us back. Next wave, we did the same. But we were more aware of it this time: we dived, head between the arms, grabbed the bottom, felt the water rush past, then our head drifted up, we felt the force of the whitewater in our face and our grip on the bottom tenuous… And we dropped our head again abruptly, placing it back between our arms, our chins almost nuzzling our furry shall-we-say-white chest, and the force dissipated… Suddenly, holding the bottom was easy again, we held our ground, and – more importantly – we didn’t have to struggle to stay there. We rose up again after the wave, ready for the next one. And this time, unlike the wave before, we felt refreshed, energised, we were winning the battle… And we went down again, under the next wave… We kept our head down this time… And suddenly, this break wasn’t half the challenge it had been just two waves before. It occurred to us then, thinking always as we surged through the sea, that most punters, ourselves included, approach these demands unthinking. We go under the wave but, undisciplined, we lose our streamline all too easily, and that’s when the problems arise. Next time you’re at the pool watch the average punter dive in: how many of them make a splash because their head is up and their legs are flailing? Watch the punter who dives, head between arms, chin on snowy chest, legs and toes pointed behind – not stiffly, still supply – and see the difference it makes to the disturbance of the water on entry. Transfer that across to the sea, and you start to appreciate the difference in resistance to a swimmer streamlining through the water, and one ploughing through messily and thoughtlessly, head lifting lazily in the face of a demanding sea.

The Tama swim has but a short history, but already it has proved regular and fertile ground for us in learning lessons. Two years ago, when the swim was called off due to heavy seas, we learnt the importance of warming up, particularly the growing importance of warming up as one grows older. Two years ago, the seas were bigger than they were on swim day in 2010, and they were more even, breaking heavily onto a bank. While the swim was called off, many mugs ventured into the break to test themselves. We were caught by a couple of large sets on the way out, diving repeatedly under them, coming up for air through the turbulent backwash, spinning around crazily, out of control, at the mercy of the sea, gasping for breath just as the next wave crashed through, and we were diving down again, and again… one after the other. The sea was much more beautiful that day, but it was much more dangerous than on Easter Monday, April 5, 2010. The space between the waves gave us no time to gather our breath, the breaking waves threw us around the sea floor more violently, and they held us down for longer. We had much less time to breathe, recover and to dive deeply under each wave as it came barging through. And it occurred to us how easy it must be for an unprepared, an “unwarmed” swimmer to lose control in conditions like that. And that one really needs to warm up before one tackles a break such as Tama on a largish day. One really needs to develop a cycle of breathing, to take one’s deep breaths, to fall into a rhythm that will carry us through, under and past the break. The problem with Tama, of course, is that there is nowhere to warm up apart from through the break itself. It’s Catch 22: you need to warm up in order to tackle the break, but you can warm up only in the break.
This is one of the great challenges of this event, and it’s why the organisers were right to stagger those starting waves, to restrict them to just 10-20 swimmers each. Imagine tackling that break, exhausting yourself, having yourself thrown around breathlessly, and more and more waves of mugs coming in after you and all around you in what really is the narrowest of corridors for the safest passage out the back. It could have been disastrous. Just ask Glistening Dave, who sports a shiner still from a contretemps with an adjacent swimmer out of control.

And it allows us to make the point that plenty have made in the oceanswims blob: that being a fast swimmer doesn’t mean that you have the faintest clue about how to tackle a break such as Tama’s. Conversely, being a slower swimmer doesn’t mean that you’re less skilled in handling a break such as Tama’s last Monday. Being a fast swimmer means that you are a fast swimmer. It doesn’t mean that you know how to tackle the sea. Remember a few years back at North Bondi, when the organisers – not the current North Bondi organisers – called off the swim for the over 50s? That was one of the dopiest decisions we've ever seen in ocean swimming, albeit no doubt made in good faith. The over 50s are the eejits who’ve been up to this caper all their lives; they’re the ones who actually know what they’re doing in a break; they’re the ones who’ve most likely been hanging around beaches and difficult breaks all their lives. You cannot equate speed through the water with surfing skills. Just as you cannot equate youth and natural fitness with the ability to swim, or to swim in the ocean, or with being surf-smart.

This goes to one of our favourite aspects of ocean swimming -- that it's a wonderfully egalitarian sport, in which the focus is on the journeyperson, not the elite. It's a rank-and-file participation sport, a sport in which one's skills do not depend on the depth of one's pockets -- one of the reasons why we detest and despise wetties and fastskins and their cohort as the cankers that they are -- and a sport in which you can rub elbows and eyesockets with the highs and lows of society as you plough through the sea. When you stop to enquire of a sibling swimmer treading water off Shark Point whether they need help, you may be enquiring of a millionaire or a pauper, unless of course you're swimming in the Cole, then for sure you'd be enquiring of someone of means, because ordinary punters can't afford to enter the Cole... but that's another debate. We don't pay much attention to elite swimmers on, because they are not the soul of this sport. Some of our best friends are elite swimmers, of course, and we respect them mightily, and the effort they put in, particularly with stuff all support from Swimming Stray'a, who have now cancelled their national 10km open water series, and all 25km open water races at the national level, such is their apparent disdain for a discipline that has produced a string of world champeens over the years.

We digress. We grow teary-eyed about this sport for its egalitarian nature, its depth of character at the rank-and-file level, for the opportunities it presents for ordinary mugs, boofheads and bums to experience something special, without the reliance on approval from higher authorities or elites. The truckie from Greystanes or Liberty Grove has as much opportunity in this sport as the anaesthetist from Birchgrove or the barrister from Palm Beach or the midwife from Shepherds Bay. That's why it was disappointing at Tama that there were a whole lot of enormously competent and capable rank-and-file swimmers who didn't get to experience the TamaCloey swim. Fortune smiled on us, for we decided to go earlier than our scheduled Wave 19 (Sub-wave 1). We arranged it with the timers and we experienced perhaps the most satisfying senses of personal achievement that we had ever had, particularly after the helicopter hovering over our heels and all its corollaries.

That said, it was the organisers' call on Easter Monday, subject to direction by the Waverley Council lifeguards: they have swimmer safety foremost in their minds, along with a desire to allow the swim to proceed if at all possible. They have an enormous responsibility on their shoulders in the duty of care to look out for all us mugs, competent and incompetent alike. None of us have signs on our foreheads distinguishing between the two extremes.

The wave system employed by Tama is a noble idea, but it had some bizarre manifestations:  how some of those swimmers got into the faster waves is beyond comprehension. And why the Tama organisers set aside some of the earlier waves for on-day registrations – as some alleged in the oceanswims blob -- is simply ludicrous. What was the thinking behind that? We note that the response from the Tama organisers to comments raised on the oceanswims blob does not appear to go to that issue – we didn’t notice it, anyway. No doubt it was decided in good faith, but on the day it was unfair and unfathomable.

One of the good things about the TamaCloey swim – and there are many good things about it – is that it is a swim run by swimmers. The entire organisation is an attempt to offer a swimmer-friendly swim, and a swim with a difference. Tama has a pod of ocean swimmers called Tossers – Tamarama Ocean Swimmers, or something like that – and they provided the driving force, as we understand it, behind this event. We wish there were more swims like this. We note all the comments about the Easter Monday swim on the oceanswims blob, both positive and negative. For our part, we can’t wait for next year. This was a real ocean swim. It had everything: nasty break at the start, tossing turbulent sea in the middle, shark scares, and a truculent finish over the bar at Cloey into the cradle of ocean swimming in Stray’a, by Tom Caddy’s Steps. Please, organisers, please find a way to link the Caddy heritage with this swim: it’s crying out for it.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sharks force cancellation of TamaCloey?

Say what? Tell that to the apparently 500 or more who did the swim, although the wisdom of setting this swim through the break at Tamarama might be the subject of debate.

We were amongst those who did it, and we wondered why that helicopter was hovering on our heels along the Waverley cemetery cliff. Well, it is called Shark Point. But tell us what you thought...

We had a big weekend -- the Tilbury Classic at Nowra-Culburra on Easter Saturday, the Rock to Rock at Pacific Palms, near Forster, on Easter Sunday, then TamaCloey on Easter Monday. It was a big weekend, and thank the Load we had someone to help us with the driving.

Well, what did you think?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ocean swimming at its finest...

This weekend, Stanwell Park, North Steyne, Port Macquarie...

We did Stanwell Park, and a finer example of ocean swimming you would not get... water was c 23 deg C, which is perfect; air was warm without the oppression of summer, which is perfect; breeze was from the nor'-east, but so light as to hardly ruffly your hair, which is perfect; water was clear, although not quite as good as we've seen it before at Stanwell Park, which is perfect; and no blueys or anything else to sting, which is perfect... It just goes to show, autumn is the best time of year to swim. It's just perfect...

Tell us about your swims... North Steyne, Stanwell Park, Port Macquarie, and more...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

South West Rocks, Balmoral...

Sensational day at South West Rocks, when the 1st and 2nd placegetters were penalised 3 mins 30 secs each for "missing" a couple of guide booees along the course. Both did the course by respecting the key booees, but a vociferous protest from 3rd brought the penalties after they swam outside guide booees laid in between. Rough? Tell us what you think...

Balmoral had 1,000 we're told, although at the time of writing we're still waiting on the results.  Just proves what we've been saying: the growth in the sport is at the 1km end. Shows there's a demand, need for shorter swims.

Tell us what you think...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Vale, Saxon Bird...

Saxon Bird, the 19-year-old iron man who died at the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships on the Gold Coast on March 19, also was an ocean swimmer. While not at every swim, he took part in enough, regularly, to be classified as "one of us". Saxon was a member of Queenscliff SLSC and Epping Bullets Swimming Club. He always seemed to pop up at Northern Beaches swims, and on the lower and mid  north coasts. He won Avalon, and he won Pacific Palms, plus others that we can't be specific about here. He was a good swimmer.

Many swimmers knew him. They feel the grief.

Vale, Saxon Bird...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Day on the harbour, Bonbeach at season's end...

The morning after, the night before... After the pelting rain in Sydney on Sat'dee night, multinational geologist John Bamberry was driving from Singleton, in the Hunter Valley, to Sydney for the harbour swim, but the rain was so heavy passing through Newcastle that he considered turning back. What a lucky boy! Had he turned back, John would have missed one of the most magnificent days on the harbour,  warm, yet not oppressive, refreshing water c. 22-23 deg C, the gentlest of currents, and a  spirited run into Farm Cove on the back leg with a nor-easter-driven swell behind us. What a wonderful day!

How was Bonbeach? We'll hear later from Aquagirl on that one. Shark Island? Novice staff correspondent Chris "Numbers" Flanagan is reporting that one for us. Port Elliott in SA...

Tell us about your swims this weekend...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Super Sundee, sublime Saturdee...

A big weekend for swims... Saturdee at Lake Macquarie gave us glorious conditions, for those of you who managed to get there for the start, unlike os.c. We got there for the last swimmer home. Then dinner at the Gunyah, leading into Caves Beach on Sundee. There were six swims scheduled in NSW on Sundee. How silly is that. Some were spread out, but three were in spitting distance: Freshie, Manly and the Bridge to Beach. And another two, Caves and Speers Point, were a long spit apart. Not to mention Indented Head on the Bellarine Peninsula, Bunbury on Saturdee, Coogee (WA) on Sundee, Port Augusta, Carlton in Tassie on Monday...

Swims all around the place on the biggest swim weekend of the year. Tell us about your experiences, thoughts, etc. Click the comments button below. And tell us who you are...

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Put-off Tour of Booees, Perignon, Big Bay, etc, etc...

Disappointment at Long Reef as the swim is postponed due to commands from greater authorities concerned to manage the risk associated with a potential tsunami (or not). But, hey! The Long Reef organisers got their act together real quick and we have a rescheduled date of April 11. We're re-opening online entries (please be patient, will happen as soon as can be). All entries will carry over.

Pier to Perignon? The big Cohuna? The Big Bay? Apollo Bay? Henley? Moorpanyal? Tell us about your ocean swimming weekend...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Little Half Moon Bays... Classics in the making...

Every now and again, a swim comes along that deserves the description as a "classic". It's an appelation given out all too readily, and too often claimed by organisers without any justification whatsoever. Some even call themselves a "challenge", when they are not remotely that, either. Sometimes, but, it's deserved. the Malabar-Little Bay Challenge is one such swim. Yes, it's certainly a challenge. And, in time, it will grow to a classic.

This swim didn't attract the swelling numbers of other recent swims. But this swim was not a dinky paddle into and out of a sheltered beach. The surging growth in the sport of ocean swimming is in the 1km events in NSW. Hardly surprising. That's the kind of event that new swimmers will find palatable, not too intimidating. For those new swimmers, Malabar-Little Bay (Long Bay-Little Bay) is daunting, intimidating, we expect.

This swim offered something to most swimmers: a long, flat, straight stretch at the start, appealing to pool swimmers, a rolling, turbulent middle, when the swells picked us up and thrust us forwards, after rolling us pitching pell mell sideways as we rounded the point, and a gentler finish, squeezing us through a relatively narrow gap over reefy bottom, taking care to avoid the surf crashing onto the rock platform at Little Bay at the end.

Whew! What a good swim. And how good to be able to roll around the point to the clever, levitous, yet professional commentary of Mike Westdorp and HG Nelson. Give us Roy and HG over Eddie and Mick any day.

In Port Phillip Bay, Aquagirl says they changed the course at Half Moon Bay (Cerberus). It was a tough swim, she says.

But what did you think? Click the comments link below to tell all...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The case for seeded waves...

After completing the Avalon Swim, I was pondering whether seeded waves would work, where swimmers are sent off in times according to their 1km swim times.

Being of the pointy-head variety, I had to satisfy my curiosity with some analysis of the results to see if seeded swims would work, and even out the flow of swimmers around the course.

The chart below shows the numbers of swimmers in 2 minute increments according to their finishing time.  For those fellow pointy headed swimmers, you will note that half of the swimmers have completed the swim by 28 ½ mins time and that the results are skewed, with a tail of slower swimmers.

This info shows that if starts were based on seeded times with equal time classes, then there would be some groups much larger than others.  Seeded starts might work if the times were worked out such that waves were based on achieving equal sizes.

If the organisers were to achieve say, 5 waves of 200 persons each then seeding would have to be based on 1 km swim times as follows:

• < 18 mins per km • 18 – 19 ½ mins per km • 19 ½ to 21 mins per km • 21 to 23 ½ mins per km • >23 ½ mins per km

With age group wave starts, it is near impossible to group waves into equal size classes. The table below shows the number of swimmers by age group category.

This info shows that grouping the swimmers into equal size groups would be very awkward. For example, there were 337 swimmers between 35-45 yrs of age, so you can get a feel for the issue.

In short, I don’t envy organisers of swim events in trying to sort out wave starts. People say, “more waves”, but while the waves are set out in age groups, it will never cut the argy bargy as swimmers’ abilities are not age dependent (if you have raced John Koorey, you will understand what I mean!)

Seeded waves would work but would require honest assessment of one’s swimming abilities and a reasonable analysis of previous events’ results to assess time categories and wave numbers.

John Bamberry

Sunday, February 14, 2010

North Bondi, Hampton...

What a surprising day at North Bondi! Storms, squalls, overcast, drizzly, lightning and thunder -- we had it all in the lead up. But the sun actually came out. And despite fears over the water quality, it actually wasn't bad. Reasonably clear, a few little stingers, a bit of flotsam, but really quite nice. Two swims: 2km and a very long 1km, which was more like 1.5km.

Aquagirl was at Hampton. Our reports will be online Sunday night. Meanwhile, what did you think?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Cole Classic...

We've had quite a response to our newsletter item today (Thursday) about the Cole Classic this Sundee. So much so that, it struck us that we really should open a blob thread to allow swimmers to have their say.

We have asked those who have emailed us already whether we can place their comments on this blob. In the meantime, feel free to leave yours, too. is an outlet for ocean swimmers to express their views.


Sunday, January 31, 2010

Big swims all 'round - Palm-Whale, Queenscliff...

It was a big weekend for big swims... 493 at Queenscliff, 96 at The Bloody Big Swim, and 1,831 at Palm-Whale in Sydney.

Thanks to Debbie Racklyeft for pic above. Interesting to see how many punters "missed" or almost missed the last booee.

But tell us what you thought...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Newcastle, MMAD, Glenbawn, Scarborough, Clifton, Grange... etc

What a luvverly day in Newcastle, and on Port Phillip Bay... We had a lovely double-crossing of Newcastle Harbour, whilst Aquagirl had a half empty tank at Mt Martha, the corollary of a big week in Adelaide for the Tour Down Under.

Check out our reports, then come back here and tell us about your Stray'a Day, and your comments on your swim...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mona Vale, Port Campbell, Sorrento/Rotto Rehearsal...

Grey day at Mona Vale... how was your swim? Click the comments button below to tell us...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Avalon, Portsea, Torquay, Cape Patterson, Marion, Cott, Perth...

Swims all over the place... we did Avalon on Sunday. Record numbers at 1041, and a grey suited visitor during the swim... What was your swim like... Hit the "Comments" button below...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Bumpy at Bondi, lovely at Lorne, stunning at Sorrento...

Lovely day at Bondi today, but what a contrast between the two swims! The 1km was swimmng in a millpond, but the 2km was bumpy as all get out, once the seabreeze came in from the sou'-east. Alew Warwar tweeted, too, that the 1km had more starters than the 2km. We'll check that and let you know. V. interesting if that's the case.

In Victoria, we saw the Lorne Pier to Pub on the TV news. Got a great run. One of our plants there, Big Ted, tell us they had near perfect conditions with a following breeze, incoming tide, 19 deg C water, and glorious sun. We have another plant, Aquagirl, who is doing a report for us, including Sorrento, which she did on Sunday as a warm down (and Big Ted was planning to do, too).

Scarborough and Albany in the West, Seacliff in SA...

What do you lot reckon? Click the comments button below to leave your thoughts...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

1,000 turn out in "driving rain"...

We had a lovely day, a lovely day at Black Head, on the lower north coast, for the first inaugural Head2Head Ocean Swim, and we hear many others had a terrific day, too, at Newport. We'll bet they did at Gerringong, as well, but we haven't heard from anyone there yet.

Black Head had 210 on their first outing, with more than half fronting on the day. A great result in a wet, drizzly day. We're told Newport had 450, which is fantastic in the "driving rain", according to ocean swimming twitterers.

Tell us what you thought... Click the comments button below. Don't forget to leave your name.