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...


  1. Avalon was awesome.
    It was gorgeous water and lots of fun picking my way through the veritable sea of green caps,

    but I will be very disappointed if somebody sighted a shark and I missed it!!!

  2. Just before the start at Avalon Doug said: It's around about this time every time that I say to myself: "What the bloody hell am I doing this for?". But Doug's competitive flames allow for nothing but all-out effort and thus, plenty of oxygen-debt-pain.

    I usually realise that oxygen-debt-paid is not compulsory about half way through a swim and the voice starts chatting: "You stupid old fool. Stop this now! You don't have to do this!" But you do and later on you feel great.

    The pain of oxygen debt is less alarming when I'm able to focus on being relaxed and getting into a rhythm. But when I'm constantly confronted by people swimming diagonal to the course, breaststrokers trying to kick my lights out and maniacs banging my head and dragging me under.... I get upset. I mean, why can't everyone swim a perfect course like me? And why do they deliberately try to upset me?

    From now on I'm going to wear a purple wig and tattoo blue-ringed octopuses down both legs so people will recognise me, know they're wrong and leave me to swim in peace!

  3. These swims need to face up to the fact that they're not "boutique" any more. They need to have smaller waves. At the very least send the men and women off separately.

    A lovely day, perfect conditions and a good course was marred by some outrageous acts of thuggery and boof-headedness. I know it gets a bit tight around the buoys, and I know everyone is going to be close together at the start, but there is no excuse in the middle of the long stretch at the back for assholes in the wave behind to try and swim through me. Open your bloody eyes and look where you're going you tossers.

  4. This was my very first organised ocean swim and apart from that only the third time in the ocean doing a longer distance.

    i think i'm in love. what a great sport and a great way to spend a sunday morning. There was a bit of traffic getting out and going around the cones but nothing unexpected. My thought as a newcomer would be that if you dont like swimming near other people, than swim alone, its up to you?!?

    Saying that, being a rookie i am sure i did the wrong thing at some point. If i was going too slow or swimming the wrong line and got in someones way, i do apologise. You might have recognised me, i was wearing a green cap.

    a big thanks to all the organisers and volunteers!

  5. This is true. I swim in the 25-29, you do not get much time, before the 30- whatever men come through and think they can swim right over the top of you. Would you do that in a running race? Just keep running, until you push the person in front of you over? The organisers need to send all the men off first and then the girls.

  6. Bondi was almost unpleasant due to the amount of punters and for 1/2 of the race was like a wrestling match rather than a swim. When I awoke to a glorious Sunday morning and Avalon being a lot smaller beach than Bondi I knew to stay away as it was always going to be another wrestling match, although much worse. Unfortunately with the numbers now ocean swimming, leading to large wave sizes I will no longer do small in size same beach swims anymore, too crowded. Will now only enter beach to beach journey swims, more ocean, less turning buoys, less wrestling.

  7. Funny thing with most sports you race to finish as quickly as possible.
    On Sunday I wanted to stay out there, I could have gone around again.
    Thanks again Harris Farm for the fruit.

  8. Great swim. I wondered what that helicopter was doing above me. Big crowd but not too bad. Maybe there could be two swims - one for at 0900 when the course is setup and the beach completely empty and one for the rest at 11 ?

  9. No one likes to be muscled aside whilst rounding a buoy. No one likes to be sat upon or flattened by an ambitious passing swimmer. I really dislike having my goggles jammed into my eyesockets by a whacking stray elbow of a fellow swimmer. All these things happened to me yesterday and probably last week at Bondi, if I try to remember back that far. I feel truly sorry for anyone who has ever really been seriously hurt out there. However, there is no way I am running away and I would hate for a random individual reading this blog to get a false impression about the overall atmosphere of this great sport and be discouraged from coming out and having a go. Feeling hard done by whilst racing is something we just might have to cope with from time to time but in the end these swims are still a great way to spend the morning, to both celebrate your fitness and challenge yourself at the same time and, mainly, to catch up with your friends in the aftermath. I take the good memories home with me after a race and leave the bad ones out the back for the grey-suited visitors.

    Tacoma Jim

  10. Given that it took me 50 or so minutes to drive up there, probably $20 dollars in petrol, $30 to enter the swim, and only 28 minutes to swim it, I think next year the organisers should make it 2 laps of the course so we can get our moneys worth. 1.6km's is just too short on such a lovely day and with the "grey suited aquatic friend" looming down the backstraight everyone swam faster. Either make it 2 laps or have the start and finish out the front of the surf club, swim north then around the loop. This would probably make it 2km.
    Lucky the Newport Arms Hotel was nearby to make the trip worthwhile!!
    Great Day.

    Justine O'Connell

  11. Waves every 5 minutes would make things a lot better. A bigger gap between people will minimize the issues raised by quite a few people. Great day in Avalon and a great swim though!

  12. God what a bunch of whingers.

    A great swim, very well organised and marshalled on a beautiful day. Yes some jostling but that's what happens with more than 1,000 swimmers on a swimming course. Get over it.

    Thanks Avalon SLSC and Ocean Swims. Look forward to coming back next year!

  13. Can someone give more details about the grey-suited visitor? When, how close and what type? Who spotted?

  14. Jostling doesn't have to be what happens with over 1000 swimmers. It's poor organisation. Lorne has almost 4,000 swimmers over a 1.2km course and you don't get the aggro because the organisers seed waves by nominated time. Avalon needs to do something about their wave sizes. You can't rake in $30,000+, throw out a few cans and tell the punters to knock themselves out. There needs to be better event management.
    Also, swims like Avalon aren't a measure of swimming ability, because they favour the more aggressive, boofhead swimmer over those who are a bit more considerate.

  15. Yes, I'd like to know more about the grey-suited visitor... anyone?

  16. Congratulations Avalon - what a wonderful day (as always).
    Is it any wonder Avalon is my favourite swim?
    Wonderful weather, conditions and happy friendly organisers and volunteers. Loads of fruit and drinks and great spot prizes. The BBQ never disappoints. The scotch fillet steak sangas were fab. So fab, os.c, son and Ted backed up for seconds... more laps for them this week. I was even given a lift to the start in the tractor with Bronie.
    The post-it-note timing at it's best - no other swim does this better. Accurate, efficient and speedy results and to think they managed over 1000 swimmers. Well done!!
    I didn't get into any argy bargy but that may be a result of my tardy entry into the water. Please remember, most of the times another swimmer touches you it is unintentional, I'm sure most swimmers are just trying to find the quickest way around the course not bash you. Some contact is unavoidable and if you dislike it so much you can swim wide, delay your start a little and avoid the crush - the choice is yours.
    A very big thank you to my friend Peter(McGoo)who never misses helping me enter and exit the water safely and thus avoiding me embarrassing myself completely. I wouldn't be able to compete in the sport I love without his assistance. He also happens to be the Dad of the female winner at Avalon - Congratulations Kelly!!
    Avalon was my first ever oceanswim in 2001 - I have only missed one (postponed due to blueys).
    My only regret is I now have to wait another whole year for the next Avalon swim - I will definitely be there next year.

  17. I took Peter (Mr Magoo) McCrae's advice and swam wide around the course at Avalon and had no problems apart from one scrape with a breaststroker whose fingers flicked my goggles off a bit. By swimming wide I kept away from the biffo and thoroughly enjoyed my swim. Believe it or not, but by swimming wide, I found I was well aligned for the southern purple turning buoy.

    I have to agree with Mrs Sparkle about the barbie. The scotch fillet steak sandwiches were delicious. I was very tempted to have a second one but decided not to, to my regret. Such succulent juicy tasty steak. Yummmm. This is definitely the best barbie on the swim circuit. Thank you to the volunteers who so cheerfully cooked for us.

    The swim was very well run too with plenty of water safety out there. I was very impressed that the post-it note system can work so well with such large numbers. Having had a few problems with electronic timing in the past (usually from being given the wrong timing bracelet), I found it hard to believe that this old-fashioned method produced results so quickly with the minimum of fuss.

    One suggestion - now that this swim is so popular, perhaps it would be a good idea to have more starting waves so that swimmers are spread around the course more evenly.

    Thank you to the volunteers and the organisers for making this such an enjoyable swim for me. You must have spent hours preparing and making arrangements.

  18. I looooooove my ocean swimming this being my 18th season (and Im still not in the last wave hehehe)Anyway I think it qualifies me to have an objective opinion on the biffo subject. Being a female I usually get stuck in a start line with lots of big blokes and yes I do get hit around but thats part of the sport. The option to swim wide is always there. Last week at Bondi I got stuck in the pack and had my goggles slammed into my face and kicked in the boobs(ouch!)but it made me step back and I get an advantage swimming the most direct line or does the biffo slow me down? This week at Avalon I purposely swam wide and had no altercations and I feel like I swam a faster course as I was in rhythmn and wasnt distracted. (Tacoma Jim still beat me damn it but Im closing the gap) Even back in the early 90's when swims were much smaller there was still thuggery, I remember one swim when a hand landed on my head and took it under for the full stroke. Anyway my point being there are options and they arent necessarily slower so give it a go if you dont like the pack. You might be pleasantly surprised. Mind you what would the post race banter be if there wasnt some controversy! Loved the swim Avalon, magic weather, beautiful water and being nostalgic I love a tattoed number and raffle ticket timing system. Thanks for a great day

  19. Avalon was a great swim with the best conditions. I LOVED IT. I have to admit there were a lot of kicking but yes it is a big crowd, and it's part of the fun. The thing is all these big boys should respect the smaller, overtake without having to drown us and kick us in the arms and chin. I might not swim as fast as others but I think I did the right thing when seeing a cap that was leaving after me (I was green and saw white caps) to let them pass me because obviously they were faster. At the end of the day I am so happy that these swims exist as I would never dare to swim that far by myself and love the atmosphere before, during and after the race. Lets just all remember that these are 'fun swims' and lets enjoy and respect each other. Oh and thank you to the organisers and volunteers - great job!

  20. It took me a few days to get a chance to look at the report. It caught my attention that a few blogger’s questions regarding our “visitor” had being ignored and not addressed by the organisers of the event who possible watch this blog.
    I am not sure at this stage, but from the little I read in this blog and on the report, it was known the “visitor” was around while swimmers were in the water. If that is the case, I would like to understand the process of the organisers in identifying the risk and the decision of not calling swimmers out of the water. There was an “accident“ at Avalon last year, remember?
    I understand the organisers not wanting to unnecessarily alarm people and spoil the event. But I always felt relatively safe in the water ‘cause I assumed I would be informed of any threats so that I can make an informed decision whether to continue.

  21. There are two ways to swim a oceanswim contest the start, shave the buoys, swim a straight line, arrive buggered at the end.
    Or let the wave go by thirty seconds,swim wide of the buoys, admire the sealife, look for grey suited visitors arrive at the finish without swallowing any brine.
    The Male Escort.
    not fo hire!

  22. omg was there a shark? Crikey!!! Was wondering about the helicopter overhead :)
    I have no complaint whatsoever about the Avalon swim. Gorgeous morning, clear water, friendly people, great organisation, fruit, water and iced tea at the end, what's not to like?
    Thank you, Avalon SLSC for your great organising and water safety. Clubbies rock!!
    Being old and slow, the jostling thing is never an issue for me
    Bring on Mona Vale, I say.

  23. I guess its all part of the excitement of the ocean swim. Its a lovely feeling to have some clear water in front to swim freely and then there is the comfort of swimming in the pack and hoping you are the least delicious looking in the bunch - quite the conundrum. If i had spied the 'visitor' I would have been the one still doing freestyle up on the road.

  24. Have no problem with the odd thump or two (and copped a beauty right in the face at Avalon) but there's a big difference between an accidental bump and deliberate thuggery.

    Far as I'm concerned anyone who thinks its OK to wreck someone else's swim for the sake of ... what? ... a few seconds? ... is a moron.

  25. Avalon was a lot of fun, an endless sea of green caps (how many was there?).

    A wonderful day and the water was great.

    My game plan is always to swim wide, my first ever swim at Point Lonsdale January last year taught me how much a contact sport this can be.

    That is why beach to beach swims are my favorites, Bondi to Bronte, Tamarama to Clovely and Curl Curl to Freshwater, so am looking forward to Monavale & Palm Beach over the next two weekends.

    See you on the beach and be nice to each other.

  26. Avalon was my first ever ocean swim and I was horrified by the brutality of some people - particularly the men in the 40-49 age group (purely because they were the wave coming through behind me). I am a very confident swimmer but at one point I felt panic and could not get any air due to being swum straight over the top of by these big men - not a gentleman in sight!! I left the water thinking "never again", however after speaking to some lovely people after the race I was assured it was particularly brutal and tha ocean swimming is not usually like this. So I shall take the advice from others above and swim wide and hopefully enjoy what I thought would be a fantastic sport.
    Having said that, the volunteers at Avalon were fantastic and the day was very well run - and thank you to all the lovely gentlemen and ladies who did not drag me under!

  27. Hi,
    I'm from Canada...neat pictures!
    Are you not afraid of the sharks?

  28. I was one of the water safety on the rescue boat. Yes there were two sharks but 5 boats went over and made sure that it left the area.

    We did not alarm the beach nor want the shark alarm to go off. Can you imagine 1,000 swimmers trying to get out of the water at the same time???

    I felt that what we did was the best decision. We knew where the sharks were and if we felt that the swimmers would be in harm, then other actions would of been made.

    The ocean is the sharks home. They are always going to be out there. All swimmers should know that before starting the race and should only compete at their own risk.

    I think all 9 IRB's did a great job. No lives were lost and there were no injuries.

    Congratulations to all water safety. You all did a great job!!!


Please use the drop down menu, Comment as, to attach your name to your blog.