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.