Sunday, January 2, 2011

Black Head, Newport, Pt Lonsdale, Dungog... And beyond

As we write, we're on Stroud Rd Between Gloucester and Dungog, en route from Black Head to Sydney. This road is not conducive to typing, so we'll say only this: tell us about your New Year swims. Let the discussion begin...

Lovely day at Black Head: barely a cloud -- just passing Ram Station, perhaps one of those wife-swapping, group sex party ressorts -- water c. 22C, bit of a wave, and very warm (it's 37.5C on the road hère). How was it where you were?


  1. How good to get back in the water today at Newport. After almost a month off, I'd almost forgotten what a 2km swim felt like, and how good it is to get out on a Sunday morning for a good honest bit of medium-hard yakka.

    And what a pleasant way to insinuate oneself back into the world of salt, sweat and speedos. Water was just the tiniest bit crisp but very inviting once you got in, and the sun belied the forecast temperature by beating down with a seemingly 30-plus-degree fury.

    But to the swim. Super turnout on the day, with the vast majority looking surprisingly happy to be back on the waggon this soon after New Years. It felt like a good honest length too, it's great when organisers don't cut the corners slightly while setting the course out.

    And while we're here, a couple of highlights that are sometimes present, sometimes not:

    * Free parking. While I've never gotten booked at a swim, having that concern taken out of the equation on arrival is always nice. Coogee council (and others) would do well to take note of the goodwill generated when parking for a typically once-a-year charity event is free or lenient, instead of letting the rangers loose in a revenue-raising sting.

    * Excellent value entry fees. Half the price of certain other swims, as noted in previous blogs. I guess electronic tagging does explain part of the difference, but was evidently easily handled with these numbers; thanks to the volunteers for making the remainder of the pricing gap feasible.

    * Pre-race entertainment provided by the most pleasant registration girls, with special props given for the chair-balancing act performed by the lass checking in the M20-29 group - although at other swims the entertainment typically follows the main event?

    * The bewdiful BBQ. Sambos with the lot so good that I bought three. So much for those New Year's resolutions (I suppose there's always 2012)

    * The brilliant weather they ordered for us. I noted with interest one poor girl -who had chosen to wear a wetsuit- looking terribly flustered at the finish. I can't imagine how bad the experience of being all hot and bothered would have been while in the water. Yuk.

    * And the named caps. I love being able to look at my cap wall and fondly recall each individual effort. The only tiny cause for complaint was that my cap is the same colour as last year, which makes it look like I'm cheating in the collection :)

    I could go on for a while but can probably round this up by saying that it was a fantastic morning out, as always, with lots of nice people, as usual, for an excellent cause. And thinking back on the day it struck me how smoothly everything seemed to go. It may have been the post-christmas haze but I noticed nothing that went wrong or was otherwise remarkable on the day - which is the mark of a truly well-organised swim. Congratulations and thanks to Newport and the other local (assisting) SLSC for making it so, and bring on next week.

  2. It seems we all have our different ways of unwinding post-race. I was trying to think of the equivalent of any 'wife-swapping, group sex party resort' on the way back from Newport.

    Closest I could come up with was the Sands at Narra, where -coincidentally- I happened to stop in for a drink this afternoon. Unfortunately (and not having a wife to swap) I wasn't quite able to replicate the os.c experience?

  3. My son and I did the Yamba swim, we were a little concerned that it may be called off due to the rain,

    We were glad it went ahead, although he did beat me again, I will get him at Coolangatta in 2 weeks,

    My wife likes the photo's of me on the website, she says I should have been running in the 'All Done' photo, and why was i taking such a 'Big Breath' in the other one,

    All in all, a good swim, and we will be heading down again to do it next year,

    Thanks, Nathan

  4. E. Ogilvy described the Newport swim well - it was a great day and a fabulous swim. Just two queries - Was it longer than 2km? (It sure felt like it but maybe that's just me...) Why is it called "pool to peak"?

  5. Got to hand it to Newport on running another first class event.

    Everything ran smoothly with an army of member volunteers. Great value, slick registation, good starting sequence, 5 waves for around 580 punters, plenty of water safety, good ol' fashioned post-it note finish, Harris Farm Markets providing their fruit wares,stacks of prizes and give-aways (including the best reaction to winning a trip to Fiji - or anywhere for that matter - that I've seen).

    The MC even pulled the Can-Too organiser and the Children's Hospital team champion to the microphone for a free spot on how to help.

    Pittwater Mayor Harvey spoke in support, State Member Rob swam and Federal Member Bronwyn even provided optional kisses for the winners in between her big smile..what a political team trifecta.

    Great job Newport SLSC.

    Now on to North Bondi next week... ummm... can someone remind me why they've got a swim in January and then back up again in February??

  6. I could not fault the Newport swim - it was so well organised and such a pleasure to participate in. The water was wonderful, the course well laid out, the volunteers cheerful and they knew what they were doing, and there were plenty of well-marked buoys and excellent water safety. Thanks to all involved - it was a beautiful swim in a beautiful location. And you learned your lesson from last year - you arranged perfect weather this time. Remember how wet and cold it was in 2010?

    Thank you to Harris Farm for your generous donation of the delicious fruit - there was plenty for everyone. And as for the magnificent fruit hampers for the winners of each age group - they looked sensational.

    Congratulations to the club members on your running of the swim - you showed everyone how it should be done. Looking forward to next year's event. Thank you to all concerned.

  7. Did anyone else come out in a rash after the Newport swim, five days later? A few swimmers and I swam through something that felt like a sand blast around the northern buoys and it stung, but no marks, and the first-aid people weren't sure what it was. The sting went away that day but on Thursday a rash started to develop on my legs. Doesn't itch, doesn't sting, doesn't hurt. Just interested if anyone else has it. Great swim, though.

  8. Great to see all the positive feedback on the Newport swim.

    "Was it longer than 2km ?" Having helped set the course I can confim it was 2km, the course was set with the help of a surveyor and sat nav device and then remeasured. As a swimmer and based on my time it must have been longer !

    "Pool To Peak?" Pool is at the southern end of the beach and the peak refers the Newport Peak surf break at the northern end. Maybe it should be called club to pool to reef to peak to club but then it would be difficult to fit on to the road side banners.

    "Sue Wiles - Rash ?" As a regular swimmer at Newport I have not heard of any rashes after the swim. Have noticed some sea lice the last week or so but the effect normally wears off in an hour or so. Hope the rash has cleared and you come back next year.

    Allen J

  9. Newport was my first Ocean Swim, Loved It and I am hooked, already planning Mona Vale, Cole Classic, Long Reef, etc etc. Thank you Newport for making my first swim so enjoyable.

    Geoff C


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