Saturday, January 15, 2011

A dozen swims are barely enough...

We count 11 swims on 'round Stra'a this weekend, starting with a biggie, Portsea, down on the tip of the péninsula, over a journey course in the national park, today, Sat'dee. Also Torquay today, Cape Patterson Sundee. Scarborough, in the West, today, Albany Sundee. In NSW, Avalon, Penrith, and a Swim we heard of only yestee, Fingal Beach, just outside Port Stephens (South side of the Heads) tomorrow (thanks to @maitlandswimmer for tipping us off). Tathra, way don South, also Sundee. And Devonport, in Tassie, and West Beach, in Adelaide, also tomorrow, you can do West Beach tomorrow after twitter riding with Lance Armstrong today...

@swimsparkle and @tacomajim doing 8km training session for Rotto today at Balmoral with Coach Charm, and with Shark Shield.

Tell us about your swims, formal/structured or informal/unstructured...


  1. If in doubt, get there early. So if it’s a new course, and you don’t know the layout, three hours early isn’t excessive is it?

    Truth be told, I came down to Portsea the night before to make sure I’d be at the start line in plenty of time. Mother Nature, God, or Channel Dredging has eaten up the Portsea front beach so the SLSC had to take drastic action. For the better I say.
    Instead of one of the most complicated courses around– an L shape, against the current, turn, turn again, turn again (if you can find that last buoy) swim along the pier, turn and head for shore – we had a new course from the other end of the beach into the National Park and the Quarantine Station.

    But where is it? Instructions were reassuring. Drive into national park, register at the start, buses will take you to the start line, and return your gear to the start line.

    OK. Drive in. It’s a long way to register. Do we have to swim all this way back?

    Control freak that I am I had plenty of time to think about all that while I watched and waited.
    But the buses did come. They did get us there in plenty of time. They did get our stuff safely back to the start. My car keys were still in my shorts pocket when I picked the stuff up.

    And the course? Divine. We are lucky to be alive. Privileged to be able to do this. Why doesn’t everyone do it? It is so nice of the Portsea Surf Lifesaving Club to go to all that trouble so I can have a lovely fast swim in clear water along some of the most spectacular coast line in the country. And not too far from where a former PM drowned. But no-one could have come to a sticky end today. Calm favourable water and a ripping current made us all look good.

    And speaking of looking good, have I mentioned that the Portsea lifesavers are the best looking in the country?  All those private school educations, straight teeth and even tans – boys and girls. You’d be lucky to be rescued by one of them.

    One thing did worry me about the course – stairs up from the beach at the end. I hate anything that gets me out of the water and involves land exertion. A run? Not likely? Stairs? Potential tripping hazard. But never fear. Even the stairs were smiling on me today.

    Earned the vanilla slice from Sorrento on the way home. And bring on Pier to Perignon in similar water at the end of next month. I’m pumped.

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  3. Nice day out at Avalon, with a good surf and some early mist making for an atmospheric morning. Having survived the surf in the swim itself I was rather surprised to be rather spectacularly dumped when I ventured in for a post-swim dip.

    Interesting too to see that first and second had equal times - from different age groups too, just goes to show every second counts. Results are up at already, good form on getting them up so early.

    And the BBQ, which very much lived up to the hype. While counting out my money I was amused to hear the two fellows in front of me discussing the superb $7 lot sandwich in incredulous tones. "what kind of fatty would order that?" .. They found out ten seconds later.

  4. Brand new event at Fingal Bay/Beach today. Fingal is in the Nelson Bay area, about one hr north of Newcastle NSW. The swim was advertised as 1.6k and was an unusual M shaped course. The organisers intentionally left the event fairly low key, without much advertising. They wanted to run their first Ocean Swim with a small number of competitors. They were expecting 20-30 entrants, but ended up with about 55.
    The conditions could not have been better. The sun was shining, the surf was smooth, with a small swell getting into this well protected beach.
    The event commenced with a group walk up the beach, followed by a roll call. We didn't lose anyone on the walk!
    The run through the shallows was interesting over a bumpy sandbank. A few hit the deck....I tried to make it look like a dive.
    The water was clean and clear, with random patches of warm and cold currents. I enjoyed the M shaped course. Added a bit of interest to the swim.
    Plenty of drinks and fruit at the finish, with a friendly welcome from the volunteers.
    For a first effort, the Fingal Beach SLSC did a fantastic job, with lots of positive comments from the swimmers.
    Will be worth adding to the calendar for next year. Especially for us Hunter Valley based swimmers!

  5. Absolutely adored my first Avalon swim. I've realised my elation after a swim correlates with my anxiety before it and the big surf certainly gave me pause. Even being dumped on the way in was fun (too shallow to tuck safely under those huge waves). Who cares when you're almost at the finish line, yahoo! Back home in the eastern suburbs to a hot afternoon with a clear blue sky and the misty, cool and soft light of the morning at Avalon seemed (as someone else commented) like a wonderful dream. I will definitely do this swim again. (Great cappuccino too, by the way!)

  6. Want to thank everyone that joined us at Avalon Beach on Sunday, glad it wasn't today as the huge swell closed all the beaches along the peninsula. Personal thanks to our great team of workers, our neighbouring surf clubs, Marine Rescue, Water Police and our dedicated water safety team that ensured t everyone returned safely back to the beach. Come and join us again next year for our 20th Anniversary Surf Swim, we intend to make that a very special event. Warren Young, Race Director

  7. Penrith 2k Regatta open water swim -

    I did this swim last weekend for the first time. A 2k fresh water swim in a straight line down the Sydney Regatta Centre.

    Good swim. The water was clear, the weed was short, water temp a little warmish 25c.
    A highlight of my warm-up swim was being eyeballed by a large carp that had come up to investigate.

    A 2k straight swim in fresh water is tougher than it looks! Gotta keep your head down and go hard the whole way. No excuses to slow down to look for turning buoys or to stop for a drink.

    I'm backing up at Penrith this Sunday for a more cruisy Bridge to Bridge endurance swim. The might be a couple of stops and a few slow strokes on that one!

  8. Thanks to everyone that threw their change in at the Avalon Beach Surf Swim BBQ, $137.95 was credited to the QLD Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal today....thanks !!!

    The Old Boys cooking up a storm !!


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