Friday, May 27, 2011

Another New Beginnings End

2010-2011 Another year of swimming tragic

.. But I'm not the only one


Eight Ball

Bondi Beach, Australia

Ocean swimmers are an independent bunch
While the rest of the world follows calendar years, or summer and winter seasons
I love it that we've decided that the Australian ocean swimming season finishes at the end of May and starts again at the beginning of June
For no real reason, other than the sea water on the south east coat of Australia is usually warm-ish from November until May, the cool-ish from June to October

I have enjoyed some good swimming over the last 12 months
Followed pretty much the same regime as last year with pool training and ocean swim races most weekends in summer, but ventured a little further afield and extended with some longer swims and some adventure swims
Some glimpses of improvement in swim times, not getting slower anyway
Total distance swum in open water races was about the same as last year
I got off to a slow start with no swims entered in October, while I completed a lifesaving course.
And then ditched a couple of the crowded swims that I didn't enjoy from last year
Although did end up doing more 5k longer swims than last season

I don't think os.c is giving out the results of the Ocean Swim Tallies until the presentation nite next month, I'll have to wait and see if I'm in the running again for Magoo's Distance Tallies Trophy. I did hear that some other swimmers had made a late charge with some longer swims this month.

Highlights from last season ...

- Magnetic Island to Townsville swim 8k -
Loved completing a challenging long swim in tough conditions, Loved the rolling celebration party afterwards - From the Surf Club, to the Waterworks Hotel in Townsville, to the Sun Ferry, to the Picnic Bay Hotel on Magnetic Island - Remember what happens on the island, stays on the island

- Pan Pacs Masters Open Water Swim 5k - A fun swim around a small lake on the Gold Coast - Took home a gold medal (team) and a silver medal (individual). Sometimes race selection is more important than swimming ability

- Sri Chinmoy Lake Swim Canberra 5k -
Not what I was expecting - heavy rains had brought muddy brown water and a strong wind chopped up the course. A good challenge and I enjoyed finishing

- "Bold & Beautiful" Manly Swims -
Some good informal swims with B&B Swimmers - including a "10k" harbour swim and "10k" ocean swim, both swims supported with paddler and fully catered with a teddy bear's picnic at the halfway mark

- "Across the Heads Swim" with B&B Swimmers and - Tough conditions, a little nervous, a good challenge. I never thought I would be doing something like that when I started ocean swimming a few years ago

- Around Cape Banks Swim - Little Bay to La Perouse - Informal swim with Murray Cox ( - another good adventure

- Coogee to Bondi Redux - An Informal swim with my Seas The Limit training buddies - Good confidence booster to complete a swim 5k in big seas, rough water and 2m swell

- South Head Roughwater Swim - with Murray's team - spectacular scenery and quite fun actually

- Swimming at Coogee every weekend (almost) all year round with my old swimming friends

- Swimming in an ocean swim event somewhere up or down the coast most weekends in summer with my new friends from ocean swimming

Thanks coach Chad for keeping the training fun and interesting and helping me with the confidence and mental preparation needed to take on longer and more challenging swims

Every swim is still an adventure for me


  1. No offence Richard but from your previous blogs I thought you were out the back in or near the old farts' waves (where I am). How did you score such great colours? I tended to get mainly pinks and purples this year. I hate this problem about what to do with them, over 12 this season. I don't like keeping things I don't use. Meanwhile, they're hidden in a drawer so I don't have to make a decision - such great memories! Roll on summer...

  2. We decided to end the season on May 31 for logistical reasons. At the time, there were no more swims in NSW until November, and we had to get all the stats finalised for the James Squire Brewery Night in June. We have to prepare awards, you see, for presentations. Nothing to do with water temp or anything otherwise.

  3. some serious questions
    does richard have children?
    does richard have " a she who is to be obeyed"?
    I put forward that oceanswimming joins The Mens Shed Association, so that we can all get Government grants. I need a 316 S.S. Zimmer Frame so that I can get in the water my knees are --------------------------!
    the peach farmer

  4. Good work Richard, and nice wall of latex. I must say I'm highly supportive of the mens swimming shed association - last year had a girlfriend, swam ~16 swims. This year, having broken said shackles, swam 30 so far - please see picture at bottom; and that doesn't include last year's Mona Vale Coldwater. No matter what seems to think, I count the upcoming event as firmly within this swimming year, demarcated only by the freezing climes of Winter in tropical Sydney.

    Anyway, being such a worthless layabout, I decided to work out some stats on my swimming year, as follow:-

    Oceanswims entered : 30, 31 including Mona Vale 2010
    Entry costs to a good cause : ~650
    Entry costs to Fairfax : $50
    Sausage sandwich costs : $150 (highlight was definitely the works sandwich at Avalon; other clubs please take note of the care of preparation and sheer volume of this masterpiece)
    Total distance raced : 65km
    Total training km : 150km (like I said, a layabout)
    Best/Worst/Average ratio wrt winning time : 1.25 / 1.52 / 1.37
    Best / Worst / Average percentile 8 / 51 / 27
    Best / Worst / Average category percentile 1 / 52 / 21 (nice slow category, thanks guys!)
    And finally, percentage improvement from last season : 0.0% (possibly negative)

    For the swim awards themselves:

    * Best adventure : Stanwell Park
    * Most horrible hungover swim : Balmoral
    * Best club atmosphere : Warriewood (congrats on their inaugural namesake swim too)
    * Rainist, foggiest and windiest swim (with the most interesting chop) : Queenscliff - what an appropriate ordeal to get through in support of such a good cause
    * Shortest ratio to advertised distance : A tie between the Coogee 5k (nonetheless props for putting that on in the conditions) and Forrester's Beach 3k, although I still suspect I took a large shortcut over the reef
    * Best fun swim : Cole Classic, strangely. Maybe it's the spectacle in itself
    * Best scenery : Tie between the Sydney Harbour Classic and Dawny-Cockatoo - swimming in the lee of the massive cranes at Cockatoo Is. was highly memorable
    * Biggest mental challenge : Coogee Island swim. Glad I didn't do the 1k too.

    And the caps map, just for comparison :

  5. Hey thanks I added your caps photo to this blog above
    Lots of the same swims, but all different colours !

    Good work, doing like ALL the ocean swims this year. More ocean swims than me, I made up the distance with some longer freshwater open water swims. You should test yourself with a couple of these longer swims next season, for a different swimming experience

    Good to see that you managed to bring in a big season of ocean swimming for under $1000. I may have gone over budget this year with away trips to QLD & ACT.

    Sorry I don't fancy your chances of finding another girlfriend anytime soon, now that you have OCD (Oceanswim Compulsive Disorder)

    I liked your "swimawards" above - there should be official recognition for these every year eg. shortest & longest ratio to advertised swim distance.
    BTW - remember to get yourself along to the os.c awards presentation nite next week. It's been a big season of oceanswimming this year all round

  6. Hello Richard, yes I thought I'd make the most I could of this season - after my boss introduced me to the open water in 2009-10 (thanks SS) I missed it too much in the off-season to not maximise my saltwater exposure for 2010-11.

    Will definitely try to get out and give you a good run for total distance next year - take note that you're giving away all your high-km secrets with the caps and helpful listings above :)

  7. Jesus H. Is WoJo actually a fish?


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