Sunday, November 13, 2011

Back to the 'roy...

Lovely day at Collaroy, and what a revelation was "the bottom". Sure, there were some very noice bottoms that we passed, and which passed us, but particularly the one way down below. Looking out from the beach, Collaroy -- "the 'roy", as Judy Playfair refers to it, a beach where her family was instrumental in setting up the surf club 100 years ago -- looked a bland swim. A champagne glass course, keeping it simple.

The organising club, led by former explosive Tigers centre Denis Bendall, didn't want too many complications. But what a discovery once you're in the water! A bottom full of reef and weed and, consequently, sea life. Big rays, little rays, wobbies sitting on the bottom, and a pod of dolphins swimming through the peloton mid-race, Bendall reported afterwards, although no swimmer we consulted actually saw them. Pity.

It was a luvverly day out, and well worth the trip, and a top effort by Bendall and his cobbers for their first time swim.

Next year's is November 11.

What did you think of today's swim?


  1. Collaroy.....never been there before, but would love to go back again. For Collaroy Surf Clubs first ocean swim event, they did a remarkably good job. The elements contributed to the good day by providing smooth conditions, little wind and a fine day, but the dedicated band of volunteers are what ensured a good ocean swim. I heard a couple of negative comments regarding the waves starts, but I thought that the decision to send the older swimmers first was excellent. It was great to start in the early waves and arrive at the finish while there was still lots of fruit left! Makes a nice change. Thank you to the club and their numerous volunteers.

  2. Congratulations to Denis and his wonderful team of friendly volunteers. Amazing to think this was a first run swim, it seemed like they'd been doing it for years. Extremely well organised and a fun swim. Loved the rays and dolphins who joined us too. The check in, briefing, timing and presentation all went very smoothly. The pretty bottom was a nice bonus. Also so lovely to see many old friends again from last season. My prediction is that this will become a very popular start to the season. I will definitely be back!

  3. Ahh...respect for elders. Nothing beats it. Thanks Collaroy for a successful debut.There will be more again next time on the strength of this year.

  4. A big thank you to Collaroy for putting on a great swim. Very enjoyable swim and well organised too, especially considering it was a first run for this swim. I was surprised at the aquatic scenery and although I didn’t get to see the dolphins I am assured by a reliable source that they were there. I will definitely be back again next year.

    It was great to see so many people turn out to this new swim as well. Just goes to show how eager we all are to get back into the swing of things after that horrible winter weather.

  5. Great swim ! I saw the Dophins swim by as well which added an extra smile. Well organised and fun! Where are the results ?!

  6. Loved the swim, terrific organisation...And the giant yellow cans made it easy to see were i was supposed to be going.
    See you next year!

  7. My wife just noticed a parking ticket on the windscreen from yesterdays swim!
    I thought parking was free for these events! We parked in the carpark next to the collaroy beach services club, and left straight after the presentation.
    Did anyone else get done? I am very dirty about this as I dont mind paying my way and would have bought a ticket if I thought I needed one.
    I have swam at most of the events around Sydney, and was always under the impression that as long as you parked legally the rangers left you alone during the event... Am I wrong?

  8. That's true for some areas, such as the Pittwater Council area, where they usually allow a time period during which parking is free provided you park legally. Warringah Council, where Collaroy lies, is very different. Stories are legion of harsh treatment and no support or welcome at all for ocean swimmers. We've suffered from this ourselves. The rule, then, is that unless you know specifically that there are special conditions applying to parking at a swim venue, then don't risk it. Buy your ticket. We don't think said anything about parking at Collaroy, because we'd been told nothing, so we assumed, as with other Warringah swims, that no mercy would be shown. Apparently, it wasn't.

  9. T'was fabulous - the swim, the location, the clear water - and a gorgeous day in what some say is God's own country. Discarding my wetsuit for this swim - and revelling in a delightful water temp and once again the freedom of just me, my colouful cossies & new goggles in the ocean wild (plus all those other swimmers). Love the 'sticky note' timings & relaxed queue to get said timing recorded. One for the diary every year. Dophins invited again.

  10. Thanks for the reply and the clarification on the parking OS.C..
    The worst part about it all was when I pulled up into the spot my wife told me to get a ticket, and I replied with my fountain of knowledge that us ocean swimmers are a revered lot, and the council wave all our parking.

    The "I told you so's" hurt more than the fine.

    All in all I had a great day, swim was tops, and organized beautifully.

    I think I will be riding the motorbike into Dawny's..

  11. Great swim. Great conditions. Clearest briefing in my experience. Congratulations and thanks to club and volunteers.

  12. I can't add anything new to previous comments, except to confirm that I thought the swim was so well run it seemed as if Collaroy has been running them for years. The volunteers were all very helpful and cheerful, plenty of delicious fruit and water afterwards (and as an older swimmer, I didn't mind being sent off in one of the early waves), and the barbecue was also well worth the investment. My bacon and egg sandwich with onions was delicious. Thank you Collaroy for a wonderful Sunday. I'll be back too!


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