Sunday, November 27, 2011

'round the island and over the coral...

Coogee is a glorious swim, made better when you get to see at close-up the bottom around Wedding Cake Island. In recent years, we haven't seen that much of that beautiful bottom -- all Devil's Marbles boulders on the beach side, and wavey, weedy reef on the ocean side -- because the booees have been set for safety and kept us wide. This time, however, through some quirk of booee laying, the first return reach, after rounding the outermost booee outside the island, had us almost crossing the corner of the island if you took a straight line booeee-to-booee. Watching from that outermost booee, where we did vox pops with our Olympus video camera, you could see the sets breaking on the island almost across the course. So swimming that leg wasn't just heading from booee to booee, but also keeping out of the way of the swell, heading a bit more to the south. The advantage, however, was that we got to see more reef close up. It is one of the most beautiful bottoms you will ever see. And we are so lucky to get to swim over it. Not many people get to do that...

Up in the Tweed River, by the way, we had reports of the water, which was brown, which meant you couldn't quite see the coral that Killer said was down there. They're developing the Killer brand, by the way, with the release this year of The Killer wine label, a pinot grigio was one we saw tweeted by our correspondent in locus, Roger Muspratt. Roger also was presented with a Golden Globe Award for his report on of this swim last year. The Golden Globe was... er, a golden light globe. Well, perhaps all the Golden Globes from Hollywood have been taken. That corresponds with the Lucky Door Prize at the Tweed River Swim, which is a door...

And at Redliffe, near Brisbane, there was the 3rd leg of the Great Australian Swim Series, this leg won this year by Trent Grimsey and Melissa Gorman. Not a bad effort for Grimsey who, on Saturday, won the 5km and was second in the 10km events in the WA Swimming Open Water Swim Series in... PERTH! Grimsey flew back overnight on the red-eye. Perhaps he won today because he was still warmed up from Perth...

In Melbourne, the season kicked off with the Edithvale-Aspendale Club to Club swim. Can anyone tell us what happened there...

But tell us what you thought... comments below, if you please...


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this years Tweed swim, its becoming one of my favourites, easy to get to priced well and you can do the 400m as well as a 1.2k or 2.5k. I chose the latter. I unfortunately couldn't see the rare fish and beautiful coral however the water temperature was great the sun shinning, the water tinged brown and I couldn't see my elbow....... So perfect conditions. The course is pretty straight forward and marked well with the buoys. Plenty of water safety which is great. Good to see the timing chips. Another successful Tweed River swim by Killer, complimented with a spectacular LIME green competitors tshirt that masked the brown sludge smile we all had!

  2. I always like swimming Wedding Cake Island as my first swim of the season as I reckon if I can swim Wedding Cake, I can do any other swim this season! Always a challenge, always a great swim and always friendly and enthusiastic volunteers. Thanks Coogee Surf Club for another great swim!

  3. Very well organised. Good atmosphere, friendly people, and quite low key, which is a nice change from the mega-swims that attract the hordes of people.
    Water was fine - would recommend it, particularly if flat water is more to your liking than the ocean

  4. Yeah great swim, but can someone tell me why they were still adjusting the course AFTER the elite crew took off for the 2.4km swim? Blind Freddy could see the northern buoy was way off line. Thought the back half of the course was poorly marked... a mate of mine was told he had to swim around those inside buoys when he was heading in... the announcer told us to ignore them... can do better i reckon.
    Nick, Clovelly

  5. Fantastic swim yesterday at Coogee, was a long stretch out to the island and was almost two thirds of the way around before realised we were around the island! Lots of visible water safety as usual with Coogee and great atmosphere both before and after the swim. Congrats to the organisers.

    It was great to see a number of the triathlon crowd out as well. I think they add something to the swims, (GPS watches, wetties in warm water spring to mind) and as a sport are ones to push the boundaries and look to improve how things are done, so bravo and please keep coming to the ocean swims over summer. A few tips for the tri crowd though who may not be familiar with etiquette in ocean swimming. It’s bad form to sit on somebody’s feet for a race and drag off them without taking a turn up front. I know this is de rigueur in tri circles but in the more egalitarian ocean swimming crowd, we take turns.

    It’s even worse form to sit on somebody’s feet and touch their toes every stroke for the first half of a swim, even Spot wouldn’t do that! So firstly, if you catch my timing chip and it comes off with this rude behaviour, I’ll be stopping you and taking your chip. Second, you don’t gain any advantage by being another 5cm closer, all you gain is my animosity and the potential for a swift, accidental, kick in the head. Finally, if you were sitting on the beach and some strange person you didn’t know came up and starting grabbing your toes and feet, you’d think they were a complete fruitcake. Just because we’re in a swimming race together it doesn’t change that.

  6. Apologies to Aquagirl72 & KAOSVIC as I don't have their poetry with words. Friday night the rain started, Saturday morning it was still going, the wife said stay home but it was the first swim of the season and I was sick of black lines, considering the weather it was a good turn up with alot of familiar faces. Something about most swimmers they are happy to say hello on the walk up to the start. Clear water, hardly any noticable current, friendly finishline. Picked up a spot prize to top it off. Heavens open up as presentations happen and I was home in time for the kids swimming lesson. Best way to start the day. Bring on the season

  7. C'Mon Iain, you wear pink swimmers and you wonder why you get picked on.

    Surely , the absolute highlight of the day was hearing the woman with the annual 'express glass' microphone complaining about the aircraft noise?

    Like anyone could hear a 747 over your endless 'express glass' announcements.

  8. Fantastic swims at coogee yesterday - congratulations to the organisers! Really well-marked course - lots of water safety lovelies in bright shirts filled in the gaps between buoys, offering encouragement and showing us the way around.

    I got a lovely view of the bottom. In fact, there were bits where it didn't seem to move...

    I also glimpsed a couple of superfish in HOFFs swimmers speeding past me.

    I have nothing against wetsuits - i was out there for an hour sans wettie and with plenty of natural insulation, but i was pretty frozen when i got in. Shivered for nearly half an hour after, finally warming up in front of the bbq. So whatever gets ya through it i reckon.

    Great swim - well-organised, challenging and a great crowd

    Thanks coogee slsc!

  9. How about some new questions in the survey...

    How many excuses had you made up before you got to the first bouy?
    How did you rate Spot's pre race antics?
    How close did you get to Mr Oceanswims at the start?
    How many times did you get tapped on your feet?
    How fast would you have gone if you trained more?
    Did your time improve by staring at the results?
    Mr August

  10. Thanks Coogee SLSC for hosting such a great event. Water certainly warmer than last year. It was also great to see The Sunday Telegraph (News Ltd - no phone hacking jokes) sponsor this event and I believe other events this summer without gouging you. In comparison Fairfax sponsored swims are way beyond any value. Shame on you Fairfax. No wonder the Fairfax family sold out of your company several weeks ago.

  11. From the organisers of the Tweed River (Killer) swim: Thanks to all of our long-term supporters and welcome to our newbies in 2011. We thought it was another great day, there was a lot of love in the air!
    See you all next year, Marc Vining

  12. Thx OceanSwims organisers & volunteers. I enjoyed the Coogee Express Island Challenge. Was it just me who missed out on the fruit & bottled water (if any) at the end of the 2.4km race? or that this year were no sponsors to kindly provide us with some juicy fruits & sports drinks? At least we had some cups of water & someone hosing the sand off the swimmers...


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