Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ante-Xmas swims...

Last chance for swims before Xmas at Brighton in Melbourne, Manly in Sydney, and Nobbys-Newcastle in, er, Newcastle... We were at Manly, where plenty of people were stung, although nowhere near as many or as badly as we'd feared.

Tell us what you thought about those swims...


  1. Starting the season with an injury
    We have a very short ocean swimming season in Victoria. It’s mainly December to end of February. There are a couple of swims either side, but most of the action is between Brighton in mid December and Pier to Perignon at the end of February.
    This year, I planned to start early with Edithvale to Aspendale. It’s a lovely straight 1.5 km course along the shore, from Edithvale Life Saving Club to Aspendale Life Saving Club.
    Even the most hardy ocean swimmer takes to the pool in winter. I am an outdoor kind of swimmer, so train all year round at Prahran pool , a no frills 50-metre outdoor pool open all year round.
    About three years ago, I decided to get serious about swimming and joined a squad. I now do two squads a week, an hour and an hour and a half. It takes a certain kind of dedication to go for a swim when air temperature is hovering between 3 and 6 degrees and the wind feels like is has come over from the Antarctic.
    But by November, and I felt ready. Then I got injured. I woke up one day after squad and my left shoulder hurt. I’m used to the ache after a hard set, but it’s never hurt to turn the wheel of the car before.
    It was four weeks before my first event. So off to the physio. She suspected shoulder inflammation or tear. She sent me for an MRI, and to the GP for anti-inflammatories. Good news, no tear. Bad news, no swimming. It’s bursitis.
    “Have you ever heard of CR,” the GP asked me. I looked blank. “Complete rest”.
    Now had it been mid winter, I would have lived with complete rest. But not just before Summer.... the season I spend the rest of the year training for.
    Back to the physio. More exercise, painful treatment. Not fixed. Off for an ultrasound, query cortisone shot.
    “Classic swimmers injury, and the right one isn’t much better than the left,” he says. I take the shot.
    Still not allowed to swim. Perversely, I go to the pool at the same time as squad, and forlornly kick up and down the public lane while watching what the real swimmers are doing.
    I missed Edithvale.
    “You risk doing serious and permanent damage” the physio said.
    Over a month after the injury I got back into the pool for a gentle 1.2 km to see if I could still do it. No pain, just very tentative.
    Saturday was my first event. Brighton 1.2 km.
    Best conditions I have seen at my local beach for this usually rough and ready swim. Hot day, calm water.
    I swam it like an old lady taking a car out for a test drive. Very carefully. Lots of stops to check where I was and how I was going.
    I’m not looking at the time. But I did it. I’m back in the water. Tomorrow squad beckons. Hope it doesn’t hurt.

  2. Really good day in Newcastle for the 1st Nobbys to Newcastle Ocean Swim. Newcastle SLSC should be congratulated for staging this new journey swim event. Starting between two reefs at Nobbys Beach, rounding rock shelves and Newcastle Baths, before finishing through a decent break at Newcastle Beach. Around 190 starters, good water safety and a friendly Newcastle atmosphere. Will only get bigger and better next year.

  3. My impressions of Nobbys 2 Newcastle ocean swim.
    - easy rego on the day
    - friendly NSLC members
    - that fantastic walk around the esplanade to Nobbys beach ( sorry OSC, no Pluto pups at Newcastle ocean baths kiosk)
    - the walk to the swim start underneath Nobbys headland.
    - the " we can't guarantee what's in the water " warning by the MC.
    - swimming out between the 2 reefs where the Pasha bulker got stranded in 2007
    - getting smacked by a set of 4 footers rolling in.
    - rounding the first buoy and feeling like we were miles off shore
    - jelly blubbers - ouch!
    - watching the reef and sandy bottom roll past
    - looking at Nobbys pavilion miles from off shore
    - the water getting suddenly very dark off Nobbys
    - swimming past the Cowrie hole and off the back of the Newcastle ocean baths ( sorry OSC, no pluto pups today)
    - jellies - OUCH!
    - easing up a little on the stroke to make sure I was ready for the final swim into the finish through more sets of 4 footers
    - rounding the last buoy and heading for home
    - pulling off the crest of a BIG wave just in time before the wave dumped big time
    - getting a massive calf cramp after pulling off the crest of the wave( maybe 200k on the bike the day before was now telling me something)
    - struggling to get the cramp sorted before swimming through the deep gutter to land on the beach.
    - run to the finish
    - STOKED!! What a great ocean swim, and in my back yar too!

    See you next year!

  4. Manly was as close to perfect as you can get: a bit of sun (woo hoo!), crystal clear water, rocky reefs abundant with sea creatures (and possibly a baby dusky whaler or two), gentle swell and mini shore break. Swimming around Cabbage Tree Bay is always a privilege.

    The organisers did a wonderful job. I'm talking about the volunteers on the barbecue, the young life savers out on the water keeping swimmers safe, the blokes at the starting line who explain the course and those people at the finish who help eejits like me remove their timing tags.

    Merry Christmas!

  5. Yes Manly was beauts, such a friendly atmosphere. Did anyone else take the shortcut over the rocks on the back leg of the 2k? A bit scary with the surfers and 10-15cm depth at times, but seemed to be worth it to catch the (faster) curved-line swimmers :)


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