Sunday, December 11, 2011

The saddest moment of the season...

The saddest moment of the ocean swimming season, we reckon, is the moment we leave Bilgola. Each year, it's an enormous build up towards this beautiful boutique swim, but then it's over in such a rush, the swim, the post-swim drink, the fruit, the barbie, the preso, and our traditional quiet little drink with Billie swim organiser Cap'n Graham Foran.

Billie proves the maxim that the swim is the catalyst for the culcha. The swim is lovely, noice. But the swim is the precursor to a wonderful afternoon on the Bilgola club's front lawn, a manicured, pleasant little verdant oasis overlooking one of Sydney's prettiest beaches. The bar is the best on the circuit, a surf club at last having found a good use for a surfboat: they've cut one in two, longitudinally, and mounted it as the club's bar. Buying a drink there is a culchural experience in itself. Then there's the yarning, the story-swapping, the boasting, the whingeing, the catching up with old friends, the catching up with friends you haven't seen since last week, or since squad last Fridee.

But the entire day happens in such a rush. Then, suddenly, it's over. The swim is done. Everyone's gone home, and we're going home, too. Done for another year.

It leaves us with a sense of loss, like finishing a good book. A blur, like our wedding day.

What did you think?


  1. Beautiful swim yesterday. How good were those big balloons above the turning cans? Made it so easy to navigate the course.

  2. Wow, I concur with everything said above, such a shame it's over for another year! Glorious weather, glorious beach, friendly atmosphere, great organisation, lovely swim! Had a bit of a doosie myself going way off track, halfway down the other end of the beach after turning the last buoy, but thanks to the lifeguards for steering me back in the right direction! That was just my attempt at prolonging the swim this year (and I'll also blame a bit on my foggy goggles and lack of buoy-spotting skills!). Shall be back next year :)

  3. yep... those balloons should be used in all swims i think...

  4. Is it just me or does the break at Bilgola suddenly get bigger between 11.00 am and 12 noon on a particular Sunday each year? I'm sure it wasn't that big when we arrived to register! As always a nice easy course to navigate thanks to the balloons. That's now 3 challenging swims in a row - can we please have easier conditions for Manly on Sunday?

  5. The balloons were great and how much fun was the shore break. Lost another pair of goggles on the way in while pretending I could body surf...

  6. Balloons on the buoys were fantastic. But the timing chips, not so. Dodgy velcro meant that I lost one, and despite talking to an organiser as I crossed the line, I'm not on the results sheet. I know of two others who have experienced a similar problem (and a number of others who commented on the dodgy old velcro on the chips). Please swim organisers, give us good timing chips!

  7. Good swim, Great conditions.

    I'm liking it that the numbers seem to be down on the ocean swims so far this year. No queues at registration and not getting smashed at the bouys.

    Hey, Did Santa's elves run off with the punters lucky draw prizes. I thought we were giving away a bunch of special goodies from Blackmores after the presentation.

  8. Fantastic swim and love the balloons on the buoys!

    Its a beautiful beach and the Bilgola club is full of down to earth, friendly people.

    Awesome event. Keep it up Bilgola !

  9. New Years Resolution - More Podium Finishes
    Start Strategy:
    Start in the wrong wave
    Bouy Strategy:
    1 2 miss a few Finish
    The Peach Farmer

  10. Apologies to the Yellow wave lady I swam over the back of at buoy #2. I got squeezed on both sides and had nowhere else to go. I didn't expect your sudden change of pace, so thought I would have tapped your calves at worst.

  11. dear peach farmer,
    that would be funny if it were true
    everyone knows you don't need to accidentally cheat to podium - you're too good a swimmer
    you can't even come last when you try (monavale cold)
    love from sbk


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