Monday, January 2, 2012

Summer at last...

We had swims all over the place on the New Year's Day public holiday, and all of them adhered to a theme: it's summer at last. First time in three outings that we've had a glorious day at Black Head (see HRH Michael Fox dolphining out for the start of the 700m event, above, after which he said to us: "If you ever see us dolphining out at the start again, stop us. We got out the back and we had nothing left". Ah, the joys of ageing.)

Newport, too, had its best day in three years. Yamba was a stark turnaround from last year, when the weather heralded floods. Point Lonsdale was a cracker, Aquagirl says. And Dicky Beach, whilst overcast, was loved by all, it seems.

We were at Black Head, fast becoming one of our favourite days out, since it's a day tour from Sydney, a glorious, largely untouched beach on the Lower North Coast of NSW. And we come back, because of holiday traffic, through Gloucester and over the Col du Dungog and through Dungog, Clarence Town (calling in our our brother), and down the back roads back to Sydney.

We love it.

But tell us what you thought... And don't forget to fill in our ocean swimmer feedback form for the swim which you attended... Links on the home page.

Add your comments through the comments link below.


  1. I'd like to suggest that the organisers of the swims in Sydney (or other cities) get together and decide on a permanent colour for swim caps for each age group, and make it across the board.

    This would reduce the environmental waste caused by receiving a swim cap at each event. It could either be run on a penalty system (ie need to pay $2 for a cap if you do not have the correct cap when registering), or a donation system in which the the cost of the unneeded swim cap could get donated to the swim's 'prefered charity' if a swimmer arrives with the right coloured cap.

    I recognise that this could create issues with sponsors and possible interruptions of wave arrangements, but I believe that this initiative would be for the greater good, especially in a sport such as ocean swimming, where teh environmental damage caused by plastics in the oceans is widley recognised by the participants.

    Gavin Sandercoe

  2. Thought Newport was a lovely swim once again, thanks to the organisers for a very well-run event.

    The only downer was the parking fine I received upon returning to my car...even though I parked in the same spot as I did last year when Pittwater council provided free parking to ocean swimmers.

    Does anyone know whether Pittwater council offered this again this year??

  3. Loved Pt Lonsdale, have to agree with Aqua Girl it was great. Felt I was swimming sideways to get across the outgoing tide to the finish. Looked at the weather and decided to swim nude and really enjoyed it, so what if I didn't win (as if) seeing all the sea life made up for it.
    As for Gavins comments about caps it's a good idea but I like to collect mine with the various swim names on them, it's the only trophy I'm likely to collect

  4. I wouldn't have parked in the council car park had I known the waiver for ocean swims no longer applied.

    Otherwise, glorious day, beautiful beach, great swim and absolutely no regrets about the two generous glasses of champagne consumed the night before. Served me right.

  5. Newport was great way to start the new year. Couldn't think of better. Got lucky with the car park, when I got there it was full. Otherwise would have made the same mistake as Iem and been really pissed off.

    Bit of swell made sure swim was what an ocean swim should be and caught the most cracking wave on the way in to the beach. Still smiling about that wave today.

    The volunteers on tent duty were great. The Harris Farm fruit was top notch. Even the piece of paper with my time on it was within 1 second of my stopwatch. Amazing. Would already be marked on my calendar for next year, if I had one yet.

  6. PS

    Agree wholeheartedly with Gavin about the caps.

  7. I think Gavin's heart is in the right place but his idea of recycling caps would add quite a bit of unnecessary admin to the events for the already busy organising crews. Besides, I don't want to wear the same cap to every swim. The caps are very thin and would tear after a few swims. It's easier to recover a torn cap from the pool than during an ocean swim. Like many ocean swimmers, I wear mine in the pool and pass on any extras to others so they are not wasted PLUS it's free advertising for the lifesaving clubs' events. Many a time someone has stopped me in the pool to ask about the diff swims mentioned on my cap. Also I know it's silly but I like getting different colours each's part of the pageantry!
    Newport was bliss. Perfect weather, water temp finally comfortable, wonderful hospitality, and as mentioned above, the delicious Harris Farm fruit which appears at the Northern Beaches swims. We parked in the car park right on the beach front and didn't receive a ticket, just a flyer about the Long Reef Tour of Buoys - is this the parking area everyone is talking about?

  8. Great day at Newport on Sunday. Beautiful weather, good conditions and a well run swim. Well done to Newport SLSC. However Pittwater Council tried hard to ruin my day as I too got a parking fine. I've been doing ocean swims for many years now and it was always the policy of Pittwater Council to waive fees at their beach carparks until 2pm. Guess that's a thing of the past now.

  9. Aquagirl, you captured the magic of the Pt Lonsdale swim perfectly in your blog and photos. Well done on impressive result too!

  10. Yes parking is always an adventure on the northern beaches. I'd say someone at Pittwater Council didn't get the email about the advertised ample free parking.

  11. I love the 'sustainable' attitude towards cap colors and recycling, but I'm torn as I love collecting them also; they are mementos from my swimming past. I look after them with pride and even sus out other swimmers' caps at the pool to see where they've swum. As there is no 'governing body' of oceanswims, I think this would be a huge project to instigate, not to say that it can't be done. There's also the issue of people knowing what color cap they need to wear, so it may encourage 'bandits' to race without paying.
    This idea is certainly worth further thought, I like where you are coming from Gavin.
    Thank you Kerry for your encouragement and your contribution above,and also to 'anonymous'for your shared views on the Point Lonsdale swim. It's certainly a fantastic swim to enter, especially if you are an interstate swimmer wanting to experience a wonderful bay swim in Victoria.

  12. Just to weigh in on the cap issue, the Dawny swim people had a "recycle" bin for everyone to throw their used caps in. Cuts the clubs costs, does a little bit towards saving the environment and solves the problem of too many caps laying about at home

  13. If you email or phone Pittwater council they will waive your parking fine

    1. Hi Anonymous, I called Pittwater council about my parking fine, and they told me it's not up to them, rather the SDRO, and that they've never heard of this waiver... do you have any advice??


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