Sunday, December 16, 2012

Lovely morn for a swim

Looked like a lovely morning for a swim, both in Newcastle, where the mob swam Nobbys to Newcastle, and in Sydney, where they swam through Cabbage Tree Bay at Manly. Was it noice at Bicton, too? We couldn't be there in person, although we had entrists in both events.

Where did you swim and how was it?


  1. Yes was very nice in the water at manly, a shame not to go out of the surf break (or at least come in on it - the waves looked splendid on the walk round to shelly).

    Good on manly slsc for putting on a $15 swim - unheard-of value really - but I suspect their generosity in also not putting up fees on the day led to punters waiting to see what would happen, and a consequent nightmare with the registration queue stretching out the door.

    We were two of the approximately 2,000 people silly enough not to pre-register on your eponymous site, and one stage it looked like we were simply going to miss the start of the short event. I won't be making that mistake again (in fairness, full credit should be given to the organiser/multisport for sensibly prioritizing the 1k & dealing with the huge number of late entries so efficiently)

    This was also the first (and I hope last) swim to have a dedicated MC giving the pre-race pep talk round at shelly. I think we got about ten minutes of natter before he finally let us swim - you give some people a microphone and the instant fame just goes to their head.

    All that delay in blabbing before the males started may have also explained the interesting results in the 1k; this is the first ever swim that I've seen 14 females in the top 20. It'd be interesting to see the timestamps on the start photos, as looking at the relative results of the top five or so to finish both swims it seems that the male open division got a ~4 minute handicap - at least we can say it's good for gender equality.

    So in summary, a good swim and pleasant as always north of the bridge, but let down by not structuring pricing to encourage people to pre-register (insert link here :), not braving the piddly surf, and having too much chat when all everyone wanted to do was swim.


  2. Stats are great too from the two swims:


    Average time (female/male) : 28'21"/30'25" (hmm)
    Median time (female/male) : 27'12"/30'04" (hmm again - presumably multisport is checking this)


    Average time (female/male) : 37'31"/30'04"
    Median time (female/male) : 37'27"/35'52"

    Issues with the 1k results aside, the spread in the 2k results is interesting in itself - the median female time is much better relative to the corresponding average than its male counterpart. One can only really conclude that females are being slightly demure and doubting their actual ability, while males just go for it, whatever their level, and fill out the back of the field as a result.

  3. Oops - 37'04 for the male 2k average - sub ed.

  4. I agree with AAAAAA re the problem at registration. To their credit the people manning the desks didn't seem to lose their cool. I will definitely be registering online again next year!

    Re nattering at the start - I found it hard to hear as sometimes the loud hailer was directed away from where I and other swimmers were standing. I saw the speaker pointing somewhere talking about buoys but couldn't see the buoys for all the heads in front of me and found it hard to hear because of people behind me talking. S'pose there is nothing the organisers can do about all that. I just followed the pack and unlike the pack I followed last week, the pack this morning stuck to the course.

    I last did this swim in the Cole Classic and found the pack was a much more manageable size this morning. However I didn't see any fish like last time I swam there. Apparently there were a few blue bottles but I didn't encounter any.

    Overall, an enjoyable swim!

  5. And oops again - substitute 'female' for 'male' in the second comment - the relatively lower male median is the prime indicator of the male spread

  6. Highlights at Shelly - the lifeguard picking out bluebottles from the water with his bare hands, and delivering them into the beach. 'Watch out for zee stinghers', he warned me - luckily he seemed to have removed all the blighters in the immediate vicinity :)

  7. Well done Manly SLC on resetting the course at the last minute- although I think the 1km was quite a bit longer than 1km. The water safety did a great job and I think the decision to switch was probably sensible judging by the amount of novice swimmers around. Also a shame though the finish at Manly in the surf would have provided a bit of fun.

    Well done also Manly on gathering up all those various caps at very short notice after having yours stolen. Who would do something like that?
    I totally agree with AAAAAA. Manly you have to offer an incentive to enter online in future years and not on the day as this proved to be a nightmare for the registration volunteers as well as long queues to even get up the stairs.

    I personally escaped the dreaded bluebottles, phew! The break off Fairy Bower point was fun in the 1km although as it was later pointed out to me probably a poor choice of route to take as the water was all over the place and hard to get any traction on.
    I enjoyed swimming the entire way in the 2km with a couple of friends and would like to thank them for being so generous as to grab my hands as I stumbled out of the water at the end (everyone knows I can't run) so we could all cross the line together. Gayle and Liz, you demonstrated good sportswomanship (is that a word?)
    Great summers day out at Manly, shame the presentation got canned. Does any one know why?

  8. After some fantastically organised Sydney swims over the last few weeks, even in the grumpy weather of bondi-bronte and bilgola, it was such a disappointment at manly today.

    I think suggesting the debacle at registration being due to them not putting the price is being a bit generous. There were a magnitude fewer registration people than other swims, the room was way too small for the numbers, they ran out of rego forms, at times the registration people weren't taking money only doing the numbers, and the next minute they were money collectors too... total confusion. But the most comical part of the process was when I had paid, had my number, chip and cap and was still holding my rego form. I kept saying to the registration people "don't you need my form? You don't even know who I am" - they hadn't taken note of my name at any point in the process and then appeared totally confused at me offering the completed form to them for their records. it made me laugh that after the swim, when one of the organisers was on the beach going around asking people if they still had their forms... duh!

    and agree with the comment above re the speaker on the beach. Hello, you can only hear whats being said in the direction of the speaker, which meant that only half the swimmers could hear the announcement at any time, given the announcer couldn't explain the course without actually looking at it.

    and please, please can you guys males and females separately - i don't know how many times over the years I've made this request. Guys think they're 'all that' off the beach, yet in the first 100m you have to swim around them, and man, are the guys vicious. They are so much heavier and bigger than us, and obvious feel themselves shrinking as a woman passes by, so for some reason feel the need to swim into us and generally be annoying.

    Such a shame that the organisation of this swim just sucked, because the day and the swim itself were beautiful, despite the bluebottles.

    bring on the new year swims!

  9. Give the poor bloke on the beach with the loudhailer a break. If you moved in noice and cosy, you would have heard him. He's a volunteer and this is his Sunday. The Christmas spirit is sadly lacking amongst Sydneysiders.

    And hey - pay before the day.

    Love from moi XXXXXXXX

  10. Well done Manly... thanks for putting on this cheap swim... So happy the weather gods were in your favor... great to see so many turn out for this swim... a couple of points:

    Yep - the course was a fair bit longer than designated but what the hell...

    Registrations were a bit of a fuss... but that's what you get for a cheap swim... thanks for the many patient volunteers (let's not forget that people!) dealing with many like me turning up on the day...

    Caps from Bondi to Bronte ??? I heard someone stole Manly's caps so they put a late call into the Bronte organisers the night before, who ran them over for them that morning! Pretty good sports hey... nice to see swims helping eachother out!

    Other swimmers... is there a huge amount more of testosterone in the Manly water or what? I've never been so bashed ... sure I haven't done that many swims... but I seriously think there was one guy using my right shoulder as target practice... the first 500m... when I pulled away he responded and when I slowed he didn't pass... seriously lucky I was a little hung as I was ready to belt him... where's the sportsmanship?

    Good value for what you get... see you in the New Year...!

  11. I was lucky enough to swim Nobbys to Newcastle on Sunday. It was one of those occasions when all of the elements come together. The weather was perfect, with a smallish northerly swell, clear water and a friendly crew of volunteers.

    After registering at Newcastle Beach, most trekked around the beach road to the start point at the northern end of Nobbys Beach. The start between the reefs makes for a scenic swim to the first bouy, lots of fish and waving sea grass. The course was well marked and the surf clubs had organised lots of water safety. The finish at Newcastle Beach was through a fairly shallow bank with occasional sets making it interesting for some (Not me, I swam all the way to the shore).

    Post race drinks were plentiful and the presentation was efficiently quick.

    Huge congratulations to Newcastle SLSC for organising this great event. It will take a big event to knock this one off the top of my favourite swims for the season.

  12. Loved your swim report this week Angela - "time warp at Manly". It was the funniest swim ever. Just when you thought it was over, the hits kept coming. Some challenges in getting to the start line, but once you were there you just had to "go with the flow" like you said. And any day swimming at Manly Beach in Summer is a good day. Even if you don't get to play in the surf. You can't always get what you want. Sometimes you just get what you need.

  13. I fully agree with the organisers decision to start the swim at Shelley. With the King Tide, the NE swell, the waves and next to no beach, it would have been a nightmare for a 1k swim with a significant number of novice swimmers.

    I had no problems registering for the 2k swim at about 9.30am; in and out in 2 minutes. The organisers should be commended for being able to change course and conduct that many registrations at late notice.

    I was unaware of the theft of Manly's caps. Well done to them and Bronte for getting replacements there.

    People could do with being a bit more reasonable in their expectations

  14. Pseudoscaphirhynchus fedtschenkoiDecember 19, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    Hats of to Manly for putting on 2 successful swims with what I consider
    minor inconveniences to some. Though it is unusual not to have a presentation
    after one of these things and seeing a couple of areas thats could have been improved upon
    I pondered on my walk back to the car what do we expect for our coin ?

    For me the water safety box in really the only item one that must be ticked.
    I suspect these races can't proceed anyway unless this is in place so its
    never too much of a concern for me.

    Timing is also high up my list but everything else is a nice to have.

    Whilst somewhat surpised there was no water
    at the end of the Manly, it did occur to me I had my own drinks anyway and
    there was also a fountain not 30m from the finish. How difficult is it
    really to come self sufficient anyway ?

    Being such a good value race that ticked the most important boxes it almost seemed
    churlish to make a make mention of these lower ticket items.

    Anyone else ?

    Bring back the survey !

  15. Would have been nice to swim, but organisers ran out of timing chips! Suggested that we could swim without, but they weren't interested. How hard would it have been to accommodate a couple of dozen extra swimmers at the back?

    Timing chips have nothing to do with water safety - I suspect the organisers were just frustrated after a hectic morning and couldn't be bothered.

    Of course I should have booked online - and normally do - but it was a shame to miss out on such a glorious day.

  16. What day is it now...and still no contact has been made to those swimmers who paid their money, competed at an awesome beach swim on Decemeber 16, lucky enough to gain a place overall....but not considered worthy of a phone call or email regarding prizes.



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