Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sad clash of two good 'uns

Two good swims clashed today in Sydney. Avalon and North Bondi both are very good events. At least with North Bondi, it's reprised in February, which is why we went today to Avalon, which is once a year. We'll be at North Bondi next time.

The clash didn't favour Avalon, which suffered drop in entries, whilst North Bondi experienced a healthy increase on last year, albeit off earlier peaks, at least in terms of online entries. These two swims used to run on the same day regularly, but a few years back, January had five Sundays and they could separate. Not so this year, particularly now that Newport has established itself on the first Sundee in January on the Northern Beaches. Avalon has nowhere else to go.

That said, conditions were superb at both locations: Avalon had swell enough to make it interesting, but it was breaking into a high tide, so the swell was boisterous but forgiving, apart from a nasty little dump right on the shore. North Bondi is usually gently, in the corner at the northern end of Bondi beach. The water was warm, relatively clear and, very importantly these days, bluey-free.

Tell us about your swim.. click the comments button below...


  1. I signed up on line for the 1km swim [combo] at North Bondi.

    Arrived on time, all set. See my age group start at 9.27am.

    On the beach-event on time.

    My age group the last wave.

    Behind us, a group who are allowed to use fins, floaties, whatever.
    As we line up, the marshalls decide we should all be together.

    I found this very unprofessional as well as uncomfortable - if I wanted to be with the rubber duckie group, I would have enrolled.

    Would they do this with any other age group?

    Don't they know that we are the future? Look all you 20, 30 and 40 year olds, here are some 60 year olds still swimming! Hope you are at that age!

    We are also the past-most of us swimmers for more than 30 years-this should be celebrated not denigrated.

    My son and daughter-both in their mid 20s thought that this was rude to the older swimmers and completely contrary to the respect that should be given to these elders of the sport. They were very strong about it.

    If the organisers want to 'shuffle' us at the last minute then at least do it with the next younger group-not the ones who are not true ocean swimmers.

    I notice by the way that the organisers charge exactly the same for each age group-so lets have us all treated equally as well.


    1. Um, if you want everyone to be treated equally then why do you mind being with the "rubber duckie" group? Aren't they equals?

  2. I had a good swim at Bondi. Somehow, despite there being 4 Bondi swims in the calendar each summer (perhaps more??) I hadn't done one before today. Just for the occasion I bought myself some new togs, as one must look the part at Bondi.

    From the M30-34 group, it seemed well organised and the support crew were quick to help at the end. I'll be back in Feb for the next one.

  3. Too many bondi swims - they're all the same course anyway repeated four times during the season, and a shame if this contributed to entries to avalon (who only have one swim) being halved from their peak.

    I'd love it if swim organisers could work out the logistics of how to schedule a swim on a saturday (Curl Curl does it in December, and still gets 800 entries when the Bondi-Bronte is on the very next day), or to join the other swims brave enough to schedule during the gaps in october/november - the water's plenty warm enough then :)

    Nice day out yesterday at Avalon in any case, nortern beaches are always nice and a pleasant change from the hustle and bustle of the east, although I've still got that red sand stuck to my feet!

    Btw Bondi now have a full month on the calendar - when are they going to stop being so greedy? ->

  4. Crank Old Sea OtterJanuary 14, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    Cranky old sea otter has left a new comment on your post "Sad clash of two good 'uns":

    Too many swims? Think I've heard it all now. I call it choice, not greedy. Very happy for Bondi to put on an alternative to Cole.

    Good suggestion on Sat swims. I think you're on the right tack there.

    Thumbs up for Bondi for yesterday -- efficient as ever despite not having a clubhouse. One satisfied punter.

  5. I love the Bondi swims and Sunday's was as well organised as ever.

    My only beef was those swimmers that suddenly stop doing freestyle and put in some unannounced breaststroke with a few kicks in my face or torso. I had at least half a dozen do this, but not sure why.

  6. Bondi did a smart marketing thing by offering the four swims for $80. A bargain I couldn't resist. I know it's not supposed to be a contest between clubs to attract competitors but that's what swayed me.

    Otherwise I would have happily headed north to have Blue Ribbon Bronny shoot me into the water - oh no not her again.

  7. I was one of the 503 finishers at the Avalon swim on Sunday. It had been a while since I'd done a swim there and it was as enjoyable as I remember. I was there with 2 friends who are new to ocean swimming this season. For one of them Avalon was their first swim! She says she's hooked already and will be back next week for Warriewood to Mona Vale.

  8. I'm still getting over the advert..."Meet Running Singles"...I do...every day...but they're running away.

  9. Gotta agree with Shayne... I also couldn't resist and entered the 4 Bondi swims for $80. It's my local beach, so whatever swim is happening down there, I'm going to be a keen starter. This was the first time I've done both swims in an event and, surprisingly, I wasn't far off 3rd in my category in the 1km. Normally the only prize I can ever hope for is a lucky dip. I guess there aren't many people entering the 1km in my age group. Now that I've put that out there, it'll never happen again.

    Numbers for 2km were pretty much in-line with the past few years, but still down on the record of close to 1000 in 2010. I keep expecting numbers to be growing, but maybe they would have if it wasn't for the clash with Avalon. Yes - a Saturday swim could be interesting to avoid a date clash, particularly this early in the year when there also wouldn't be any clashes with school sport for parents. My problem over the next few months for other swims will be clashes with Nippers.

    The North Bondi swims seem to always run pretty seemlessly, as it was again on Sunday: Clearly presented course, short times between starting waves, plenty of fruit and drink at the finish. Well done to the crew for the quick replacement of the first turning buoy which decided to deflate only a few minutes out from the start of the first 2km wave. I think the yellow replacement buoy was actually an improvement on the white buoy used for the 1km swim which was a bit hard to spot against the grey sky. The most visible/effective buoys I can remember were the hot pink ones from the Bondi-Bronte swim.

    Thanks to all the North Bondi volunteers and crew.


  10. Thanks to oceanswims, Avalon SLSC for another great swim on 13th. Only little thing to spoil a great day were the 'get outa my way' dudes that need to get that time. Can't swim round you, but just have to swim over you. In my second year of ocean swims now I get the impression from many punters like me, that the majority are out there for the sheer thrill of swimmin', and enjoying another beaut day in Sydney. Why can't the dudes and gals with that time to get start in the front, say in 2 or 3 waves, and we'll happily bring up the rear in peace. Everything else about these events is organized well, and it appears easily, so how about it? See yous at Mona. Simon, Newport

  11. At 48 I'm a newbie to swimming and ocean swimming. It was with a great deal of fear and trepidation I tackled Newport. After 500m of agonsing doubt I put my head down and swam the 2km.Almost last out but I felt like I had conquered the world. The beach was crowded not cos they got there first but they were cheering me home!! So Avalon, my nemesis, having not made it through the waves last year (first ever attempt at an ocean swim) was my next goal. Less fear and more swimming resulted in a significant improvement....I'm not racing anyone but myself. It is daunting to be swum over but others have differnet goals to mine and I get that. I wanna be out there in that 60+ group still doing this. It took me 48 years to start and I ain't stopping, although I ain't going fast either. In my head and heart I am REALLY starting to love this sport. To the Clubbies who support us in the water, my deepest gratitude.


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