Sunday, February 10, 2013

Lake Bondi at its best, until the breeze cooms in



Lovely day at Lake Bondi, showing itself at its best other than that some could have done with a bit more swell. It was warm, but not hot, with a gentle, refreshing breeze blowing from the nor'-east. Good numbers for this swim, too: 1,235 online entries, up from 1,039 the previous season. Distances as measured by the os.c GPS-in-a-plastic-bag were 1.27km for the shorter swim, and 1.91km for the longer.

There was hardly any swell at the nor'-eastern end of Bondi Beach -- North Bondi itself faces almost due south -- and that is what makes this sport such a good ocean swim venue. All those CanTooers who got crunched in the break at Palm Beach two weeks earlier can have had no complaints this time, as there was virtually no shore break through which to crash this time. Looking sarf, there was swell. Indeed, swimmers reported that, past Ben Buckler, around the first turning booee, things began to get bumpy. That's because the swell out there was from the nor'-east, and it didn't wrap into the northern corner, but it did give swimmers a push along the outer reach towards Mackenzies Point.

Good timing, too: as the final mug swimmers schlepped into North Bondi at the end of the 2km, the southerly hit. A brisk, trenchant breeze, cutting up the water's surface and, over time, kicking up some windswell in the northern corner which, as the tide dropped, created that beach break that we'd lacked earlier. We'd been planning to make our return to the sea after a break of more than three months, but when that southerly blew in, we decided to leave it until next week at Malabar.

A couple of unfortunates were stung (blueys, but you didn't need us to tell you that), but all in all, they reported, conditions were triffic.



It made us wonder, though, to see a pod of punters pulling on wetties in this weather. We tweeted the pic, only to have (apparently) one of them, Jeff Sapier (who tweets as @getmeabucket), respond: "These events are great for triathlon training, happy to support other surf clubs if you don't like it". We understand Jeff's point. It's a comment on triathlon, though, that wetties are such an established element of the gear that training for one of these events ipso facto means swimming in a wettie. Surely they hold triathlons in warm water sometimes, and surely this requires practice, too. The water was warm at North Bondi today, and so was the sun. Swimming in a wettie raises OH&S issues, also, such as hydration. Another twit, Tamera Lang (@discokitkat), responded: "This makes it awfully tempting to turn up to a tri and do the 'run' in roller skates and still claim I finished the event".

We love the debate; the to-ing and fro-ing.

The only negative we heard was that the swim was crowded with many "newer" swimmers (read, CanTooers, according to more established swimmers), still apparently coming to terms with the corollaries of breaststroke, particularly around booees. CanTooers are a positive, actually, with so many coming into our sport through this admirable charity organisation. There's a lovely spirit about the CanTooers, such a warm, positive sense of personal achievement. Not all skills are learnt upfront.

One other carp was that, yet again, and at the last minute, the starter combined the final wave, the Codgers, with the Back of the Packers. Some Codgers don't like this.

It was tweeted afterwards, too, that some names were missing from the results. If you're not there, send us an email and we'll pass it on to the timers... click here

In Victoria, it was the weekend of The Bloody Big Swim, 10km from Frankston to Mornington. And, in Devonport, 40kmh winds forced the courses to be reset into triangles inside sheltered waters. How lucky that they had those sheltered waters offering such ready succour!

But tell us about your swim(s) this weekend... click the Comments link below...

29 comments:

  1. Nice at Bondi today. Highlight (apart from the nice swell giving us a push across the back) was the poor chap trying to take off his wetsuit at the finish line- whether due to sheer embarrassment before photos were taken, or due to heat exhaustion- either way exactly what ocean swims aren't about.

    I reckon we'd be better off without the poncy triathletes completely, if indeed they have more preferred clubs to patronise - and the toilets would be significantly cleaner post-event (is it those nasty chemical supplements they take that makes triathlon events and toilets so degenerate & dirty)?

    Back to goggles and speedos (TYRs for me), and piss off all the rest who want to commercialise the sport (and make the toilets smell with their nasty protein powder)

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    1. Wow...

      Care to publish under your own name, Anonymous? Your attitude is everything that's wrong with ocean swimming.

      I swim in a wetsuit because I need to. I'm not happy about swimming at the back of the pack - when I'm more than competitive - but I accept that it's a convenient way to distinguish between wetsuit and 'newd' swimmers.

      I'm not a triathlete, but as fellow pariahs, we had a chat - and they were friendly, supportive and enthusiastic about ocean swimming. More than can be said for you.

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    2. Eric and Arthur and AlfFebruary 12, 2013 at 1:20 PM

      Amen to that.
      Despite oceanswims 'we love the debate', actually this blog does quite a lot to keep fomenting its personal hobby horses. Yeah, sure, why not, it's your blog. (Though, if that's still the viewpoint I'm glad osc never ran the railways or Telstra.)
      You might think having won a position of dominance, osc could adopt a more magnanimous approach.

      The long-running campaign against wetsuits isn't dignified. (Neither are the other osc petty hates, but let's stick to one) Wet suit wearers cause neither ocean swims nor other complainers any harm, and to seek to restrict or control other people whose choices do not affect you is just unkind and needlessly spiteful.

      It's disappointing and ill-mannered even when it's a few whiny comments.

      But it's fostered and encouraged by this site. With the utmost respect for what has been achieved here, and honest wishes for the business to prosper, please, as some of the codgers I reckon osc would really admire might have said: have a good hard look.
      How you behave has a bigger impact now. It sets a tone. You've got a responsibility - like it or not. And I reckon osc is bigger than this.

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    3. Not sure whether we're responding to Eric, to Arthur, or to Alf...

      One of the roles of oceanswims.com is to provide a forum for issues that interest ocean swimmers. Wetties fall into that category. And anyone who has followed this blob would know that, while we certainly raise the issue on a number of occasions, we also acknowledge that some punters need to wear wetties for reasons of cold or, as with some of the correspondents here, for practice for other purposes.

      The issue with wetties, to our mind, is that they should not be allowed to "compete" against newd swimmers in open company. Some swims (Bondi-Bronte, for example) only too readily allow them in open company, but that offers an unfair advantage to wettie wearers. Despite what some say here, wetties offer up to 20 per cent speed advantage from the extra flotation, depending on your underlying natural flotation. That comes from coaches with greater experience in wetties than we have.

      Most swimmers in these parts don't wear or own wetties, because most people don't need them. If wetties were to become standard around here, many swimmers would feel the need to wear them to remain "competitive", adding hundreds of dollars to the cost of taking part in the sport. It then becomes a race between technologies and dollars, not amongst people. We hold the same prejudices agsinst fastskins and other high-tech cossies, for similar reasons. Leaving wetties and fastskin, jammies-type cossies aside, ocean swimming is a remarkably cheap sport to enter: a pair of conventional cossies and, perhaps, a pair of goggles.

      That said, some people need wetties, and we would never argue that they should be banned. But wetties should have their own divisions, as North Bondi provided last Sunday with their Back of the Pack category. Why Back of the Pack? Because there aren't enough wettists around here to justify their own, separate category. North Bondi, attempting to be inclusive, over the last few years have offered Wettie divisions in their teams competition in both events. For the last two years, there has not been a single entry in those categories in either event. That's a marker of how much interest there is in wetties around here. There are generally two reasons for wearing them: by those who feel the cold, and by triathletes practising for triathlons. Both are legitimate.

      So, if you wish to dump on us for "fomenting its personal hobby horse", we concede readily that this is an issue that we are only to happy to air, because it is a real issue. Cast your minds back to Bondi-Bronte in December when the organisers, in a truly bizarre ruling, decided to allow wetties in open company if the air temperature was less than 25C.

      Our surprise last Sunday was that it was such a pleasant day in such pleasant water. Wetties in such congenial conditions raise OH&S issues, such as dehydration. This is what we remarked upon in our initial tweets.

      Anyway, back to the debate (we make no apologies for loving the debate, either: it's an essential part of the culcha of our sport)...

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  2. A lovely swim at Bondi today. The water was so clear you could see the boulders on the sea floor on the way out to the first buoy. No swell and no waves to speak of. I haven't done too many swims this summer but this was the first where the sun was actually out and it was a very pleasant day at the beach. Interestingly, the times in this swim were slower than at the Roughwater - not sure why as the conditions were much easier today. Perhaps the buoys on the Roughwater made for a shorter swim, or perhaps the swell offered some help.

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  3. Great conditions and a great swim. Well timed to finish before the southerly and well run as usual.

    Maybe there were more starters over both swims than were expected 'cos the fruit was starting to run out as the well seasoned swimmers (like me) were coming through? It's great to think participation in the swims and the sport is growing, particularly thanks to organisations like CanToo who make the goal for a first time swimmer more attainable. But, I'm wondering whether actual numbers might be dropping off, and, without CanToo things wouldn't be looking nearly as good. We had very favourable conditions today and yet, the best rollout for the post-Cole N.Bondi Classic was in 2009. Maybe it's a greater number of swims competing for our entry $'s? Os.c: Do you know whether the overall number of inidivual swimmers competing in Sydney swims is growing?

    Still, unfortunately, there were too many people today for me to get a place in my age group. I thought I might've been in with a chance after coming 4th in the 1km Bondi Roughwater in January. I had only entered the 1km in January 'cos it was part of the 4 swim combo - great idea - I would never bother doing both swims on the 1 day otherwise. So, with my 1-minute deficit from 3rd place in mind, I took myself off to Merrylands pool each lunchtime during the last week. After cutting it fine to get to the start, the nervous energy was high and I swam hard in the 1km this morning but ended up over 3 min off a place. I'm sure I'm improving, but it's hard to know. I'll put it down to the big guns coming out for the Classic. Gotta choose a smaller swim next time.

    Thanks to the organisers and volunteers. Looking forward to next year's swims in the shadow of the new clubhouse.

    Rob Salamon

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  4. Great morning out in Bondi today. Did they eventually get a female winner for the Hawaii trip ?!?!

    I really wish some ocean swimmers would just get over themselves when it comes to wetsuits and newcomers. So what if people want to do swims in wetsuits. I love my ocean swimming and I love doing triathlons. Its rare I will use a wetsuit in an oceanswim race but on the odd occasion when I want to get a benchmark prior to certain tri races I will and I don't see the need to apologise or seek approval from you superior swimmers in your speedos.

    Ocean swimming is daunting for newcomers for numerous reasons and the at times open disdain from seasoned swimmers for either wearing a wettie or breast-stroking or being slow around the bouys certainly doesn't encourage people to keep at it.

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  5. In answer to to Mark West & the slower times. My theory is that the buoy placed at the furthest point south east was a long way out to sea & the next bouy placed at the furthest point south west towards the beach, these 2 bouys were a long way apart. As a result of us having to swim in a westerly direction towards the beach between these 2 bouys, it was tough slog to get to this buoy as we swum directly into a fast out-going tide. I wore my GPS watch & this was proof of that. It was by far my slowest 400m time of the course (I break the course up into 400m intervals on my watch & it records these times accordingly) ...cheers

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  6. Firstly, I'm totally biased. This is my 4th season as a Can Tooer and my first as a Can Too mentor. However, in the East (Bondi) pod we veto breastroking around the buoys. Our swimmers know it's the golden rule of ocean swimming. I saw a few people doing it but not in Can Too cossies. There may have been some I didn't see.

    However, one of the breaststrokers was a mate from the UK where apparently it's accepted in Open Water swimming. She was doing her first ever ocean swim with no ocean training, and was trying to sight using breaststroke. A few mid-race pointers and she was set.

    My point is, though, everyone has got to start somewhere. You may have forgotten what it was like to be a beginner but for some, it's really scary. So like L-platers on the road, perhaps we can accomodate beginner swimmers?

    My mate from the UK hopped out of the 1km, turned around and did the 2km sighting properly and without a single breast stroke. She's signed up for both Malabar swims and well on the way to become an ocean swimming addict!

    This was Can Too's first East goal swim, after moving away from the Cole Classic. It was to be the Bondi Bluewater last weekend but after the council schmozzle it moved to the North Bondi Classic. I, for one, welcome the Orange invasion!

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  7. Yesterday was my 2nd ocean swim, and my first 2km, swimming proudly with Can Too. My first ocean swim was 1km Little Big Swim at Palm Beach on the 27th Jan and only 12 weeks of professional, twice weekly coaching with Can Too could have prepared me for that swim.

    I actually copped an almighty kick from someone breakstroking who was not a Can Tooer, and I also copped a punch to the head by one swimmer who seemed to not care for any other swimmer but himself, also not from Can Too. I finished the swim in under 40 minutes with my Can Too buddies cheering my name across the finish line.

    Many Can Tooers might be new to ocean swimming but we are not going in blindly as we train twice (and more) a week for 3 months in all conditions - sun, rain, wind, big surf and lake Bondi. I am thankful to the club for welcoming Can Too to this swim. It was probably a bit too aggressive and competitive for me to do this particular swim again, as I am out there for myself, respectful to other swimmers (I swam the course wide as I'm not quite comfortable in the pack) and not competitive about time.

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  8. Paul,

    Haven't you got anything better to do, than to continue to bash 'wettie wearers'. We swam at the back, didn't breaststroke around buoys, didn't draft, didn't swim over anyone, didn't take too much fruit...

    Seriously, a lot of people in this sport need to get over themselves - and it's not just wetsuits. I was wondering how long it would take for people to start criticising CanToo; it's absolutely typical of the mindset of the older guard.

    Fortunately there are a lot of people who just like to get out in the ocean and enjoy swimming alongside other competitors. I suspect the future of the sport lies with them.

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    1. Why do you think Paul is "bashing" wettie wearers? I don't see any mention from him. Others, Yes, Paul no.
      As far as I understood the wettie wearers were in their own division at the "back of the pack". Am I not correct? I do believe it is unfair to wear a wettie and compete against someone who is not. North Bondi have made it possible for everyone to "float their own boat" by providing a specific wave for people who want to wear extra gear and those who just want to make it to the end and not get beaten up by those racing hard. Good on you North Bondi for providing a "back of the pack option" but please keep it separate. I personally would find it too hot in a wettie in yesterdays conditions.

      Almost everyone I have ever met in the oceanswimming community is a genuinely nice person. I don't think anyone goes out there with the deliberate intention of beating up anyone else. It is hard to avoid body contact in a large race but there is much a novice or less competent swimmer can do to stay out of trouble. I consider myself a fairly competent swimmer but still make decisions to swim wide to avoid contact at times, especially on crowded buoys.
      I think Can Too do an amazing job and I congratulate them and all their participants on a truly thorough preparation to be race ready. I have enourmous admiration for Can Too swimmers, the organisation and training they do. I know they are taught not to breaststroke around the buoys and like everyone else, when you are new to something occasionally someone will forget. Most people will be able to deal with this. If I ever come across this situation (very rare that it is a Can Tooer) I try and put myself in their shoes and think what a wonderful thrill and sense of achievement they must be feeling about completing an oceanswim. Most of the breaststrokers close to the buoys are not Cantooers in my observation. But these other people are hazards and they are dangerous. Anyone who intends to dawdle around a buoy, have a breather or adjust their goggles should be strongly encouraged to swim extra wide around it. If you put yourself in a position that faster swimmers consider "in the way, by this I mean in the most direct route" you risk get hit accidentally.
      I disagree with Will Harvey and think many of the "older Guard" are the very ones who are thrilled to have so many new swimmers entering the world of oceanswimming. I also don't think there are too many who need to get over themselves. People on a whole in the oceanswimming community are usually very decent people, I find.

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    2. Hi Sparkle,

      I enjoy your reports and understand your comments. I also enjoyed Paul's report - nice day, nice swim - until I came across a picture of myself and yet another jibe at 'wettie wearers'. Paul does a great job here and I've told him so, but he does waste a lot of column inches on denigrating swimmers like myself.

      I apologise for criticising 'the old guard' en mass. As you rightly point out, there are a lot of good people in the sport. I'm just annoyed that on Saturday, as I waited for my wave (BOP), I was told to 'get off the line, go back behind the swimmers' by the charming gentleman officiating proceedings.

      So I will maintain that there are a vocal and unpleasant minority (many of whom seem to find voice here) who aren't particularly generous or inclusive.

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    3. Hi Will
      Thanks so much for your reply. On behalf of the "Old Guard" we appreciate your apology. I can understand your being annoyed at being asked to go back behind the swimmers on the line on Sunday. In my opinion you should have not been in that position and not mixed in with the last wave (oldest age group swimmers). You should have been free to stand with your toes on the line, just like everyone else, but in your own wave. This is the problem that occurs when the two final waves are combined. I will make a personal request to North Bondi to separate these waves in future.
      I doubt very much if the starter at North Bondi is a swimmer himself, my guess would be he is a Volunteer official giving up his Sunday to help his club. I think it is a bit unfair to criticise swimmers for this well intentioned but perhaps insensitive volunteers actions.
      Anyway, I am pleased you enjoyed the report, the swim and the day. Running the odd photo and the mention of overheating does not really "waste a lot of column inches denigrating swimmers like myself". I do hope you and all your triathlete mates continue to compete in oceanswims and don't let the odd vocal knocker put you off. I am sure you and I will agree on the fact, that oceanswimming should be an all inclusive sport.

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    4. Actually, the photo was first published on twitter with the caption "bunch of mugs..." and it's certainly not the first time wetsuit wearers have been openly mocked on this site.

      I know this must sound trivial, but consider my position. I have to wear a wetsuit to take part. I'm not a triathlete nor am I trying to gain an unfair advantage, I just physically can't swim 2km in the ocean without a wetsuit. I train 10km a week, I can finish the swim in well under 30 minutes, but without a wetsuit I cramp up and sink. I don't want to (and shouldn't have to) explain this further.

      Anyway, I'm glad we've had the opportunity to correspond and I appreciate your concern for the sport's reputation. I do recognise that my individual circumstance is unique and that in general the sport is pretty good at taking all comers.



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    5. We call everyone "mugs". You're not that special.

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    6. Thanks for clearing that up.

      I can think of a few choice epithets, myself.

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  9. Response to first comment by anonymous, rules of race say wetsuits/fins/snorkels etc are allowed in back of the pack, so I don't understand what all this fuss is about.
    Appreciate everyone's concern re overheating, but we're triathletes and we know all about hydration strategies. Did you know that Cairns Ironman is wetsuit recommended despite water temps in excess of Bondi yesterday, this is to keep us safe from deadly stingers.
    I'm a Bondi local who swims across Bondi most days in my smugglers. If I choose to race for whatever reason in a wettie then that's my choice.
    Yes there are races where triathletes don't wear wetsuits, and when I do one I'll be sure to race nude ...without my steroids, before cleaning up in the toilets!

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  10. Ocean swims are not triathlons - different rules should apply to each event. Westsuits should always be allowed but must swim in a separate division. Re the first comment above, I also saw wetsuit wearers attempting to disrobe promptly post race due to embarrassment

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  11. The only thing that's more fun than bagging out triathletes and wettie-wearers is the sheer thrill of ocean swimming in naught but your speedos.

    Hence why ocean swimming in combination with this blog is the best sport on earth - not only do you get to swim on sunday, but you then get to rile up the tech brigade as post-race entertainment.

    What more could a reasonable individual ask for?

    On a more serious note, many of the issues above are due to really simple things. From what I've seen from the ocean swims I've done,

    * People will breaststroke around buoys. IF you're doing it, let your legs drag instead. If someone else is doing it in front of you, grab their ankle as they raise their leg - and when they turn round, ask them to please not breaststroke in the middle of the the pack/around the buoy (with a smile)

    * Faster swimmers will try to swim over the top of you - especially if you're wandering. When you start to feel this, kick (them) firmly while not letting your legs drop - some may need two kicks, but they soon stop trying to swim over you as a result. IF when they pass you they turn out to be much bigger than you (and/or look angry) then this also might be worth a smile.

    * As others have pointed out, giving the buoy a 1-2m berth (depending on traffic) adds minimal distance to your swim but increases your safety tenfold

    * Starting in the middle of the pack is downright dangerous, as everyone works out their speed and position over the first three hundred metres, then tries to fight you for it. Starting on the non-pinch side of whatever turn the first buoy requires, and even then running an extra metre or so wide will make your race so much more relaxing - rather than fighting with everyone else's legs, kicks & foam you can get some clean water, relax, and push out without distraction.

    * Practice your sighting; work out a larger landmark behind the buoy once, then use that rather than trying to see the buoy each time. Bondi sensibly had their far outside buoy right in line with the cliff as a perfect marker on sunday, with the swell pushing across this was infinitely easier to see on subsequent sightings than the buoy itself

    * Practice swimming straight (with your eyes closed in the pool for 3/5/7 strokes). Don't rely on the black line of the lane, as too often it's unusually absent/difficult to see in the open water

    * Be nice to newcomers. If they look like they're in trouble, take the time to ask if they're ok. It'll not only make them feel like one of the anonymous pair of flailing arms passing them actually cares, but will also make you feel great about yourself as an awesome person. If they accidentally swim across you, miss half a stroke and go behind them. This type of consideration is what I see as being one of the differences between ocean swimming and some other sports - there's a recognition that you might not be as molly-coddled, don't have as much of safety blanket, and hence need to look out for each other a bit more

    As others have said above, I think that in general, ocean swimmers are possibly the most unassuming bunch round - sure, they go on a bit about how unusually excellent they are, and how swimming will change your life forever, but they're generally also friendly, down-to-earth, and unconcerned unless you threaten either them (eg via breaststroke-kick to face) or their sport (eg by running events solely for profit / by introducing the technical arms race that has made triathlon so expensive / by posting pictures of plants instead of swims on twitter).

    And as with anything, if you respect the established punters, take into account their insecurities (valid or semi-valid), and behave with decent etiquette in general then everyone benefits in being able to spend more time turning up to swims without having to worry who is or isn't welcome.

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  12. Well anyway, I thought it was the best swim of the season ! Great conditions, great crowd, great location. The sort of swim that makes you look forward to the next one.

    Love the Can-too people & Paul & Sparkles, too.

    But the real talking point should be: what happened to the 98yr old gent we clapped so heartily ? There is no mention of him in the results - I hope he wasnt 'scrubbed' by the ACC for doping...

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  13. The indisputable fact is that wetsuits provide a distinct advantage. While most people don't swim to win their age group, they do keep a keen eye on the relativities of how they perform against the field, against their gender and against their age group. Many swimmers have their own friendly bets and 'competitions within a competition'. When wetsuit wearers are included in the results they distort the results. It doesn't matter if Mr X comes 45th in his age group, if he is beaten by 3 or 4 wetsuit wearers then he has been disadvantaged - and this may matter to Mr X who had his own personal milestone he was striving for.

    So wetsuit wearers, get over yourself, you are welcome to swim but not in the same division as those wearing conventional swimming attire. We don't let people with flippers swim in the same division!

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  14. I don't see what all the fuss is about with wettie wearers although as a sometime wearer of one I do feel more comfortable in a separate group as then at least you can swim without other swimmers getting upset (well almost).

    On Sunday I decided not to wear my wettie as it was too hot but as I'd registered in BOP that's where I started. I have to admit it was a bit daunting starting with a pack of wettie wearers and being newd (although we were combined with the older age groups, I assumed because the organisers were worried about the approaching southerly) but I decided to have a bit of fun and see if I could keep up with the wetties (since everyone always says they have an advantage). So rather than my usual (attempted) fast out to the first buoy and then into cruise control, I pushed myself. Each time I looked up and saw a wettie in front of me I’d try to catch them and if I caught them I would try and keep up with them and even pass them and then on to the next one. I had a great swim! Perfect conditions, I was having lots of fun and I ended up doing a great time! In fact I actually came first in the female BOP (and not in the 70+ division as was announced when I came over the line, although I would be very happy with that result in about 25+ years time) and about fifth against the men. So I’d happily swim against wetties any time and I don’t actually think they offer any advantage (I know this is a contentious issue) but I do know I would certainly prefer to swim without a wettie but I get too cold (except for days like Sunday but then I was cold after I came in).

    I didn’t stay for the presentations (I don’t even know if BOP’s get prizes) but as I wasn’t wearing a wettie/flippers it would have opened up a whole new can of worms to have accepted a prize.

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  15. Paul, I can't add much to your comment other than to add that with young children approaching ocean swimming age you can multiply the cost of a wetsuit by 4 or 5 for a family of swimmers!

    For anyone who doubts the advantages of a wetsuit, go and swim 1km in your local pool in sluggoes and then return the next day for 1km in a wetsuit - compare the times. I have done this a few times as I needed to practice wearing a wetsuit to do the swim leg in a team triathlon. On each occasion I swam more than 1 minute quicker than what I have ever been able to achieve in sluggoes. I still try to challenge myself and match my wetsuit time in the pool in sluggoes and can't get close.

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  16. Distinct advantage, whatever...

    But when a couple of eejits in wetsuits clamoured over the me during the swim I was mightily pissed off. And I wasn't the only one. It happened to a couple of my swimming mates.

    These punters could have swum wide - it's a freakin' ocean - but instead they barged through the peloton like demented killer whales.

    Apart from that, it was a lovely swim.

    The newbies stopped and started but that was fine. They were there to have fun in the biggest swimming pool in the world!

    A request: No more plastic cups please.

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    1. Agree on the plastic cups - so much waste. Paper would be better with extra recycling bins around.

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  17. Also, the 98 year old was actually 89 (it's neither here nor there). I had a chat to him before the swim. There was some mix up with his ankle tag. He'd come down for the 1km swim but arrived too late so my friends Amanda the masseuse and David (of the Smiths of Taree) organised a new ankle timer for him.

    When he told Amanda his age, she was a tad concerned that she'd have to carry the burden of guilt had he not made the 2km.

    But there you go. He trotted up the sand afterwards, fresh as a bloody daisy.

    There's hope for us all.

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    1. This guy was amazing. I felt for him as the weather turned just as he was on the home stretch so he had to deal with the southerly and the only swell of the day.

      I hope I'm alive at 89 let alone swimming 2km!

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  18. Actually the point some are making above on fruit etiquette is a good one. Quite a few people I know missed out completely, and when I came through people were dawdling due to trying to delicately balance 3 or 4 pieces in their greedy little mitts.

    Probably appropriate to (either byo and/or) take one apiece and wait for the last finisher before you scoff any more.. the people finishing last probably need it more than you in any case :-)

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