Sunday, February 17, 2013

Magic at Malabar, Half Moon in Vic, full moons at Cobblers

How do we rise on a Sundee morn to find cloud covering the blue bits in the sky? Quite often. But how often do we then get to the beach to find the sun burn off the cloud and the glory of a Sydney summer emerge? Almost as often. So it was today at Malabar, with Murray Rose's Malabar Magic. Organiser Rob Lloyd remarked during a remembrance ceremony for Murray that he was there, watching down on us. And so he might have been, using his sway with whoever might be upstairs, if anyone -- it might just be a rag-tag mob of spirits just like all of us with no-one in charge -- to give us a glorious day.

And it was a glorious day. The beauty of Malabar is that it's a terrific beach for new swimmers to get a feel for the water. There's no break, it's generally straight into swimmable water, and it's wide, flat, open and gentle. There was a bit of roll as the peloton moved seawards, but what do you expect? Let's hope the organisers shift the start/finish away from those rocks next time. It was perilous.

A report in The Sydney Morning Herald from Cobblers Beach, where the newd swim took place, said it was a lovely day enjoyed by all, whilst other reports were critical: "...the swim organisation was atrocious," tweeted Wett One Lindy Woodrow. No detail yet, but perhaps that will emerge from Murray Cox, who paddled over to Cobblers with his Go-Pro to video the swim. We're looking forward to Murray's report.

Half Moon Bay, the Cerberus swim, in Port Phillip Bay on Sat'dee, had a very nice day, too, according to our entrist, @KAOSVIC. Rockingham and Mandurah ran in the West, Auckland in NZ, Henley in SA and Mooloolaba in Queensland... What did you think? Click the Comments link below to tell us...


  1. Yes, I did the Nudie. It was a wonderful swim but the event was badly organised. It was a ticket only event so we had tickets with bar codes. After waiting for quite a while in the queue we had our tickets scanned, Then we had to go to another queue to get our names ticked off, organsed by first name(?!). Meanwhile those who signed up on the day went straight through. That all took a long while but the big wait was yet to come. We had to queue for the best part of an hour in the sun before getting to the beach. Mostly to allow the filming, publicity etc to happen on the beach.We then went off in groups of 50 from the tiny Cobblers Beach.After all ths waiting I felt rather conned by the event. This was primarily a PR exercise.
    However, once in the water with the rest of our squad it was wonderful. A lovely atmosphere with nice happy people and nice smooth water.
    I'm glad I did it but I won't be doing it again next year. The organisers should ask for help from the SLSCs and put the swim first and the advertising second. The SMH report cliams they hope for 1000s next year. I don't think so, especially if they hold it on the same day as the Malabar!

  2. Yes beauts at Malabar today. Only swim I can think of where you can see both the starting 1km and finishing 1km - each in a straight line from the beach.

    The fruit and band were great too. I struggled to get through the rather generous full litre of red water we were presented with at the end, but at least it was good to wash out my ears, and I gave myself a pat on the back in any case, as I had cleverly brought my own water and fruit after last week's travesty at Bondi.

    I must admit I do wish they still ran the course around to Little Bay (perhaps even start it there if they're worried about people getting round the head when they're tired) but I'm always happy to accept the opportunity to test how straight a line I can swim over 1km.

    On a slightly different note, regarding the mid-week missive. I think that you may have missed the point as to what was really wrong with the Sydney Skinny swim.

    True - it was bad form running (for possibly questionable reasons) against such a good cause as the Rainbow Club, but from reports emerging from the swim today, the full injustice lay in the fact that they apparently completely *banned the use of wetsuits* (emphasis hardly needs added to be added here).

    I know personally a number of triathletes who were excluded as a result of this arbitrary, myopic policy - it's almost McCarthyistic really in its abject persecution of these individuals, who were instead forced to spend this morning shopping on the internet for lightweight parts for their bike, protein powder, even tighter compression tights, etc.

    But Malabar, what a nice day for a good cause at the hidden gem of the East. See you there next year.

    1. Tons of fruit, sports drinks by the crate load and goodwill all around-all for $40. Compared to the mean, money grab, and soulless Cole, today epitomized what true ocean swimming is all about. Loved it. Thank you.

  3. Has there been any GPS reads on the 1km distance at Malabar yesterday? Times seem very fast. Maybe I just had a good day, not convinced though!

    1. Winner at malabar did 10'30 which puts it at about 900m with the benefit of the calmer water. I reckon the longer swim was a couple of hundred metres off full distance too, but it was choppy enough out the back that any assistance was not unwelcome

  4. Our GPS-in-a-plastic-bag measured the shorter swim at 1.01km and the longer at 2.17km, although we agree the winner's time makes it look somewhat shorter than 1km. GPS gadgets aren't completely accurate.

  5. There was a fair bit a slack in the bouy ropes which could easily have knocked 50 metres off the course as they were all drifting south

  6. Malabar: Firstly, what an enjoyable morning! It's far enough away from everywhere to have a nice, laid back feel. The ease of parking certainly helps. And Malabar offers something different to most other oceanswims... With the protection of Long Bay, there's no surf and the water is really calm, so you can concentrate on your stroke and swim a nice straight line to each buoy. Actually, lucky there's no surf, because I wouldn't want to be dumped on those rocks near the shore approaching the finish. Well done to the organisers for going with a water start, much less fuss and potential for chaos with legs n arms everywhere. A really civilised way to start a swim. And, come to think of it, how nice was the small swell pushing you along after rounding the top mark? Long strokes. Nice 'n cruisy.

    After doing these swims for 10 years now (my first swim was the Bondi Cole Classic in Feb 2003), I finally cracked a place in the 1km! Thanks to the other M40-44's who slayed my time in the 2km, but didn't enter the 1km. Sure, it feels a bit hollow to get there like this, but there's a 3 next to my name. Maybe I should give it all away now? The worst part is that I had to get back home soon after the swim so I missed out on my handshake/commemorative photo/prize (not sure whether you get anything, but I've got a good story now). And, the ceremony and atmosphere at the end looked pretty good too.

    Thanks organisers. Need to put Malabar on the to-do list each year. I've got the t-shirt as a reminder.

  7. Swam at Malabar and was impressed with the water start to take into account the lack of sand at the shoreline. Also liked the balloons on top of the markers out the back: made it so easy to see all the way out.

    Good to see our swimming community can support two charity swims on the same day.

    Will have my blog up in a few days.

  8. Swam at Malabar and enjoyed the day. Good to see the organisers had the sense to have a water start to take into account the lack of sand at the edge. Also impressed with the balloons on the markers out the back which made them so much easier to spot from the water.
    Loved watching a couple striding hand in hand over the finish line in the two km race.

  9. From an environmental point of view I'm disappointed by any balloons being released (or attahced to buoys) above and close to the ocean as the will kill our wondrous marine life. I though understand the sentimet attached to the feeling of a 'sprit in the sky. But there are other ways to celebrate a departed one There was a time before balloons... IF we want to keep on swimming in this beautiful ocean we have to keep note of things like these and be critical....I suggest release some fish next time :-) better link with swimming anyway, still have to meet the first ocean swimmer that can fly!
    I wasn't at Mallabar and I was disappointed to see plastic cup at the nudie swim as they stated in their statement to encourage swimmers to bring their own refillable bottle to the beach (for reason to diminish waste towards the environment!) to HAVE plastic cups on the beach then is a CHEAT Join in with discussions at Ocean Swimmers for a Cleaon Ocean


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