Thursday, December 31, 2009

December Swims

Only 3 open water races in December, no swims in Sydney for the last 2 weeks of the year
- Bilgola Big Swim 1.5k
- Bondi to Bronte 2k
- North Curl Curl 2k
Total distance December swims 5.5k
There's more on next month, I'm looking to swim in 6 events in January
Need to put in some distance in training for a couple 5k open water swims end January

Monday, December 14, 2009

Bilgola, 13th December 2009

Tough conditions for an ocean swim.
Easterly chop all the way, difficult to get into any kind of rythm.
Only 4 waves of swimmers, big numbers in each wave, swimming close to other swimmers and boxed in all the way. Got bumped on the legs a few times and hit on the head twice. Had to wade through a thick raft of seaweed to get out.
1.5k swim, Went hard all the way. Navigation ok, hit all the buoys in a straight line. Time 32.12

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Lovely training swim around Coogee on Saturday.
Perfect conditions and clear water, could see the bottom almost the whole way.
Missed the group heading out by 10 minutes, for some reason they started on time today. No sign of them at Giles, 50/50 chance they went either North or East. I chose correctly and caught them at the Bommie. Bommie to Island, first time I've been on the nothern side of wedding cake island. Quite shallow there, Lots of schools of small fish and jelly blubbers. Island to Wylies and back to beach. Long swim today, In the water for about an hour.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Bondi to Bronte 6th December 2009

2k journey swim Bondi Beach to Bronte Beach

SE wind, Bit of a wave going out at Bondi
Big surf at Bronte
Good swim, went hard all the way
Navigation good, straight line to all the buoys
Time 37:46

North Curl Curl 5th December 2009

North Curl Curl 3 Points Challenge - Ocean Swim - 2k
Tough conditions
Overcast, green water, South East wind, Choppy.
Out from North Curl Curl surf club about 400m,
North along the cliffs towards Dee Why,
back towards South Curl Curl and into the beach.
Very bumpy along the cliffs. Feeling kinda seasick for the first time on an ocean swim. Took a few minutes on the beach to get my land legs, then ready to go around again. Wish all the ocean swims were like this.
Time 39:16. Good pace for the chop and conditions.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

November Swims

November was the start of the ocean swimming season in Sydney and a busy month of swimming.
I competed in 6 events at quite different venues & conditions.

- Cook Community Classic Cronulla Ocean Swim 1.5k
- Sri Chinmoy Capital Swim Canberra Lake Burley Griffin 9.5k
- Berry Rickards Endurance Swim Penrith 5k
- Toowoon Bay Ocean Swims (2k + 1k) 3k
- Dawnys Cockatoo Island Harbour Swim 2.5k
- Coogee Island Challenge Ocean Swims (2.4k + 1k) 3.4k
Total distance November swims 25k

Monday, November 30, 2009

Coogee Island Challenge 29th November 2009

Express Glass Island Challenge
2.4k swim around Wedding Cake Island
Good conditions, bit of a north-westerly wind came up during the swim, so swam back from the island into wind and chop. Swimming through thousands of little jelly blubbers behind the island.
Did the 1k swim Splash & Dash slowly as a warm-up, Time 20:56
Swam harder in the main swim 2.4k Island Challenge. Went out hard, tried to keep up with the main pack. Pretty tired at the end. Recorded time was 51:31 on the electronic timing. I thought I would have been under 50 minutes, I swam a much faster pace than in the 1k, I wonder if they tagged my timing chip with the wrong wave start +3 or +6 minutes.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cockatoo Island 22nd November 2009

Swim around Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour 2.5k
Hot day in Sydney, no wind, warm water
Water a bit murky but clean, didn't see many jellyfish.
I was able to swim at a strong consistent pace the whole way, tried to quicken at the end but couldn't go any faster.
Time 47:04
5 minutes faster than my time for this swim last year.

Toowoon Bay 21st November 2009

Ocean Swim at Toowoon Bay, Central Coast
2 swims 1k & 2k
Warm day, water was a bit cooler than I expected
Light southerly wind, sheltered inside the bay
Did the 1k swim first as a 'warm-up' swimming slowly and having a look around the course. Time 22:13
2k swim 2 laps around the same course. Went harder in the 2k swim, strong pace for the whole distance. Time 38:59

Monday, November 16, 2009

Penrith Berry Rickards 5k Endurance Swim

This is a great open water swim.
A race against the clock for the youngsters, and a test of endurance for the oldies.
A perfect day out West yesterday morning, not a breath of wind on the mirrored lake surface. The water was a little weedy as you would expect in fresh water, otherwise clean and not too warm.
Congratulations to all who completed their first 5k endurance swim or 10k swim-through.

I made a bit of a mess of this race. Might have underestimated the level of conditioning needed to complete 2 long-distance swims in 2 weeks. Knew I was in trouble about 800m into the race, shoulders hurting. Slowed down to a more relaxed pace and struggled to the 5k finish line in 1:49:15. No chance of completing a 10k swim-through today.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Canberra Lake Burley Griffin - A Personal Challenge

Happy Swimmer

Scrivener Dam After Sunrise

Start Scrivener Dam Boom

Team Meeting before the Start

Finish Grevillea Beach

Team Discussion after the Race

Spot the Newbie

On Sunday 8th November 2009, I swam the length of Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra in the Sri Chinmoy National Capital Swim. A distance of 9.5k.
It was the first time I attempted to swim this distance.
I finished 7th in my category, solo swimmers under 50 no wetsuit, and 11th overall (out of 11 solo no wetsuit finishers!)
All solo finishers were presented with trophies, so it was also my first trophy for an open water swim.

Thanks to excellent help from my paddler Peter, some great coaching and endurance training from Coach Chad, and priceless advice on long-distance swimming from Helen, there was never a time when I doubted that I would complete the race.
Thanks to my training buddies at Sea's The Limit who kept me honest in the winter morning training squads. Especially Suzie, who swam behind me every lap at training, thoughtfully tapping my toes every time I slackened off. And Joanne, who bravely continues to swim in my lane, after I accidently knocked her out in the pool while reaching for the finish of a 100m target swim.

My time 3:45:37 was 10 minutes under the target time I had set myself for the race.
My swimming pace would have been around 3hrs30, I was still feeling strong at the end, so I could probably have done without the 15-odd minutes wasted at long drinks breaks and stretching my legs at the transitions.

The race comprised 4 legs for the relay swimmers:
Leg 1 - Scrivener Dam Boom to Weston Park, about 1.8k. Winding part of the lake through bushland. I started strong and settled into a relaxed rythm. I was enjoying this. The water was warmer than I expected, about 20c-21c. Time 38 min, 5 minutes under my target.
Leg 2 - Weston Park to Yarralumla Bay, about 2.8k. Surprise! As a single skull rower travelling backwards didn't see us and passed between me and my paddler. Luckily Pete yelled out and the rower lifted his oar and missed my head. He didn't know the rowing course was closed. After about 4k into the race, starting to feel the distance, a bit sore in one shoulder and a little leg cramp. Time 66 minutes for this leg, overall still 5 minutes under target.
Leg 3 - Yarralumba Bay to Commonwealth Place Jetty, about 2.9k. Stopped at the beach at Yarralumba Bay for a couple minutes for a drink and to stretch my legs. Feeling ok as I set off again, back into a strong rythm. Long section in open water to the first bridge, in the widest section of the lake. It seemed like I was making slow progress. Couple of stops for a drink. Time 82 minutes for this leg, starting to fall behind target.
Leg 4 - Commonwealth Place to Grevillea Beach Finish, about 1.9k. Not far to go, feeling good, started stretching out and going harder, put on a bit of a sprint finish, big smile as I stood up in the water and crossed the finish line. Time 39 minutes for this section (a reverse split!), so I picked up 10 minutes on my targeted finishing time. Probably means I could have gone harder in the middle of the race.
It was a lovely swim and conditions on the day were perfect.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Cook Community Classic Cronulla

Ocean Swim - "Elite Swim" Distance 1.5k - Elouera Beach to South Cronulla
Time 27:37
Didn't go too hard, streching out for longer swims this month
Good conditions, 1m swell, NE wind no chop, Water temp about 19c

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bulk Intervals

Training this week -
"Bulk Intervals" - 3 sessions 4k+ on intervals per session.
Coogee swim Saturday, Cronulla ocean swim Sunday.
Total distance this week 16k

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sydney World Masters Swim Cancelled

Sydney World Masters Games Media Report:
Open water swim cancelled for safety reasons.
The Sydney 2009 World Masters Games Open Water Swim scheduled for 10am has been cancelled for safety reasons. It will not be rescheduled for Sunday.
The Chief Medical Officer, Chief Referee and Technical Delegate considered all options available when making this decision, such as postponement, shortening the course and moving the event to another day. Unfortunately, the water temperature and conditions prevented these options from being put in place.
The water temperature did not meet the minimum requirement of an average of 18 degrees and combined with the weather conditions (wind chill) it was not possible to safely run an open water swim.
The main concern is for competitor safety, and the risk of hypothermia was too high to enable the swim to go ahead.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Seas The Limit Senior Male Swimmer of the Year 2008-2009

Seas The Limit Senior Male Swimmer of the Year 2008-2009 Award
That was a surprise !!! There must have been a shortage of senior male swimmers this year.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Botany Pool Opens

Training this week -
4 sessions in Botany 50m outdoor pool, pace & consistency. Pool water's cold after a week of wind and no sun. Swim at Coogee on Saturday, big southerly swell, but it has blown in the warmer water, ocean temp about 20c.
Harbour water temp last week was still about 16c, it should warm up a little before the Masters Open Water Swim next weekend.
Total distance this week 18k.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Last Week of Indoor Training

Training this week -
4 sessions, double-up on Wednesday
Shorter distances, Working on speed & consistency
Outdoor pool opens next week
Distance this week 16k

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Speed Week

Training this week -
4 sessions sprints 200s, 100s, 50s, 25s
Fastest 200 3:12 Fastest 100 1:28
Double up Wednesday morning & afternoon
Harbour training swim about 4k at Balmoral Sat with long-distance swimmers
Cold water 15.5c
Total distance this week 18k

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Entries World Masters Open Water Swim

The start list for the Sydney World Masters Games Open Water Swim 17/10/2009 is available to registered entrants.
Entries have already closed 31st July.
3k open water swim around Chowder Bay, 2 laps and an in-water start & finish.
Looks like a tight rectangular course, 4 x 90-degree turns on each of the 2 laps.
For those swimmers who were not put off by the higher entry fee, or the cooler water or the prospect of swimming off Clifton Gardens, it should be a big event.
Total 660 starters split over 6 waves, so expect some jostling for position at the start and around the buoys.
The ruling on wetsuits seems to be fair "Wetsuits may be worn ... however the competitor will NOT be eligible for a medal."
No mention of FINA open water swimming rules regarding obstruction & interference with other swimmers, I guess common sense will prevail on the day.


Still unbalanced this week.
2 pool sessions
Coogee swim Sat. & Sun. island & some laps
Total distance this week 16 k

Friday, September 11, 2009

Burleigh Heads Ocean Swim 6th September 2009

Red & Gold

Brush Turkey on the Beach (Red & Gold)

A great couple ocean swims at Burleigh.Thumpin' surf but breaking clean, lovely and smooth out the back, and a chance to catch a wave coming in.The distances looked ok, if anything the longer swim was just under 2k and the short swim just over 1k. The faster times probably reflected help from nature with a rip out and wave in.Navigation was easy, swim straight into the rising sun until the first buouy appeared, the other markers were lined up with tall buildings and the point of the headland.Water safety was everywhere.And I liked the swim caps, top quality silicon with a strong surf club logo.The warm (20c) water in September and the relaxed and friendly nature of this swim will bring me back next year.
Longer swim ("2k") time 32:45. Could have gone harder at the start, still strong after 30 mins, plenty of breathe left for a post-race interview!!
Shorter swim ("1k") time 22:02, had to do a quick u-turn at the start, forgot my timing chip, chasing all the way

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Warmer Water

Training last week -
5 pool sessions
Double-up Wednesday
Masters squad on the Gold Coast Saturday
2 Ocean Swim races at Burleigh on Sunday
Total distance this week 20 k

Saturday, August 29, 2009

More distance

Training this week
6 swims
Two sessions on Wed am + pm
Friday 100's on target 1.31, started 1.29, 1.28, 1.29 then downhill towards 1.35s
Total distance this week = 20 k

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Training this week -
4 pool sessions
Stronger now on the longer sets, holding intervals ok 1.40's & 1.50's, finish 1.32
Short ocean swim Coogee Sat.
Total distance this week 16 k

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Training this week -
Intervals, Longer sets, still building.
Feeling tired mid-week, missed the Wed morning session.
Extra swim on Wed nite, longer distances. Finished strongly Friday.
Coogee ocean swim Sat.
Total distance swum this week 16 k

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Building ...

Training this week -
Intervals - More swims in each set, less rest between swims.
I've taken 5 secs off my repeatable time for 100m intervals.
Swim around Coogee Sat morning, water is still freezing.
Total distance swum this week 16 k.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

First off the blocks

Training this week -
4 squads, interval training, 100s 150s 200s, making all the intervals this week
Club swim Friday nite 100m/400m, times just under target, some might say I broke the start at both events.
Short ocean swim Saturday, big swell
Total distance swum this week 16 k

Monday, July 27, 2009

Interval Training Day One

Interval training started this week

I thought the rests were 10 seconds longer last season ?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

10 Points for Lane 3

Training this week -
3 pool sessions, working on setting & maintaining a consistent pace.
Ocean swim this morning, water temp 15.9o.
Total distance swum this week 11 k

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sydney World Masters Games

I just registered for the 3k Open Water Swim Event at Sydney 2009 World Masters.
Set myself a target time which is 3 minutes faster than anything I've swum over that distance before. Some hard training sessions lie ahead, early starts on winter mornings. Need to work on maintaining pace over longer distances.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

24 Hour Mega Swim Homebush 4th-5th July 2009

Extract from local media report (edited)-

"Most swimming races test to see how fast we can swim. Eighteen teams took part in a very different type of swimming contest. This one challenged how far we can swim at Sydney Olympic Park Pool at Homebush recently . The time limit: 24 hours. Teams of 15-members each took to the pool from midday Saturday to midday Sunday, the question was how many laps could each team complete.
A team of local swimmers from Sea’s the Limit Swim Club in Botany took part in the MS MegaSwim, which also acted as a fundraiser for multiple sclerosis. The group completed 93.1 kilometers in the 24-hour contest; finishing first amongst the competition and setting an event record.
The real winners on the day were MS Australia who managed to raise over $140,000 for the many Australians currently living with MS."

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Mona Vale Cold Water Classic 21st June 2009

Mid Winter Swim at Mona Vale
Big surf & chop
Northerly swell 1.8m
Water about 19c
Time 26.23