Wednesday, April 28, 2010

April Swims

6 events completed in April:
- Culburra 2k
- Shellharbour 1.2k
- Mollymook (2+0.5) 2.5k
- South Curl Curl 2k
- Terrigal (2+1) 3k
- Coogee-Bondi 5k
2 swims called off on the beach:
- Tamarama-Clovelly (big surf & shark sighting)
- Bondi (big surf)
Total April swims = 15.7k

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Coogee to Bondi 25th April

Bird vs. Plane

Coogee to Bondi 5k ocean swim
Anzac Day 25th April 2010
First year this swim has been run without compulsory paddler escorts for swimmers
Perfect conditions for an endurance swim - Raining/overcast, but no wave, wind or swell
Water temp ok about 20c
Swim out from Coogee beach around the first marker, which was a water safety boat off Giles Point
Then straight across Gordons Bay and Clovelly to Shark Point around another water safety boat - swimming through deep green water and thousands of  little white jellyblubbers
Follow the cliffs past Waverley cemetery around buoys off Bronte Beach & Tamarama Beach
Really close around Mackenzies Point into Bondi
Swam over a huge school of big mullet or salmon at Bondi
Swam close to all the markers, but went a bit too wide into Bondi, covered some extra distance
Fast and easy swim in the flat conditions
Had plenty of energy left to go hard at the finish
Distance on the day was around 4.5k because we could swim so close to the headlands
On a day with bigger swell we'd have to swim wider and it would be close to the full 5k
Time 1.22.54
I'm happy with that for my first 5k ocean swim, maintained under 2 minute pace in the good conditions

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Terrigal 18th April

Misty Morning

Terrigal, NSW central coast, 1k & 2k ocean swims

Flat conditions, smooth water, bit of a swell further out
In-water start and run up the beach to finish
Good conditions, I was able to go hard all the way in both swims
Stayed for the presentation and went home with the main lucky door prize, a stay at the Crowne Plaza Terrigal
Time 1k 21:24 (might have been about 1.1k or 1.2k)
Time 2k 42:31

Saturday, April 17, 2010

South Curl Curl 17th April

2km Journey swim from South Curl Curl Beach around the headland to Freshwater Beach.
Good swim at CurlyFresh this morning, well organised and run.
The really quick and efficient registrations and the free sausage sizzle on the deck afterwards were a couple of good examples.
Perfect conditions - dive under a couple big waves at Curly on the way out, follow the cliffs and the buoys-of-many-colours, and swim against a rip to a tricky finish position at Freshie.
And a pleasant barefoot "walk-of-success" along the course on the smooth boardwalk back to Curly.
Time 40:06

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Mollymook 11th April

Mollymook Beach ocean swim
Good conditions, gentle swell
Offshore wind starting blowing up during the race
Last stretch was tough from final turning buoy straight into the wind to the beach
500m swim Time 10:09
2k swim Time 44:27
250m dash for cash

Shellharbour Saturday 10th April

Shellharbour Ocean Swim 1.2k
From the boat harbour around the point to the beach
First time I've been to Shellharbour
Lovely day and good conditions
Went hard at full pace all the way
I thought it might have been a little further, it felt like about 1.4k
Time 27:09

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tamarama to Clovelly Cancelled 5th April

Unfortunately I didn't get to start in this event, the race was cancelled before half the competitors left the beach. I suspect this decision had more to do with the treacherous surf conditions at the start and finish than the shark spotting. There's "always" sharks around on that stretch of coastline, I think IRBs buzzing around for 2 hours would be likely to spot one on any day.

Media Report (Daily Telegraph):
"Shark sightings, heavy seas and a partial cancellation - yesterday's ocean race between Tamarama and Clovelly had it all.
More than 500 swimmers were already in the water for the tough annual charity swim when organisers spotted a large shark.
Organisers did not allow the rest of the field - several hundred swimmers - to start the 2.5km race for safety reasons.
There was thought to be just one shark but organiser Chris Glover said three sightings and the rough conditions meant there was no way the race could continue.
"It was pretty wild. Conditions were a bit bigger than forecast and the shark wasn't exactly invited. The shark was big enough that we deemed it appropriate to cancel the event," Mr Glover said."

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Culburra Beach Saturday 3rd April

Not drowning but waving


Tilbury Classic 2k
Retro-swimming with Nowra-Culburra SLSC
I knew it would be good day yesterday when I arrived at the Nowra-Culburra surf club to see a pod of dolphins feeding in the surf not 20m from shore

In fact I was so intent in watching the dolphins that I missed most of the pre-race briefing in the surf club
Not a problem I thought, I'll just keep the cans on my left and follow the other swimmers
I didn't hear that part about the "washing-machine" conditions around the headland or the fierce sweep in the surf at the start

It was certainly an interesting swim in many ways
The weather was overcast, then sunny, then raining, no sunny, then raining really hard
There was a big southerly swell, but safe enough to start the race on the high tide
The swim was scheduled to run from Tibury Cove at Culburra Beach south around the headland to Warrain Beach, The organisers sensibly reversed the direction of the swim so that swimmers would avoid finishing through the messy surf conditions at Warrain Beach

It was a small group of around 75 swimmers that lined up on the beach. Only one start wave, young and old stood together for the head count to make sure that what went in was the same as what came out
We started 100m south of the first marker, the sweep and rip knocked me off my feet and helped push me to the turning buoy
The big swell out the back made navigation a little difficult
Encountered the washing-machine conditions on a shallow reef off the headland
Spotted lots of fishes, I swam over 3 little rays
Actually that was probably 1 little ray I swam over 3 times, at one stage the current was pushing me almost backwards as I swam forwards, until a surge pushed me clear of the bommie
The last couple hundred metres into Tilbury Cove was smooth, there was even a little wave in the cove that I could ride onto the beach
As is my custom with these away-from-home swims, I lined up with some elite swimmers in the 400m "dash for cash" and surprisingly didn't finish last

I really enjoyed this swim and the morning at Culburra
It had a real "old school" feel about it
A nice change from the busy ocean swims in Sydney
The organisers were friendly but left nothing to chance on water safety

Time 47:03
Couple navigation stops and swimming against the current around the headland
It felt further than a 2k ocean swim