Our newsletter of February 3, 2016...
Swims this weekend
- Sat, Feb 6 – New Plymouth (NZ), Port Arthur (Tas), South Melbourne, Phillip Is. (Vic), Cottesloe-Swanbourne (WA)
- Sun, Feb 7 – Manly (Cole Classic), Avoca (NSW), Brighton (SA), Perth (WA)
We're taking online entries to the Central Coast BeachFest at Avoca on Sunday. It's a privately run day of beach an surf events, with two swim distances offered: 2km and 500m.
Yes, it's Cole day (see below), but not everyone will be at the Cole. And this is a valiant attempt to put up something for those who won't be there.
Avoca is a stunning Stra'an surf beach, with all the banks, gutters, breaks that that type offers. It will be a real surf/ocean swim.
Online entries to the Central Coast BeachFest close at 3pm on Saturday, Feb 6... Click here
Cole at last
We're looking forward to this year's Cole Classic following advice from the awgies, Fairfax Media, that they have made changes to the event to make it a much friendlier offering for punters. Not least, you won't have to traipse all the way across the metropolitan area to collect your race pack prior to race day. You can do that, if you prefer, but you can also collect your race pack at the beach on swim morning. Just like every other swim.
Entries remain expensive, but they are more flexible now, with staged entry fee increases that encourage early entry, and discounted entry for doing both the 1km and 2km swims. Awgies also have changed their long swim from 9km (Dee Why-Manly) to 5km (Shelly Beach-Freshwater-Manly), making it so much more inclusive that the event sold out well before swim day (next year, we're hoping they'll put more information about this swim on their website, so punters are warnied of the possible early entry closure). And they have promised that they won't send you into the ocean in lost-at-sea coloured caps.
They're also telling punters who enter that there are other swims they can do -- telling them ever so subtly, perhaps in case punters end up preferring other, cheaper swims to the Cole -- and they are slightly more reasonable in cases of punters who fall ill or suffer misadventure before race day. How reasonable will be seen with experience.
We're looking forward to attending the Cole this year. New management at Fairfax certainly are much more pleasant to deal with than predeceesors, and they tell us they're keen for the Cole to become more integrated into the ocean swimming community. On the basis of all these assurances, we welcome them. Not that it's up to us, of course. It's up to you lot: the mob.
We'll have a stall in the Cole Expo. Come and say hi, and, if you're a Cole swimmer, leave your name (with your bib number) in the jar for a random draw of a trip to Vanuatu to swim in Espiritu Santo Swim Week in May-June, 2016.
We're not expecting everything to be perfect, but we're looking forward very much to taking part. The only thing we're dreading is that unremitting babble from the microphone at the finish line.
Manly is a magnificent venue for an event like the Cole. Bondi was terrific for the Cole way back in the olden days, but if it can't be at Bondi, then Manly is the place it should be.
More info on the Cole Classic... Click here
Gayley to Whaley
Two remarkable things happened at Palm Beach last weekend: in a season of dropping sentries, The Big Swim, from Palm Beach to Whale Beach, experienced a healthy increase in entries, up almost 13 per cent on last season; and conditions were near perfect, topped off by a gentle offshore breeze. Goodness, we love an offshore breeze. It smoothes the angry sea and sends those pesky blueys scurrying out to sea.
Interesting to see the different approaches to getting out through the break: the mob lurched over the bank, but early-middle-aged -- or is it mature yoof? -- legend John de Mestre went out through the rip. The old adage is, If there's a rip on offer, use it. Did he take the right option?
Yes, it was a lovely day. Check out report and have your say... Click here
Yes, we're your next adventure
Come with us on an oceanswimsafari over winter 2016. Pick one below, or if you have a group, we can build one around your needs.
Right now, you can book -
Vanuatu – May 23-June 3 - Port Vila and Santo from $A640 per person for four nights in Port Vila and $A970 for six nights in Espiritu Santo. We also have a three-night prequel, as they say in the movie business, at one of the most beautiful boutique resorts you will ever find, Paradise Cove, outside Port Vila, from $A760. Prices include swim entry as necessary... Click here
Sulawesi – Our first inaugural oceanswimsafari in this far-flung corner of Indonesia that you'd never otherwise visit. Pristine water along reefs that drop-off to nothing, and lots of sea life. -- From $A2,725 (July 9-18)... Click here
San Sebastián (Spain) – Some of Europe's best food, colourful history, and adventurous swimming from $A2,110 (August 24-30)... Click here
Costa Brava (Spain) – Swim France to Spain and other myriad swimming adventures, culture, food – it's got it all -- from $A3,320 – We've filled our first Costa Brava oceanswimsafari already, so now we have organised a second one (September 12-20)... Click here
Greek Islands – Some of the most beautiful water and exotic locations, sailing and swimming the waters of Jason and the Argonauts and Mamma Mia, well away from the madding crowds – from $A5,290 (September 23-October 2)... Click here
Mana Fiji SwimFest - Packages are online now for the Mana Fiji swims October 18-23. Two days of swimming (separated by a day) - 10km solor or 3x relay on Thursday, then 5km, 3km, 1km on Saturday. Mana Island's North Beach is one of the best places in the world for an ocean swim. Packages from $A1,285 pp twin share. You can use the 10km solo swim to qualify for Rottnest the following February... Click here
Yasawas Fiji oceanswimsafaris - We're doing two oceanswimsafaris to Fiji's Yasawas Islands, to the fabled Blue Lagoon staying at Blue Lagoon Resort. The first is prior to the Mana swims (Oct 10-16), the other following (Oct 23-29). Packages from $A2,145... Click here
And in 2016 we'll also have a new Yasawas Homestay oceanswimsafari (July 27-August 2) - Details coming soon (that's the venue, above right).
Stand up against caps
Must we really have a new plastic cap and turn our head into an advertising site every ocean swim?
Millions of tonnes of plastic rubbish enter the world's oceans each year and plastic now polluting even the Antarctic wilderness. Do we as ocean swimmers feel comfortable adding to this, unquestioningly accepting a new plastic cap every swim when our existing stock so easily be reused? (Just tell us our age-group colour on registration, and keep the 'no cap, no swim' policy).
I swim because I love the ocean - cap amnesties are great, but let's reduce pollution at its source.
Murray's Magic appoints new patrons
New patrons for The Rainbow Club will swim as a team when the Murray Rose Malabar Magic runs on Sunday, February 21. Olympic 1500m swimmer Daniel Kowalski became a club patron just recently, and will swim with paralympic legend, Louise Savage, blind long distance swimmer James Pittar, and Cronulla MP Mark Speakman.
You can compete against them in the Magic by registering a team of you and your friends.
The Magic is one of the few swims run by a charity other than a surf life saving club. The event gets significant support in water safety and logistics from North Bondi SLSC, where Murray Rose was a member.
You can set up a fundraising page when you enter the Magic, or nominate a one-off donation as you enter online on oceanswims.com... Click here
Tow floats make you safer
They're taking Europe by storm, now you have the chance to get yours here in Stra'a - Tow floats offer a new level of safety for ocean swimmers, particularly during those sometimes lonely, informal swims whilst you're taking off that Xmas pud. They make it easier to be seen in the water, they allow you to take your valuables and some clothes with you in security, and youcan even take a water bottle and food with you.
Find out more and order yours now... Click here
Swims open for online entry
Avoca (Sun, Feb 7)... Click here
North Bondi (Sun, Feb 14)... Click here
Manly (Sat, Feb 20)... Click here
Malabar (Sun, Feb 21)... Click here
Caves Beach (Sat, Feb 27)... Click here
Bondi (Sun, Feb 28)... Click here
Freshwater (Sun, March 6)... Click here
Balmoral (Sun, March 13)... Click here
Port Noarlunga (Mon, March 14)... Click here
Wollongong (Sat, March 19)... Click here
Terrigal (Easter Sat, March 26)... Click here
Nowra-Culburra (Easter Sat, March 26)... Click here
Pacific Palms (Easter Sunday, March 27)... Click here
Forster (Sun, April 4)... Click here
Mollymook (Sat, April 9)... Click here
Coogee (Sun, Apr 10)... Click here
Coming soon - South Head (May 15), Jervis Bay (March 20), Blacksmiths (Apr 30)
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