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The peloton returns to safety, Freshwater (Glistening Dave photograrph)

A breather as we segue into autumn

We'll go easy on you this week. There are seven events scheduled around the joint this weekend, four of which are near capital cities, one of which -- in Sydney -- is a pool-based fundraiser for a charity, Little Heroes, which teaches disabled children to swim. As we segue from summer to autumn, and as many swim awgies (those attached to the surf life saving movement) focus on state champeenships, let's take a breather.

Sat, March 7 - Sydney (NSW), Indented Head, Lake Nagambie (Vic)
Sun, March 8 - Broulee (NSW), Caloundra (Qld), Coogee (WA)
Mon, March 9 - Port Noarlunga e (SA)

This weekend, we're taking online entries for Port Noarlunga on Monday, the public holiday for the Adelaide Cup in Sou-Stra'a. Why do we have public holidays for horse races? Next, we'll be having a day off when some dodgy foreign betting agency sets up shop here. There's something awry there.

port noarlunga aerial

Port Noarlunga (left) offers two distances, 2.5km or 1.5km, in a pretty bay inside a reef, on the gulf south of Adelaide. Bear in mind that, as with all swims run by Masters Swimming clubs in SA, entry is open only to those aged 18 and up. Water safety is provided by the SLSA SA, awgies tell us. Online entries close at 5pm on Saturday, Adelaide time.

Online entries to the Port Noarlunga Reef Swims close at 5pm CDT on Saturday, March 7... Click here

As you'll recall, Evans Head, on the Far North Coast of NSW, was postponed from last weekend due to water quality following heavy rains in Northern NSW. It's been rescheduled now to Sunday, November 15. All entries will carry over to that date, and we have reopened online entries. All other arrangements remain as they were.

Online entries to the Evans Head Swims close at 3pm on Saturday, November 14... Click here

Last weekend...

We've been a bit snowed under, but we plan to have our reports from last weekend's swims on oceanswims.com by late today (Wednesday, March 4). We had staff photograrphers (Glistening Dave) at Freshwater and at Caves Beach (Chris Ivin with his drone took video), and we were at both. We also had an entrist at the Melbourne Swim Classic at St Kilda, and we'll publolish their report, too.

Freshwater was Round 7 in the fine ocean swimmers series NSW, and handicap points are reported amongst the results from that swim, while progress points in the series are on the series page.

In New Zealand, Across the Lake in Lake Taupo was Round 4 in our fine ocean swimmers series NZ. Awgies didn't give us ages in the results that they sent us, despite repeated requests, but they've now given us a list of entrants with dates of birth, which we now must correlate to results before we can work out points. We'll get the results up there as quick and smart as we can. Sorry for the delay.


A message from Surf Life Saving Australia...

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Ocean swimmers, how would you like to be part of history? Here is your chance!

Surf Life Saving Australia is launching "The Aussie Ocean Swim" to coincide with the 100 year celebration of the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships on the Gold Coast.

It is 100 years since The Aussies were first contested on Bondi Beach in 1915. Until now, the option to compete in this iconic event has been exclusively reserved for members of Surf Life Saving only. Now, SLSA is opening its doors to ocean swim enthusiasts looking for a challenge, with the added bonus of being a part of The Aussies festival experience.

The Aussie Ocean Swim will be held on Sunday April 12, 2015. It starts at the Coolangatta and Tweed Heads SLSC and finishes at North Kirra Beach. The course will provide competitors with a 2.5km course along the pristine beaches of the Gold Coast. Entries are open to everyone over the age of 16.

Entries are now open and will be closing online on Friday 10th of April at 10.30pm, after this time late entries will only be available on site the morning of the event.

Imagine being the inaugural winner of this fantastic new event on the ocean swimming calendar in a landmark year for Surf Life Saving Australia. We only turn 100 once. Help us celebrate a milestone!

Register today and be a part of one of Australia's most iconic sporting events... Click here


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Laydees head to sea at Caves Beach last Sat'dee. It was a lovely day.


Every week, we receive an email from Don Marsh in Tasmania with a swim report from the previous weekend. (Some of you know Don as the bloke who turns up in Sydney for a weekend in late January and cleans up all the usual suspects.) Usually, this email comes in just after we've sent out our email newsletter. This week, it came in beforehand, so here it is...

Tasmanian Ocean Swim Series

Race 10 in the Tasmanian Ocean Swim Series was held at Devonport on Sunday as part of a full day of aquatic activities in Devonport.

The 90 plus swimmers headed out of the Mersey River in near perfect conditions with an outgoing tide pushing swimmers along. The early pace was fast and furious and not surprisingly the Big Tomato, Ray Winstanley with Hamish Chapman in close pursuit were first out of the river with junior, Michael Bout, Luke O'Garey, Sam Curtis and Olivia Sanderson at the head of the pack.

Turning west the swimmers encountered a surprising amount of wind chop before heading into the beach at the Bluff. Thea Crantock helped raise money for the Blair Foundation by swimming the entire distance butterfly.... an awesome effort. Age category winners consolidated valuable points with wins to Ray, Olivia, Luke (although Alex Branch still leads the points score in the Master Men's), Michelle Russell (Anita Jack swam in the open section but still holds a handy series points lead), Michael Boult, Shaeli Rodman( Hannah Steele leads the category), Amanda Duggan and Don Marsh.

David Briggs gained some valuable points in the YMCA Clarence Pool Lane 3 challenge......but his fellow swimmers have questioned if he really needed to travel 600 kilometers just to grab 7 points. David , just ignore them. It was a nice swim!!!

Congratulations to Latrobe Swim Club and Devonport SLSC for conducting such a great event as part of the series and other swims as part of the big day.

Full results, times and series points upgrade are attached. Just a note on the series points. As it is a manual and time consuming process only the top 5 or 6 swimmers by aggregate points have been included in the spreadsheet. If however you have been omitted please let me know and I will adjust.

Boat Harbour is Race 11 of the series and full details are included in the attached flyer. This is another stunning location for a swim so don't miss out.

Part of the Tasmanian Ocean Swim series sponsorship is the random draw of a great Blue Seventy Helix wetsuit sponsored by The Aqua Shop. To be eligible to go in to the draw you must have participated in at least 6 swims in the series. The winner of the Aqua Shop voucher this week was Jesse Purton, one of our regular swimmers and a top junior.

Don't forget to provide feedback about the series. It will take just a few minutes to complete the survey... Click here

Don Marsh


Don't let injuries stop you from the surf

The Royal Rehab in Sydney is running a day at Clovelly, in Sydney's eastern suburbs, on Wednesday, March 18 (10-2) to help disabled and injured punters learn how to access the beach and ocean for swimming, body surfing, wave skiing and scuba diving, etc.

The Rehab's Kel Smith tells us they plan to run the day periodically on Sydney's north side (Collaroy) and south side (Clovelly) several times each summer.

"We can, hopefully, encourage newcomers to approach beach and surf activities with greater insight, confidence and, of course, safety," Kel says.

The day will be run by the Rahab's Sebastian van Veenedaal, its Community Rec Program Co-ordinator. Also on hand will be Neil McLennan, a T8 spinal infury athlete, who is experienced in these areas, along with a range of equipment to help you access the beach and the surf.

It's essentiall to register for the day in advance. Call Sebastian van Veenedaal on 9808 9353 or email... Click here

Controversy Corner

Send us your feedback about swims you've done and we'll pubish it here... Click here


Swims open to online entry on oceanswims.com...

Port Noarlunga (Mon, Mar 9)... Click here
Jervis Bay (Sun, March 15)... Click here
Fingal Bay (Sun, Mar 22)... Click here
Balmoral (Sun, Mar 22)... Click here
South West Rocks (Sun, Mar 22)... Click here
Stanwell Park (Sun, Mar 22)... Click here
North Steyne (Sat, Mar 28)... Click here
Wollongong (Sat, Mar 28)... Click here
Forster (Sun, Mar 29)... Click here
Terrigal (Easter Sat, Apr 4)... Click here
Queenscliff (Sun, Apr 5)... Click here
Copeton Waters (Inverell, Apr 11)... Click here
Mollymook (Sat, April 11)... Click here
Shellharbour (Sun, Apr 12)... Click here
Coogee (Sun, Apr 12)... Click here
Black Head (Sun, Apr 19)... Click here
South Head (Sun, May 17)... Click here
Vanuatu (June 6 and 10)... Click here
Mona Vale (Sun, June 21)... Click here
Mana Fiji (Thu-Sat, Oct 15-17)... Click here
Evans Head (Sun, Nov 15)... Click here

Coming soon... South Curl Curl-Freshwater (Sun, April 26)


Late breaking news on today's swims...

It's swim day, and you want to know... Is the swim on or off?

We tweet all our latest news, especially on swim day. Follow us through our handle @oceanswims.

Our Twitter feed also loads on to oceanswims.com. Click the Twitter banner near the top of our home page. Or check the ticker of our latest tweets near the bottom of the home page.

If an affected swim asks us, we will also send an SMS to all online entrants.

And we post late-breaking news in the Stop Press box near the top of our home page on oceanswims.com

Mobile phone numbers

When we are informed of swim cancellations and postponements, we like to send an SMS to entrants letting them know, provided the swim awgie wants this. But we can send an SMS only to swimmers who leave valid mobile numbers with their online entries. Landlines won't do, and neither will those silly mobile numbers that some entrants leave with an international prefix (eg +61). That renders the mobile number inoperative for SMS purposes. Why anyone would think we'd be sending them an SMS from some foreign country is beyond us. So if you want to be informed about postponements and cancellations, do yourself a favrour and leave a valid mobile number.


Online entries of U18 swimmers

As we all know, online entries of swimmers under the age of 18 must be done with the consent of a responsible parent or guardian. Sometimes, the "responsible" parent or guardian evidently leaves it to the minor to enter online, and too often, the parental consent field in the online entry form is left containing only a phone number or maybe even only a first name.

This is not enough. It does not constitute parent's or guardian's consent.

For a minor's entry to be valid, it must contain the full name and the phone number of the parent or guardian. Leaving it to the kids, evidently unsupervised, is not good enough. Some parents have found this to their cost when their child has messed up their entries. One child recently entered four times in the space of six minutes, with four payments for the one event. We refund, but there's an admin fee attaching to refunds (the bank charges us for every transaction) and it can be costly.

Best if parents take responsibility themselves and make sure the entry is done correctly in the first place.

The child's entry will not be accepted unless and until the parental/guardian consent is valid.


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