New era for the Cole Classic?
It's Cole Classic season and normally we'd be preparing to have a whinge. But this year, there are signs that the Cole may be entering a new era... Click here
We're flooded with swims in January... We have 14 swims on our calendar over this weekend. Four in NSW on Sunday, and three in Victoria all on Saturday, with another two in Victoria on Sunday. You cannot whinge for lack of choice.
- Sat, Jan 16 – Portsea, Torquay, Warrnambool (Vic), Wanaka (NZ), Mandurah (WA)
- Sun, Jan 17 - Avalon, Black Head, Fingal Beach, Tathra (NSW), Waihi Beach (NZ), Perth (WA), Sorrento (Vic), Echuca (Vic/NSW), West Beach (SA)
We're taking online entries to Avalon, Black Head and Fingal Beach, all on Sunday.
Avalon is one of Sydney's most beautiful beaches, watched over by Huey, a face etched into the northern headland by the weather gods. Avalon offers one of the most exciting starts in ocean swimming: out through the runout by Huey's headland, the waft of the weed tickling your belly as you whoosh over the rocks and out to sea.
Two distances at Avalon: 1km and 1.5km. It's also Round 3 in the Pittwater Ocean Swim Series, from which you can win a trip to Byron Bay if you do at least three of the series' five swims.
Check out Chris Ivin's course preview video, too. It's stunning.
Online entries to Avalon close at 3pm on Saturday, January 16.
More info and to enter Avalon online... Click here
Black Head is one of our fave spots on the NSW North Coast, partly because it's so accessible from Sydney. The expressway runs virtually all the way past Taree these days, which makes the trip from Sydney to Black Head, which is just north of Forster, little more than three hours.
It's a very small, and very pretty beach.
Two distances – 1.5km and 700m. They also offer a family entry, which makes it considerably cheaper if there are several of you in the household all wanting to swim.
Online entries to Black Head close at 3pm on Saturday, January 16.
More info and to enter Black Head online... Click here
Fingal Beach is a relatively sheltered bay facing the ocean on the southern side of Port Stephens, about 50km north of Newcastle. We used to go there as whippersnappers for surf carnivals when we rowed surfboats for Swansea-Caves. It was wild, lonely and sandswept in those days, tumbleweeds along the sandy tracks. But there's much more of a community around the beach nowadays.
Fingal is a broad bay inside relatively narrow heads, with the swell rolling into the beach according to the direction of the swell. Most of the beach is quite gentle. It's a lovely spot.
Two distances at Fingal, too – The Fingal Mile (1.6km) and 850m.
Online entries to Fingal Beach close at 3pm on Saturday, January 16.
More info and to enter Fingal Beach online... Click here
Plenty of other swims on, too. Find out more at oceanswims.com... Click here
What to do over winter
To date, 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 appropriate... Click here
Sulawesi – Our first inaugural oceanswimsafari in this far-flung corner of Indonesia that you'd never otherwise visit. Be aware, if you'd like to come with us, we need to know by mid-January, because that will allow us to secure our chosen resort just for us. We won't have to share it with any pesky divers -- 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
We'll also have soon our Mana Fiji SwimFest packages (October 18-23), our Yasawas oceanswimsafaris in Fiji (October 10-16 and October 23-30), and the Great Barrier Reef Swim on Heron Island (November 3-7)... Click here
And in 2016 we'll also have a new Yasawas Homestay oceanswimsafari (July 27-August 2) – Details coming soon.
All prices are land content only.
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
Glistening Dave's oceanswims calendar 2016
Those prescient punters who ordered their ocean swims calendars before Xmas already already will be planning their year against the wallpaper of Glistening Dave's photograrphy. But it's not too late to get yours. We're taking orders every day.
David has selected his favourite photograrphs from last season from his "formal" swims and his early morning fraternisations in Bongin Bongin Bay to illustrate his 2016 ocean swims calendar. And, this year, Dave's been travelling to Vanuatu and Tonga, so the calendar includes images from there, too.
The calendar includes every swim date we can find in Stra'a, New Zealand and the South Pacific, and a few more besides that we deem relevant or interesting. Pin it on your notice board at work, behind the door in the loo, on the wall in the kitchen, in your home office, your men's shed out the back, your sewing and knitting room, the wall in your hallway, so that you can check swim dates each time you leave home or return.
Find out more and order yours now in time for Xmas... Click here
View New Year special
The V200A is exactly the same as the Fully Sick V200A-MR, except for the mirror coating. We use the Fully Sicks for daytime, when the sun is bright, and the non-mirrored V200A for early morning squad, although both have similar sun-protection properties.
The remarkable thing about View gogs -- apart from how well made they are -- is the quality they offer for the price you pay. Other goggle makers charge twice as much for gogs that aren't half as good as these. That's why we wear Views.
To order... Click here
Swims open to online entry on oceanswims.com...
Avalon (Sun, Jan 17)... Click here
Black Head (Sun, Jan 17)... Click here
Fingal Bay (Sun, Jan 17)... Click here
Mona Vale (Sun, Jan 24)... Click here
Newcastle Harbour (Tue, Jan 26)... Click here
Palm-Whale - The Big Swim and The Little Big Swim (Sun, Jan 31)... 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
Forster (Sun, April 4)... Click here
Mollymook (Sat, April 9)... Click here
Coogee (Sun, Apr 10)... Click here
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