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Lake (North) Bondi

Swims this weekend...

We're taking entries online to North Bondi on Sunday.

North Bondi forecast

  • Forecast - Sunny 23-27C, maybe showers in the afternoon. It should be like Lake Bondi
  • Tide - Rising from low at 7:38
  • Wind - N-NW 15-20kmh then SE 20-30kmh from late morning
  • Swell - 1.3m from east, which means North Bondi, which faces just east of south, should be noicely protected in the corner. Waves 1-2 feet.
  • Water temp - 22C at the moment. Noice.

The day of the North Bondi Classic next Sundee is Valentines Day. Marking this, North Bondi awgies have put on a special competition for sweethearts of all kinds: a Valentines Day Team Challenge. Two categories: Under 50 and 50+, taken by the age of the elder of the two team members. The competition applies to the 1km swim on Sunday, and couples will start in a special wave at the end of the age group waves.

It's aimed at couples of all human kinds and sizes. And any of the couples who enter can win, with dinner vouchers up for random draw of all couples who enter. There are six dinner vouchers available, one in each of the six categories: Under 50 and 50+, Male/Female, Male/Male and Female/Female. If a category has no entrants, then the voucher will go to a second draw in the category with most entrants.

To date, we have six entries in the Valentines Day competition, five in the Under 50 age group and one 50+. We have four Female/Male couples and two Female/Female. So, the competition is wide open. Do yourself a favour and get your entries in.

To enter, you need to enter the 1km swim individually, then register your team through the link on the event page on oceanswims.com... Click here 

We'll leave Couples entries open until online entries close on Sat'dee at 3pm.

North Bondi's usual team competition also applies in both the 1km and 2km swims.

Online entries to the North Bondi Classic close on oceanswims.com at 3pm on Sat'dee, Feb 13... Click here 

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Caves Beach from the main cave, where they filmed the saucy scenes in The Set in 1971.

Rest of February

February is an interesting month for swims. Whereas January was focused heavily on Sydney's northern beaches, February is heavy in Sydney's eastern suburbs. After last Sundee's Cole at Manly, swims in February then are North Bondi, Malabar, at the southern end of the eastern suburbs, then Bondi. Along the way, there's Penrith on Sunday, February 21, and Caves Beach in Newcastle on Sat'dee, February 27.

The Manly swim scheduled for Sat'dee, February 20 has been cancelled, awgies say, "due to unforeseen circumstances". Current entrants "will be contacted to discuss options".

This is this event's second postponement/cancellation this season, following its earlier postponement from the date scheduled originally, November 30. Awgies are very disappointed at the decision, they tell us. They are considering options for handling the 60-odd entries already received.

Malabar deserves extra special attention on account of the fact that it's a swim run by a charity that's not a surf club. That means that awgies, The Rainbow Club, don't have the usual pool of water safety resources to apply to the event. They receive a lot of help from North Bondi SLSC club members, however. That was the club of The Rainbow Club's late patron, Murray Rose, and Murray's cobbers gathered around to help out. Some years after Murray's passing, they still do.

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The Rainbow Club have arranged a team of ambassadors to swim for them in the event, too: Paralympic heroine Louise Sauvage, also a Rainbow Club patron, James Pittar, who was completed enormous swims on each continent, despite his blindness, Olympian Daniel Kowalski, the winner of the most exciting ocean swim we have ever witnessed (Lorne's Pier to Pub ten years or so back), and Cronulla MP Mark Speakman. You can support this team with fundraising through the event website... Click here

The other nice thing about Malabar is that it's an ocean beach with no surf to speak of, so the course is noice and smooth. No breaks or rips to worry about. To support the team of Rainbow Club patrons... Click here 

More Stop Press

Swansea-Belmont Surf Lifes Saving Club has cancelled its Across the Lake (Macquarie) Swim for the second year running due to suspected activity of large fish in the lake. This is the second longest -running open water swim in Stra'a, we understand. (The oldest is Magnetic Island in Townsville.) Instead, the club is running the Nine Mile Classic at their beach, Blacksmiths, on Saturday, April 30. Two distances offered: 1km and 2km. Online entries will be open on oceanswims.com in the next day or so.

Jervis Bay Triathlon Club is running its Clearwater Classic at Vincentia again on March 20. We've have online entries open on oceanswims.com very soon.

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After the Cole is done

Heaps of controversy on our Cole Classic report page centred on the failure of timing chips in the 5km swim and the disqualification of some swimmers for starting in the wrong wave. Did they really? Or did they just cross the starting pads a few seconds early. According to posts in Controversy Corner, some were called over the pads early by the starter.

But most ire focuses on the timing chips. In the 5km swim, most of them failed. The timers now are scrambling to assemble a credible set of results from the 5km, but these seem to be based on an online form that finishers have been asked to complete that asks, essentially, What time do you think you did? We know this is the first question that all timers use when they've lost someone. As one smartypants posited on Facebook, "Oh, yeah, I remember Trent Grimsey coming in just behind me..." On Tuesday, 5km swimmers were emailed by the awgies to say that they now had a set of "verified results".

In Controversy Corner, Lizzie Crowhurst points out that the time she now has been given in these "verified results" was precisely what she had estimated for herself.

"I estimated I beat my husband (whose timing chip did work) by at least 2 minutes and remarkably my 'verified' time appears to the split 44 seconds to be exactly 2 minutes less than his.

"According to your results, 9 peeps finished within a minute either way of me but I can assure you that I ran through the chute toute seule." (We looked this up on Goggle Translate. It means "alone". We thought it might have meant "naked", or something like that. Got excited for a bit there. French does that to us, just like Gomez.)

Fairfax Media, the Cole's awgies, are enormously embarrassed by the timing stuff-up, which was, largely, out of their control. Having had some contact with them in the lead up and during the event, and following it, we feel for them, because they seem to us now to be a decent bunch of characters trying to put on a good event for punters, as well as doing the right thing by their employers. But no-one yet has answered the question: Were the timing chips used in the 5km swim checked before they were used? If you're paying a timing company a fortune to time your swim, you're entitled to expect that they were. Well, were they? Only timers can tell.

We note, however, that in the "verified" 5km results on the Cole website, there were 173 entrants in the 5km, 127 finishers, and there's a long list of punters in those results still with no time, including plenty of mugs whom we know for a fact did swim in the event... Click here

We're still marveling at the chocolate-block chips used in the 2km swim. Cole awgies, relying on advice from their timers, no doubt, tell us that they were designed for swims, but we can't help feeling that someone is having a lend of them. If someone has a pic of these chips, please send it to us... Click here

And the random draw at the Cole of a trip to Vanuatu to take part in Espiritu Santo Swim week May 29-June 4 was won by Greg Fawkner. Well done, yourself, Greg. If the enthusiasm of Greg and his comrades is anything to go by, he's a worthy winner.

'ave a chat

We're systemising all our chatting: we've set up a forum on oceanswims.com so everyone can get stuck right in to any issue they like. Look for the 'ave a chat link on oceanswims.com in the top menu, or... Click here

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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

navotua 1510 01Tonga – Come swimming with whales with us, August 10-18 from $A3,305... Click here... And check out our report from our oceanswimsafari to Tonga earlier in 2015... 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).

Goggle respect

v200AMRWe're constantly lecturing punters who come to us looking for new goggles, clutching their current gogs, usually scratched, greasy, sandy, and blurry. "They keep fogging up," they whinge. Do you keep them in the case, sir/madam? We ask this knowing full well the answer. They look sheepishly at their feet, averting our gaze, at least. We think of these things as we walk in to Crummy Drummy at 5:30am on squad mornings behind a bloke from Balmain Water Polo who has his towel in one hand and his gogs in the other. When was they last time they saw their case, we think, to ourselves. ("...to ourselves" is redundant, a tautology, but few in the meeja seem to realise this. It's one of our pet hates in language. Like the double possessive.)

We're reminded of an encounter we had with a chap on the boardwalk behind the beach at Kaanapali on Maui a few years back. He was running a Maui Jim kiosk. We were wearing Maui Jims and he offered to clean them for us. Nice chap. As he handed them back, he said, cheesy, toothy smile an' all (conjure up the LA accent in your inner monologue), "Remember, if they're not on your face, they're in the case". And so they have been ever since, although they're on our face quite often.

Punters complain that their gogs fog up. They're old and they reckon they need new ones. We sell them new ones. We're happy to. But we also give them a lecture on goggle respect. There are simple things you do to keep your gogs in good working order. Remember, too, that your swim gogs are some of the most personal items you can own: you find a pair of gogs that suit you, they're worth their weight in bluey repellant. Some brands are better than others, of course. That's why we offer View goggles, by far the best, and best priced gogs on the market. We know of ritzy gogs more than twice the price that lose their coating after a few months. We've been using the same Views for years.

Gogs will last, and they will keep performing, if you look after them. If you respect them. A lady came to us at Malabar a couple of years ago. She had a pair of View Selenes that she'd had for years and she figured she should get some new ones. We asked her, How long have you had them. She couldn't recall. Then she pointed at her husband, "Longer than him", she said. She'd been married nine years.

Anyway, we've prepared a discussion paper on Goggle Respect. How to look after your gogs and make them last. You can find it under Swims on oceanswims.com... Click here

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Champagne Beach, Santo, in Vanuatu... Site of a swim excursion during Espiritu Santo Swim Week.

Swims open for online entry

North Bondi (Sun, Feb 14)... 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
South Head (Sun, May 15)... Click here

Coming soon - Jervis Bay (March 20), North Steyne (March 20), Blacksmiths (Apr 30)

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