Our newsletter - March 12
Just a short email this week (huge sigh of relief from many of you, no doubt), because we're in the process of changing our systems. oceanswims.com is all new again (see below), and we'll soon have a new emailout system, too. Today, we're in a holding pattern.
Four swims around the joint this weekend, all on Sundee - Stanwell Park and Bilgola, in Sydney, Port Augusta, in Sar-Stra'a, and Matakatia in NZ.
We're taking entries for Stanwell Park and Bilgola. Both these swims are in our fine ocean swimmers series, but only Stanwell Park counts for points. Billie is postponed from December 8, when heavy seas prevented the swim going ahead. Online entries to both close at noon on Sat'dee on oceanswims.com.
Note that Bilgola now has a noon start time, which means you've got even more time to engage in a bit of Sundee luxuriating before heading up the northern beaches. It is one of our favourite beaches, and one of our favourite events, and we're disappointed that both Billie and Stanwell are on the same day. Such is the congestion in the calendar, particularly around this time of year, when surf life saving championships now take up two to three weekends for the state titles, and two weeks for the Stra'ans. That's a lot of weekends when event organisers' attention is elsewhere. It's very selfish of the surf life saving people, really.
You must go to the Bilgola page on oceanswims.com if only for Chris Ivin's course preview, which we shot with his helicopter drone. It's stunning stuff. Chris now has done a short preview of Stanwell Park, too, which you also can view on that event page. We can imagine these course previews (he did an equally beautiful preview of Caves Beach, too) winning an Oscar, had they an appropriate category: "Course Previews, Ocean Swims".
Having turned up at Bilgola in December, we'll be at Stanwell Park this Sundee, which is another of our favourite events. Please make sure you breathe to the left at Stanwell, for the view along the Illawarra escarpment as you schlepp from Coalcliff to Stanwell is spectacular. If you breathe only to the right, well, we're sure you can find someone to tell you about it. There are heads of reef all the way along the course, too, which means there's usually plenty of sea life to keep you amused on the bubble strokes.
Just be aware, however: there is swell predicted for Sunday. Both Bilgola and Stanwell Park can be hairy in a swell. Estimates vary, but those who leave their entries until closer to swim day would be well advised. Keep your eye on the forecasts.
To enter Bilgola... click here
To enter Stanwell Park... click here
New site, new life
And welcome to the new look oceanswims.com. If you haven't seen our new site yet, check it out. And, if you feel positively or negatively, let us know what you think. There's an email link to facilitate feedback on this page... click here
This is our first site makeover in five years, from memory, so it's pretty important to us. We've also switched site hosts, and we hope that a number of problems that have plagued us over the last few years now will leave us alone. There's one thing that we want you to know about in particular...
We are introducing a service fee for entries online. It won't be much, and if you do a dozen swims per season, entered online through oceanswims.com, it still won't match the cost of a half-decent bottle of wine; nowhere near the cost of a carton of James Squire. The fee will be stated clearly on the entry portal. We'll use it to cover extra costs from the new website, to keep improving it, and it also will allow us to reduce the amount that we charge event organisers for our services.
Please read our exposition of our new site, and let us know what you think... click here
Mana Fiji, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu, Samoa
We always get excited in autumn. Yes, yes, we know, it is the best time of year to swim. But it also means we're getting closer to winter swimming. Not the cold bits (we don't mind that, though), but the warm bits. Vanuatu is in June. We have travel packages online now to Espiritu Santo Swim Week in Vanuatu... click here... and we hope to have them soon to the Vanuatu Open Water Swims in Port Vila the weekend before Santo Swim Week.
Later today, we'll post accommodation and entry packages to the Mana Fiji SwimFest in early September. This year, the Mana 10km swim is on the Thursday (Sept 11), with choices of 1km, 3km and 5km on Saturday (Sept 13).
Our accommodation packages have been provided to us exclusively from Mana Island Resort: Stay five nights, but pay only for four nights. Or Stay 10 nights and pay for eight. That means, if you stay six nights, you pay for five, etc. Our deals are the base packages on offer. We can vary them pretty well however you'd like to fit your needs. No-one else can offer you these deals, so check them out later this afternoon. We'd love to see you on Mana Island.
It really is the best island in Fiji for an ocean swim event... click here
After Mana Island, come with us on an oceanswimsafari to the most beautiful swim location on earth, the Yasawas. There are five days and nights of relaxed, informal swimming over some of the most beautiful reef you'll ever see. Our oceanswimsafaris are limited to around a dozen punters. No races, just a relaxing, informal, adventure... click here
There's the Samoa Swim Series, too, at the end of July and into August. You'll get to do four swims over four days. It's a daunting thought at the outset, but you'll feel so good at the end of the series.... click here
Great Barrier Reef Swim, Heron Island
Later today, we'll have info online on the 2014 Great Barrier Reef Swim on Heron Island from October 23-27. Bookings are open. Don't miss this one. More of the world's best reef. And sea life. Two main events: 1km around the wreck, and c. 3km around Heron Island itself.
Coach Graeme Brewer will be there to provide you with open water coaching: there'll be a dry land session and a second session in the water.
It's a triffic long weekend... click here
Are tallies heading across the d'tch?
About this time every year, we remark upon how many Kiwis there are near the lead of our budgysmugglers.com.au fine ocean swimmers tallies race. That's because of the mid-week series in Auckland, one each Tuesday evening in summer, and one each Thursday evening. We also remark upon the Wessna-Stra'an swimmers up there, too, by virtue of the WA Swimming OW Series, which offers plenty of 5km and 10km swims; not to mention Rotto, which is 19km.
But each year, we know that the title inevitably will come back to NSW, where the season goes all the way through until the end of May.
But this year, it could be different. Later today, we'll post the latest update in our tallies (thanks to os.c staff propellor-head Colin Reyburn), taking us to the end of February. Not only is a Kiwi in the lead, but he has a good lead, and there are several swims of distance still to come in NZ, including a new 10km swim along Auckland's eastern bays.
At February's end, Geoff Carter (97.08km) had almost 14km on 2nd placeholder, Nick McCouat (83.4km), from Sydney, and almost 18km on 3rd place, Liz Betteridge (WA) (79.4km).
Check out the progress tallies (but give us until later in the day)... click here
Kristie's crinkles ironed out, now stretches lead
Northern beaches extreme mum Christie Krenkels has stretched her lead in the fine ocean swimmers series 2014 after Round 7 of the series at Freshwater. Krenkels now is almost eight points ahead of last year's winner, Rohan Skea... click here
View special in March
We had a terrific response to our February View special -- Buy two sets of goggles from our online boutique, and we'll refund the delivery charge in full! So we're extending it into March.
Pick any goggles you like... Mix them up... Fully Sicks (at right), Selenes (below)... Xtremes... Solace... Platina prescription goggles... Whatever. If you don't see them on oceanswims.com and you know they come from View, ask us and we'll get them fView Seleneor you.
Order your goggles now from our Goggle Boutique... click here
Costa Brava, Riviera, Greek Islands
In between the Sarth Pacific, there's Yrp, Europe... our oceanswimsafaris along Spain's Costa Brava, where we'll swim from France to Spain, we'll swim Our Secret Spot, and we'll get to inspect Salvador Dalì's bedroom, inter alia; we'll get to escape from Chateau d'If, off Marseille, just like the Count of Monte Cristo; and we'll spend two weeks on a yacht mooching around the islands off Greece, one week-long oceanswimsafari off northern Greece, and the second through the Northern Sporades, where we'll visit perhaps the world's most spectacular restaurant.
On our Greek islands oceanswimsafaris, all your food will be looked after by one of Stra'a's leading Greek chefs, David Tsirekas, of Xanthi Restaurant & Bar in Sydney's Centrepoint.
These are very special tours... click here
Swims open to online entry on oceanswims.com...
Stanwell Park (Sun, Mar 16) fos series.. click here
Bilgola (Sun, Mar 16)... click here
Lake Macquarie (Sat, Mar 22)... click here
Long Reef (Sat, Mar 22)... click here
South West Rocks (Sun, Mar 23)... click here
Hervey Bay (Sat-Sun, Mar 29-30)... click here
Wollongong (Sat, Mar 29)... click here
North Steyne (Sun, Mar 30)... click here
Shellharbour (Sun, Apr 6)... click here
Balmoral (Sun, April 6)... click here
Coogee (Sun, April 13) fos series... click here
Forster (Sun, Apr 13)... click here
Mollymook (Sun, Apr 13)... click here
Nowra Culburra (Easter Sat, Apr 19)... click here
Pacific Palms (Easter Sun, Apr 20)... click here
Inverell (Sat, Apr 26)... click here
South Curl Curl-Freshwater (Sun, Apr 27)... click here
Warriewood (Sun, May 4)... click here
South Head (Sun, May 18)... click here
Vanuatu - Santo (Mon-Fri, Jun 16-20)... click here
Mona Vale (Sun, June 22)... click here
Mana Fiji (Wed-Sat, Sep 10-13)... click here
Coming soon... Terrigal (Apr 19), Burleigh Heads (Oct 26)
See you on the beach,