Monday, 7 December 2009

Two ocean swims in Sydney over the weekend is an expensive hobby

Nothing in life is free and that principle can be applied to ocean swimming.

For example, over the past weekend two swims were held in Sydney - one at North Curl Curl and the other from Bondi to Bronte.

The option for people entering an ocean swim is to do the 'earlybird', where you enter and pay online or send a cheque in the mail before the event.

If you choose to enter on the day of the swim (if that option is available) the organisers tend to whack an extra $10 onto the entry fee.

One of the reasons I like to leave entering as late as possible is so I can see what the conditions are like closer to the day.
On the weekend, I was in two minds about swimming because my swimming mate, Davo, was out of town. I left it to the last minute. Will I swim or won't I?

In the end I didn't and saved $90 and two long drives and the stress of finding a parking spot ($40 for North Curly and $50 for B2B - on-the-day entry fees).

I know I missed two good swims (go to to read about them), but I don't mind.

I figure that if I do 10-12 ocean swims this season, I'll be $500+ the poorer.

There are a couple of reasons why ocean swims are getting more expensive - insurance is the big one.

But since I started swimming four years ago, and Precious Princess was doing the swims well before that, the cost has slowly but surely increased.

Still, cost obviously isn't a deterrant as more and more people are taking the plunge and happily forking out their disposable income to participate in a 2-3km swim.

I reckon the rise and rise of ocean swimming has lobbed the golden egg into many Surf Life Saving Clubs' laps.

Crikey, they must be laughing!


jenn j mcleod said...

I'm a Nth Curl Curl girl from way back. But I never did go to the beach!!!! Hate the beach (near-death drowning experience as young child didn't help - well, not really near-death if my sister tells the story!!) So I cannot understand why someone would want to pay good money to swim in the ocean. Sharks, Blue bottles, jelly fish, rips- and the latest - pollution and flesh eating bugs Eeeek! I have to admire you.

Richard said...

I reckon the first $15 of the entry fee goes to paying for equipment hire, electronic timing, online entries service, advertising costs, insurance. If the surf club is using a private event manager to prmote and run the event, add some more dollars cost per entry. $20-$25 would just cover costs. Another $10 donation to the surf club or charity benefitting is fair. All the labour and usually all the water safety is volunteer so you don't pay for that. I still don't get the Late Entry Fees, perhaps it's just an incentive to get people to register early. So $30-$35 entry fee to participate in an organised ocean swim is great value. My advice would be to register early, don't look at the weather forecast, trust in your experience & swimming ability to handle the surf conditions whatever they may be.

Shayne said...

Hi Richard
I can see your points are valid, but I still don't think the clubs would be doing it unless they turned a profit.

I might see you at a swim. I need to widen my horizons beyond my brother in law Davo (he's not the one who blogs on the ocean swims site).