Sunday, 12 December 2010

Oprah's at Bondi but all the action's at the 2010 Bilgola Ocean Swim

It's a long way from Bondi in the eastern suburbs to Bilgola on the northern beaches, and though Sydney is in the grip of Oprah hysteria some of us want to escape the hype.

So, on this magnificent day my temporary swim coach, Ms Fivestar, and I ditched Oprah at Bondi for the 1.5 km swim at Bilgola.

We met my brother-in-law Davo on the beach, where he confirmed the water temperature was a chilly 16 degrees. Davo and I swam 2 km in 15 degrees at Bondi the year of the Black Saturday bushfires. And it was bloody-headache-freezing. 

Today the organisers gave swimmers the option of wearing wetsuits or going 'newd'. We opted for the latter, though I wore two caps to keep my head warm.

The water may have been cold, but the surf was non-existent, which gladdened my wimpy heart. I don't like monster waves (last year's Bilgola swim had them and it was a bugger). I've been in enough huge-surf swims to know how friggin' tough it is out there. It's no fun having to watch your back as you swim to the beach to ensure you're not pulped my a dumper.

For me, the conditions were perfect. The four (?) waves of swimmers went off with three minutes between. Davo and I wished each other good luck as he sprinted ahead of me into the water. The cold was refreshing and the swim mostly blissful. No chop and a smooth run out through the buoy gates and then north-east to the red-balloon-topped buoy.

If you're a faithful reader of this blog, you'll know about my goggle issues (they always fog and fill up) and my lack of a sense of direction (I have no ocean sense). Today I had to empty out my goggles half-a-dozen times, a no-no in ocean swimming where stopping wastes precious seconds. However, I was fortunate to 'attach' myself to another green-capped swimmer who I could see out of the only clear bit of my goggles. I followed him around the buoys and he made a good choice coming in, avoiding a rip that held many swimmers up.

I shuffled up the beach and belched about a dozen times as the salt water I'd swallowed made its way back up. Erk.

Davo finished after me, which is a rare occurrence. If he's reading this, he would want me to add that he didn't swim at all during winter and that his last swim, in a pool, was about six weeks ago. 

I hope that makes you feel better Davo!

I have no idea about my time. I'll have to wait until the results are up on


Anonymous said...

look at the scoreboard...for some reason shows I finished a minute in front of you. Must be a handicap race. Davo

Shayne said...

I'm already fed up. Down as a 1km at Dawny and now this.