Friday, 7 January 2011

Ocean swimming story in The Sydney Morning Herald and we're off to do Gerringong on Sunday

Today's edition of The Sydney Morning Herald has a story on 'the allure of ocean swimming' in its summer supplement. The story is first and foremost a plug for The Cole Classic on February 6, which is sponsored by Fairfax - which owns SMH.

However, it's not a bad read and does have some interesting observations from die-hard ocean swimmers. It also warns people about the sport's inherent risks, including my worst-case scenario - swimming into a pack of bluebottles.

And it points out that ocean swimming is becoming hugely popular and poses the question: will this affect the camaraderie in the sport? The journalist asks this at least twice, but never gets around to finding an answer. (This is just me niggling. But, if you set up a premise for a story, shouldn't you then follow it up?)

And here's me just niggling again. The man behind http://www.oceanswims.com/ Paul Ellercamp is interviewed for the story. Funny that, I thought he was deadset against the commercialisation of The Cole Classic, with its exhorbitant entry fee and raft of prohibitive OH&S rules that have led to the swim being re-routed to and from the calm waters of Shelly Beach, rather than finishing at the surf beach South Steyne, since Fairfax took control two seasons back. Ellercamp could've talked about camaraderie in relation to The Cole Classic!

I guess any publicity is good publicity... Here's the link, if you're interested: http://www.smh.com.au/executive-style/fitness/swell-of-surf-swimmers-20110106-19hmy.html

There's a swim at North Bondi this Sunday, but The Hiss and I are heading to the South Coast, where we plan to enter the Gerringong swim with Davo. It depends on the weather (raining today in Sydney) and, more importantly, ocean conditions. I hear this can be a challenging course. At the moment I'm up for it, but at the moment I'm dry and warm as toast and about to have a cuppa.

Have a good weekend.

Photo: The surf at South Steyne was deemed to be too rough for the organisers of last year's Cole Classic, who redirected the swim back to its starting point, Shelly Beach.

3 comments:

Anita Joy said...

Good luck, shayne. Hope the weather is hot, sunny and the water calm :)

Richard said...

Yeah I saw that article, quite condensed and a few minor factual inaccuracies, but overall not a bad read for the novice. How about Roy swimming 450 kilometers in ocean swim races every year, no wonder he looks so old and tired (methinks they added a zero to his 45k for good effect). Funny to see the familiar names interview comments.
I think there is a kind of begrudging acceptance of Cole Classic, it has brought thousands of new swimmers to ocean swimming the last couple years, and all surf clubs and event promoters have had a benefit, though they don't agree with Fairfax's methods.
I'll give Cole a miss this year, as you say a rather boring swim course with crowd and parking hassles. There's other swims to do around Manly which are better.
I'm doing an (informal) adventure swim with a small group at Manly later this month. Boldly going where no swimmers have gone before. Will blog it ..

Richard said...

BTW you will like Gerringong. I'll be at Bondi on Sundi, but I did Gerringong a couple years ago.

It's a curious little event. A funny start on the boat ramp at boat harbour, then cliffs for the first half of the race.
All the better if there's a swell or a current running the other way.

Your biggest challenge will be getting to Gerringong on time.
Make sure you get there EARLY!
They will NOT allow you to start if you arrive at the surf club after 9am.