Friday, 4 February 2011

Prediction: The Cole Classic is going to be a bun fight as 5000 punters head to Shelly Beach

This weekend The Cole Classic is on at Shelly Beach in Manly. Traditionally, the 2 km swim runs from the sheltered, still-water Shelly Beach around to the ocean beach, South Steyne.

For the past three years, inclement conditions have led organisers to move the course so it starts and finishes at Shelly. This is a nightmare as Shelly is a narrow arc of sand that isn't particularly well suited to a big ocean swim. At any one time there might be a couple of thousand punters squished onto the beach and spilling over onto the promenade that winds its way back to South Steyne.

It looks as though this weekend might have the same surf conditions as 2010, with huge swells predicted for Sydney's beaches on Sunday.

This will pose a major challenge to the Manly surflifesavers and Fairfax, which now runs the event and theoretically gets to take home a hefty profit after the whole shebang is over.

For the first time the swim is sold out, with 5000 entrants at mostly $49 (early bird entrants) and $59 a pop.  I know a lot of the swimmers will be competing in the 1 km event, but that doesn't change the fact that it's gonna be mayhem in the water if organisers don't make the ocean entry points and exit points clear to swimmers. Many of the swimmers are novices and have no idea about ocean swimming etiquette - NO BREASTSTROKE! And a lot are bad swimmers who can barely swim 500 metres in a pool, let alone in the ocean.

Even though the 2 km swim starts at 10am, I don't expect to get into the water until 11.30am (fingers crossed). That's a long wait if the weather is as brutally hot as it has been in Sydney for five days in a row, where temperatures have peaked in the 40s Celcius.

And to make matters worse, I'm without my swimming partner and driver, Davo, so goodness knows how I'm going to get to and from Manly on the day.

I really don't know why I'm doing it. But who knows, I could be wrong. 

Let's hope so.

PS: I am on my way to creating a separate blog for my writing as I find the swimming and writing do not work well together. My writing blog, a work in progress with only two posts, is over at Wordpress. It's at The plan is to eventually move this blog over to Wordpress, too. We'll see what happens. Or what doesn't.


Anita Joy said...

Good luck with your seim, Shayne - I'll pop over now to check out your wiriting blog..

Shayne said...

Thanks Anita
It's going to take a while. I did a blogging workshop for work, so this is why it's been launched. But I think it will be a time consuming exercise to maintain two blogs.

jenn j mcleod said...

So how was it? And you've shattered me! I always thought it was a bum fight (not bun fight). The image of bums fighting was soooooo much more interesting LOL