Sunday, 13 February 2011
The swim I wasn't going to do: The Cold Power North Bondi Classic 2011
I woke up at 3am and did the usual, where I worried about everything from Egypt to odd socks. I went back to sleep at 6am for an hour.
When I got up, my thoughts first flew to Egypt (power to the people and let's hope it stays that way) and then to Bondi and the important North Bondi Classic ocean swim. This is a key swim on the ocean swimming calendar and one that us serious ocean swimmers like to do "just because". It also comes a week after The Cole Classic, so for those who boycott the Cole it's their first organised swim in a fortnight. Finally, it is one of the six swims on the http://www.oceanswims.com/ Fine Ocean Swimmers Series, which has big prizes for winners.
I'm still not feeling 100 per cent, but I am a determined/ocean-swimming-obsessed woman so at 8.30am I decided to do the swim. Spanner shook his head and gave me his "you're so pathetic" look, which he created especially for me. As usual, he had no opinion about the wisdom of my racing over to Bondi. (I've just recovered from the flu and I'm still dealing with a persistent bulging disc and sore shoulder).
I arrived at North Bondi expecting mild conditions and the predicted 1 metre swell. Maybe the swell was 2 metres? Dunno. But the surf was messy and there was choppy swell out beyond the numerous sets rolling in. It wasn't a swimming pool. However, the weather was cool and overcast, which was a blessing after the past couple of brain-frying weeks.
As often happens at North Bondi, at the swim's start the mob veers off to the left as there's usually a current closer to the rocks that sucks swimmers out over the reef. The waves were sudsy and sandy with a bit of weed, but not scary. And the lovely reef was a pleasant distraction, so before I knew it I was around the can and heading south-east.
From then on, the swell was UP and DOWN and UP and DOWN and UP and DOWN. Imagine being stuck on a rocking boat. That's what it felt like. Ocean swimmers can actually get seasick in conditions like this.
But again, I didn't mind. I stuck with a small group and as we rounded the top can at McKenzies Point to head back to the northern end of the beach, the swell kicked in and gave us a hearty push towards to the next can. I'm sure it made the swim faster for everybody.
For good body surfers, the getting back in part would've been fine. For me, it was the usual, stop, look behind, keep on going and avoid getting dumped scenario.
BUT I DIDN'T MIND. I DUNNIT.
Let's see how I shape up tonight!