Is located on Sydney Harbour on the north shore of Sydney, just down from Mosman.
The original plan for this Saturday’s session was to swim from Shelly to Manly beach. However, on the surf forecast on Friday was for rough conditions, 8ft waves and strong winds, so we switched locations to Balmoral.
Thankfully previous trips to this location meant we knew the timings of the Balmoral Bach club morning race – despite the absence of local guru Charm - so swimmers began congregating at 06:45 in order to avoid clashing with the race. John, who had shared a ride with Vlad, was joined by the usual suspects of Marty, Anna, Lawrence, Dean, Matt, Rachael, Jai, Ross, Cyril and his friend Alan and north-shorer Ben.
Fortunately the surf conditions at Balmoral were perfect for the 4 hour swim with water temperature about 17C and air temperature approx. 15C. By 8am the sun was touching swimmers’ backs and the choice to move swim locations was justified.
Marty led the main group initially, swimming to the yellow float (feeding buoy) and then heading right to the west side of the beach before returning past the buoy and onto Chinaman’s beach. Most of the swimmers were familiar with the route although it was the first time that Dean and Alan had swum at Balmoral.
During the first loop, the gang of swimmers split into 3. The fastest pairing was made up of Matt, who initially held back to wait for Justin who was running late having been ill overnight with stomach cramps, and Justin. Both held a good pace and technique until Justin ran out of energy at the 2 hour mark. Matt’s performance indicates he’s ready for his Channel attempt in July, with 2 more swims with Vlad squad to go.
The second group was composed of Marty and Lawrence, who set up a strong swimming pace. Lawrence’s wife also joined the guys for a long loop before she and Lawrence finished. This left Marty to swim solo after the 2nd lap until support arrived in the form of Tori, fresh back from her successful Manhattan island swim last weekend in which she finished 10th. What a team player – thank you, Tori!
The remaining group swam together like a school of fish, ‘tho unfortunately without a compass – they missed the yellow buoy on their return journey from the Baths towards Chinaman’s and ended up too far off the coast. Vlad kayaked out to them to organise a first feed and direct them for the remainder of the swim. After the first feed the group separated out – Ben, Rachael, Dean, Ross, Cyril and Alan were joined more latterly by Wyatt (who unfortunately missed the change in venue notification) all swam well together. Anna persevered with her shoulder to complete a 1.5hr swim and Jai was happy with a 1hr swim warm up ahead of next fitness activity – a 6hr cross country run. John finished his swim after 4 hours and felt good and happy with a strong, positive mentally state. He is ready for Channel. John’s flight is on Friday so it was his last long swim with us – Good Luck John! On last 2hours one of our great supporters joined us - a smiling Fi jumped into the Balmoral waves and swam with John for the last 2hrs. Thank you, Fi, for your support.
The forecast had been for a wet and windy Saturday morning but the reality was different with great surf conditions and the lovely winter sun – a great start to the weekend and another smiling Vlad Swim Adventure. Thank you to all swimmers.
Duration: 4 hours swim
What to bring: Vladswim club togs (if you have one), goggles and cap
Waiver form: No waiver no swim!