Is located on Sydney Harbour on the north shore of Sydney, just down from Mosman.
Fri night before the swim I was lying in bed listening to rain pour down thinking – “Great tomorrow is just going to be revolting both weather wise and water wise”. I was pretty relieved when it was only drizzling when I got up. I think because of this numbers were down and also last weekend being the South head Swim may have had something to do with it.
Marty was first to start finally getting going at 627 with the ever reliable Sonny next to him on a ski. It had stopped raining but was still a bit dark at this stage. Peter D, John and Jim were next to go at 640, Cae at seven and by 715 every one of the 12 swimmers were off and running. Vlad and John had a new toy to play with being Justin’s “Black Dog 1 or 2” – can’t remember which making its first appearance. This is an inflatable Zodiac with Oars so we thought this could be good to practise feeding off with a feed stick. We didn’t quite bargain on waves at Balmoral and how hard it was to manoeuvre. It ended up being moored off one of the Maritime buoys and used as a feeding station as well as Fredos fishing platform.
After about an hour the sun came out and it was a beautiful day. Water temp was around 19, outside temp about the same but felt a bit less in the breeze. There was a pretty decent swell around and by the end of the session the chop and a strong current had appeared. This was about when Rachael turned up straight off a plan form the US. She was looking very relaxed and tanned and hopped in with Cae and Peter to swim for an hour or so. It was almost Team Awesome again from Melb, but Ben had a cold.
The goal of the day was 8 hours for our channel swimmers and the heroes of the day who made it were Marty, John J, Dr Jim and Matt F. Marty came out looking like he could have done another 8, John and Jim came out with big smiles as this was an improvement on Melbs 8 hour challenge and for Jim The furthest he had ever swum. Matt came out a bit tired but happy with his swim. Peter D would have done the 8 but had to get out at 7 ½ to pick up kids. The way he was swimming he would have done the 8 and more easily. The great thing was for the last hour or so, Matt and Jim had family hop in on skis to keep them company to the end – a huge boost mentally. Justin Hopped out at just under 6 hours – not sure why, Anna D pulled out her longest swim at 4 hrs. 21 mins which is a great effort after south head last weekend. Cae was on 5 hours and felt good, Dan B was happy with his swim of just over 4 hours which I think is his furthest. Lochie was just under 6 hours and is more than ready for Manhattan in a couple of weeks. He’d have to be close to being the winner we hope. Ross who is doing a team channel this year enjoyed his 2 ½ swim and Fiona in her Wuss suit kept John company for 3 hours. Her excuse for donning the doona is that she is practising for Greece.
Our ever faithful John C came down and was fantastic in helping me on the beach and also with paddling and attempting to paddle the Black Dog. When he returned to shore he complained it was a bit heavy and water got in. Worked out the if the bung get screwed in properly this isn’t a problem. He got a good arm workout anyway. The funniest incident was when Vlad was bring it in with Shimmi and Fredo on board and a million drink bottles and they got absolutely smashed on a wave coming in. Everything went everywhere. Once we realised the kids were Ok there was a mad scramble to rescue all the drink bottles and stray bananas. Pit we missed getting a photo of it.
It ended up being a great day with some excellent swimming by all and helping from the supporters. Thanks to all for an awesome Sat
What to bring: Vladswim club togs (if you have one), goggles and cap
Waiver form: No waiver no swim!
Details of swim:
Channel swimmers 2013/2014: 6-8hours swim (8x long laps swim)
Other swimmers: 1.5 – 3hours your choice (2-3 long laps swim)
2 floating baskets: 1. cold drink and food 2. hot drink
- long loop 3-3.5km
- Short loop 2 – 2.5km
There will be two orange floating buoys on the swimming track
What to bring:
Channel swimmers: food, drink and thermos for hot water and smile
Other swimmers: drink, nutrition, can wetsuit and warm clothes
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