Is located on the northern entrance to Botany Bay adjacent to La Perouse.
Cold Saturday swims at La Perouse.
Winter came to Sydney on Saturday but despite the rain and significant drop in air temperature, the Saturday swim adventure went ahead as usual – in fact, some Vlad Swimmer can’t imagine what else they would do at this time in the week!
The swimmers congregated in La Perouse car park and walked down to Congwog beach, the fresh morning air seeping into the bones. Unfortunately Mother Nature had organised an unwelcome greeting on the beach and in the water – bluebottles! Since no-one fancied 5 hours in the company of the bluebottles, especially those who had been stung repeatedly last week at Brighton-Le-Sands, the group decided to check out La Perouse beach instead. This can be found 300m to other side of La Perouse Cliff in Frenchman’s bay. Vlad recommended this location since he had regularly swum there the previous summer and knew that it was safe and likely to be bluebottle free.
This was indeed the case and, full of excitement, the group quickly got into the water. Those training for the Channel were happy with the conditions – water temperature of 13/14 OC and an air temperature of 11 OC – although it was a test of strength of character, both mind and body, for the rest.
The swim route started from the Sailboard Cafe at La Perouse out to the Yarra Bay Sailing Club, a distance of 1km, return. This meant it was a 2km loop which took the swimmers 35-45 mins on average with strong wind and rain.
First swimmers in the water were Karl, Ross, Dean, Katarina, Simon, Anna. Justin jumped in a bit later and soon caught the group up. Marty also joined the main group at the start, with the trusty Sonny paddling. As the main pack diminished in number, Marty set up his own route, ably supported by Sonny, and completed his swim after just over 5 hours at midday. Both Marty and Sonny did a great job in testing bad weather conditions. Greg, Daniel and Wyatt belatedly found the new location and joined the group for an hour’s swim, which was sufficient for them that day.
Matt came along a bit later after only 5 hours sleep but set up a strong pace for the first 2 hours, swimming alongside Justin and Greg. For the last 3 hours he switched to cruise pace, as the lack of sleep affected his energy levels – an easy 5 hour swim but the first cold water dip since Melbourne so a good achievement.
Justin’s swim mentality suits targeting a swim distance rather than a time, so after his first 2 laps he decided he would complete another 14. He had a fantastic swim on this basis, cruising through the 5 hours with feeds every 40 mins and with no shaking from the cold afterwards. This is a good sign of his total cold adaptation, excellent swimming fitness and nutrition preparation.
This is was first cold water swim for some: Greg managed 1 hour without a wetsuit and Anna showed determination staying in the water over an hour without a suit. Simon and Katarina both wore half wetsuits and did well to stay in the water for an hour and an hour and a half respectively.
Congratulations go to Ross who qualified for the Channel Swim Relay in July by spending more than 2 hours swimming in 14C water. Good luck Ross!
Dean and Karl swam for 2 hours before retiring to the nearest restaurant to warm up in front of the heaters behind the grill cantina – thank you to the lovely Greek ladies who took care of our swimmers.
Daniel and Wyatt are well acclimatised to the cold but even they were happy get dressed into warm dry clothes after their session. Finally, Martin deserves a big cheer for his hour’s swim which he completed after standing on the beach in the cold and rain supporting the swimmers for 2 hours beforehand.
Although tough, Saturday’s swim brought plenty of new experiences to prepare the group for extreme Sydney swims - cold water, rain, high winds and a dark sky. Everyone who took part should feel very proud of their efforts and have confidence that they’re stronger mentally and physically from their experience.
If you guys looking for new swimming adventures you should join with us any Saturday swim!
Vlad coach and Nicola Davidson
Details of swim:
- Group 1 (Channel swimmers 2013): 5 hours swim
- Group 2: one – two hours
Feeding from the floating basket
Kayak also: Sunny