Sunday, March 22, 2009

Stanwell Park Ocean Swim

Readers of this blog might be aware I'm a pretty keen ocean swimmer. This weekend, I did one in Stanwell Park, which is near Woolongong.

You can just about make out the first beach on the left, and the destination beach a bit further out. We took this photo after the event, but there are buoys/cans to guide the way, and you have to swim quite far out in order to avoid the rocks.

The currents were against us, but I still came 4th out of over 400 competitors - next time I'll try to make up those critical few seconds for the $300 winner's cheque.

Ocean swims are absolutely awesome events - and, with the spate of recent dorsally-based news events, its profile has grown immensely. However, compared to other sports, it's statistically safe and it has a rather unique character. It's a community-based initiative, with colourful participants of all ages, an enjoyable atmosphere, and you get to swim in and enjoy some of Australia's most beautiful coasts. Surf Life Saving provides water safety and swimmers are well aware that they enter the water at their own risk.

It raises money for the surf club that hosts it, and most swims are relatively inexpensive (note, the huge Cole Classic is a behemouth of an event, it's the City2Surf of ocean swimming - and therefore one of the pricier and busier swims. There are loads of other options that they don't put on their website but you can find at

Just like seeing a good band in a small venue, I advise anyone to do some pool training and then one of the small, scenic ones - you won't regret it. Plus, you get to wear really small swimmers and hang out with other like-minded people... If that doesn't entice you, nothing will.

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