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One thing that I really love about ocean swimming, is that a lot of people get into it via charity events. This tends to mean that you get pretty great people, who are kind and selfless and generous with their time and their spirit involved.

This year, 4SEASons is putting in an appearance once again at the MS Megaswim…a 24 hour team relay at Sydney’s Olympic Park. A BIG appearance…4 teams totally 60 people!!!!

This is not just a fun event, but it is also a fundraising event to support sufferers of MS. I’ve been busily organising teams and scheduling and answering questions and communicating, so I was more than happy to leave organising a fundraising event to some of our other capable swimmers/fundraisers, and I’m happy to say they outdid themselves!

On Saturday afternoon, after training, we had the 4SEASons MegaBowl!!! lawn bowls afternoon. It was so much fun, having a BBQ, a bit of lawn bowls, some whale watching off the coast (the view from Clovelly Bowls club is million-dollar, btw), a cake stall and a massive raffle…and hanging out with all of us with our clothes on!

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What fun!

I brought along my Mum and my brother (also in town for my little sister’s engagement party) and we all had a cracker afternoon. My brother even took home the bowls trophy (and we’re not mentioning that most of the teams stopped playing when a bit of rain interrupted play!).

A hugely impressive sum of money has been raised so far…over $13k so far across all 60 of us, and I couldn’t be prouder.

The swim itself is in a couple of weeks, from noon on 22nd June to noon on Sunday 23rd. I’m sure there will be stories and photos galore so tune in after then. In the mean time..if you’d like to support our fundraising efforts, sponsorship is very welcome if you click on over to our team fundraising page….it’s such a great cause to support (and at the right end of the financial year, too).

Apparently we had one of these:












Oops! Sorry – I’ll make sure to follow the rules in future…no feeding the Mogwai after midnight, don’t get them wet…was there something else?

And if you never mention that last weird post again, neither will I!

Nothing to do with Swimming

Big Girl Pnats

Big Girl Pants

Confession time – with my training posts I usually copy from a previous similar training session…just quicker than setting up all the categories and tags from scratch again.

Tonight, though, I saw a photo in an old post that I’d forgotten I put there and it made me laugh all over again so I just felt the overwhelming need to post it again!


Tee hee!

Don’t Pay The Ferryman

This morning I woke up and found myself with an ear worm.
I had Chris De Burgh’s 1983 single “Don’t Pay the Ferryman” stuck in my head through breakfast and all the way to work.

A funny thought occurred to me though, in my pre-coffee state: That whole sing is a lot less ominous if you’re reasonably certain you’d be able to swim to sure if that creepy ferryman goes all 80s horror movie on you.

In case you needed another reason to take up swimming.

Of course it didn’t stop me looking up the original music video (that eluded me by amazingly not being on YouTube).

YouTube is such a funny place, though. It’s like venturing down a rabbit hole. While looking for the original, I found the updated version on Youtube that really raises only one question: Why?

Again. Why???? For the love of all that’s holy, why???

And then I realised why. It lead me to my personal favourite….probably because I almost certainly watched this when it originally aired as I would have pretty much sold my Barbie dolls (OK, they weren’t really Barbies’ but they were kind of the same), my Trixie Belden collection and my innocent soul to be a member of the Young Talent Team back them. Possibly because of this.

And now I’m kind of scared again. Tina Arena in a skull mask will do that.

So….1/10 for relevant content? OK, spurious link to ocean swimming, but tell me you aren’t singing along now….

Wardrobe Malfunctions

“Ocean swimming is a glamour sport”

Said nobody, ever.

Between caps and goggles and lycra outfits that cover the bare essentials, not to mention the joy of the wetsuit dance, and apres-swim requirements, I’m guilty of many, many crimes against fashion. I admit it, I’m a repeat offender.

There is one thing, though, that stands in a class of it’s own. The wardrobe malfunction. I imagine it’s possible for guys, but I’ve not come across it. Just about every girl, though has a story about it, and almost everyone has been witness to a bad one. I personally was subjected to a particularly bad case in the North Bondi Roughwater last week. I was swimming alongside a woman in what looked like a perfectly sensible speedo one-piece who was completely oblivious to the fact that every time I I breathed to my left I was copping full view of well, ummm, let’s just say it was a Janet Jackson superbowl moment. I kept thinking surely she would realise…I didn’t really want to stop, but eventually I tapped her one the shoulder and gasped “fix your swimmers!”

She thanked me and adjusted as though she had a wedgie. *Sigh*

This is an unfortunate problem with ocean swimming. I think is has to do with the fact that there are currents and waves and other swimmers jostling. And most ladies swimmers are either made with fashion or pool-swimming in mind.

There are a couple of exceptions, though. I’ve raved about Funkitas here before. They are awesome swimmers with awesome patterns, and they are comfortable and *ahem* secure, and last well. The other swimmers I now recommend are Minnows. These are made by the gorgeous (and super-fast) Immie who swims with me at 4SEASons. She made our very special 4SEASons swimmers, modeled below by yours truly (in the middle)!

4 SEASons swimmers

4 SEASons swimmers


The Minnows feel different when you put them on. They have a very high cross strap at the back; basically across your shoulder blades. This combined with smaller armholes means the risk of a wardrobe malfunction is substantially reduced. Plus the material is really soft and stretchy which makes them super comfortable (and non-chafing!). They really are made by an ocean swimmer for ocean swimmers.

So if that woman from North Bondi happens to be reading….no more excuses!

Another Reason I Love Funkitas

… there’s a real sense of fun in everything the do, from their prints and designs, right down to their labels.


Week one.

Miscalculated the weather and wore a maxi sundress. Plus jeans and motorbike jacket and boots for the ride. Ended up wearing all of the above.

Week two.

Had a presentation at work for which I wore a kind of fancy dark blue wrap dress and heels. Discarded the heels, added waterproof motorcycle pants, motorcycle jacket, and boots. Factor in make-up (not waterproof) apres swim & goggles.

Week 3.

Super hot weather today, so wore a jersey knit short sleeved bright green top and brown knee-length flowy skirt for work with sandals. Add to that 3/4 pants (to protect my knees and insure against my skirt flying up unexpectedly), motorcycle jacket and boots.

Upsize all 3 with post-swim short hair, headbands, my crazy flouro sparkly motorbike helmet, and it’s possible I’m creating my own fashion trend. I’m extra fashion forward. Like Dr Who!

love the Friday swims, but the combination of having to dress for work, get to the beach on a motorbike (safely), cope with the weather, and get home post swim is ending up with me combining more than one outfit at once. Or parts thereof.

I strongly suspect myself of committing crimes against fashion.

Seems the question of watches for swimming is a bit of a hot topic in the swimming world lately. I’ve seen multiple facebook threads about it, and had some questions on Twitter recently.

I’m a bit of a gadget tragic, so it was bound to happen sooner or later that I’d jump on the bandwagon.

I went through a bit of process of research before I bought a swim watch, and realised there are really a few different categories of  options for what you can look at. I thought I’d share my criteria, my thought processes and my decision here as a start. The jury is still out on what I ended up with, so I’ll follow up soon with a review.

The first style you can go with is an all-purpose waterproof sports watch. The advantages here are that these have been around for ages, and there are heaps of different styles to choose from at a pretty low price point. They generally have a stopwatch so you can independently check your race times (and know what they are before the results are published). Depending on how fancy your watch is, it may also have some internal memory to help with recording laps and reviewing them later. At the really fancy end of the range, you can connect these with a computer to review the data (and help with things like pacing). Coach Zoe’s analysis of her pacing progress was done on one of these…a Timex if I’m not mistaken.

Next is a purpose-specific swim watch. These are fairly new to the market and there’s pretty much only 2 brands I’m aware of in this market – Garmin and Swimovate. They have some pretty nifty features like being able to tell what stroke you’re doing, counting your laps, and calculating your stroke rate and swimming efficiency. Pretty awesome for pool swimmers and for ocean swimmers if they’re doing pool sessions.

The third category is to go with something with GPS so you can map your swim, see how far you swam, how straight you swam, and what pace at different points in the swim. There’s nothing swimming specific out there that does the GPS tracking, so you end up having to repurpose a run watch (important note – must be waterproof!). The trade-off is that these are really not set up for lap timing, so that makes them pretty useless in the pool unless you’re straight up using it as a stopwatch to time something like a time trial. Again, Garmin seems to be the big market leader in this space, but a few other brands seem to be catching up fast.

The big daddy of them all is the Triathlon watch. These will look after your lap timing needs and have a GPS, and are also useful if you ride a bike. There are only two real problems with this type of watch – The price is usually substantially more than what you’ll pay for any of the previous options, and the devices themselves tend to be pretty massive. The size isn’t much of a problem when you’re training and racing, but they look a bit full-on and are quite heavy compared with a regular watch.

So what did I go with?

I went with the Garmin Forerunner 10, the Garmin entry level running watch which is waterproof to 50m. I got it on sale, but even full price it’s still very reasonable at around $US129. The reasoning was that at this point in the year I’m more interested in tracking my races than my training, and at the price I paid I could afford to buy this plus a dedicated swim watch for less than the cost of a Tri watch.

So what do I think of it? Well, let’s just say it hasn’t been entirely smooth sailing. You can watch this space for a full review soon.

I read this interesting article on the differential in time between wetsuit and non-westuits in ocean swim races. Apparently it’s a pretty complicated topic!

I hadn’t given it a whole lot of thought before reading the article but ti certainly has me thinking now. I’ve never worn a wetsuit in a race. I certainly wear one to train during winter and I’ve written before about the decision of whether or not to wear one when training, but I tend to compete in summer in a climate where it’s warm enough that a wetsuit would actually have me overheating.

for the 2012-13 season, though, I have in my head a goal swim that’s later in the year and longer than swims I’ve done previously. That race has both wetsuit and non-wetsuit divisions. It’s literally months and months away and so much work and preparation will need to go into getting ready. Here’s another decision to add to the list!

Saturday was miserable. Cold and wet and about as wet as winter throws at you in Sydney.
Training was on anyway. It always is. I may not be the best swimmer out there (or anything near it), but I can participate like nobody’s business!

Despite the miserable weather it was a great swim at Bondi. This year’s new full-length wetsuit may be a bit of a mission to get in and out of, but while I’m in the water I’m toasty, and the extra buoyancy seems to be doing my technique a bit of good.

Last week was ins-and-outs…some (finally) decent waves meant there was some pretty decent body surfing and I have finally been managing to get the bigger ones a bit more under control, so I was hanging out to try my hand again.

First, though, a longer swim. Coaches Kingy & Zoe split us into two groups (faster and slower) but each person was paired with a buddy in the opposite group. We started in the middle of the beach and headed out the back of the break. Once there, the faster swimmers headed north to the boat ramp and the slower (me!) south to icebergs. The idea was that the faster group would turn at the end and then try to catch their buddies, turning around when that happened. Turns out we weren’t as slow as we thought and made it all the way to the point and part of the way back.

My buddy was Jayne, and as I had my trusty waterproof Pentax, we managed a photo when we finally met up

Back in the middle of the bay we were given an option…swim across to the boat ramp, then back in to shore, or head directly in for some waves. I took the waves option (of course) and managed a few decent ones, but nothing compared to last Saturday or even Monday…they were easy enough to jump on, but didn’t have the power to take you all the way in. Still fun to have a bit of a play, and during events, when you’re stuffed near the finish line, little waves are often all you’ve got to bring you home, so practising with them is never wasted.

Cold showers (Waverly council, what’s with that?) and hot coffee with the troops topped off another stellar start to a Saturday!

Other photos from the day available on flikr.

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