Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The Murray Rose Malabar Magic Swim

The Malabar Magic Swim was set up by Murray Rose, a champion swimmer. It’s called magic because this is how Murray felt when he swam. Murray died in 2012 but the swim continues.  

Murray Rose at the Malabar Magic swim

Louise Sauvage, Australian paralympian wheelchair racer and patron of this year's Malabar swim
 Most Australian ocean swims support the Surf Life Saving Clubs. The Malabar is in aid of the Rainbow Club, which provides swimming instruction for disabled children. This year around 1,000 swimmers took part. 

It was a cold and rainy day but there was still a large turnout for the 1-km and 2.4-km swims. This included some disabled swimmers and graduates from the Rainbow Club programme.  
Steve and Anne-Marie

 Superb water safety
Lots on show 

The water was quite cool for this time of year but very clear. The pumice that appeared on our shoreline a couple of weeks is still floating on the surface. The ocean was flat in the protected channel of Malabar but there was quite a swell once outside in the open water. I did the 2.4 km this time and had a lovely swim. The course was marked out well and as usual the water safety was fantastic. A bit of swell out the back it was fun rather than scary. 

A good chance to catch up with chums
 I’m with Judy Playfair who came first in the 60+ age group in the 2.4 km 

and here I’m with NSW Masters swim administrator Jillian Pateman (right) who came category second in the 1 km and the 2.4 km. Ingrid Reiger is in the middle.
There were some first class swimming performances. The winner of the female 1km and 2.4 km was Christie Krenkels andf the winner in the male 1 km and 2km was Kazmir Boskovic. Another outstanding performance came from  Wett One Damon Kendrick. Damon has one leg and is in the 50 years + category. Amazing!
 Here’s Damon. His puppy chewed the corner of his hat

 And here’s a puppy. Not Damon’s but a pretty special tri-colour collie.


Monday, 10 February 2014

North Bondi Classic Ocean Swim


On February 9, 2014, I entered two ocean swims at North Bondi , the 1 kilometre and the 2 kilometre. These were my last competitive swims at Bondi for the foreseeable future. North Bondi has a special place in my heart. It’s  where I started ocean swimming in 2008. I joined a group headed by Spot (mad-as-a-cut snake) Anderson of Bondi Fit. I learned how to get through the waves, take the rip on the way out and make a racing finish on the way in. I’m still rubbish at these skills but at least I know how it should be done.

This year I am not so competitive in my ocean swimming. Being two months short of the next age category, getting placed is unlikely. Also I have a shoulder problem and have been trying very hard to work on my stroke so it does not make the injury worse. This means bilateral breathing, long slow steady stokes, shoulder engagement, rotation and most importantly engaging the core (engage your core Lindy, engage your core). I consulted my shoulder about the North Bondi event and it said I could do both swims only if I “gan canny” (‘take it easy’ in the Geordie dialect). So canny I went.

Conditions were perfect: The water was 19 degrees with a 1-metre swell. It was clear and glittery. There were fish - and a pod of dolphins was reported (although I missed those). The morning  was warm and sunny and it was great to catch up with my ocean swimming chums. We had a sizeable contingent from my swim squad, Wett Ones, my regular ocean swimming cronies. Sid, my husband, swam too. Doing the two swims was a real bargain at $50. I did both.  The first at 9:25 was the 1-km (1.2 really). It went pretty well and I managed 24:12 which is an okay time for me. The 2-km set off at 10:30 and was beautiful. We swam across the bay to the point with the swell and back against it. The water safety was tremendous as per usual. I managed 43:31 - another okay time. No prizes but with a happy shoulder.

Thanks to Paul Ellercamp AKA Mr Oceanswim for the lovely underwater shot of me in my new flamingo cossie!

I am always inspired in these ocean swims by the swimmers, particularly the older swimmers. Swimming makes you live for ever, I’m convinced of that. We have swimmers in their 60s (almost me), 70s and even Dennis here who is 90 years old.

I think wistfully that this is my last Bondi swim as we are moving to the UK. It’ll be very different. There will be new swimming experiences, murkier, colder swimming experiences but no sharks, rips and thunderous surf. I’ll still live forever though. 



Tuesday, 14 January 2014

It’s water Lindy: A swim in Kupang

Don’t worry Borut Strel, DiveKupangDive is not your next swim tour competitor! I’m in Kupang, in West Timor Indonesia for work. I’m here for ten days staying at  T-More Hotel (T-Less I called it) working at the nearby university. I only move between the hotel and the University. At every moment in the near distance  I can see the turquoise tropical sea without the means to get there. It was not possible to walk, there are no taxis and the psychotic bemos manned by crackers teenagers are not an option. The hotel advertises a company that runs diving and snorkelling day trips. Salvation at hand! I’d been in Kupang over a week and no swimming.  By this stage water was the priority and concerns I usually have about boat trips (toilets) disappeared from my head.  I booked in for Sunday and I started to get excited.

The organiser, Donavan,  an Australian turned Kupangese picked me up at 7:30 on Sunday morning  fag in mouth. We drove to a small street stall where I had gave him the trip fee (cash) so he could then go and buy breakfast takeaways for the skipper. Hmm… is this normal practice? It’s water Lindy, forget it. Arriving at the jetty we waited for the two other trippers to turn up, a lovely Javanese  couple who had learned to dive a few months ago. I stood on the shore trying to guess which of the boats would be ours. Yes, it was the scabby one that looked like an asylum seeker vessel that plies these waters between Indonesia and Australia. No seats, and certainly no toilet! It’s water Lindy, it’s water.

Aside from us three trippers there was Donovan, his ten year old son and two boatmen. There was no waiver to sign, no insurance, no warnings about the dangers of ocean swimming. It’s still water Lindy. We headed off towards the nearest island, Monkey Island and anchored off the reef. Sadly we passed swathes of floating rubbish as we chugged along.  The three divers kitted up, leaving me and the ten year old. Hmm.. ‘If I get into trouble……?’ ‘The boatmen they can’t swim but the boy can’ replied Donovan.  Right. It’s water.  I jumped it. Oh did it feel good! It was wonderful! Said son followed me, a lovely lad but a poor swimmer and a crap snorkeler. He needed help a couple of times. I lent him my magic floating flippers which helped a bit. I wasn’t charged any extra for babysitting. services. But the snorkelling was very pretty. I saw lots of fish normally found in a heated aquarium. Certainly not seen in Sydney or, dare I say it, British waters. I saw sea cucumbers, beautiful blue starfish, clown fish, flying fish and some lovely coral. I got rid of the voluminous wetsuit given to me and spent an hour snorkelling and swimming. I then went for two more snorkelling swims and I have to say although not awe inspiring it was lovely.

On the divers second dive I watched and waited for the divers to come up, they were 15 minutes late and a storm was brewing. It was at this point I reviewed the wisdom of my decision to do this trip and I started to woryy about what if…. But up they came, the storm did not happen for a couple of hours and we reached port safely.  I really enjoyed the snorkelling but I don’t think DiveKupangDive is not quite ready for exacting German tourists.