Sunday, 21 June 2009

Fannie Bay Swim 2009

The Fannie Bay Swim 2009

Saturday morning was cold……….official temperature in Darwin was a cool minimum of 14.9C, and a dry cool wind.

But the day warmed up to around 30C by early afternoon.

It was very cool waiting in waist deep water in front of Pee Wee’s Restaurant at East Point for the start of the Fannie Bay to Trailer Boat Club Swim [commonly known as the Fannie Bay Swim Classic] and even cooler once we got under way with the usual argy-bargy at the start.

There was a strong on shore sea breeze which made it rough and choppy and very difficult for those breathing to the right – directly into the sea water chop! Everyone made a mad scramble to swim for the first buoy with a fair amount of kicking legs and shoving of arms, then settling down to try to manage a good steady pace and concentrate on technique. The chop interfered with that and most swimmers when discussing it afterwards seemed content with ploughing on and just trying to keep a good pace.

The buoys are quite large but with a strong NW breeze and an incoming tide there is a tendency to swing left so one needs a regular correction to stay on line.

The winner overall was a young woman – Rachel Maclean in a time of just under 29 minutes, a good minute in front of the first male. She has good form – is from Darwin, and a member of the training team for the Australian open water contingent for the next Olympics, so the win was not unexpected. Kyle Gear was second and the first male to finish.

Yes, I finished, and quite a good time for the conditions – 48.11 minutes, which is nearly 6 minutes better than last year, with many swimmers finishing behind me. Not quite as sharp as I was aiming for but I had a few “off course” issues which cost a bit of time. But being much quicker than last year, in quite tough conditions was really great. And I managed to win my age group too, although again, not quite as quick as the female age group winner - Gerda Williams – but I reckon that as she holds a few world swim distance and backstroke records for her Masters Swim Age Group, I should be reasonably content.

It was a great event, a good afternoon.

There was a good turnout of swimmers ranging in ages from the sub 20 year olds and an especially large group in the 30s and 40s, through to the 60s.

Distance swimming, or bike riding, or running does require a commitment to doing some serious training. It does not happen, at least with any vigour or speed, without that commitment. And it is great to see so many enjoying themselves on a very pleasant dry season afternoon.

I also must acknowledge my strapper for carting me and the gear around……….thanks Roni!

Friday, 19 June 2009

Tomorrow is the Big Swim

The training has been done, entries are in, and a good nights sleep is wanted.

Tomorrow is the Big Swim - the annual cross Darwin Harbour event. The entry indicates that you need to be aware that crocodiles and sharks, marine stingers and similar creatures are out to get you......and you cannot wear flotation wet suits.

Oh well.........most things have some risk, even getting out of bed.

It is likely to be cold to night [15C predicted] and there has been a strong afternoon sea breeze over the past few days - that will make it a bit cooler and probably very choppy. Or should that be just rough.........makes for a much harder swim.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

It is COLD - (relatively speaking)

We have a COLD snap..............temperature dropped to 17C last night, and 16C expected tonight. Even colder a few kilometres away from the coast - with one area already this evening at 1030pm below 13C, with 9C or less expected. The maximum today was around 27C., which for Darwin is distinctly cool.....but very pleasant if you are a local.

The air is dry and the near full moon is very bright and clear, as it has been for the past few nights.

Many locals were out in light jumpers this morning...........and heading off for a warming coffee. There will be more sweaters used tomorrow morning, I am sure.

I even decided late this afternoon that it was too cool for swimming training today! So it has to be COOL, for me to miss my swim fix.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

How Time Flies

WOW...........three weeks and no blogging!!!

I have many excuses - been away, work is busy, too much focus on swimming training, visitors staying in the house, doing other more interesting things............pretty much all of the above.

BUT.........I have a new blog post. Hi folks!!!

And today was the first real dry season morning. Temperature actually was down to below 20C, and a few more mornings to come in the next few days that will be similar. A strong dry SE wind blowing and very typically ......the dry season! Good one!