I was scheduled to swim the Sorrento 2km on 3 January 2015 however due to the hot weather and high winds forecast, it was called off 3 days beforehand, leaving me with the decision of whether to go to Torquay or not. After some deliberation, I decided to enter the 2.5km event and sit the shorter one out.
On arrival, it was already well into the 30’s but relatively calm as the photos below indicate.
However that was short lived. As the morning rolled on, the wind picked up and as a result, the organisers decided to change the course from the upside down L-shape as planned into 2 x 1.25km laps. The wind was really picking up and just before the start, there were plenty of whitecaps. The race briefing was completed and before I knew it, it was go time.
I really struggled from the word go. My wetsuit didn’t feel quite right and I didn’t get a clean start out through the breakers. Charles and I were side by side but the four guys in front had a clear break which they extended as the race went on.
The only part of the swim that felt good was when you turned the top course buoy and swam towards shore. On this leg, you had the wind behind you and no chop to contend with. I tried to get into a rhythm and start to push however I couldn’t shake Charles and as we exited the water at the end of the first lap, we were still side by side.
That is pretty much how’s things stayed for the second lap as well. At the top buoy, Charles edged in front but swam wide, enabling me to beat him to the line to claim 5th overall. The time of 31:03 was reasonably good and didn’t tell the story of how tough the swim really was. As the GPS trace below shows, I was all over the place as I couldn’t see the buoys going out. Charles ended up 6th although to be honest probably deserved 5th with his only mistake being the final leg.
It was good to sit out and watch some racing and as the day went on, the chop seemed to reduce. Some fast times were had in the earlier legs with Charles backing up with a great swim to take 2nd in his age group.
All in all, the organisers did a great job to run the event as smoothly as they did, battling the weather all day and backing up after a drowning at the surf beach the day before.
Now its on to the Bloody Big Swim on Saturday 17 January 2015. Its the second longest ocean race in Australia at 11.2km (behind the Rottnest Island swim which is around 20km) and I’m really looking forward to it. The distance is perfect for me and it will be a good test for feeding during the race. I attended the race brief earlier today and after hearing from a number of great speakers and watching the video from last year, I’m super excited. Swam 11.5km today so all ready to go. I am lucky enough to have Wayn Wong from the Sandridge SLSC paddling for me so looking forward to a nice straight swim following him all the way.