The Macquarie Bondi to Bronte ocean swim has continued to evolve since its first event featuring a 2.4km point-to-point swim 21 years ago.
The event went on to add a 400m and 800m junior swim and a 1km Bondi Bay swim, and this year, for the very first time, a 5km ocean swim will be added, starting and finishing at Bondi Beach.
The new 5km event, which is essentially the classic Bondi to Bronte and back, has attracted some of Australia’s best and upcoming open water swimmers, including Olympic open water swimmer, Kai Edwards, Olympic 1,500m freestyler turned open water swimmer, Maddy Gough, and aspiring Olympian and holder of the fastest B2B time for a female (23 minutes 30 seconds), Tayla Martin.
Suzie Ryan caught up with the three speedsters this week in the lead-up to the event.
What are your open water swimming goals?
Kai Edwards: My open water goal over the next two years is to compete at both the Open Water World Championships in 2023 and 2024 along with making my second Olympics in Paris in 2024.
Maddy Gough: I usually focus mainly on pool swimming, however, this season I am hoping to do more open water. I’d love to reach the same level in the open water as I have in the pool and the next big competition is National Open Water Championships in January.
Tayla Martin: My open-water goals are to make the Australian team and compete internationally representing my country. Anything beyond that is a bonus and a blessing. I think my goals will change once I get to that next level.
What are you most looking forward to about the Bondi to Bronte?
KE: I moved to Sydney early this year so I’m really excited about being able to race and compete at one of Australia’s most iconic beaches – Bondi.
MG: I’m looking forward to the beautiful scenery and the great atmosphere that is always at the ocean swims around Sydney.
TM: The Bondi to Bronte has always been a fun swim for me, the environment is beautiful and the people that come to watch are always inspiring me to be better. It’s also always a nice morning and the post-swim walk-back to Bondi is filled with beautiful scenery.
What is your race strategy for the new 5km (and the Bondi to Bronte)?
KE: My race tactic for the 5km and 2km races are both the same, to race hard and push myself the entire time. I see it as an opportunity to improve my open water swimming and push my limits physically and mentally.
MG: I’m going to try to finish the race strongly and embrace the different conditions that might come on the day.
TM: For the B2B, basically go bloody fast, and for the 5km being that little bit longer, I want to try and stick with a pack until the gateway, where I hope to catch an amazing wave into the beach and run!
What does your training look like to prepare for your open water races?
KE: My training throughout the year is quite consistent, I do roughly 75 to 85km per week. Regardless of what point of the year we are in I always seek opportunities to race open water events to continue to progress my open water skills. I’ve noticed Sydney has more open water events throughout the year, so I am excited to be able to compete in these events consistently throughout the next year, now that I’m living here.
MG: I do a lot of distance in the pool for training, usually about 10 sessions per week in the water and some dry land training to complement it. I also try to get in the ocean when possible and do some ocean swims on the weekend for extra practice in different conditions.
TM: My training is mainly based in the pool. I swim nine times a week for 2-hours each session and I have three strength and conditioning gym sessions. Besides that, the ocean swims up and down the coastline of Sydney give me the opportunity to race most weekends preparing for bigger swims such as the Bondi to Bronte and open water states and nationals.
What events do you do throughout the open water season?
MG: I usually swim 1500m in the pool and am trying a 10km open water race this season. Recently, I have been doing some ocean swims around Sydney and am looking forward to the Bondi to Bronte swim.
TM: I compete in most of the ocean swims in Sydney, I sometimes even travel to the Central Coast and compete up there. Some of my favourites are the Bondi to Bronte, Cole Classic and the Malabar Magic swim.
Join Kai Edwards, Maddy Gough and Tayla Martin at the Macquarie Bondi to Bronte on Sunday, 4 December 2022. Entries close at 10 pm, Friday 2 December.