Preliminary fos tallies 2019/20
Emailed to more than 41,000 ocean swimmers weekly in season.
With the nation in lockdown, record numbers of frustrated swimmers have been migrating on weekends to find beaches that will have them... Image by David Helsham @glistenrr
Preliminary tallies for inspection, critique
Season 2019/20 was cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic, so tallies are lower than they would be in a normal, full-length season. Our seasons run from June 1 through May 31.
Note that the tallies are preliminary. We advise you to check the lists to ensure that all your swims are recorded. If there are errors, there are links on the page on oceanswims.com to contact us to let us know. We will amend appropriately.
Understand that many organisers, and many timers, are sloppy with their reporting of results. They record only name, usually — but not always -- gender, sometimes age, but only rarely other identifying data, such as where a swimmer is from. Often, too, their input of data is misspelt or otherwise in error. This means that it is often very difficult to identify swimmers, and to separate swimmers with similar names. Thus, some swimmers will appear several times in these lists as if they are different swimmers. We need you to check the lists and to draw these anomalies to our attention, so that we can then edit the master list to ensure the final tallies are as accurate as we can possibly get them.
To check the fine ocean swimmers tallies… Click here
Story of a remarkable swimmer
James Pittar on the beach on Marthas Vineyard after swimming the Muskaget Channel in 2000. Pick from Getty Images.
Many NSW swimmers will know of James Pittar. Those of you who don’t, should.
James is a bit of a legend. We first learnt of him c. 2000, after being told about him by an American ocean swimmer, who lived in London but had recently, at that time, visited his mum in the nor’-east US. This was where he, the American swimmer, had learnt about this remarkable bloke: in the local paper on Martha’s Vineyard when James completed a swim across the Muskaget Channel.
Over the years, James has completed marathon swims on every continent. Why is that remarkable?
Because James Pittar is blind. In doing what he does, James shows everyone that disability does not preclude one from having a go.
In doing his marathons, James swims with an escort paddler, who is equipped with a whistle: one blow for right (or maybe left); two blows for left (or maybe right); three blows for “Shark”, although James used to say he had never heard that one.
James is a big bloke: very tall, with long arms. He has a devastating left arm, which skims like a Scud missile across the surface of the water, ready to clock any idiot who gets in its way.
Anyway, James Pittar now has written a book about his life. It’s titled, Blind Vision. We are waiting on a copy, and we’ll write about it when we’ve read it. In the meantime, you should check it out. Blind Vision is published by Inspiring Publishers. You can find out more about it, and order it… Click here
And check the video of the book… Click here
New Swipe Wide-Eyes
More Swipes in stock now
There's a new model Swipe: the Wide-Eyes cater to swimmers who prefer an adjustable nose bridge, and a slightly wider field of vision than offered by the existing Swipe Selenes. They come in both plain and fully sick mirrored versions. They will be more suitable, perhaps, for punters who need a longer or narrower nose-bridge.
We wore our original View Selene Swipes for 56 outings, until we lost them at Bondi a few weeks back. Left them in a change room. Now, we're using the new Wide-Eyes Swipes.
We had been cautious about promoting the Swipes when we heard about them from the folk at View. We wore them 30 times before we were comfortable with flogging them to you. If they do fog at all, generally it's in one corner of a lens. Each time, we took them off, wiped the foggy bit gently with our forefinger, and no more fogging for the rest of the session. No goo, no spit, no nothing, except wetting them and wiping them carefully
We've sold 310 pairs of View Selene Swipes since we launched them just prior to Xmas; so many, in fact, that we'd sold out of four colours and we'd almost sold out of the fifth. New stocks have arrived, and we have plenty of gogs in all available colours and styles.
The revolutionary Swipe technology offers anti-fog capacity that lasts 10 times as long as existing goggles, the makers say.
According to the makers, the "10 times as long" refers to distance they say you can swim before you start to see some fogging with new goggles. They say the standard is 4km, but the Swipes will go 40kms. Whatever, all gogs will fog if you don't respect them and look after them. The issue also is how to deal with the fogging if and when it does occur.
For advice on looking after your gogs... Click here
Find out more and order Swipes... Click here
Read the piece...
Outrage at call to be allowed to swim
In our last newsletter (Apr 15), we made a plea to The Authorities to open closed beaches so that swimmers could swim. We attracted a lot of support from like-minded punters. But we also drew heated criticism from others, some of whom accused us of dissing the need for lockdown during this pandemic.
(To refresh your memories, and to check the considerable feedback on Controversy Corner -- scroll to the bottom -- you can read that piece again... Click here)
It seemed to us that most of these critics had not read our piece, or at least, had not read it all, or taken it in.
We never argued against lockdown; we simply said that, whilst The Authorities were right to impose lockdown, they were also right to allow punters to get outside to exercise. But whilst allowing runners, walkers, and cyclistes to exercise, they had ignored the needs of many of us who swim. Surely, beaches could be managed such that genuine swimmers and beach walkers could gain access to their beaches for their daily constitutionals; that the world did not consist solely of serious joggers or walkers, or even more serious cyclistes.
Since then, councils generally have reopened beaches. Some punters have ignored the rules -- we condemn them for it -- whilst others at last have been able to get their preferred exercise without being made to feel like criminals.
Footnote: We have been getting to swim sometimes, but when we can't swim, we walk along the riverbank on shared paths. This is dangerous. Dangerous because of the verrry serious, cats'-bummed cyclists who think a "shared path" means it's a cycleway and pedestrians have no right to get in their way. They make their statements by zooming along at breakneck speed, swerving around walkers and runners, expecting all of us to jump out of their way.
And are shared paths the appropriate places for bikes and skateboards augmented by battery-powered motors? They're motor vehicles. They're not what shared paths were intended for. They are fast, often out of control, and they are dangerous. Councils should do something about them.
New season dates
The pandemic has not stopped organisers from planning new season swims. We’ve begun to update our calendar, the most comprehensive ocean and open water swim calendar in Strã’a. If you know of a new season swim date, please let us know… Click here
Some new dates are worth noting if only because they involve significant shifts for their events from previous years.
In Sydney, the first metropolitan swim of the season, by tradition, at Narrabeen moves to a Sunday, the first Sunday in November (Nov 1). Till now, Narrabeen has always been a Sat’dee swim.
The following weekend, the Cook Cronulla swim moves forward a month to Nov 8.
Both November and January, next season, have five Sundays. In January, this allows Bilgola to take the third Sunday, Jan 17, thus getting clear water and a city date on its own. January for the next three years has five Sundays, so Billie will have this date to themselves for at least that time. We’re looking forward to that one, particularly.
There is always at least one very busy Sunday over March and April, caused by the fluid timing of Easter and of the Australian Surf Life Saving Champeenships. This season just ended, it was to be April 5, when five swims were scheduled in NSW alone. Next year, Easter is the first weekend in April. Already, we have two swims (North Steyne and Coffs Harbour) already scheduled for the weekend prior, March 28. We expect more to use that date, as well.
The 2021 surf champs are April 16-24.
Mollymook shifted to the first Sunday in May in the season just ended, although that never got to happen, what with Covid-19. We’re hoping they’ll keep that date in season 2020/21. We’ll let you know.
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Don't be an emergency eejit. It's 'strordnry how many punters enter swims online and list themselves as their own emergency contact. Just say something happens to you out in the sea, who are awgies going to contact? You? Get real. Think about it, and enter someone else as your emergency contact, event if it's your boss at work.
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Check our swim maps...
For a quick idea of what's going on around your area -- formal events, informal swim groups -- check our swim maps. You'll find them for each area under Swims/Calendar on oceanswims.com.
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