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bilgola swim 171210 dhd 600
Man of steel, Peter Thiel, was the Elite wave in the 1.5km swim at Bilgola. Just him. This is him coming home in the 800m, however. Thiel tries to ensure his technique and his effort are 100 per cent at all stages of a swim, hence his dive here coming back through the gutter at the finish. Kiddies, take note. (Pic by Glistening Dave @glistennr)

Glitches, but order restored

As one of the smaller swims on the Sydney circuit, awgies at Bilgola used a new timing system in their event on December 10 in an effort to cut costs. WebScorer, a web-based system, costs c. $A50, compared with the several thousand buckaroos that chip timing costs to an event of Billie's size. An understandable move on the awgies' part.

WebScorer offers electronic timing mixed with manual input: it's sequential, with officials tapping in finishing numbers as they cross the line. The system stores the finishing number, matches it with the punter, along with the time swum. With multi-waves in a swim -- Billie had four -- the system also adjusts for the delay in wave starts, giving, pretty well instantly, a complete set of results. That's the system.

These things often run into glitches along the way, but, and a first outing for a new system is a perfect place for a glitch.

A glitch occurred in the results of the main event, 1.5km. For a while on Sunday, awgies thought they'd lost them completely, but they now have been able to recover most times (all but 31), and they're posted now (see link below). If your time is not listed (there's a list of missing times at the bottom of those results), and you know your time or whom you finished near/with, please email us and we can attempt to sort it out... Click here... 800m results are available online now.

These events rarely run smoothly: after the swim, one of the event workers, a member of Bilgola SLSC who was deputed to run the post-event barbie, suffered what we were told was a heart attack. Ambulance were called and he was taken to hospital. No word on his condition but we hope he's ok.

Bilgola has built a tradition in recent years of bunging on a special day. It's a very pretty beach and the grassy area in front of the clubhouse makes for a critical mass of boasting punters mixing around the barbie and the fruit tent. We wish they'd revert to the old late morning start, however. It used to be much easier to get up there with an 11am main event, but, a couple of years back, awgies brought the start time forward  to 9am for the newer, shorter swim and 10am for the 1.5km. Two weeks before Xmas, it's nice having that extra time to get up there on a Sundee morn. This may explain, in part, why numbers were down this year. It's an ask to get to Billie at this time of year in time for a 9am start.

Glistening Dave made a cameo at Bilgola...


We made a cameo at Bilgola, too...

...although ours aren't as special as Dave's.



... Click here

Controversy Corner...

But what do you reckon? Send us your thoughts and we'll publish them... Click here


Do you not feel it’s a little unfair for a what I would call a semi professional athlete to compete in every race just because he can. These races are meant for kids and people just out to give it a go, the 1.5km ok different story.

My two eldest sons are triathletes and we know the benefits of racing suits and no there's little or no buoyancy but the speed thru the water is so dramatic a difference you cannot race without one at top races, my eldest has raced internationally representing AUS but he would never compete in a (enticer race) just to win. If Ian Thorpe or the like had turned up to every local beach pool swimming contest and whipped the field week after week, there would be an outcry that its not fair.

I'm not saying he cant or shouldn’t race but elite swimmers who just want to win no matter what the race, should be named as just that (Elite Athletes), its not fair to all the other competitors. My 14 yrold has trained incredibly hard all winter to have a chance of going well this summer in the ocean series only to have his efforts smashed by swimmers who should be in a whole other class, his comments after the race was “why should I bother I will never beat him”.

We as parents encourage our kids to compete well, hard and fairly, but how do we explain to them that these people are allowed to effectively cheat just so they can win another race... I don’t believe it’s in the best practise to allow elite swimmers to race in these enticer events and have their results stand without it being stated clearly that they are ELITE and wear race skins.

It looks like I will be going out and buying a new triathlon wetsuit(FINA approved)for him to race in for the next race to give him a fair chance.

Lance Duke

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