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SUMMER 2012/13






Ocean swimmers share their journey







TRAINING + TECHNIQUE Pool etiquette and stroke techniques

OCEAN ENVIRONMENT Stormwater and shark attacks

INJURY PREVENTION + TREATMENT Swimmers shoulder and cold water injuries

MY STORY: Angela

MY STORY: Debbie

OVERCOMING OCEAN ANXIETY Waves, rips and other ocean anxieties

NUTRITION Event nutrition, recipes and summer foods

OCEAN SWIMMING Everything you need to know

MY STORY: Fit, fifty and fired up

TRAINING Training tips and tricks

EVENTS Australia, New Zealand and international events

MY STORY: Englishman in Australia



FAMILY + KIDS Meet the OceanFit crew and colour-in Penny!


HEALTH + FITNESS Core strength and exercises

MY STORY: Overcoming child fear

NAVIGATION Click on these icons throughout the magazine to take you to more content and fun links







The contents of BEACHED is copyright and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission of OceanFit. Articles reflect the personal opinion of the authors and are not necessarily those of OceanFit. © Copyright 2012 OceanFit

Contributors Nigel Marsh, Elly McGuiness, Nick Marshall, Rob Brander, Dean Gladstone, Claire Owen, Teresa Boyce, Simon Griffiths, Emily Gillies, Paul Lemmon Photography Credits Andre Slade; Frothers: Brad Malyon, Bill Morris, Franck Gazzola; Natalie Peters; Nigel Marsh Design Louise Brinkmann

Graphic Design and Art Direction

Proud Partner Studio 1104, level 11, Vorgee 125 Spencer Street Melbourne, VIC 3000

0410 483 643 ABN: 270 417 98851 Advertising Beached eMag advertising opportunities are available QUOTEsummer No: 241012 throughout on a price sliding scale. Visit www. Date: 24/10/2012 corporate/advertise for more information or contact Andre Amount

$510 Cover Photo: Original OceanFit participants $1586 esign including: Nigel Elston, Rachel Dobson o client approval & Christine Thorvaldson show date final copy ges to fit final copy off their first ever ocean swim anges on final copy lied photography event numbers after completing printing the inaugural OceanFit Clovelly es for online pdf 600 in 2011.

lopment /10/2012)

GROWING UP IN Gisborne, a New Zealand coastal surf city, I’m lucky enough to have enjoyed an ocean lifestyle my whole life. If I wasn’t just hanging at the beach with friends and family I was swimming, sailing or participating in surf life saving. Somewhat miraculously I have managed to turn my lifestyle into my career, and I now get to share my knowledge and passion for the ocean with people of all ages and abilities. It has been over the last three years as I’ve built up OceanFit and worked with so many clients from diverse backgrounds, and with different abilities and goals, that I’ve really understood what it means to be connected to the ocean, and what it means for others aspiring to be similarly connected. In a short period of time I’ve also seen a huge growth in ocean swimming as a recreational sport. Each summer there are more and more people getting involved who are looking to break away from the black line, seeking a new challenge or simply craving that ocean lifestyle. BEACHED started off as a short guide to new ocean swimmers, but it didn’t take long once I had started compiling content to realise there is so much to share. I hope you find this eMag helpful as your start your journey towards the ocean lifestyle you’ve been dreaming of. Be sure to visit the OceanFit website for even more content and follow the links to download helpful resources, join in forum discussions, and watch our huge selection of videos. Enjoy the read – I’ll see you in the forum or on the beach!

Andre Slade Contribute to the magazine OceanFit welcomes your contributions to BEACHED; in fact we’d love to hear from you! If you would like to contribute an article, tell us something exciting or supply a photo (or anything else you can think of) please contact us: OceanFit: Beached eMag, PO Box 407 Bondi NSW 2026. Please ensure photos are of a high quality and file size. All care will be taken, however, the publisher assumes no responsibility for material submitted, the accuracy of information in the text, illustrations or advertisements contained therein.

OceanFit specialises in ocean and open water awareness, confidence & swimming, delivering practical programs and online education to all ages and abilities from entry level to awesome.


Whether you’re looking to develop your confidence, learn new skills or simply get ocean fit, there’s an OceanFit program for you and your family.

CLASSES 60 minute ocean fitness classes.


This is the entry-level skill development & fitness program for beginner ocean swimmers.


This high-energy breathtaking ocean workout combines skill development with anaerobic interval sets focused around In’s and Out’s.

CLINICS Intensive clinics to develop your knowledge and skills.

Ocean Confidence

This is the original entry-level OceanFit course for beachlovers who would like to gain a greater awareness of the ocean environment. Over 4 nights.

Try Ocean Swimming NEW!

Find out what ocean swimming is all about and what it takes to be an ocean swimmer in this 2-hour entry level clinic.

Learn To Ocean Swim

If you want to get into ocean and open water swimming, join a regular OceanFit fitness class or enter your first event then this workshop is the perfect place to start.

Learn To Body Surf

This original OceanFit bodysurfing clinic will have you bodysurfing like a pro!

Open Water Swimming NEW!

Located in the harbour, this clinic is for swimmers looking for open water confidence, skills and tactics to prepare for a triathlon or open water swim.


Competency-based lessons designed just for kids.

Premium Kids

A premium ocean swimming program where children develop respect for the ocean and learn the techniques needed to be confident and in control in the ocean.

School Holidays

A great way for kids to learn about beach safety, develop their confidence in the ocean and build their ocean fitness while having heaps of fun!


Private Lessons

Discover and reach your potential faster with a personalised private lesson with an experienced OceanFit instructor. BECOME AN OCEANFIT INSTRUCTOR OR LICENSEE


Visit and enhance your ocean lifestyle.

SWIM MAP Discover a new ocean swim location or event. + Search by location, length and difficulty + Course details and helpful tips + Google map and video flyover FORUM Share your ocean lifestyle with others in our forum. + Share your experiences + Find training partners + Get motivated and motivate others ACADEMY Develop your ocean knowledge and skills. + Multi-media eLessons + Learn online in your own time + Test your knowledge 8-WEEK OCEAN SWIM CHALLENGE Choose a goal ocean swim event and train for it. + Learn how to train like a swimmer + Easy to follow swim training plans + Schedule training around your lifestyle SHOP Kit yourself out in the best ocean swimming gear. + Goggles, caps and swimwear + Accessories and training equipment + Adults and kids PRO BLOG Learn from our Pro’s as they blog throughout summer. + Access to a wealth of experience + Latest news and views + Exclusive member content





After wandering around the world for a few years, Ken Meese recently graduated with a B. Social Science (Environment) from RMIT in Melbourne, where he lives. He is an advanced scuba diver, experienced snorkeler, prettygood kayaker, amateur composter and ambling bike rider. He spent eleven seasons as a staff member at Catalina Island Camps and the Catalina Environmental Leadership Program in California, teaching sustainability to kids aged 8-18. THE ENVIRO GUY PRO BLOGS


OceanFit’s resident enviro guy Ken Meese explains why swimming after rain can be an unpleasant experience. EVER HEAR THE warning ‘don’t swim after it’s rained’? That’s because the rain runs off our paved streets directly to the ocean via the network of stormwater drains, canals and rivers every city has, carrying with it all the nasties accumulated along the way. Then there’s the periods of heavy rain… when water management authorities may decide to ‘bypass’ the sewerage system and release effluent directly into waterways! PERMEABILITY The major problem is permeability. First, let’s go back to science class,

remember that hottie who sat in front of you? Forget about it, did you see them on facebook? Married with three kids, let it go. Think back to the water cycle: Water from rainfall, snowmelt or flooding does not solely move via surface runoff. Water also evaporates, infiltrates and percolates through the rock, soil, sand or other substrate into groundwater or is intercepted by plants and returned, through transpiration, back into the atmosphere. I’m sure we have all seen, or lived in, one of those roomy old houses in the inner suburbs (insert latte-sipping

greenie joke here) which has since been demolished and replaced by a towering unit block. This development is a catch-22 for the environmental movement, on one hand, higher density in urban areas is needed, we simply cannot keep expanding housing outward while commerce and industry remain centralised. In doing this, people are simply exchanging their upfront costs on a house closer to work, school and recreation for the deferred longer term cost of transportation and all the environmental issues involved such as increased car use and the resulting congestion, fuel consumption and pollution. On the other hand, inner urban development often pushes the limit of mandated permeability requirements. Older inner-urban homes often had a front or backyard where water could infiltrate and percolate into groundwater, where it is intercepted or filtered by plants, trees, layers of rock, gravel and sand before finding its way to a larger body of water a lot cleaner than when it started. While there are many ‘end of pipe’ solutions, such as litter-traps, nets and grates, these are only part of the solution and can also trap completely natural runoff ingredients such as leaf litter, twigs and branches, which provide nutrients to


Water cycle

a healthy waterway. End-of-pipe solutions also do not filter runoff to the degree that natural infiltration and percolation does, a net can’t catch micro-organisms or car oil. What can you do to help help your waterways? Indirectly, you can reduce your impact on the amount of runoff reaching waterways – keep your car tuned up (no oil or coolant or other fluids dripping) and use it less, ride your bike, catch public transport. But you know all that, I think you should go all Banksy and print this stencil, cut out the black bits, tape it to the ground near* a drain, and use ‘a piece of chalk’ to leave your environmental message. O

MORE INFO: Government monitoring bodies issue regular updates on the health of our beaches. Sydney: http://www. environment.nsw. SydneyBulletin.aspx Melbourne: http:// beachreport/default. aspx Or search ‘[your city] beach report’ or similar, for something more localised. Check before you swim.

*by near, I mean right next to a drain, there is a fine line between relevant environmental activism and vandalism, make sure you are on the right side of that line.


SHARK at a gre g for ing n i y f ensi f k ill is int ted o stern hunt k suspec e W Th ff e st’ r ‘ ver o e sha whit erican di -west coa eorge nG m th an A alia’s sou g an attaIsclak nod. in t r Aust 2011, fot,lloawt Rottnes e - Th

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ATTACKs! While the language may have changed, the message stays the same, like John Wayne in a Hollywood western - “we’re gonna round up the posse and seek revenge”.

WITH THE SUMMER not far away, our desire to get to the beach increases, and just as night follows day, to the media another yearly season has begun – shark season. If you plan on letting the seasonal shark-mania in the media ruin your ocean experience this summer, then don’t get in the car, don’t go out and enjoy the rain of a late afternoon thunderstorm, don’t ride your bike. I think you get the point – the chances of you getting bitten by a shark is minuscule when compared to the risks we take getting out of bed every morning. You only need to look at the annual spring shark warning stories, usually started by a human-shark encounter such as an attack or sighting, to see it is clear that sharks are often misrepresented in the media. Without a publicist or press-agent to push its cause and get positive publicity, sharks find themselves not only threatened by overfishing; there is a hostile class of opportunists such as shark-spotter service operators, netting and bait-hooking contractors, and anthropocentric speciesists who believe their dominion over nature extends to culling and driving sharks away if necessary. According the International Shark Attack File in Florida, which along with the Australian Shark Attack File is the most quoted source of human-shark encounters, despite the amount of attacks increasing, the instances of fatalities are fewer.

There are a few explanations needed here; one, there was a time in the 60s and 70s where the Shark Attack File was dormant, so collection and analysis of data was not as rigorous, and two; the spike in shark attack numbers relate to the hysteria surrounding human-shark encounters combined with new technology. As soon as word gets out, via social media – facebook status’, twitter, or the good ol’ telephone, the media also smell blood and rush to sign a victim of a great white attack to an exclusive deal, even before the shark has been identified. I think the take home point is; even if you were ‘attacked’ – the legitimate use of that term is dubious at best, a downright lie at worst – you will probably survive with some minor cuts and a ‘stay out of the water for a week’ command from your doctor. Now, in the spirit of the annual ‘how to avoid a shark attack’ lists, I have compiled a ‘what to do if you have a shark encounter’ list: Enjoy it. It may be the only time you ever see one of these amazing animals (besides wrapped in newsprint on a Friday night, but we’ll talk about overfishing another day), keep your distance, take a deep breath and relax, you are seeing millions of years of evolution in motion. Remember, the ocean isn’t exclusively ours, when we enjoy the ocean we are sharing it with millions of other creatures. There are a lot more pressing water issues to worry about than sharks. O








WHEN I MOVED to Sydney in my early 20’s, I started doing swimming lessons at Coogee to learn the actual technique of swimming, but that was always in the pool and I never really got that confident in the ocean itself. In my late 30s I started to do scuba diving and that was great fun, and it was funny because I wasn’t scared of being in the water, it was just that moment of actually swimming out to sea that just seemed completely not intuitive to me, at all, I think, there are so many unknowns, and not knowing what it is that I’m looking for is what makes me so anxious. But, I couldn’t go on being anxious anymore, I was coming up for my 45th birthday and I thought ‘I just can’t’, this is one of those things in life you’ve just got to get over. I had looked in the past but I hadn’t been able

to find anyone who was working with people like me, it was mainly squads and surf lifesaving, in fact, OceanFit were the only company I found that really talked about the anxiety and talked about it seriously, and used that as a way of getting people to become more confident in the water. My first session, I was so anxious, I remember, we didn’t actually spend that much time in the water, I learnt via drawings in the sand, where the rips were and

Angela Russo is a keen scuba diver and loves being out in the ocean diving. However, heading out into the ocean through the waves was a different story. Approaching her 45th birthday Angela decided to tackle her ocean anxiety head on with private lessons with OceanFit – with life changing results.

how the waves work and what the wind did and all of that. When I think that at the end of last summer, we actually did swim across Bondi, well, we swam about halfway across, I just think that it’s extraordinary. It was becoming confident in understanding that in the water, having that constant knowledge that it would be okay, that it would be alright, that we were actually somewhere that wasn’t dangerous. To be honest, I think

My First Swim Through The Waves The first time I swam through the waves by myself was hilarious, because my friend Joe was there as well and Joe and Andre were kind of talking and I just realised that I’d swam through and I was doing my synchronized swimming, I was so excited that I’d done it. It was windy that day as well and it was overcast, and yet I did do it and suddenly I was out there and I wasn’t even scared!

it’s just made me calmer about more than swimming, which sounds silly but it’s been such a big issue in my life, not to be able to do it and I just feel more confident that I have actually managed to get over a really significant fear that’s been with me since I was like five years old. I’m really, really looking forward to this summer because we ended up where I could nearly swim across, and this summer I really do want to do one of those ocean swims in Sydney. My advice for others who might be in a similar position to where I was before seeking help from OceanFit is to absolutely do it and take the time to do it, and don’t be upset by setbacks along the way because I do think that it takes a long time to build the fear and it takes, probably not as long, but it takes a while to get rid of it as well.





Dr Rob Brander is a coastal geomorphologist and surf safety educator at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. He is the author of the best selling ‘Dr Rip’s Essential Beach Book; everything you need to know about surf, sand and rips’ available online at www. scienceofthesurf. and as an ebook through the iTunes store.


join the group


Ever heard that the seventh wave in a set is the biggest? If you have, you’ve been sucked in by another ocean myth. AS A KID growing up in the Great White North (Canada), I learned everything about the ocean from my parents during our annual vacation to Cape Cod on the east coast of the US. They would tell me about collapsing sand bars and the undertow that would suck me under and a whole bunch of other things that were totally incorrect, but the thing that intrigued me the most was that apparently ‘every seventh wave was a big wave’. I used to test this theory by counting waves while lying on my lilo and just as I was beginning to realize I’d been duped again in another Santa Claus-like scam, a bunch of big waves would appear out of nowhere and completely swamp me. So the idea that every 7th wave is a big one isn’t true, but like many old sayings, there is definitely an element of truth to it and that element is called a wave set. A wave set is a group of 3 to 10 large waves that seemingly appears out of nowhere and disappears just as quickly. Not only does the number and height of waves in each set vary, so does the length of time between sets. Sometimes it’s 5 minutes, sometimes it’s 25. So what’s going on? Well, when waves are formed by wind, they tend to gather together in posses called wave trains that start moving together. Now, the ocean is pretty big and there’s a lot of different wave trains coming from all sorts of directions that have different wavelengths (distance between wave crests) and as they collide

into each other they sort of merge together forming a new wave train. If the wave crests coincide, the new crest is bigger. If the troughs coincide the new trough is deeper. This is called constructive interference because the crests and troughs have added together. However, if the crests and troughs of the two waves overlap, the whole thing gets cancelled out due to subtraction and the result is a flat spot in the wave. This is called destructive interference. Once the waves get locked in with each other, they travel as a new train that will have some sections of constructive interference (the large waves of the wave set) and some sections of destructive interference (the lulls between sets). This may be a simplified explanation, but the truth is that the formation of sets is pretty random and hard to predict. Generally the further waves travel and the longer period they have, the more pronounced the sets are. Wave sets are pretty important because when they break, they cause rip currents to suddenly accelerate, sweeping unsuspecting swimmers quickly offshore, and can easily wash fisherman off of rocks. They also provide the biggest and best surfing waves. You might find it strange that surfers seem to hang out well offshore of where the waves are breaking, calmly gazing at the horizon for ages. What they’re waiting for is the next set and the wave of the day. It’s definitely worth it. O



RIPCURRENTS RIP CURRENTS ACT like rivers - they move water away from the beach via deeper channels. The current of water will stop moving as it disperses behind the wave zone, then head to the beach again as waves in a continuous cycle. You can avoid rip currents by always swimming between the red and yellow flags on beaches patrolled by lifeguards. If you do swim at an unpatrolled beach; swim on the shallow sandbanks indicated by consistently breaking waves and white-water. If you find yourself out of your depth remember to:




The rip current won’t pull you under, so float - keeping your head above water, conserve your energy and ride the current.

Your chance of survival increases the less you panic, so remain calm. Look around for assistance and think through your options.

Raise an arm and wait for assistance or once the current has stopped, swim towards the breaking waves where the water is shallower.


MOST BEACH-GOERS in Australia swim at non-tropical beaches, and so are most likely to come across the more harmless, non-tropical stinger varieties such as the common Bluebottle. For the average person, getting stung by one will present no harmful danger, however, for the very young, elderly, people allergic to them or in extreme cases, they can present further complications. To treat a Bluebottle sting: + Find a place to rest with someone who can watch over you. + Don’t rub the sting area. + Pick off any remaining tentacles with fingers (a harmless prickling may be felt). + Rinse the stung area well with seawater to remove any invisible stinging cells. + Place the stung area in hot water (at a temperature your can comfortably tolerate). + If the pain is unrelieved by the heat, or if hot water is not available, apply cold packs or wrapped ice. + If the symptoms persist or for stings that cover a particularly large area, or across the throat & face call triple zero. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE OCEAN THROUGH ELESSONS IN THE OCEANFIT ACADEMY



Panic is the cause of the majority of rescues Deano does on Bondi Beach.




Dean Gladstone is a Waverley Council Lifeguard and star of Bondi Rescue, holistic lifestyle coach (PT) and former champion surf swimmer in Surf Life Saving. READ THE LIFEGUARD PRO BLOGS

& Relax GO WITH THE FLOW! I HAVE GROWN up in the water. I’ve been swimming training for as long as I can remember and done more km’s than I care to forget. I have bodysurfed, surfed, body boarded, board paddled, SUPed and Jetski’ed too. I have 10,000+ hours as a lifeguard and have 1000+ rescues under my belt. More than any other factor, I believe it’s panic that results in the greatest amount of rescues I do. In this photo of me surfing I’m pretty sure I get a serious beating when the wave breaks, but after years of practice I’m able relax and let the wave take me. This means I maintain a lower heart rate, think more clearly and give myself every chance of survival. If I was to panic in that situation and try and fight against the wave holding me under, my heart rate would increase, I would use up my stored oxygen in my blood stream and I would get exhausted quicker.

This is similar to a non-swimmer who panics in a rip current. They throw their arms round and fight against the current. These are the people that will most likely go under due to exhaustion but the non-swimmer in a rip who does not panic and does not fight against the rip and can manage to stay calm will probably be ok and get washed in or rescued. Try it next time you get dumped by a wave (if you’re ready for that step of course!). See if you can relax and let the wave take you where it wants to. Relax if you can! If you can’t, don’t worry, keep working at it. Like anything it takes a bit of practice. One last safety note: When a big or small wave does take you I would recommend you roll to protect your head and neck, so that if you are slammed onto the bottom, you can roll onto your shoulder to protect yourself from a possible spinal injury. O

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Beached is OceanFit's 50+ Page Ocean Swimming and Lifestyle eMagazine.