Swim Mate

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Swim Mate

ISSUE 2/2012

Open Water Swimming Magazine


m i w s


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s m a r g o r p

‘Burners’ and ‘Storers’

Swimmer’s Shoulder Benefits of swimming

Editor’s Note

Swim Mate

Issue 2, 2012

Welcome to the second issue of Swim Mate, the magazine devoted to Open Water Swimming.

EDITORIAL PUBLISHER: Vladswim Pty Ltd EDITOR: Ewen McDonald COPY EDITOR: Charmian Frend DESIGNER: Jerry Stefik PRINTING: Southern Color (NSW) Pty Ltd COVER IMAGE: Jerry Stefik MARKETING: Viktoria Mravcova PHOTOGRAPHY: Vladimir Mravec Jerry Stefik Charmian Frend Lyndon Marceau COACHES: Vladimir Mravec Charmian Frend Ewen McDonald Mal Booth Chris Kemp SwimMate 2 / CONTRIBUTORS: James Pittar, Narelle Simpson, Duncan Adams, Taylor Auerbach, Paul Ellercamp, Justin North, Vlad Mravec, Sandra Domelow, Margie McDonald, Ewen McDonald, John Franks, Louise Stevenson, Mick Maroney, Alfredo Garcia Gomez, Sarah DacresMannings, Emma Fitzgibbon, Charmian Frend SWIMMATE ONLINE www.swimmate.com.au SWIMMATE ACN 154 780 382 Customer Care & Billing

With a wide range of news, views and ideas about pool and ocean-based swimming, Swim Mate 2 will be great summer reading. Included in this edition you’ll find useful information about how to prepare yourself for long endurance events, articles about nutrition and injury prevention as well as tips on how to maintain your health and general well-being. And there are stories to inspire you. Based on personal experiences, swimmers share their difficulties, special moments, motivating factors and achievements. In summary, Swim Mate extols the benefits of swimming, so sit back, make your self comfortable, and enjoy. But as coach Vlad would hasten to add, ‘don’t get too comfortable with just reading’ … the aim is to get relaxed and comfortable in the water! Ewen McDonald

Viktoria Mravcova Subscriptions & Distribution +612 80 60 17 33 SYDNEY PO Box 6198, Malabar, NSW 2036

SWIM MATE is published quarterly by Vladswim. Original contributions and letters welcome. Receipt of letters to the editor and original, unsolicited manuscripts will be taken by the editor as permission to publish. Submissions may be edited for length and clarity. All published material is © 2012 SWIM MATE. Letters and signed articles do not necessarily represent the opinion of SWIM MATE or Vladswim. No responsibility is accepted by the Publisher for the accuracy of information contained in any part of the text or advertising material in this publication. Advertisers are responsible for advertising copy by virtue of the Trades Practices Act. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited.

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Swim preparation

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SWIMMER & COACH: TWO SIDES ONE STORY… James Pittar / The Swimmer

MY NAME IS JAMES PITTAR — I WAS BORN IN 1969, I AM A BLIND MARATHON SWIMMER. Whenever I do a long open water swim I have to use a paddler on a surf ski or someone in a boat to give instructions — either by blowing a whistle or using a loud hailer to guide me. We have two commands: one long blast to veer left and two short blasts to veer right. We have another command that, luckily, hasn’t had to be used yet — three long blasts for a shark. When I do a shorter swim like one of the ocean swims around Sydney, my mate Chad Schneider and others will swim next to me and tap me on the legs to go in a different direction.

My swimming achievements to date include: the only blind person to have swum the English Channel — I did this in 1998 in 13 hours and 50 mins; the first blind person to swim Cook Strait, NZ; the second blind person and second Australian to swim the Catalina Channel, USA; the first Australian to swim the Strait of Gibraltar; the first blind person to swim the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, New York; the first Australian to complete the Triple Crown of marathon swimming — ie the English Channel, the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim and the Catalina Channel. I am the 9th Australian to be inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, USA.

I cannot swim without a team, but the team will depend upon what the particular swim entails. For instance, with my Channel swim I had four people of which one or two took care of the whistle commands while the others organised the feeds, or kept stroke and kick counts. Sometimes I have just three helpers and at other times, just one person who does both the kayaking and the blowing of the whistle. Unfortunately, over the years, my team hasn’t got the credit that it derserves: I couldn’t have done any of my swims without my team. The thing is, I love being out in the open water — it is so much better than swimming in a pool. When I am in the ocean, I love the feeling of the waves, the tides, the winds, the bounce of the waves and the spray — even the occasional bluebottle!Everytime I go in the ocean it is a challenge for me, always the conditions are different but each time it’s

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enormously thrilling. Lately I have been doing swims to raise money for The Fred Hollows Foundation. In September this year I did one for them from Collaroy Beach to Shelley Beach where I picked up 22 other swimmers and together we swam back to the beach at North Steyne. On one of my swims — from Martha’s Vineyard to Nantucket in the USA — a funny thing happened. One of my support group got in to swim with me, but it was in part of the course where it was very shallow … he looked as if he was swimming but in actual fact he was walking beside me and just pretending. On the scarey side of things, I once did a training swim from Shelley Beach to Collaroy when the conditions were not great. When we arrived at Collaroy beach it was virtually unswimable and impossible to get to shore; my mate suggested

we turn around and start swimming against the wind back to Shelley Beach. For me it was scarey because I knew that I couldn’t land at any beach along the way until we got back to either Manly or Shelley … it was starting to get dark but luckily, a boat picked us up and took us back to Manly from where we were able to swim on to Shelley Beach. This year I have been nominated for the World Open Water Swimming Association Performance of Year Award. And you can vote for me if you like... Go to www.worldopenwaterswimmingassociation.com * For more information check my website: www.freestyleman.com * For more information about The Fred Hollows Foundation: www.hollows.org.au

Narelle Simpson / The Coach SINCE 1980 I HAVE WORKED WITH SWIMMERS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS. I HAVE BEEN ON THE BOARD OF THE NSW COUNCIL FOR THE DISABLED AND ON THE COMMITTEE AND BOARD FOR THE NSW BLIND SWIMMERS ASSOCIATION. Over a long period and from my experiences, I have learnt a lot about myself and people with special needs, some good and some bad. Working with special needs can be a very thankless task, but you do it because you love it. Often when people gain fame from achieving great feats, they lose sight on how they got there and the sacrifices made by many people along the way. As a coach you learn this very fast, once an athlete becomes successful no matter the ability. Being James Pittar’s coach since 1993 has definitely had its highs and lows and I am sure James would agree. I will never forget the conversation I had SwimMate®

with him at the beginning of 1997 when I had to tell him he would never be a Paralympian: it was heart-wrenching. But I knew he had a strong mind for distance swimming and so I asked him to go away and think about what he wanted to do. And that he did. He came to me the next day and said he had always wanted to swim the English Channel and my answer was “well what’s stopping you? Let’s give it a go next year”. With that a blind marathon swimmer was born. Everyone thought we were crazy, including his Mum and Dad but the training started the following week — first in the ocean using a very old surf ski that was generously given to me by the Ludlows; then Manly dam became our second home every Saturday morning from 6am until noon. We trained by using a whistle — short sharp blows for left and long ones for right. We were there rain, hail or shine. We entered open water events all over 7


Sydney (several of which James had done already). Next came the endurance events — Cottesloe to Rottnest Island, and lots of ocean swims around Manly — Shelley Beach, Queenscliff, Freshwater and back — starting at 6am and finishing at lunchtime. I had amazing friends who pitched in and helped: and James called us his “team” but to this day I don’t think James ever realised how much organisation went behind making him a successful marathon swimmer. People like Tony Halfhide who supplied his rubber ducky countless times, including an 11-hour cold water swim test at Penrith before taking on the English Channel; Burnie Burrows who helped us continually at North Steyne surf club; Brooke Withers who paddled alongside me at most of his events and some on her own; Bill “Sticks” Tricker who was always at James’ side helping and leading him everywhere on our overseas trips (and at times I’m not sure that this was such a good idea given that the pair of them got up to all sorts of mischief); and who there’s Matt Logan who came on board in 2003 to do personal training and provide kayaking support. James’ family and friends have been amazing and I thank them for giving me their support — but neither could I have done it without my friends, those who have been there for me from the start to the finish. I will never forget when James made it to the coast of France and crawled up to the high tide mark: we hugged and both burst into tears ... his Mum standing there on the sand, smiling, so proud of her son. He was the first blind swimmer to have successfully swum the English Channel!!!

Those are the moments you cherish. The following year, 1999, James successfully finished the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim — once again the first blind swimmer ever. And so the legend continues. There are of course the lows: the frustration of convincing people that he doesn’t have a mental disability, that he can walk and talk, swim, run etc ... the only thing he can’t do is see. And that is the challenge because you become his eyes. The one advantage James has is that he used to be able to see, so things are a little easier to explain. But at the same time, he can get frustrated and even angry ... sometimes he thinks the world and everyone owes him something, and you can’t blame him for that. I don’t deny we both got frustrated some days: people with a disability often think you are there for them at every turn and they expect you to always be there. Sometimes you have to say “no”... sometimes you have to move away, create space so that you too, can have a life. Overall my life as a coach has been fantastic and I continue to learn. There are always new things to discover either about yourself or about your swimmers. All I can say is, the day I think I know it all is the day I should quit: if you love what you do, you never stop learning. One should always challenge oneself and be prepared to be challenged no matter one’s knowledge and ability. Life is far too short to worry about what’s holding you back. As far as I’m concerned, you just go for it and be prepared to be surprised. One’s ability or disability has nothing to do with it. Narelle’s website is www.instyleswimming.com.au

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Swim Preparation | Coaches Corner




A tale of two swims

Duncan Adams

In 2007 when I first attempted to swim the English Channel I was woefully underprepared. At the time I thought I had done a good job of preparing for what is considered to be one of the hardest swims in the world. Many, myself included, thought this first attempt a “failure”, I now know that it was not a failure, I had merely worked out “how NOT to swim the English Channel”. After my first channel swim I had a long telephone conversation with Murph Renford (Des Renford’s son), who, only a few weeks prior, had completed his own solo crossing. We talked at length about our swims and other people’s successes and attempts. Two comments that Murph made to me stuck very clearly in my mind. The first was, go home and take some time off, do not try to make any decisions about another attempt for some time and, secondly, he told me a story of another Australian who had just tried for the third time (unsuccessfully) to swim the Channel. Murph asked this chap “What have you done differently for your preparation for each swim”. His response was startling, “nothing”! Each time his training and preparation had been identical and the same outcome had ensured. It was then that I realised that if I was to successfully swim the Channel everything would need to be different. To put this into perspective, in 2005/6 when I made my decision to swim the Channel I had made the crucial error of believing that as a solo swimmer I needed to do everything on my own. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. While the swim is called a “solo swim” it is nothing short of a team event. So having returned to Australia with Murph’s words of advice ringing loudly in my head, I put the whole concept of swimming the Channel out of my head for 12 months. In late 2008 while holidaying in the USA I realised that if I was going to give myself the best chance of swimming the Channel successfully, I would need to build a team around

me — and the first member of the team was my wife. I knew that the amount of time required for preparation would take me away from my family a great deal: so I knew that her support from the beginning of my preparation to the end was crucial. Secondly, I needed a long distance open water coach and as it turned out, I knew just the right person, Charm Frend. I had swum for several years with Charm at the Balmoral Beach Club and we had completed in a few long distance races together. I knew she harboured her own ambitions to tackle the Channel but the timing was not right for her. So when I asked for her help, she readily accepted. Charm was the crucial pillar of my swim campaign, she not only coached my long distance swims but she oversaw my entire training program (physical, mental, etc ). While I had for many years trained in a squad at Mosman, I knew that I needed a change. I needed a squad/pool coach that understood the demands of long distance swimming. Charm recommended that I venture across the bridge to the Cook & Phillip pool in the city, she had heard several long distance swimmers trained there. This is where I first meet Vlad who was instrumental in changing my stroke: it was this that enabled me to swim for longer periods, hour after hour. Between Charm and Vlad they crafted my entire swim program, everything from major swims like Rottnest, to my qualifying 6-hourcold water swim and my weekly training schedules. Vlad introduced me to Cameron Spittle who was also training for the Channel. By sheer coincidence, Cameron and I ended up successfully swimming the Channel on the same day and finished within a few hours of each other. Meeting Cameron was a great boost: we found in each other a long distance training partner — someone with whom to compare training regimes.

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Open Water Pedia There is a common axiom used in Channel swimming, “the swim is 90% mental and 10% physical” — and as Shelley Taylor Smith told me, “your mind will give out before your body does … so you have to train your mind to shut out the cold, the nausea, the waves and focus on the swimming”. I knew from my first attempt that this was astute advice. Again Charm came up with an idea of seeing a sports physiologist, Paul Penna. Paul had worked with, among others, the Australian Olympic Swimming team – and he is a fantastic bloke who made an enormous difference to my mental preparation. Paul’s pearls of wisdom allowed me to break the swim down into bitesize chucks. I remember standing on the edge of Shakespeare Beach (next to Dover) at 6.00am on the morning of my swim, looking out at my pilot boat with it navigation lights glistening in the pre-dawn hue. The temperature was 6 degrees in the air and the water was 15 degrees. My thoughts were: have a 40 minute swim then a feed, then another 40 minute swim and so on until I get to France. My mental state was such that for the next 11 hours and 33 minutes I did not think once about getting out. When I felt cold I kicked a little harder and employed a mental strategy of thinking about something so remotely removed from the swim … like an old movie or the team members of my University rugby days. When you start swimming between 30-50km a week, adding in one or two gym sessions and a pilates session, you start to shed a load of weight which, SwimMate®

for most people, is the core objective of exercise. However for a Channel swimmer the opposite is the case: you not only need to maintain your weight but gradually put weight on. Weighing in at 76 kilos I knew that I needed to put on weight for the swim; Shelly Taylor-Smith had suggested about 7-8kg, approximately 10% of my body weight. It is fine balance between having some insulation and having to drag extra kilos unnecessarily through the water. So rather than use trial and error, I sought the advice of Sarah Dacres-Mannings, a Sports Dietician. The good news was I got to eat five to six meals a day, the bad news … all my clothes started to get a little tighter! By September 2010 at the start of my Channel swim I had achieved my desired weight of 83kg, by comparison at my first attempt I was only 73kg. Yes the additional weight did help by providing me with insulation, but there is nothing better than cold water acclimatisation and exposure to get you used to the numbing effect of hours and hours in 14-16 degrees water. The remainder of my team included my pilates instructor, osteopath, a specialist swim massage therapist — Scenar therapist/swim buddy — and dozens of swimmers that gave up hours of their free time to come swimming with me. It was only with the help, guidance and friendship of all these people in my team that I was able to achieve my goal of successfully swimming the English Channel.


Ocean Swims


Coastal Watch


MultiSport Australia

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The swimming squad that takes ordinary Australians and trains them to conquer the TAYLOR AUERBACH English Channel It’s called the Mount Everest of ocean racing and this band of gutsy swimmers have created waves by conquering the English Channel. To complete the torturous trek from Dover to Calais, they all pushed their bodies to breaking point to prepare for the swim of their lives. Every June, when the swells turn balmy and the more stable-minded turn their thoughts to cinemas and shopping malls, this group of Sydneysiders “went looking for the cold water”. “Initially it feels like a thousand pins pinching into you,” says Wyatt Song of the plunge into the foggy morning seas. “Then you get this headache, like you’ve eaten ice-cream too fast. And you can’t put your head under water because the pain is so much.” But this was the price of success ... driven by a neversay-die desire to achieve the extraordinary. In August, Wyatt Song became the first Chinese Australian to ever achieve the feat. “My original plan was to swim the channel twice,” says Song, a 36-year-old photographer from Annandale. “But my shoulder gave out, the pain was excruciating. About a kilometre into the return leg I had to get back in the boat. I even tried breaststroke, but nothing worked. It was such a hard thing to deal with, it’s a little bit of unfinished business.”

The Channel tends to toy with you like that. After months of preparation in the wintery waters of Sydney, Melbourne, Tasmania and Lake Lyell (west of Lithgow), Wyatt’s jaw-dropping attempt was at the mercy of a crook shoulder and a disobedient tide. “My swim was during the night. When I saw the French coast about 1am, lit up in white, it felt like I was close to the shore. But with the tide I was swimming parallel to the coast, battling with my shoulder. It felt like I was going nowhere.” In pitch black, he resigned himself to the fact that he would only be completing one “lap”, a rather unbefitting term the Aussie Channel swimmers use to describe their 35km crawl across the Atlantic. “People often ask me why they do it,” says Charmian Frend of Vladswim, the swimming squad that has so far trained eight swimmers to cross the Channel unassisted — a 100 per cent success rate. “As a swimmer, I just say ‘why not? Why wouldn’t you want to swim the Channel?” In addition to Song, the group Frend trains includes Lochie Hinds, the youngest Australian to cross the Channel, and Stuart Johnson, a middle-aged IT executive who crossed the Channel twice “hopped out in France, turned around and swam back.” He turned for the triple but developed ulcers in his oesophagus and couldn’t continue.

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Coach Charmian Frend, swimmers Tara Diversi, James Arnold, Wayne Arthur, Stuart Johnson, Wyatt Song, Lochie Hinds, Denise Elder, Alistair Newmarch and coach Vlad Mravec of the super squad of ocean swimmers, looking relaxed here on Balmoral beach but they’re ones to watch out for in ocean swimming. Johnson completed the mighty 70km roundtrip last month despite undergoing spinal surgery in February. “I had to train with a snorkel because I couldn’t turn my neck,” he says. “It was a very steep recovery but I think the surgery made me more motivated.” Johnson took up ocean swimming when doctors told him he was overweight and needed a lifestyle change.


“It changes them,” says Charmian Frend. “They all start out really, really nervous ... but when they get back they’re so thankful, so proud and they all seem to say ‘well, what do we do now?”’ This article was first published in The Sunday Telegraph 28 October 2012. Reproduced with permision of the author and the publisher.



Narrafun Ocean swim: 27 Oct 2012 Paul Ellercamp

First Sydney swim of the season at Narrabeen, and it was an interesting event, to say the least. First impressions on arrival at Narrabeen — a wide open, windswept Sydney northern beach — was of a heavy dump extending all along the beach. Swells up to 2.5 metres dumping onto a shallowing bank, held up by a gusty and cool offshore breeze from the sou’-west. Looked nasty. What was the water temp, we wondered? Had been about 18 degrees leading into this swim, which was doubling as the open water event for the International Firefighters Games, then underway in Sydney. That gave us cause for some concern, for some, if not many of these firepersons, international visitors, as Newcastle’s Mike Rabbitt would say, may not have much experience in surf, let alone heavily dumping surf. Our concern was not alleviated by the briefing, which told the

firepersons, nattily attired in pink caps — “This is no reflection on you gentleme... or ladies,” assured the briefer from Narrabeen SLSC — which advised the visitors that all they had to do to get out through this heavy, punding dump onto a shallowing bank was to get quickly through the gutter separating the shore from the bank, then dive under the waves. “You’ll only have to dive under one wave,” said the briefer, a tad optimistically, we thought, knowing that sets usually come in groups of four or five waves, not one. Were it us

briefing — and the perspective of irresponsibility is a luxurious one, certainly — we’d have told them also to keep their heads down when they dived under that “one wave”, and to grab the bottom. The actuality was not so bad. Water was quite warm once you entered it — maybe 20 degrees — and commenced ‘a’swimmin’. And while we did indeed have to dive under several waves, not just one, they weren’t as heavy as they looked from the shore. Maybe

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that’s because most of us have some experience, we did keep our heads down and we did grab the bottom, but we got out pretty easily and quickly, as did most others, including our international visitors. Making your way through heavily dumping surf on a shallow bank is all about timing. The course was shaped like Marie Antoinette’s breast, reputedly the model for the flat champagne glass, with a short reach to the sou’-east right into the chop and the breeze — more a wind than a breeze — which by that time had swung a little to the south. Then there was a very long reach north, running with the conditions for 600-700 metres, before heading sou’-west back to the gates behind the break. It was about 1.6km, according to our GPS-in-a-plastic bag. SwimMate®

We bounced around on the water’s surface into the conditions, then skidded along the surface along the back reach, before bouncing around again on the reach back south. The back reach was a joy, but with a pitfall: with the swell, chop and breeze blowing from slightly to the right of your heels, you were tempted to run with it, which would take you in. It sucked in many. You had to swim slightly across it to keep on course out to sea, past the booees of Lincoln green and deep-sea blue, two booees from the Lostat-Sea Range of colours so loved by swim organisers. At least all our caps all were brightish. Lovely day, really, with a good barbie, although the breeze grew cooler as the morning wore on. The Narrabeen club really should insist on putting the finishing

pads down on the beach, however. Every other club does it. Where they were positioned in the walkway down from the clubhouse lawn to the beach provided a convenient finishing chute, but they really were way too far up the beach for the comfort of most ocean swimmers who are old farts who had entered a swim, not a beach run uphill. Particularly for this old fart, about to get both his hips replaced. Next year’s Narrabeen swim will be the last ‘Saturdee’ in October, 2013. We look forward to it. ‘Noice’ to catch up with lots of old comrades, many of whom we haven’t seen since last season finished.



Pre race Noosa: Olympic distance triathlon

Justin North

After working as a chef for over 20 years and being completely immersed in the kitchen with a very unbalanced life, I now try and get a good balance between the food I eat, exercise and something I have rarely been able to achieve, a solid six to seven hours of sleep. Changing my diet was crucial to supporting my training and I based my meals around lots of fresh vegetables, herbs and grains with a sensible amount of seafood or lean protein such chicken or pork. I cut back on red meat eating smaller quantities with the focus on grass and pasture fed. Between meal snacks were lots of fresh fruit and nuts, with training recovery meals including awesome pasta dishes during the day and beans, which are great in the evening.

and run legs. I’m now thinking a couple of ocean swims and maybe a half ironman next year. After weeks of training and watching what I ate, when the race was over I didn’t give a damn about post race recovery, I just headed for the beach with a good burger and a chocolate milkshake in hand! I guess you could argue it helped to balance my caloric deficiency.

If the opportunity arises to eat out, Japanese and Thai cuisines I find are generally fairly cheap, easy and healthy. I also love a bit of spice too and love a good Indian or Mexican particularly a spiced bean burrito or quesadillas, perfect on big training days. Overall the key for me was eating smaller quantities of beautiful fresh meals based on lovely produce, having a good balance covering most food groups. Variation is the key for me to keep my pre training meals interesting. I’ve always had a sweet tooth so will snack on good quality dark and raw chocolate, organic liquorice and sometimes a small sprinkling of raw sugar in my espresso, particularly before riding and swimming to give me a boost. A combination of all these factors helped me to complete my first Olympic Triathlon, but I couldn’t have done it without Charm and Vlad’s assistance – amazing coaches. Six to eight weeks before the race I couldn’t swim 100 metres without stopping; after two sessions a week I completed the 1.5k swim in just over 30 minutes, ready for the bike 16   SwimMate®


I love this recipe, easy, fresh, summery and delicious.

BBQ prawns with garlic & lemon myrtle Justin North place in a large mixing bowl, peel and finely slice the stalks and add to the fronds.

04 For the aromatic salt •

2 tablespoons salt flakes

½ teaspoon chopped lemon myrtle

½ teaspoon of grated lemon zest

6 coriander seeds

For the fennel salad

1 small head of fennel with fronds

1 carrot

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

Pinch of salt flakes

A dusting of lemon zest

1 teaspoon of finely chopped lemon myrtle

1 punnet baby watercress

½ bunch small red radishes

For the prawns

18 extra large whole king prawns

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A drizzle of olive oil For the salt combine all the ingredients together in a mortar and grind with the pestle for a minute or two until fine and aromatic and set aside.


For the fennel salad, remove the fronds and stalks from the fennel, chop the fronds and



Cut the fennel in half, then using a Japanese mandolin shave very finely into the mixing bowl. Coarsely grate the peeled carrot in with the fennel. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. You can keep a little of the watercress to garnish the top when serving if you like. Keep refrigerated until needed. For the prawns cut off their heads and discard, then turn onto their backs, using a large sharp knife split the prawns in half lengthwise.


Place the prawn’s shell-side down, flesh-side up, and scrape out any traces of the intestinal tract running along the spine of the prawns.

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Sprinkle with a pinch of the lemon salt, cover and refrigerate. To serve, pre heat your BBQ. Place the prawns shell-side down on the grill, drizzle with olive oil and BBQ for about 2-3 minutes until they are cooked and just starting to turn opaque and aromatic. Serve on platters with a pile of the fennel salad and a scattering of watercress and sliced radishes. It is also nice to serve with a few lemon or lime wedges. 17


A special swim for my dad.

Vlad Mravec

And why this swim? When I was 12 years old, my father took Ingrid and me on a trip in an old wooden boat (or scow) from our cottage to the next village, Margecany. It was about 10km. I always remember this trip: on our way up we had nice weather and great conditions but everything changed on the way back … it started raining and there was a strong wind. My dad rowed all the way back while Ingrid and I were stashed in the boat under a blanket. After staying in Dover for a week to help my Channel swimmers, I travelled to Kosice, my home town in Slovakia. Kosice is second largest city in eastern Slovakia and is situated on the river Hornad. Bigger towns in Slovakia with populations around 250 000 and just one swimming pool suggests that sport — and swimming especially — is not as popular as it is in Australia. People work long hours every day in an effort to survive in economicallydifficult times despite reforms by the Slovakian parliament and the European Union. It is hard for people in these towns to find the time to relax and do swim some laps in the local pool.

It is 18 years since my dad passed away so I decided to swim one way to the next village for my dad. I just knew I had to do it. I didn’t plan anything … except that I would go from Kosice to Ruzin reservoir and start the swim. One Saturday I went with Ingrid and Dusan (her husband) to our wooden cottage. From there we packed some staff and went to have a little swim in the reservoir. At the time, I didn’t think that this would be the moment for my special swim, but after swimming about 200m we decided to make the swim to Margecany, the next village . The water temperature was around 17 degrees and it felt ok to undertake my longest swim of this year. We then

But I was so happy to be back in my hometown town as a visitor; I had plenty of time to meet old friends and also dive into the pool where once, during my swimming career, I swam many miles . I also caught up with my swimming coach and some of the other swimmers — we had a great time chatting, swapping swimming stories, swim camp ideas and training sessions. While I was there, I had one special goal in mind — but I didn’t tell anyone except my lovely sister Ingrid. I had decided to swim the Ruzin dam from our cottage to the next village. 18   SwimMate®


took some water and cake and started swimming. I dived into the water at 3pm and my swimming adventure began.

for a feed, Dusan pointed out all beautiful sites around the reservoir — Mount Sivec, the Island of Love, Small Island, and other fantastic features.

The first part of the swim was fabulous. The water was so clean and it was so quiet. I was a good start: I was pushing myself but at the same time I was enjoying the swim. Dusan and Ingi paddled next to me and helped me with directions. When I stopped

After swimming for two hours, my shoulders started to feel sore and my swimming speed dropped. Ingi fed me some of her cake and I felt my energy return. The closer we got to our final destination, the more realised the water was getting greener – we knew the water quality near the village would not be great, so we decided to finish the swim one kilometre shorter, finishing at the Margecany train station. Around 6pm we were back in the village. I felt so happy to have finished my special swim — both for myself and for my dad. It was time to go to local pub and have long cool beer to celebrate! I have to thank my lovely sister Ingi and Dusan for their great support along the way. I loved that swim … it was the best swim I have done this year.




About the Ruzin reservoir The Ružín reservoir is situated 25km north west of Kosice. The reservoir was built by damming the river Hornád in the deep winding valley of

the Bujanovské Mountains and is one of the most beautiful waterways not only in Slovakia but in all of the central Europe. The main reservoir, Ružín I, built in 1967, is 14 kilometres long and has a capacity is 59 million cubic metres. Because of the mountainous valley, the dam is narrow and long and is up to 60 metres deep in places: it extends over 390 hectares. As well as the Hornád, the Hnilec and Beláin rivers also flow into the dam. Ružín is surrounded by magnificent mountains but one of the most majestic is Mount Sivec. There is a spectacular viewpoint from Sivec overlooking the whole dam. The reservoir is a favourite holiday destination — some inlets seem to be untouched by civilisation. Surrounded by dense forest, cruising by boat on the emerald green waters is an unforgettable experience. Ružín is a fisherman’s paradise with its shoals of carp, perch and trout. In the hot summer months, the reservoir is a truly restful and refreshing place.

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Pregnancy and Swimming

Sandra Domelow

versions of activities at which, previously, I was competent. For me it’s all or nothing.

Early this year I fell pregnant with my first child and on 27 September 2012 my daughter Elizabeth Vivienne Todd was born. This is my story about swimming during my pregnancy. While I was ecstatic to be expecting a little baby I was well aware that it meant putting a few of my favourite pastimes – running, yoga, swimming – on hold, and for who knows how long. A break while I was pregnant was one thing but how would I fit in my exercise schedule after baby arrived? And how would my body recover? Fortunately, the first three months of my pregnancy were pretty easy going. I didn’t suffer morning sickness however I was dead tired and had an insatiable appetite for hot chips. I kept up squad training for the first couple of months then resigned to the fact that 5.30am starts were over for a while. I continued with evening sessions for another month or so and then my competitive spirit got the better of me. I wouldn’t say that I am an overly competitive person but it was hard to accept that I was gradually getting slower and slower, and that I couldn’t keep up with the sets I was so used to doing! It was hard to fall behind my fellow swimmers. By four months I had stopped running and as I could no longer stand on my head or get into a back arch, yoga was long gone too. I couldn’t bear toned-down SwimMate®

So I was left with swimming and I figured going solo in the public lanes might be worth a try for as long as I could keep it up. While I had to tolerate the occasional pool-rage incident – how I missed the civilised etiquette of squad swimmers! – here I could take my time and not worry about how slow I was and how awkward I looked. Mind you, it nearly killed me having to move from the fast lane to the medium lane. From April through to the very last few days of my pregnancy I swam every second or third day, averaging between 2 to 2.5km each session. Tumble turns and butterfly didn’t last long and so it was freestyle all the way. I was truly amazed at my ability to keep up a bit of distance and how good I felt. My sets included a 1 to 1.5km freestyle swim followed by drills and towards the end, a shorter freestyle set. It seemed ironic that I could swim this distance yet climbing the two flights of stairs at home was so exhausting. I often crossed paths with Vlad and his encouragement and enthusiasm for my swimming was unabated. I used the time swimming on my own to focus on all the techniques and tips Vlad has shared with me over the years. And while I missed squad dreadfully, I had the time to experiment with my swimming style. I researched techniques online and spent a lot of time watching other swimmers. I found watching others beneficial in understanding some of the areas where I needed to improve. Baby Elizabeth is now over two months old and I returned to the pool a few weeks ago. I have slowly been building up the distance and I am amazed at how I retained a good level of swimming fitness throughout my pregnancy. For me swimming really was my saving grace over the past year and I look forward to returning to squad as soon as I get a full nights sleep! 21


Water wonderland

Margie McDonald

Climbing on to the bus to take me to Gladstone Harbour marina with my backpack and swim-gear bag, the man across the aisle gives me a stern look. “You’ve got flippers. We don’t like flippers here,” he said.

Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Hawaii, and next year, Samoa.

This ocean-swimming caper is serious business. My flippers were packed for some snorkelling off Heron Island reef and not for the 3km organised swim circumnavigating the central Queensland coral cay. Best I hide them deeper in the bag next time.

Add to that all the treks around lakes, down rivers, across inlets, and between peninsulas in Europe and North America: they all qualify under the banner of open-water swimming, and it’s a sport that can really take you places.

Ocean swimming is now the adopted sport of many former pool swimmers, golfers, triathletes and footballers whose joints and bones can’t take the pounding any more.

Dual Olympic swimmers Neil Rogers (1972, 1976) and Graeme Brewer (1980, 1984), and Mexico City Olympic relay silver medallist Judy Playfair turned up on Heron Island last month, happily admitting they are hooked on ocean swimming.

But just because it’s a low-impact sport doesn’t mean ocean swimming is for the faint-hearted. There are rips to negotiate, sandbanks and waves to fight past to get out into the deeper water.

“I try to encourage everyone I coach to do ocean swims because it’s something they can do forever,” Brewer says.

Once beyond the break, the swell can be mild to mountainous. But there is the buzz of not knowing what’s beneath - especially after you swim over the shark nets that protect many beaches.

“I love them because you turn up at the beach, it’s social, you jump in and have a good hit-out for half an hour or more, you challenge yourself, then have something to eat and a beer.”

Then there are the immovable objects: rock shelves, bomboras, reefs and headlands. Swim too close or misjudge the currents and you’ll be sucked into one with bloody consequences.

Like Brewer and his swim squads, Rogers has a group of ocean swimmers that meets him at the Bondi Icebergs pool three times a week for training sessions.

After all that, sea lice, bluebottle stings, rash and sunburn can seem almost sublime.

“The competitive ones usually are former athletes who still crave the rush,” Rogers said. “But the other lanes usually are for people who did their first ocean swim and got the bug, or they might have suffered an injury from another sport and swimming allows them to return to sport.”

Despite the potential hazards, ocean swimming has grown enormously in Australia. It’s now spreading over the South Pacific with events in Fiji, the

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The trailblazing swims mostly started as fundraising events. The Cole Classic at Bondi, the Palm Beach to Whale Beach on Sydney’s northern beaches and the Pier to Pub at Lorne in Victoria were primarily events designed to raise funds for surf clubs needing equipment. The courses and destinations quickly became more adventurous. “I remember when they started the Bondi to Bronte, quite a few thought no one would do it. But now it’s the third-biggest on the (NSW) swim calendar,” Rogers says. “The good thing is that people can swim all their lives. Most sports kick you out at 17 or 18 or in your mid-20s. You can’t play rugby when you’re 35 - you’ll get hurt.” Not only does ocean swimming allow you to compete against your peers over 1km, 2km, 3km or more, but you get to take on mother nature in all her glory and fury. “People who do ocean swimming are able to do these swims because they are usually well-resourced. They can afford to follow what becomes a passion,” said Paul Ellercamp, credited as the founding father of ocean swimming’s emergence.


He started a website 13 years ago called www. oceanswims.com. Once people knew where and when the swims were on, they started turning up in their thousands in the late 1980s and early ‘90s. Just under 40,000 competed in the 2009-10 summer season. “When people start ocean swimming, they become hooked. It’s as if they are on the frontier trying something but in the safety of the city still,” Ellercamp said. “It’s an enormous personal achievement. There have been groups of friends swimming around headlands for years. But once you open it up and formalise it with water safety craft and age groups, everyone can have a go.” The Heron Island swim, organised by owners Delaware North Companies (Parks 7 resorts) in conjunction with Ellercamp, is one of the newer events. It’s two years old but 100 swimmers in 2011 turned into nearly 200 last month. “What people get out of it is a tremendous sense of liberation. Once they get out beyond the shark net, they are in frontier land,” Ellercamp says. “Swimming up on the reef, it’s the first time for a lot of people



to swim with turtles and sharks. We all know how sharks figure in the national psyche, and yet it’s a tremendously cathartic experience the first time you see one and it’s not a problem. “Those experiences give you a real sense of personal and spiritual growth. I’m not talking religion or transcendental stuff. I’m just saying you feel really good about yourself. People here saw the sharks from the jetty and all of a sudden they’re in the water with them. They go to another level.” One swimmer who didn’t fit the ex-footballer, babyboomer profile was 40-year-old mother of two Talia Webb. She had husband Mal and sons Lucas, 5, and Owen, 3, in tow as she swam around Heron. “It’s the confidence to do something on my own. My husband and I are outdoors people and do a lot together but this is something he lets me do on my own,” she said. “I’m a mum with two kids, so we get up and go to the beach at the weekends. I do my swim, the kids play in the sand and then we all go and have breakfast.”

Shelly Beach in Sydney more than two years ago that sparked her interest. “I swam a bit in high school, but I was having breakfast a few years ago and the Cole Classic was on. And we said, ‘right, in a year we’ll do this’,” Webb says. “So last year I did the Cole Classic and really enjoyed it, being back in the water, swimming, the training.” She swam the 3km Mana Island event in Fiji last year with some girlfriends. “We left the kids and the husbands at home and it was magic,” she said. “With swimming, once you do that first 200m you’re fine. I’m not particularly fast, but I’ve done the training so once I get into my rhythm, I get the job done.” “And it doesn’t matter who you are, what body shape, how fast, you all stand on the same line and face the same ocean.” This article and photograph was first publisthed in The Australian 9 November 2012. Reproduced with permision of

It was a casual breakfast meeting with a friend at

the author and the publisher.

Jacqui Freney at ABC pool This amazing 20 year-old swimmer triumphed in every event she contested at the London Paralympics — a phenomenal haul of eight gold medals (including that incredible anchor leg in the women’s 4x100 medley relay), two in world record time!

A few days before winning the prestigious Prime Minister’s top award for Women in Sport, the inspirational and now legendary Paralympian of the Year, swimmer Jacqui Freney trained with the early Saturday morning Vladswim and CKPP squad at the Andrew Boy Charlton pool.

The squad session was a wonderful surprise too for Valdswim coach Mal Booth who, in his younger days, trained alongside Jacqui’s coach/dad Michael under the ever-watchful eye of Jacqui’s grandfather, Peter Freney, one of Australia’s master coaches. After training, a fun-filled breakfast in the café overlooking the pool where young squad swimmers Isabella and Hamish Dunstan took time away from their waffles to admire one of Jacqui’s well-deserved gold medals.

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On Motivation

Louise Stevenson

SEPTEMBER 2010, LYING IN A HOSPITAL BED FOLLOWING SURGERY, I WAS CONTEMPLATING WHETHER I WOULD HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO RECOVER, TRAIN AND BE READY BY FEBRUARY 2011 FOR THE ROTTNEST CHANNEL SWIM. I’D FACED CHALLENGES BEFORE BUT THIS WAS GOING TO BE A “BIGGY”. December and then January 2011, finally some high mileage months — lots and lots and lots of lonely laps. The distance was tough and it is so much harder when you are swimming 8-10km alone. What kept me going? The faith I had in myself that I could return to Rotto and repeat what I had achieved in 2010.

In 2009 I was part of a successful team and the following year, I completed my first solo crossing – coming away a winner. I knew that the next three to four months were going to be tough. There was not going to be an easy way to get my fitness and performance up to the standard I wanted and knew I could produce – not without a lot of work, dedication, commitment and, more important, motivation. November 2010, I was finally back in the water: it was time to focus on my technique and get back my feel for the water. It proved a very difficult month. My return to the pool was challenging, I felt like I was going to sink. Throughout the month I wondered if I would ever be fit enough to complete the 19.7km swim from Perth to Rottnest Island, let alone pull off the back-to-back wins I was hoping for. As November progressed and I trudged up and down the pool, I gradually began to feel like my old self in the water again. There was hope…

Fast forward to February 2011: after overcoming the massive set back of my injury, I was finally feeling fit and ready to take on Rottnest 2011. I was packed, ready to go and then along comes something completely out of my control – suddenly this race became a bigger challenge than what I could have had anticipated or ever imagined.

Overcoming surgery four months prior was just a walk in the park compared to this… Heading to the airport on 22 February I was inundated with phone calls. At first I thought it was the usual good luck messages and happy smiley faces but soon found out otherwise. Thinking I’d better check the rush of calls, within minutes I discovered my hometown of Christchurch had been hit by yet another devastating earthquake. My parents were due to join me in Perth to accompany me on the journey to Rottnest: my Mum had made it out of Christchurch on the last flight before the earthquake hit, but my father was not so lucky.

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He was ok but was going to have to wait in Christchurch and play the waiting game of whether he was going to be able to get to Perth. The days prior to the swim became very emotional and somewhat draining. No one in the world could have factored something like this into their race prep … not knowing whether people were ok and whether there would be another earthquake. And this was the time I was supposed to be conserving my energy and focusing on the task ahead. While the challenge was now HUGE, my motivation became very clear: it would be the thing that would get me through the swim. Finally the day arrived and it was time to make my way across the Indian Ocean from Cottesloe Beach to Rottnest Island. The first 14km were nice and relaxed. I got into the “zone”. It was the next 6km that were going to be the real test – but it was absolutely nothing in comparison to what the people of my hometown were experiencing.


Who would have thought that the Christchurch earthquake would be the motivating factor to get me to the end. After overcoming surgery prior to Rottnest, the sadness of the earthquake and the disappointment of my Dad not being able to make the flight to see the crossing, spurred me over that finish line. When things are hard, tough, and we think we can’t carry on, we can all look within ourselves and find motivating factors that will get us there in the end. My motivation was to repeat my 2010 success for all my family and friends. They were the people who had stood by me, believed in me, and ensured that I achieved everything I had wanted to. Note: Louise went on to win in Rottnest Island in 2011 and later that year, in August, completed a 40km swim to raise money for the people of Christchurch.



Balmoral Charity Swim Shelly to Manly Saturday Swim

La Perouse Saturday Swim Morning swimmers at Manly

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Coogee Nov 2012 before start...

Sri Chinmoy Canberra swim 2012

Coogee Nov 2012 ...starting SwimMate®

Vladswim Stroke Correction Program 29

Swim Preparation

Swimming training for Triathlon: Is it THAT important? Mick Maroney

Triathlon is a sum of three component parts. The swim leg, generally speaking, comprises the least of the 3 time components that make up the sport. A swim leg can range from the 750 metres of a sprint distance race, to the 3.8km Ironman event. Many variables come into play in a Triathlon swim leg; water temperature, body of water (seawater/ocean, lake, river), and conditions (smooth, choppy, current affected etc). The majority of triathletes are professional people with a generous amount of disposable income to spend on their chosen pursuit, However, time is a restrictor; so the average punter has to decide how best to train with the small windows they have in any 24 hour period. Swimming training is often viewed as a necessary evil that is squeezed in between the regular, structured bike and run sessions. So, is swimming training that important for triathletes given the perennial balancing act of life and the program? I would argue, that an effective, regular year-round swimming program is critical for every triathlete’s success.

The overall benefits of regular swimming training Injury prevention and management is key for triathletes executing significant volumes of high impact exercise. Swimming is a pursuit that can be done at a high intensity almost daily. Ideally, swimming 2 to 3 squad sessions a week of 4-6kms, plus an ocean swim, will develop a strong aerobic capacity that carries over to the other Triathlon disciplines. Swimming also has a therapeutic effect on the muscular system. It can unwind

the built-up muscle tension that accrues in the day to day struggles of training, work and life.

A strong swim leg provides an exponential improvement to the bike and run segments Generally, a triathlete who exits the water in the lead, or with the first pack, will be ideally placed on the road to begin the bike segment with athletes at the performance end of the race spectrum. Swimmers coming out minutes behind find themselves having to chase the leaders and being surrounded by bike riders who will not have the same level of riding ability as those athletes already up the road. The various swim leg distances in Triathlon have their own nuances that need to be addressed. The Sprint and Olympic Distance triathlons (750 metre and 1500 metre swim respectively) have a sense of urgency about them that is not really there in the longer Ironman and 70.3 events. In this case, the swim leg can mean the difference between winning or losing. Coming out of the water a minute plus down on the leader is very difficult to make up due to the relative distances of the bike/run. In the ITU World Series events held each year, the winner of the race will come from the first 5 to

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Swim Preparation

You shouldn’t eat after 7pm” = Fiction !! 10 out of the water. A good example is the World Series Grand Final recently held in Beijing, China. In the men’s event a break of 30 seconds onto the road could not be breached by the second bike pack (and blew out to 2 minutes) by the finish line. The 70.3 and ironman distance (1.9 and 3.8km respectively) are longer swim legs but no less crucial in overall performance. In the 2009 Ironman Triathlon held in Kona, Hawaii, one of the favourites, Chris McCormack, found himself 1 minute 50 seconds behind the favourites exiting the water. He knew he had only one choice; to ride hard and catch his main rivals. It took Macca 80 miles before he caught the leaders; and by that stage they were in a steady state or zone, fuelling and staying relaxed whereas he was already cramping and depleted. Chris managed to run ok for a while but his “catch up” effort took its toll and he was forced to walk portions of the run. In hindsight, he declared that a “bad” swim had cost him a potential world championship. He did not make the same mistake the following year in 2010 where he came out of the water with the leaders and went on to win his 2nd Ironman world title. So, is swimming training as important as cycling and running training for overall performance in a Triathlon? The short answer is YES! Swimming can add value to your overall aerobic fitness, and enable more effective recovery from running and cycling training. In addition, being a strong swimmer can set up a superior triathlon race; in terms of position on the road and a more controlled, energy-apportioned overall performance. Next time you sit down and begin to plan your training program, solo or with a coach, reflect upon how much respect you have given your swimming training, and make the necessary adjustments. You might be surprised at the results. SwimMate®

Fad diets often promote the idea of cutting out all carbohydrates after 7pm. Some even endorse no food after 7pm! Is this a good idea, can it promote weight loss? Realistically it is not practical for most working people to eat dinner at 5.30pm. The French eat dinner late and are generally slim. Research also proves that it is important to replace carbohydrate and protein within 20mins after all training sessions. This includes those exercising after work in the early evening. Instead of eliminating food after a certain time it’s better to look at the type of food you are eating and the size of your meals, and balance these with regular (daily) physical activity. It’s NOT the time of day when food is eaten that influences weight gain, it is a combination of : • The total amount of food • The type of food —eg fats store more readily and low GI carbs are better for fat loss • The amount and intensity of activity done during the day • Genetics — people who are ‘storers’ are more likely to have high body fat To achieve good weight control make sure all meals include plenty of vegetables, a serving of protein and low GI carbohydrates, whilst only a moderate amount of ‘healthy fats’... and move often!

http://www.dynamicdietitians.com.au 31

Swim Preparation


Alberto Garcia Gómez

I am Alberto Garcia, a Spanish guy from Cuenca, a beautiful city very near Madrid that has been classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site - and it’s a heavenly to train and play sport in ... especially triathlon. My life has always been associated with sports. My family loves sport and my father played football at an elite level. But he has always loved watching all kinds of sport, so it was natural that I enjoyed sport from the beginning. From when I was little, it was clear to me that I wanted to pursue sport. Later, I decided to go to Granada to study Sports Sciences and Physical Education which I did for 5 years. I can say that I have played all kinds of sports ... and while I love team sports, I have spent more time in triathlon. My city is perfect for cycling, running and swimming. In addition, we have one of the oldest triathlon clubs in Spain, and one of the oldest triathlon events. I loved teaching too and decided I wanted to be a PE teacher in Spain — but it is also true that I love sports performance. So, during my degree, I did subjects of both branches. It was at that time that Juan Rodriguez, the current triathlon technical director, gave me the opportunity to participate in summer Identification Camps aimed at discovering young talent who could become future Spanish triathletes. This opportunity gave me access to the Spanish Triathlon Federation.

When I finished my degree and while I was preparing to sit an open, competitive exam to become a teacher, I started coaching at a swim club in my city where throughout my childhood I too had trained. Soon, the Spanish Triathlon Federation’s chairman offered me the opportunity to work as the person in charge of training and development for all the coaches in Spain. Then a couple of years ago the International Triathlon Union, based in Madrid, gave me the chance to become an ITU facilitator. I achieved Level 2 status: it’s difficult to get this accreditation because only the ITU is allowed to propose people to get this qualification ... and fortunately, I was one of them. Our Federation was the first in the world to get the ITU accreditation because our teacher/facilitator program covers everything.

LONDON OLYMPICS 2012 For a long time I been helping triathlon coaches at different training camps, especially with the technical analysis of swimming and running. We have an original and new recording system — and a special error correction sheet. The London Olympics this year was one of the best and exciting moments, especially when Spain got the silver medal. I was there as a member of Triathlon Spain as part of the High Performance Department during the Games. One of my responsibilities

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Swim Preparation

as a technichal staff member was taking charge of the timing and performance assessments of our athletes along the Hyde Park circuit. We’ve been timing and measuring performances in many international races for some time ... analysing the circuit and the pace during the swimming, bike and running segments to make sure we know what’s happening with the triathlete’s pace work. To be honest, not too many people know for sure what’s been happening in international races over the years, so the data gathered is really important for coaches and triathletes and their planning, preparation and training programs .

ARRIVING IN AUSTRALIA The technical director suggested that I to come to Australia with the Spanish triathletes who were competing in Australian qualifying races. Because of the tough qualifying system for the Olympics, the Spanish triathletes needed to get points to qualify. Of course I did not hesitate to come with them. The races took place in Sydney and Mooloolaba and we achieved very good results.

this during the summer when I was teenager. As it happens, I already have a Silver Medallion for surf life saving and, next year, I think I’ll have a go at getting the Gold Medallion. It’ll be a real challenge for me, but I love this kind of thing. I have also decided to do an ironman event while I’m here in Australia. It will be in Cairns, and I would like to book a ticket to Melbourne in 2014. I did a couple of ironman competitions in Europe, and I would like to go on training here. In my lifetime I’ve done lots of marathons, trial marathons, rides and ocean races … I love training, but mostly because it’s the perfect way of meeting people, seeing places and experiencing different lifestyles. I don’t want to waste this opportunity I’ve been given ... who knows, maybe I will live in Australia for the rest of my life or, perhaps, one day in the future, I’ll return to teaching in Spain. Here are some photos with international triathletes.. some were taken at the London Olympics, others in Sydney and at Cook + Phillip Park swimming pool.

Coincidently, my career as a teacher had come to a halt due to the current economic crisis in Spain. I had lost my job as a teacher, so I decided coming to Australia was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. When I arrived in Sydney, I decided it was time to improve my English and to enjoy the experience of a new country. It was now or never! So now I am in Sydney. I practically spend all my time working and going to school but I’m beginning to feel more settled. To survive financially, I found that being a lifeguard was the easiest thing ... and it’s a good way to meet more people. I had done SwimMate®


Swim Preparation


Every summer hundreds of swimmers flock to the great beaches of Sydney. Many swim for fun, but others are serious swimmers pushing themselves to higher limits. Some want to achieve a better ocean race result and there are those who have decided they want to take on an enormous challenge — like the Rottnest Channel swim (20km), the Watson Bay swim (10km) or the Fiji swim (10km). To undertake any of these long distance swims, many pool and ocean training sessions are necessary. Here are some tips to help your preparation…

Are you a beginner at Are you a swimmer who wants to improve ocean swimming? your time? Start with sessions in a pool by joining a training squad. In the pool you will easily improve your technique, fitness, acquire new swimming skills and expand your feel for the water. Find a squad where the coach can provide stroke correction during the session – in that way your swimming will improve quickly and correct techniques will reduce the risk of injury. Ocean swimming: Start by swimming at a beach with a flat surface of water – for instance, Clovelly, Coogee or Manly, or at one of the harbour beaches such as Drummoyne. • On your first swim, focus on breathing, your stroke and keep checking your swimming direction • Always swim with someone and let your friends know that you’re taking on an ocean swim. • Drink fresh water and remember to cover your body with sunscreen before you start swimming. • It’s important to make contact with the local lifesaving club and find out about ocean swim coaching sessions

• If so, start with pool sessions to improve your technique, aerobic and anaerobic capacity. • Keep up your ocean swimming as well and practise your skills … catching the waves, your sense of direction and orientation in the water, the pace of your swim, dealing with fatigue and other aspects of endurance swimming. • Swim with a group of swimmers who have the same pace and the same interest in swimming as you do … at Coogee, for instance, every Sunday from 10.30am there’s the Shark Island swim. • Maintain at least 3 to 4 swimming sessions per week.

Are you a swimmer wanting the challenge of a long distance ocean swim? • You have to plan on how you are going to prepare yourself for a big swim. • Find a coach and squad with focused, wellstructured sessions.

• Find a nutritionist, massage therapist and other friends to help you get there. • Remember you have to prepare yourself for everything – including the unexpected. This includes adjusting to cold water temperatures, adapting to extended periods in the water, changing tides and weather conditions. • At this stage you should be maintaining 3 to 4 pool sessions and 1 to 2 ocean swims per week. • Swims like the Watsons Bay swim, the Rottnest Channel, the Fiji swim •

— even the English Channel

— will suddenly seem not so daunting!

• Good luck! Ocean swimming is a great sport where you can challenge yourself beyond your land-based comfort zone. Don’t be scared of the ocean … you just have to understand the nature of its ways. • If ocean swimming appeals to you, start as soon as possible, it’s already summer! • And if you need any further help or encouragement, just call the Vladswim team. Happy swimming!

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Swim Preparation | Coaches Corner



Swim Preparation

‘Burners’ and ‘Storers’ some basic nutrition facts... Sarah Dacres-Mannings

Today’s athletes and swimmers need to address all areas of sports science when trying to maximise training and competition performances. Sports nutrition has been proven to play a vital role in an athlete’s / swimmer’s preparation, so much so that the Australian Swim Team has travelled with a Sports Dietician for the last 20 years. Most professional football teams of all codes also have a consultant dietician. The training diet however is often a neglected area, with athletes/swimmers preferring to concentrate on race day strategies. However, the training diet is crucial in supporting endurance, speed and strength training, ‘bulking up’ programs, body fat reduction, and maximising recovery. Premature fatigue in training and competitions is a common problem and generally an indicator of an inadequate or inappropriate training and/or competition diet.


Know Your Body Type: ‘Burners’ and ‘Storers’

‘Burners’ tend to have low body fat levels and high metabolisms. Most people wish they were ‘burners’, but ‘burners’ tend to get rundown easily and lose weight if their diet is inadequate therefore can have a higher risk of illness. ‘Storers’ tend to gain weight very easily as they are designed for famine conditions – great if you are lost is the desert or are keen to swim the Channel in chilly conditions. Female ‘storers’ tend to be stronger and more resilient to illnesses. ‘Burners’ and ‘storers’ have very different body types and thus very different nutritional requirements.


Eat three meals and two to threee snacks every day

• •

Replaces muscle fuel levels Maximises energy levels

• •

Increases brain function Boosts metabolic rate


Energy Boosting Snacks

• • • • • • • •

Fruit – fresh, dried, canned (aim for a minimum of 2 pieces of fruit per day) Yoghurt and milk drinks (low fat milk and yoghurt have more calcium Custard and rice puddings Raisin toast – try Burgen or Vogel Fruit buns Sandwiches Cereal + fruit + low fat milk Baked beans / spaghetti on toast


Healthy Fats

• •

The amount of ‘healthy fats’ required daily will vary depending on body type, genetics, training volume and body fat levels. Use avocado, hummus or peanut butter on bread / toast

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Swim Preparation

• Nuts and seeds provide ‘healthy fats’ and are terrific in cereal or with yoghurt • Use spray olive or canola oil in cooking • Use polyunsaturated, canola or olive oil margarines, hummus or avocado on sandwiches • Minimise pastries and fried food • Cut fat off chicken & meat before cooking

Nutrition watch 1. Mangoes are Australia’s most

5. Eat within 20mins of finishing Training • • • • •

For fast recovery aim to eat within 20mins of finishing training. This is particularly important if you have to train again within 8 hours. Carbohydrates, protein (especially in contact sports and after weights), fluid and electrolytes ‘Storers’ usually benefit from food such as bananas, breakfast cereal, low fat yoghurt and smoothies in addition to fluids. ‘Burners’ tend to ‘burn more fuel’ thus require larger volumes and often faster release carbohydrates. Protein can enhance carbohydrate uptake eg milk drinks and smoothies (milk and yoghurt contains protein & calcium).

popular seasonal fruit, with 8 million trays eaten each year! The mango season starts in September and most are grown in the far north. Mangoes are highly nutritious, and are rich in vitamins A and C, fibre and potassium. Buy mangoes that have a fragrant tropical aroma and give slightly when touched. Mangoes are best eaten at room temperature.

2. Silverbeet 82KJ/100g Silverbeet is also known as Chard and is closely related to spinach. It has a slightly bitter salty flavour and is perfect for stir-fries, steamed pies, filo pastries or by itself. Choose fresh dark green silverbeet that have crisp leaves and stalks. It is high in many important nutrients including folate, vitamin E, A and C.

Chickpeas – The Facts Chickpeas are one of the earliest cultivated legumes and are believed to originate from the Middle East. Ancient people associated chickpeas with the god Venus, and believed they had medicinal uses including stimulating milk, provoking urine and treating kidney stones. During World War 1 they were ground-roasted and used to brew coffee in Germany.


At present they are cultivated in the Mediterranean, western Asia, India and Australia. Chickpeas can be eaten raw, roasted, dried, fried or boiled. They are a good addition to soup, salad and casserole and are the primary component of many ethnic dishes. Hummus is the Arabic word for chickpeas. They are an excellent source of dietary fibre and contain high levels of zinc, folate and protein.


Swim Preparation | Coaches Corner

Stroke Correction

Vladimir Mravec

In the first issue of Swim Mate I described the relaxed body position, floating and kicking.


In this issue my focus is on a couple of key biomechanical drawbacks associated with swimming - drag and propulsion - and some drills to overcome the problem.


When you observe great freestyle swimmers you will notice a still head position, the rotation of the shoulders, an extended front or leading arm, a great stroke and an efficient kick. Their technique is not just the result of mileage completed in squad sessions, it’s the ongoing focus on correct technique during training.


Understanding the biomechanics behind the stroke will help you to maintain the best body position, reduce drag and help you maximise your efficiency and speed in the water. Basically, Water is nearly 800 times denser than air and 55 times more viscous. For this reason swimmers have to deal with the high resistance of water. This resistance is called drag – and drag is always exerted in the opposite direction to that which the swimmer’s body is moving..

During swimming there are three types of the drag:

Front drag is caused by the body form, shape or position during swimming. The goal is to minimise body width or mass and keep the body horizontal. It is important to minimise the front part of the body as travels through the water. Wave drag – this is the turbulence at the surface of the water. You can feel this drag especially when swimming in the ocean, or when there are too many swimmers in one lane.


Friction drag – is the friction created between the swimmer’s skin and the water. Shaving down or wearing a special swimming wetsuit reduces frictional drag.

How to understand these types of drag? It’s simple: the faster swimmer is the one with the most athletic body shape swimming alone in the pool lane (where there’s very little surface disturbance) in a special wetsuit.

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Swim Preparation | Coaches Corner

There are three key factors that determine the amount of resistance:


minimise drag. For instance, swimming in shorts makes it harder to swim.


with increased speed, always focus on good the shape of the swimmer – a swimmer who is technique. overweight with an abnormal belly size is going to be a slower swimmer. remember if you lift your head up, your hips and legs will drop down thereby causing drag. the speed of the swimmer as he/she moves through the water – the greater the speed, the greater to improve your streamlined position you the amount of drag. So a swimmer has to be aware, must activate your core muscles. always, of how to reduce drag when swimming fast. imagine you’re swimming downhill – this will the space or mass the body takes up in the ensure your hips will remain at the surface water – by extending the stretch or reach of the leading arm enables the swimmer to maintain a streamlined by maintaining good technique and body body position in the water. This means that almost position you will reduce drag when you swim. half of the swimmer’s body is submerged in the water and the other half is on the surface. This is an important focus when swimming. The movement of the arms and legs is the main propulsive force in swimming. When swimmers push water backwards they will accelerate the body forward creating a force.








How do you reduce drag when swimming?


after it enters the water, let your arm be the leader. This will create a sense of gliding through the water.

Three aspects of arm movement are important to swim propulsion:





keep your body travelling through the water in the streamline position while rotating from side to side.

Direction of the stroke – overcrossing the direction of the stroke ( ie, the arms cross over the centre line or spine) makes for inefficient propulsion


angle and attack – a 90 degree angle of attack (ie, palms facing back against the water at a 90 degree angle) is the most sufficient way of propelling the swimmer. (The image shows incorrect and correct elbow positions).


velocity or speed of the hands and feet – in other words, the acceleration of the hands from the first part of the stroke to the last propulsive part or end of the stroke.

check your body weight and waist line. Large and heavy swimmers create lots of drag in the water. check your body position and kick efficiency. Swinging the hips side to side or letting the hips drop will increase drag. Wide kicks and sinking legs also increases drag. use simple race costumes or swimsuits to




Swim Preparation | Coaches Corner

What to do to improve your swimming? When to incorporate drills into your swimming? The best time to incorporate drills in your program is after the warm up and before the main set. Make sure you alternate drills and swim: this is really important because you have to apply the focus of each drill into your freestyle swimming.

For example: Warm up: • 400 fs w/up • 12x50 on 1min (or 20sec rest) 1st 50 drill 2nd 50 swim • 2x100 freestyle focusing on technique

Main set:

The best way how to improve and correct your technique is to incorporate swimming drills into your training. Practising specific drills, focusing on one or two specific areas, will enhance your style - but before beginning any drill, make sure the body is in the correct streamlined position.

Three main drills for swimmers: Catch-up drill – this drill starts lying on your chest, facing down, with the hands extended in front – the right hand next to left, shoulder width apart. As the left arm starts to stroke with catch of the water, the right arm extends forward (leading the body through the water). During the stroke and extending the arm, the body rolls to one the side thereby reducing front drag. With each stroke – the leading arm being ‘caught’ by the following arm – drives the swimmer forward. This drill will help the swimmer focus on the correct reach and rotation necessary for powerful and efficient freestyle swimming. Catch-up is a key drill to work on the stroke underwater, the recovery arm over the water (high elbow), body rotation (hip movement and kicking), breathing and timing …

and, most important, on relaxing the shoulders… One arm drill – there are several versions of this drill. The first is when one arm (hand) stays in front until the other arm (hand) arrives, and you keep them together for about two seconds. The second version of the drill, is lying on one side and stroking with one arm continually executing the stroke and recovery. Maintaining the side body position also helps to extend the leading arm throughout the drill which enables the swimmer to move effectively through the water. This drill focuses on streamlining and correct body position: it works on the entry and stroke one arm at a time as well as emphasising the momentum from the shoulder during the stroke. Breathing, head position and stroke rhythm are key factors of this drill. One hand freestyle with closed fists - this drill is performed by swimming normal freestyle with the left hand open and a closed right hand fist. Focusing on the open hand arm, the swimmer specifically works on improving the catch and full stroke. The drill is also great for improving the stroke of those swimmers with a dominant arm … and most swimmers have one arm that is less propulsive than the other.

• 6x200 on 3:30

Swim down: • 400 choice(mixed stroke)

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Swim Preparation | Coaches Corner

Training sessions


These sessions are for high level swimmers who have been swimming for long time and have good endurance.

• Session 1 •

Warm up in Aerobic pace

this session is usually on Monday morning. I call warm up session for the week. The work out is 90min long and covers around 4.8km. The swimmers on the session are in preparation for ocean swims, triathlon and Ironman athletes and also marathon swimmers.

• Warm up: 1 Km

• Main set: 2.4km

400Fs swim +2x100 IM on 1:50

4x300 on 4:30 Aerobic pace

200 fs swim + 2x100 Bks/fs 50’s 1:50

(focus on Rhythm and swimming pace) 1.2km

• Skills set: 1.2km

3x200 Pull + Paddles on 3:15

4x150 on 2:30

(focus on catch and body rotation) 0.6km

1, 50kick/50pull (cross legs)/50swim

4x100 on 1:40 Breathing 3rd and 5th strokes


(focus on technique and relaxed) 0.4km

100 swim focus on tech on 1:40

4x50 on 50sec 0.2km

4x50 1min (25sprint/25easy)

• Swim down set: 0.8km depend on the time to stay

• 400 mix strokes, 200 (25kick 75 swim), 200 choice •

Total = 5.4km

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Swim Preparation | Coaches Corner

Session 2 – Anaerobic Threshold set •

This work out is typical on Wednesday morning. Swimmers are getting HR from 160 – 170 and they are getting red in face and shoulders. I call the session easy mentally but so hard physically. This session gives to all swimmers great level of endurance.

Warm up: 0.8km

Main set: 2.5km (descend time pace 10-10-5)

800 warm up swim

10x100 on 1:30 C/T pace

Skills set: 1.1km

10x100 1, on 1:25 2, on 1:40 C/T-3sec. pace

4x50 1min(25kick-25swim)

5x100 on 1:25 C/T-6sec.

100 swim focus on kick 4x50 drills 1min 100 tech. Swim 6x50 1min 1,8hard stroke – easy

Swim down: 0.8 km 400 easy swim mix strokes 400 (50swim breathing 9th stroke – 150 swim) Total: 5.2km

2,12Hard strokes – easy 3,14hard strokes – easy 200 tech swim

Session 3 long distance Aerobic-fartlek set •

The session is from Tuesday or Thursday morning. Long swim distance swim but always focused on technique and swim tempo. The swimmers have to stay longer session is 6km long.

Warm up: 1.5km

Main set: 2.4km

1500 swim

800 locky-fartlek Hard/Easy



Skills set: 1km

800 pull + paddles aerobic pace

4x100 1:50 (50drilll-50swim)

4x200 3min 3rd 50 power in stroke

200 balls swim 6x50desc 1-3 1km

Swim down 1km

100 swim

1000 swim easy f/s Total: 5.9km



Swim Preparation

Benefits of swimming What are the benefits of swimming? Swimming is a great way to feel better about yourself, and reduce stress, anxiety and the symptoms of depression. Over the longer term, swimming will help you to maintain a healthier brain, heart, lungs and blood vessels


Swimming helps you develop, strengthen and maintain flexibility … it enables you to resist disease and to recover quickly from illness or injury


It helps you control your weight and percentage of body fat


It will decrease stress, increase alertness, improve mental functioning — it can even enhance self-esteem


It can improve your heart pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, decrease your heart rate. Swimming can even help you quit smoking by focusing the mind on the body and its well-being … it’s a great way of getting your body back in shape!


According to a survey on Australians and sport, 34% of the population participate in swimming, making it one of the nation’s most popular sporting activities.


Swimming regularly improves your circulation, respiratory capacity, flexibility, muscle tone, posture and general physical appearance


When swimming, your body is supported by the water which means you put less stress on your bones compared with running or other high-impact,

strenuous forms of exercise. With swimming there’s less risk of injury


There are many ways to exercise in water apart from swimming laps: aqua-based exercise classes, wading or jogging in a buoyancy suit, are just a couple of fun ways of exercising in water. There are aquatic exercise professionals who can help by tailoring a strengthening and endurance program just for you


In Sydney – especially during the summer months — there are open water swims each weekend. These are well organised, lots of fun and safe


Swimming for 30 minutes will stimulate your metabolism sufficiently for weight loss — and swimming regularly can help burn up energy and help you lose weight.


No other workout burns calories, boosts metabolism and firms every muscle in your body better than a swimming workout … and there’s no stress on your joints


An easy swim burns around 500 calories an hour, while a vigorous effort can torch almost 700. And because water is nearly 800 times denser than

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Swim Preparation

air, each kick, push, and pull is like a mini resistance workout for your entire body


Water basically neutralises gravity, so you become virtually weightless when immersed, giving your joints a much-needed vacation. … so you can swim almost every day without risking injury


A major bonus is that swimming can help you stay younger! Data presented at a recent American

College of Sports Medicine Conference suggested that a swimmer’s blood pressure, cholesterol levels, cardiovascular performance, central nervous system, and cognitive functioning are all comparable to someone of a much younger age


Psychological benefits flow from the physical ones. Swimming makes you fit, alert, refreshed and relaxed. You will feel increasingly positive about your health and appearance.

So why not get started. First and foremost, if you have not exercised for a long time, consult your doctor or other health professional before starting. Then begin slowly because your muscles will not be used to the movements and will be sore if you swim too fast or too far. Remember, be patient … after a few months you will gradually increase speed, distance and the amount of time in the water. As you get a feel for the water, you’ll just wish you had started swimming sooner!



Swim Preparation


Emma Fitzgibbon

A swimmer who completes a three kilometre training session rotates their shoulder roughly 1800 times; it is no wonder swimmers complain of shoulder pain. The repetitive nature of freestyle and the continuous shoulder flexibility required for an efficient swimming stroke, makes the shoulder prone to injury. The term ‘swimmer’s shoulder’ describes the soft tissue injury where a tendon (connects the muscle to bone) becomes impinged underneath the bony arch that forms the top of the shoulder blade (scapula). When this injury is identified and managed early, time out of the water can be kept to a minimum without the risk of further complications.

What are the signs and symptoms? Swimmers may notice pain at the top, front or back of the shoulder and pain may radiate along the upper arm. This pain may be aggravated by overhead activities which can include the pull-through and recovery phases of the swimming stroke. In some instances, a point of weakness may be noted in the swimming stroke or muscle imbalances may develop.

What causes swimmer’s shoulder and how can i prevent it? Research has identified many factors that contribute to ‘swimmer’s shoulder’. Two key muscles groups can become fatigued or imbalanced, which can lead to

impingement. One is the ‘rotator cuff ’ muscle group (see image below) which controls the position of the upper arm bone (head of the humerus bone). The other is the ‘scapula stabilisers’ which control the position of the scapula (see image below). Both the rotator cuff and scapula stabilisers can become imbalanced and fatigued because of poor swimming mechanics, which reinforces the importance of stroke correction and recognising when breaks from water are needed. Research has also suggested that unilateral breathing may also contribute to the development of ‘swimmer’s shoulder’ by overloading one shoulder. Until recently, strengthening the rotator cuff was the primary focus of rehabilitation for ‘swimmer’s shoulder’. However, recent research has now identified the importance of correctly strengthening the scapula stabilisers. The position and balance of the scapula muscles is the keystone to successfully preventing and rehabilitating ‘swimmer’s shoulder’.

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Swim Preparation

Prevention exercises

The specific scapula stability exercises detailed below are commonly prescribed for swimmers experiencing shoulder pain and may be effective for prevention of ‘swimmer’s shoulder’. Research has found that appropriately training the muscles that control the scapula (also including the rotator cuff muscles) reduces the incidences of shoulder pain.

Procedure 1. Lie on your stomach with your palms facing down 2. Lift your shoulders off the floor gently by drawing your shoulder blades together. 3. Once your shoulder blades are together, lift your arms off the ground and hold for five seconds 4. Lower your arms first and then proceed to lower your shoulders down. Start this exercise with a low weight (1-2 kilograms) and commence by performing the exercise with your arms by your sides. To make the exercise more challenging start with your arms at both 45 and 90 degrees (as pictured). Perform 3 x 10 repetitions.

Prevention stretch

Adequate shoulder range of motion is important for the catch phase of the freestyle stroke. Flexibility of the muscles on the back of the shoulder and back of the shoulder joint capsule can be achieved through the sleeper stretch (as pictured) to help prevent ‘swimmer’s shoulder’.

Procedure 1. Lie on your shoulder in a position you might adopt when sleeping on your side 2. Place your arm directly in front of you, with the elbow bent 90 degrees 3. Using your other arm, push your hand down towards your feet, rotating your shoulder towards your feet Perform 3 times and hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds Suite 1606, Level 16, Randstad House 109 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000 Tel (02) 9232 2311, Fax: (02) 9232 5299 www.sydneyphysio.com.au SwimMate®


Swimmers in the world

2013 FINA 10KM MARATHON SWIMMING WORLD CUP From 1997 to 2006 the FINA World Cup included a range of long distance swims, but since 2007 the focus has been on the 10km distance only. In 2013 FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup circuit includes:

01 Santos (BRA) on January 27 02 Viedma (ARG) on February 2 03 Eilat (ISR) on March 1 04 Cancun (MEX) on April 13 05 Lac St-Jean (CAN) on July 25 06 Lac Megantic (CAN) on August 10 07 Hong Kong (HKG) on October 6, and concluding in 08 Shantou (CHN) on October 13


Since 2008 the Grand Prix offers the world’s best open water swimmers the opportunity to compete in an annual circuit comprising distances over 10km. In 2013 the competitions will take place in the following locations on the specified dates:

01 27 January in Rosario (ARG) 02 3 February in Santa Fe-Coronda (ARG) 03 10 February in Hernandarias-Parana (ARG) 04 20 April in Cancun (MEX) 05 2013 in Capri-Napoli (ITA) 06 27 July in Lac St. Jean (CAN) 07 3 August in Lake Magog (CAN) 08 2013 in Sabac (SRB) 09 2013 in Ohrid Lake (MKD)

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Swimmers in the world

Australian Open Water Championship Lake Macquarie, Newcastle NSW 8 – 10 February 2013. The 2013 Open Water Swimming Championships will be held at Point Wolstoncroft Sport and Recreation Centre on Lake Macquarie, NSW from Friday 8 February to Sunday 10 February 2013. The event will showcase Australia’s top open water swimming talent, with the open 5km and 10km events incorporating the selection trials for the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Championships to be held in Barcelona, Spain. Following the successful pilot of the Open Water JX Clinic and 2.5km JX Open Water event in 2012, this event will once again take place on Friday 8 February 2013. The Point Wolstoncroft Sport and Recreation Centre is located on the shores of beautiful Lake Macquarie. The venue is located approximately 45 minutes south of Newcastle by car, with the townships of Cave Beach, Swansea, and Belmont all located within a 15-30 minute drive.


Entries for the 2013 Australian Open Water Swimming Championships are now open and will close at 11.59pm (EDST) on Tuesday 29 January 2013 Note: the 90 day rule for the Open Water Championships is 1 November 2012. Any competitor changing clubs after this date will swim unattached.

Accommodation The Point Wolstencroft Sport and Recreation Centre has 5 fully self-contained lodges, and 8 fully selfcontained units on site. Accommodation is still available – it can be booked by room, and a variety of configurations are available with rooms sleeping between 4 and 9 people. Packages include 3 meals per day. For further information contact Cathy Kemp in the centre administration office on 02 4976 1666. For information about the 2013 Australian Open Water Swimming Championships email: liz.avery@swimming.org.au


Swimmers in the world

Ocean Swims.. a way of life

Charmian Frend

Over the last 10 or so years I have been fortunate enough to be able to travel with Oceanswims as part of the Vanuatu and the Fiji swim tours as a coach and participant. Highly recommended experiences. Vanuatu was surprising with its basic lifestyle evident along with some amazing French food and restaurants. Mana Island at Fiji is one of the most relaxing places I have been to with the experience enhanced by travelling up to the Yasawas which are gorgeous.

We work with travel agents who can look after all the legal stuff, manage your deposits, our bookings, etc., so that everything works as seamlessly as possible, and you receive the protections of dealing with a licensed travel agent. Not all the organisations in this business are like that.

Aside from the scenery, the other great thing I got from these trips were swimming friends who I know will be friends for life. After both these trips I’ve decided that holidays wich are swim involved is the best way to have a break. Below is a link to the Swim safaris website which is run by Paul and Suanne and has a list of their upcoming swims.

Check the list below to see what’s on around the world

The Oceanswims Website Paul Ellercamp

• Yasawas oceanswimsafari 7-13 Sept 2013

www.oceanswimsafaris.com is an offshoot of oceanswims.com, a website dedicated to ocean and open water swimming.

• Beachcomber swim and Yasawas oceanswimsafari 21-31 Aug 2013

Oceanswimsafaris.com is where we tell you about our travel activities. Where we’ve been; where we’re going; how you can come with us. Over the years, we’ve been to some wonderful places to swim; places that probably we’d never get to if not for ocean swimming. Now we’re organising our oceanswimsafaris so you can see what we’re up to, find out how you can come with us, and how to make your bookings.

You should come with us on an oceanswimsafari. You can swim your dreams... Some of them, you never knew you had.

South Pacific • Mana Fiji and Yasawas oceanswimsafari 23rd Oct-2nd Nov 2013

• Vanuatu 12-21 June 2013 • Samoa 31 July-9 Aug 2013 • Solomon Islands 12-19 Aug 2013

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Swimmers in the world



Swimmers in the world










Yamba Swim


North Bondi

Balmoral beach 5km & 10km (8am)

COFFS HARBOUR starts from Main beach 2km (11am)

2km ocean swim

Rival Roughwater Swim 2km (10:30am) 1km (9:15am)





13 Avalon Pittwater Avalon Beach 1.5km (10:30am)


27 Palm 2 Whale beach 2.5km (10am)


Harbour Swim

1.6km (10am)

Sydney Harbour swim 2.2km (8:30am)





The Big Swim

Mona Vale





The Bays Swim, 3.78km (11:30am)









Takapuna State Beach Series, 1.5km, 1km, 500m, 300m


Manly Cole Classic 1km (8am)& 2km (10:30am)


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Swimmers in the world


03 Feb


Bondi Bodi blue water challange 1km & 2.1km (9am)


North Bondi Classic 1km (9:15am) & 2km (10:30am)

Murray Rose’s Malabar Magic Ocean Swim 1km (9am) 2.4km (10am)



Tama 2 Cloey

HBF Rottnest Channel Swim

The original 2.5km Odyssey journey swim from Tamarama to Clovelly.







Balmoral The Balmoral Swim (10am)












North Bondi





Harbour Swim

Dee Why

Sydney Harbour Swim Classic 2km (10:10am)

The Surf Swim 1.5km







Coffs Harbour

Stanwell Park

Pacific Palms

Coffs Harbour Jetty Foreshores 2km (10am)

Stanwell Park Ocean Challenge, 2.3km (10am)

Rock to Rock Swim, 1.5km, 12 noon



NSW 53

Masouri Beach to Telendos Island swim 1.9km


Climb k c o R

y s Ba

hi Vat



Swim Relax Discover