Monthly Archives: January 2012
Australia day is not complete without popping down to the Blackburn coliseum to watch some Madison madness. I am not going to pretend I know what was going on, but it keeps drawing me back each year to watch 150 laps of chaos on wheels. Tom Leaper & Brent Nelson paired up and won the race convincingly and also picked up most of the sprint primes going. That made it 5 in a row for Tom.
Up very early to head down Mt Martha to tackle the Australia Day Swim which is affectionately known as the MMAD swim. Normally the 1200M main event is augmented with a 400M novice swim which has always given it a very friendly family feel about the day. However this year, the seriousness of the day stepped up with the addition of the Crazy 5km race. Not sure why, but I felt the need to have a go at swimming the 5km event, even though this is uncharted territory for me.
The course was 2 loops of a triangular course which was going to keep us honest. From the beach, the big blue buoys marking the extremities of the course looked like pin heads.
The 5km swim was capped at 100 entrants with the men going off first with a 5minute start on the ladies. The mens wave was rather congested and not long after the start I somehow managed to cop of kick which knocked my new Aqua Sphere goggles askew. A quick adjustment on the move only made things worse and therefore I need to stop to get sorted out. Not the ideal start for me.
The first turn was 500m straight out and the pecking order seemed to form reasonably quickly. I ended up swimming the majority of the first loop with 4 others. The pace was comfortable and I knew I had plenty in the tank for the 2nd loop. At the start of the 2nd lap, one of the chaps decided to lift the pace. I hung on for the ride for about 200m and then he sat up and I then had to roll thru. This whittled our group down to 2 as we turned the furtherest buoy to head back to the finish.
The other chap, Stewart, & I swam head to head. I would put in a surge, build a gap, however Stewart was able to close. This was the pattern of play for the rest of the race. I managed to hit the beach first, however for the 3rd time this swim season I lost my position with the run to the finish line. After checking the results, I found I placed 14th overall and would have been 3rd in my age group.
The race up front was pretty similar in that 5 guys swam in close proximity of each other with 14year old Lachlan May being pipped on the line by Alex Booth. Jeremy Wilson was next best with Cam Purnell, who won my age group at Sorrento, and Matt Gilling all separated by 1 second. The first lady home was Casey Seals coach Ebony Ebenwaldner.
Chris, one of my training buddies, is a very experienced international open water swimmer and is often at the top of his 50-59 age group. I am envious of his collection of swimming trophies and medals. Chris was in the minority and swam the 5km sans wetsuit and finished a bit further back in the pack than what he is used to.
Bruce, another Harold Holt regular, was happy for the hit out as he finalises his preparation for next weeks Bloody Big Swim. And everyones favourite Mel, was the 5th lady home and then went straight back out to do the 1200M race. Chris, Bruce & I were quite content to skip that idea and opted for a coffee and some breakfast instead.
Based on previous years, I was expecting to get another commemorative T-Shirt with the mad googly eyes. Not the worst T on the swim circuit, but far from a fashion statement. This year though we were surprised to get a long sleeved polo with a primordial ooze design. A huge leap forward and should see the light of day.
See all the Results and this fantastic video.
Many thanks to Mt Martha LSC for continuing the Australia Day tradition & well done to every one who swam.
The bumpy water predicted during the lead up to the Sorrento swim was off the mark as we were greeted with mill pond conditions. The cloud was thick & we were only offered occasional glimpses of the beautiful afternoon that was in store for us. The advice regarding the outgoing tide being your friend one minute and your enemy the next was right on the money as we all got a nice push along the back 1.3km leg of the 1.8km course however you would be Tassie bound if you didn’t make a left at the last buoy.
A quick pre-race coffee with Guy & Tim where we got to catch up with the hoi-polloi & check out their toys. In this mix, quite enexpectantly, was DT who was finalising his preparation for a week of Jambon & fromage baguettes at the Tour Down Under.
Guy & Tim are old school buddies and share quite a unique bond. They both love getting out there and having a crack. Tim’s back ground is quite varied & includes rugby, cycling and surf life saving. Tim’s work life involves dealing with trauma retrievals and ironically it was Tim a couple of years ago who faced his own life threatening trauma and required surgery. Working within certain constraints, Tim still loves to ride single track mountain bike and participate in the open water swims.
Guy supports his good mate by being his pilot and ready to provide support if required. The boys call it the “chardonnay” swim which aptly captures the spirit in which they participate.
Tim & Guy’s plan was to sit back & let the 87 other starters in their 50-59 Age Group get away so they can avoid the hustle and bustle. I know it wasn’t about times for them, however they both recorded sub 30 minutes and finished in the top half across all competitors and in their category. And when they strolled up the beach afterwards, they still looked pretty fresh.
Up front in the M50-59 category it was Chris Andrew and Ian Knight going head to head. Ian had Chris in his sights for much of the race, however it wasn’t until the last turn where Chris was able to open up the gap and take the win by around 50 seconds and record the 5th fastest time of the day.
I was swimming in the M40-49 age group which had the largest field with 112 starters. As usual the Peninsula Pirates were well represented on the start line. I was feeling a little sorry for this one chap as all his Pirate mates were getting stuck into him because he was wearing a green ironman wetsuit. He is quite a shy & retiring guy and he did not want me to draw any unnecessary attention to him by mentioning his name in this report.
The green wetsuit guy introduced me to Andrew Musgrave who has been swimming well & finishing up in the top 10 of our category. He too was wearing a distinctive wettie which I thought would be a good marker during the race. We were in waist high water for the start and it was a mad rush when the hooter went off. I saw both Mussy and the green guy porpoising thru the water and they weren’t mucking around. I was a little tentative/conservative and found clear water as we headed out against the tide for the first buoy but I never saw either of my markers again.
I turned the second buoy rather wide and there was quite a number of swimmers on my left taking the most direct route. 50-50 here to either go with the crowd or possibly get some tidal assistance by staying out. I stayed out for most of the downward leg and had some chap happy to tap away on my toes sending me morse code messages. As we headed for the final buoy, my new mate gave me the signal to hook left.
The swim into the beach was hard as we were now being dragged through the moored Couta boats that Sorrento is famous for & I had trouble spotting the flags on the beach marking the finish. I wasn’t the only one. It is a long wade/run to the finish which again was a test for my crook back & I was quite relieved to get that over and done with. I was absolutely clueless about times or where I placed.
Both Mussy and the green wetsuit guy finished ahead of me in 5th and 7th places respectively. I need to find another 30 seconds or so to be able to compete with these guys but I am happy with how it ended up.
Highlight of my day though was having a chat with AFL\VFL Legend Tom Hafey. It was Tom’s 9th appearance at the swim where he gets to hand out the prizes, the motivation and inspiration.
Many thanks to Sorrento SLSC for putting on a great event, Guy for transport duties, Tim and Alison for the looking after us on the day.
Next race for me is the 5km Mt Martha swim on Jan 26.
Round 2 of the EVCC teams race was an Elimination race out at Casey Fields. Tom Leaper (Croydon Pick-A-Part) was the clear winner where he lapped all but Jamie Steward (Adriatic) & Peter Howard (Doherty/Eltham Cycles) who hung on for 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Damian Burke (Coonara) was had to settle for 6th after missing a gear in the final elimination lap. Which left Matt Davis (Croydon Pick-A-Part) to take 4th and Guy Green (Doherty/Eltham Cycles) in the money for 5th.
Race 2 Results
|1st||Tom Leaper||Croydon Pick-A-Part|
|3rd||Peter Howard||Doherty/Eltham Cycles|
|4th||Matt Davis||Croydon Pick-A-Part|
|5th||Guy Green||Doherty/Eltham Cycles|
|7th||Rob Amos||Doherty/Eltham Cycles|
|10th||Mick Jamison||Croydon Pick-A-Part|
Some interesting changes in the team standings where Doherty/Eltham boys moved into 2nd place and Croydon opening up a 11 point lead which is going to be hard to peg back.
|Team||Race 1||Race 2||Total|
With Tom’s convincing win he now ties it up at the top of the table with Jamie with a significant lead over the rest of the riders. Rob & Damien’s consistency has helped them to move up the ladder into 3rd and 4th place respectively.
|1st||Tom Leaper||Croydon Pick-A-Part||27|
|3rd||Rob Amos||Doherty/Eltham Cycles||12|
|5th||Guy Green||Doherty/Eltham Cycles||10|
|5th||Peter Howard||Doherty/Eltham Cycles||10|
|8th||Matt Davis||Croydon Pick-A-Part||8|
|9th||Roy Clark||Croydon Pick-A-Part||5|