It goes without saying that last year flew by… and what a year it was!
We started off by appointing our new coach Alan Godfrey after his extended trial at the end of 2013. The decision was unanimous with everyone enjoying Alan’s sessions and the increased intensity, not to mention the excellent stroke technique and drills he had us doing. Some things proved a little trickier than others for everyone to get a grasp of, darn that clock and those difficult splits 😉 Can’t we just go on the black top?!?
Twenty Years of Orcas
Last year we celebrated the twentieth anniversary since the Orcas were founded. Many events were organised including a BBQ at long time member Peter Rush’s house followed by a stormy dip at the Dromana beach shack. But the festivities didn’t stop there, at the AGM the club celebrated with some fancy bubbly for members and a little historic slide show put together by founding member, Greg Palmer. We also started regular bay training sessions as part of the twentieth celebrations for the more ‘brave of heart’ and so started a new tradition – The Braveheart swim roughly each month from Carrum Life Saving Club and make full use of the warm showers in the colder months. Another more official celebration was held at our presidents house in October which was roughly the month, when 20 years ago, the club was founded. Many Orcas were partied out by the end of the year with the Christmas party being a little more subdued from years gone by but still very enjoyable.
A wrap up from the coach for 100 x 100s
On 29th November several dozen brave souls started their intrepid task of swimming up to 100 x 100 [10 km in total!] Chloë McCardell, fresh from her record breaking swim in the Caribbean, was there giving her tips and tricks to swimmers, and even gave some private lessons during the afternoon. Swimmers were there representing many clubs as well as the Orcas, including Casey Seals, Surrey Park, and PowerPoints.
We had 2 lanes in the Nunawading pool, so one lane did the 100’s on the 1:45 time interval, and the other lane started on the 2:00 to 2:10 per 100m. Stephen Kronk ably led the fast lane for several sets of 10, often keeping to a 1:15 time or faster. Our own Pablo usually kept the 2nd place spot warm, with Friedo, Saul, Alan all up near the front.
The 1:45 pace was pretty comfortable for most, and was a good chance to do some long distance aerobic swimming. An excellent opportunity for our ocean swimmers especially to get some longer work in. With breaks every 10, and jelly beans waiting for us, the time passed quite quickly between the sets. Often a choice of equipment was in the offing – just swimming, or pull buoy, or swimming with fins, or mixing in some backstroke were some of the options available.
There were several swimmers, including Pablo and Alan in the 1:45 lane who pushed through and made the whole 100 in around 3 hours! Our Secretary Friedo put in a great effort to make 85, 15 more than he did at Richmond. And a sterling effort was made by swimmers in the second lane who pushed through as well to make the whole 100, including our own Rafal – well done!!
Overall a very interesting experience [I myself have never swum 10 km in one session before]. I hope that more Orcas can do the swim next year. Whether it be for 10, 20, 30, or more 100’s. Just get the mental struggle over, and enjoy! See you next time.
Over the course of last year it was clear that Alan’s coaching was having an impact on many swimmers, evident during term break when more and more members attended ‘holiday training’ to maintain fitness. This trend continued even after the year had wrapped up with quite a number of swimmers keen to maintain fitness for the open water season.
The Mentone 1000 again was attended by a number of our swimmers in conditions that seemed to worsen as the day progressed. Pablo and Friedo both swam the 2.5km and 1km distances back-to-back with a few more joining in for the 1km including Andrew ‘Wack’ Fisch who again was accompanied by Pablo.
Sarah Byron, who is a Casey Seals member but trains with us on Friday nights, has had an excellent OWS season managing age group podium positions in quite a number of races.
Both Pablo (entered as a solo) and Friedo (as part of a duo) were dismayed when the Bloody Big Swim was cancelled. A lot of training and organisation went into planning this event but conditions were dismal on the day. Pablo’s training partners, Black Ice, still managed to organise a swim though with a group of about 14 (including Pablo and Friedo) swam over 4km in rough and choppy conditions. Although swimming within relative safety of each other it was clear the organisers of the Bloody Big Swim were warranted in cancelling the event for the safety of all involved. Friedo went on to swim the Mornington Grand Challenge, as did Annette P who had been spotted at a number of events this season.
Much to Marty’s dislike, Friedo became the first Orca to swim across ‘The Rip’ this year as part of an organised group. Marty became a foundation member of the Rip Race in the hope of being the first Orca across Port Phillip Bay’s infamous Heads but due to a persistent injury was denied the glory. As designer of the Rip Race identity and website Friedo managed to sneak in ahead of Marty.
Friedo and Pablo again swam back-to-back distances at the Mount Martha Australia Day Swim. Although Pablo missed the 5km registration deadline and denied a late entry he decided to join in anyway, choosing to time himself with his GPS watch. In beautiful conditions and although not officially recorded, Pablo and Friedo finished within just over 3 minutes of each other. They were joined by Rafal for the 1.2km and wrapped up what was a fantastic way to celebrate Australia Day.
Congratulations to all that competed. Apologies if anyone was missed.