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Presidents Prattle: Mid Winter 2024

June arrived and so did the cold of winter!  Swimming attitudes and preferences shifted as the nighttime squad moved indoor and regular ocean swimmers spend longer, pre-swim, hiding in Doddi’s shed.

As has become the norm for this time of the year, many swimmers head north to warmer climes.  While travel to Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Bali and Portugal has been popular, some targeted Monkey Mia for the 2024 RAC Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort Ocean swim.  Well done to all who participated.  Notable performances on the day were Colleen, second in the female 1km event and Barb who was awarded ‘Master’ (50+) in the female 4km event.  And this year it seemed popular to then head to Exmouth to swim with whale sharks.  From all reports and holiday snaps, it was really fascinating and well worth the trip.  Equally fascinated, but confused, was the whale shark that swam alongside Ken.

While talking about heading north, an important Masters Swimming event occurred in May which I failed to report in the May Prattle.  Gerda Williams and Jannie Thomson competed in the 2024 MSA National Championships in Darwin and returned with a bagful of medals.  Gerda achieved seven medals (two gold, four silver, one bronze) and Jannie achieved five medals (one silver, four bronze).  This is a fantastic achievement and deserves our collective congratulations.  Such performances inspire most of us to keep swimming.  Excellent job, well done ladies.

Captain Alex is currently lobbying for participants in the Riverton ABC Carnival on 14 July.  Events are swum over 50m, 100m and 200m.  If you’re up for it, go online or WhatsApp for details, or talk to Captain Alex.  And there’s already talk of sending a big team to Challenge Stadium for the Golden Groper Relay Carnival on August 18.  This is normally a fun event so give it some serious thought.

On the promise of home-baked cake, the Tuesday morning squad training has remained popular.  In fact, last Tuesday (2/7) the session attracted a record (for 2024) of 15 swimmers (8.43 swimmers higher than the year-to-date average).  Coach Des provided a challenging session, both physically and mentally (he threw in a short lecture on William Froude (1810 to 1879), famous for theory on the relationship of hull design to water resistance).  Well done Des, the squad is now more streamline and historically informed.

Following recent lobbying for coaching assistance, Wayne has successfully recruited some prettier faces for the pool deck. They include.

·  Carolyn, who has previously coached kids so should be fine with Masters swimmers,

·  Kath, who can swim, teach and is good with quizzes (but how’s your history Kath?)

·  Greg, who’s always up for helping the club in times of need (also looking for an opportunity to expand his egg and vegie market).

Sincere thanks to all three candidates for volunteering to ease the coaching load.  Des and Wayne will love you for it and may soon be able to take a well-earned step back.

Another pool swimming option which is ideal during winter months when ocean swimming loses its appeal, is the Endurance 1000 program.  It is intended for swimmers who want to maintain a certain level of aerobic fitness and endurance by swimming longer distances, more often.  It involves a series of timed swims spread out over the calendar year.  Points are awarded for performance and scaled according to age.  Results are entered to the Masters Swimming results portal for ongoing reference.

The total number of swims (gaining points) that can be completed is 62, broken down as follows;

· For each of Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Butterfly and Individual Medley, timed swims include;

5 x 400m swims, 5 x 800m swims.

· For each of Freestyle, Backstroke and Breaststroke;

1 x 1500m timed swim and distance recorded for 1 x 30 minute swim, 1 x 45 minute swim, 1 x 60 minute swim.

Ocean swimming is now in full winter mode and has recently experienced a range of challenging conditions including combinations of strong current, large swell, strong wind, no sun and decreasing water temperature.  While slow strolling to the start line, swimmers can often be heard lamenting the conditions and remembering the warmth of bed.  But despite the mind-numbing effect of cold water and the euphoric post-swim shivering, all agree that winter swimming is both rewarding and fun.  There’s plenty of support and advice for anybody who hasn’t been involved but is keen to.

A more serious issue - Defib/CPR refresher training will be conducted by RLSWA on Thursday 25 July from 11am to 2pm at the MARC centre.  The course will be specifically conducted for our group, of up to 20 participants.  We currently have 14 on the list.  We must ensure that most of our swimming buddies are confident enough to administer CPR and use the Defib if required.  This is a great opportunity to refresh your skills so please seriously consider joining the session!


(Almost) last but not least - Special thanks to Deb and Paul for hosting the recent curry and quiz night.  It was another enjoyable and fun evening.  Thanks to the organising committee of Karen, Kath and Alex.  Trivia brilliance was on display with Anne (F) and Sue (M) taking out the top prize (who would have thought?) and Bev and Narelle coming a close second.  I won’t name and shame the wooden spooners (they were busy keeping the guests happy and reminiscing about Mannas’ good old days).


Picture this - water’s edge, somewhere on the North Sea (sun was out but it didn’t look hot).  Swimmer tiptoes slowly to knee depth, dives in, immerses herself then stands up and retreats…fast!  The performance was cleverly captured by the production team, who also provided encouraging commentary.  While there is no actual ‘swimming’ evidence, it was a brave and entertaining attempt.  Well done Erica - Swimmer of the month!

Safe swimming.

Ross (President)


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