Day 41: Southland Open water swim champs

Awarua bay What a beautiful day for a swim, race, even if I was feeling CBA today!

It was in Awarua bay, nice and local. It doubled up and the Foveaux Masters club champs and Southland open water swimming champs.


Breakfast: porridge with kiwi fruit and banana
Lunch: BBQ sausage x 2
Dinner: home made bacon and egg pie

Exercise: 2000m open water swim race

Weight loss this week: 1lb (1/2 Kg)
Total loss to date: 13lb (5.8kg)

I have to say, I am pretty chuffed at the loss this week, considering I have eaten out a few times and drunk beer a few times too! I am very much a person who believes in a lifestyle change rather than becoming married to a lettuce leaf!

Swim race

The ‘race’ today is one of two organised by Foveaux Masters swimming club, and I joined the club simply because it was cheaper than paying for the two on the day entries for this and the lake Hayes swim race a few weeks ago. I chose not to be affiliated to swimming southland, because I didn’t really intend to race in the swimming pool as a master, and the extra cost wasn’t worth it.

When I got there I realised I have in fact been swimming on the opposite side of the bay to the one they actually intended to send me to originally. This side seemed a little wider, flanked by sand banks and a little more sheltered, but the distance out to the pylon (the point which you must not pass due to the rip tide from the channel) was about the same.

I remember doing the equivalent of this race last year, but the champs were held in Gore and there was a lot less people. There seemed a good collection of people (mostly younger sorts, and mostly Tri club) and two people spoke to me by name, remembering me from the last race. Getting there slowly! There was a BBQ set up, a buoy already floating out in the water and two big trophies in the bonnet of a ute. Sweet, but no way I’ll be winning one of those! My race plan was have a nice swim, the end!

The route was two laps, past the orange buoy and to the pylon and back, getting out between laps at the make shift finish gate (a spade and a stick!) the water seemed real calm, the tide was in (it always has to be for swimming here, the whole bay is very shallow – you could probably walk the entire swim course). I was soon to discover that the tide was in fact already at high, and starting to go out now. This would become apparent to me when I reached the pylon!

The start was sort of – erm – go, kinda thing! Hahah so I wasn’t best positioned but I didn’t care. I wasn’t that far off a bunch of feet in front right to the pylon turn point. When I approached I saw everyone in front hanging onto the pylon and struggling to progress forwards (on foot). I thought this odd, till I got there myself. OMG! I have never ever felt a current like it! It was pointless trying to swim, I was getting nowhere and only just possible to walk. I battled forwards on foot for a while, like everyone in front of me before trying once again to swim FORWARDS. I noticed there were still 3 swimmers way behind me. Awesome, I’m doing better than I thought! It  was a real battle all the way back to the shore, luckily all parallel to the causeway so I adjusted my stroke to always breathe left so I could judge whether I was actually progressing forwards based on the rocks on the shore! At times it was hard to tell. Man it was tough.

When I got to the shore I was exhausted! Sheesh this outgoing current is strong! I staggered round the ‘finish posts’ and back in for lap 2. At least this time I was prepared. I easily caught the three male swimmers ahead on the way out to the pylon but they were way stronger into the current after the turn. It was all about muscle power, I once again kept my eye on the rocks to gauge forwards propulsion and just dug in hard, using the legs a lot more for extra assistance. I was glad to reach the shore and the finish, and sat on the beach to catch my breath! Good old hubby was on hand with the essential bottle of water to help rid my mouth of sea saltiness!

The BBQ was on and I was invited to stay for a free sausage and watch the prize giving. Ah, why not we thought. I didn’t expect a medal in they ‘southland champs’ race results, they were only for the kids categories. But what happened first in the prize giving really did surprise me. The two trophies were for the Foveaux masters club champions, male and female. He started with this one is for Mel, who…

At this point both hubby and I thought gosh, that’s strange, another person here called Mel. The guy had gone on to say …’recently joined the club…’ Oh my gosh! It’s Me!! I have never won a trophy before! Even if it’s only the club female champ! Wow! Happy me, and a real shock! I was also 3rd female overall!

I was pleased to hear that everyone had the same experience as me on the course, which was considered very tough because of the current. Makes me feel even better! I thought I was being a wuss!

One Comment on “Day 41: Southland Open water swim champs

  1. Pingback: Mountain bike trail riding and a surprise trophy! | Journey to New Zealand

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