Route for Coogee Island challengeYesterday was the Coogee Island Challenge.  It happens twice a year at the start and the end of the Sydney ocean swim season – once in November and once in April.  There are 3 races on the day,

  • 800m which is for under 16s
  • 1km
  • 2.5km round the island, also called Wedding Cake Island

You can see the route map here on the left, the dots are the marker buoys that you need to swim around.

It was a gorgeous sunny day at Coogee with an air temp of 31 degrees, while the water was a warm 21 degrees.  I wanted to do the Coogee Island Challenge swim, but I had a stand selling Registration for the Coogee Island ChallengeLOLLs and couldn’t get anyone to cover, so just did the 1km swim.

For the 1km swim my goal was to beat my previous time of 29 minutes for a 1km race, but I didn’t 🙁 One of the things with ocean swims is that the conditions are never the same, even on the same course, so aiming for a certain time can be hard.  In this case there were a lot of rolling waves which made breathing harder – I had to really lift my head out of the water which slows me down.  This is because I don’t like getting water in my mouth, if I wasn’t as fussy then I am sure that I’d be faster!

I really pushed myself versus the swimming I have been doing in the past week and had an average speed of 2km per hour – earlier in the week it was 1.8km/hour.  I got out feeling more tired than usual, it was disappointing that my time wasn’t faster.  The route I ended up swimming with my wiggliness was 1.16km which I did in 33minutes.  I came 13th out of 13 in my age group and was NOT the last one in – hurray!

I feel that swimming every day I should be faster, but I’ve had a cold the last 2 weeks so haven’t pushed on the time, just the distance.  A friend told me I need to push myself on the time more – she is a non-swimmer… say no more!

Coogee Island swimmersYou can just see the buoy route in the ocean for the swimmers of the Coogee Island Challenge in this photo.

The 2.5km swim around the island is supposed to be wonderful for seeing fish.  The water was crystal clear yesterday, but according to two of my friends who did the swim there were no fish to be seen.  However there were A LOT of blue bottles, my friends didn’t get stung, but many did – they were coming out of the water with stings across their backs and legs – yuk!  The perils of ocean swimming – I think it is the only sport where you have potential to get attacked by animals while racing….

Anyone reading this do the swim?  There were 1048 swimmers for the Coogee Island Challenge, it is one of the most popular swims on the Sydney swim calendar.


Ps I wore the Choppy Ocean Waves LOLL today

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