• NSW 10KM Open Water Race

    It’s a busy time for open water swimming now. My training partner (Rhys Mainstone) and I travelled across to Sydney last weekend where we competed in the NSW state 10km open water race. This race was the qualifying event for me to make the NZ Oceania team, which is held in January in Taupo in conjunction with the NZ open water nations. NSW state is also the first step for swimmers who are wanting to make the Australian Open Water team so it has pretty much become AUS national open water champs as AUS has decided not to have a 10km nationals this year. This race has attracted all the big names in open water swimming from across AUS and NZ with there being 4 guys in the race that are ranked in the top 20 in the world.

    The trip started for me on Tuesday with training in the morning then having to head straight out to the airport to catch our plane across to Sydney. This is not the easiest flight to be on as it ends up taking around 5hr to fly from Perth to Sydney. You may as well be going on an international flight it takes that long and there is even a 3hr time difference.

    Open water races are normally done in the morning say around 9am but for once this race is starting at 3pm which is a little bit different but nicer in a way as it gives the body more time to wake and get moving for the day.

    The plan for the race was just to sit back in the pack and let everyone else do as much work as possible and then come through in the last 1500m as by swimming this way you are able to save a lot more energy for the last little sprint. I felt I did this extremely well as when we went around the first lap I was sitting right at the back of the pack getting maximum draft and not doing any work at all. Then through the 2nd lap I made my way through the pack nicely but still stayed towards the backend of the main pack as I knew that come the 3rd lap the pace will increase quite a bit and I need to be able to be in a position to be able to go with the front boys. As the third lap started the pace increased massively and the lead pack dropped in size within 400m. This change of speed at this point really broke a lot of the guys. I managed to go with this change of speed and was sitting nicely in 3rd still making the most of the guys in front of me draft.  During this lap on one of the turn buoys I managed to get an elbow in the face and by in the face I mean right in the goggle by none other then my very own teammate Rhys Mainstone. The worst thing about this happening is that the goggles that I wear when I race are Swedish goggle so they have no cushion on them at all so getting an elbow is rather sore. There is a picture of how my eye looked at the end of the race below. While this all happened I had to stop to adjust my goggles back into place and dropped back a few positions. This was ok though as by about another 500m I was back up sitting about 3rd. The last lap is where every thing happened. Rhys and I decided to go straight away as we started the last lap which was a massive move as we still had another 2.5km to but this move really broke up the field and the lead pack become only 4. I was in a great position and was in this group of 4. The 4 of us that were in this group had all recently finished in the top 20 at world champs so this was always going to be a close and good finish. The four of us all stayed together until there was only about 500m to go when Rhys managed to open up a bit of a gap on the rest of us. Rhys managed to win the race with me coming in 3rd. This was a great race and a very tough race as we did the 10km in a time of around 1hr 55min, which is a very solid pace. With this result it now means that I made the NZ team to swim at Oceania’s in January at lake Taupo.

    Now its just back to the grind time of training in Perth and trying to get used to the heat then getting ready for the next race which is Oceania’s in Lake Taupo in January.

    Hopefully I get too see some of you there



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