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Back from the holidays

Happy New Year to swimmers all over. Just to let you know I am now back coaching after a break over the holiday period. For those who have sent me enquiries I will get back to you over the next few days.

Cheers Charm

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English Channel Success

Congratulations to our Successful Channel Swimmers

Over the last few months I have been involved with training English Channel Swimmers in the open water. We have spent many Saturdays at a beach in Sydney, usually Balmoral or Brighton as the water is cooler in the harbour water, getting our swimmers acclimatised to the lower water temperature. All of this has been done as part of the program We run at Vladswim.

I’m very happy and proud to report that out of the 5 swimmers that have attempted the swim so far have been successful. Lachlan Hinds and Tori Gorman in July, Wyatt Song, Alistair Newmarch and Wayne Arthur in August and 3 more solos and 1 team to go. Congratulations to you all.

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Open water swim training at Balmoral

Sydney Summer has been fantastic hasn’t it?  Don’t get me wrong, when the sun does make an appearance the day is spectacular but these days have been few and far between.

It doesn’t stop us hardy open water swimmers though.

Last Saturday 16 turned  up  at Balmoral armed with bottles, carbo gel shots, fancy sports drinks, bananas, chocolate bars, sandwiches, coke and the now famous Tori Gorman brownies ready to swim loops of the beach to prepare themselves for Rotto and a couple of other events. A few joined in just for the workout and to enjoy the great feeling of swimming in Open water – there’s nothing better.

The aim of the day was to get some distance done being still 5 weeks out from Rotto and while doing this practise deep water feeding.  As you can see in the above photo, the swimmers tread water whilst refuelling as during the race they are unable to touch their boat or kayak at any stage including feed stops. We also tried to practise quick feeds as this minimises any current drag backwards while you stop. Some were a lot better at this than others.

As you can’t control the weather on your race day Saturday’s session ending up being great for practising in adverse conditions. We had light rain, hard rain, thunder, a bit of lightening and later on a coolish wind.

To feed this many people in deep water I came up with a homemade floating drinks station which I was able to paddle out on the rescue board and then drop in the water for everyone to get to. It floated beautifully but not sure how it would go in surf.

The first feed involved about 14 of the swimmers launching at the “feedlot” like they hadn’t eaten for a week. It was hilarious and at the same time a little scary to watch.

As a lot of the race prep is getting your nutrition and hydration right several swimmers weighed themselves before and after the swim to get an indication of how much fluid they lost and/or managed to replace during the swim. We had a mix of results but ideally you don’t want much of a difference. By doing this 5 weeks out of the event it gives us time to change anything and adjust so on race day we know exactly how much fluid is needed and when.

A plus for us on the day were our superb paddlers. A group consisting of Kate, Jennifer, Will, John, Becci and Johnno escorted the swimmers safely round the course. A definite must when doing these training sessions.

We had some great results on the day Tori swam 21km in just over 6 hours, Marty did 6 hours, Tamera, Rose and Penny 5 ½, David, Chris, Ben, Kirsty, Dennis, Des and Collie – 4 hours, James 2hours as he is doing 11km in Vic this weekend, Daniel – 2 hours just as he could and to keep them company, John an hour or so plus paddling, Millie and Anna for a while for company as well.

Sounds daunting, don’t be scared to join in. If you are new to open water you are most welcome to come down and swim what you are comfortable with. I stay at base camp and love taking people out and showing them how to adapt and feel comfortable in the ocean without heading out to NZ and back. Balmoral being a non-surf area is a great spot for this.

At the moment we are running these sessions every second Sat with the next being Sat 4th of Feb. Come and join us either for a swim or even a paddle as we always need more of those.

Coach Charm (swimcoachcharm@gmail.com  0429 494 455)

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Weekend squad efforts

Weekend 2 of the ocean swims series and a few other events – with the squad at Vladswim Boy Charlton

The main event of the weekend was Bondi to Bronte but before we get to that a few squad members have snuck in a couple of sneaky events beforehand.

Aside from just swimming a few of the guys do that thing called a triathlon with some choosing to do very big ones.

Mike Flynn from Lane 1 competed and completed the Busselton Ironman on Sunday in a very respectable 13hours and 34 secs. Not bad for a 3.8km swim, 180km bike and 42km run. Congratulations Mike – Huge Effort.

Nicholas Smith (Lane 1) competed in Phuket and finished in 3 hours 48 mins – a 12 min pb with about 2mins off his swim leg – we like that.

Kate Rowe also from Lane 1 competed and completed the Phuket ½ Ironman in 6 hrs 17 mins for 1.9km swim, 90km bike and 21.1km run and placed 1st in her age group – another great effort.

North Curl Curl had their annual swim / swim run event on Sat with Jenny Weinstock doing the swim and a few multi-skilled people doing the swim run thing – Well done to Steve White, Stuart Thomas, Gavin Stringfellow, Greg Pride and Sass Dominquez.

Now to the Biggy – Bondi to Bronte

A bigger BANG than last weekend.

VLADSWIM teams kicked some butt. We had entered 4 teams but only 3 were eligible as renowned swimmer (not bike rider) Iain Melluish stacked his BMX on Friday night and has hurt his arm. He turned up on Sunday but in a sling not a speedo and so VLADSWIM A was out of the running (and we would have won too). So it was up to the others. VLADSWIM B team (Damien, Colleen, Dennis and Lawrence) stepped up and won the 150+ with VLADSWIM D (Brian, Wayne, Ali and Rod) not far behind to come in 2nd in the same division. VLADSWIM C (Hannah, Tori, Sal and Dom) weren’t to be outdone and came 2nd in the 90+ category – well done kiddies.

Our Individual place getters were Louise Stevenson – 1st, Colleen Mallon – 1st, Damien Scales – 2nd, Brian May – 3rd, Barb Marcinkova – 1st, Belinda King – 2nd, Hannah Donaldson – 3rd, Tori Gorman – 2nd, and Sal Panto – 2nd.

Below are the times for all the squad members I can find – again apologies if I have missed you.

Justin Hanby 32:06, Louise Stevenson  34:12, Colleen Mallon 36:41, Damien Scales 36:49, David Oakley 37:05, Brian May 37:12, Barbora Marcinkova 37:48, Belinda King 38:05, Hannah Donaldson 38:13, Daniel Boardman 38:13, Tori Gorman 38:22, Sal Panto 39:05, Alistair Newmarch 39:25, Wayne Arthur 39:48, Tamera Lang 40:59, Dennis O’Regan 41:09, Dominik White 42:11, Lawrence Stubbs 42:12, Nicola Davidson 42:32, Lindsay Moller 43:25, Simon Tilley 43:28, Rod Hinchcliff 44:05, Michael McKelvie 44:39, Gavin Stringfellow 45:36, Emma Starritt 45:51, Marty Filipowski 46:05, Neil Breen 47:25, Warren McKenzie 48:12, Evan Stilwell 49:23, Paul Faulkner 49:40,Stephen Ellis 50:10, Jerry Murphy 50:31, Alice McClure 50:33, Simon Smith 51:02, Bel Gorman 51:41, Michael Lecouteur  53:28, Annalyse McLeod 55:17, Rose Levien 55:47, Victoria Fairchild 55:52, Jimmy Casey 56:34,   Gordon Pettigrew 57:32, Rozanne Green 58:14, Doug Hayter 58:19, Matt Starr 1:01:16, Sass Dominguez 1:01:34, Stuart Thomas 1:02:18, David Neville 1:02:27, Michael Mellon 1:05:44, Nicole Linton 1:09:14, Noreen Foley 1:17:52.

A grand total of 50 swimmers – well done everyone as it was a tough looking swim (I watched) and a lot harder than last year so don’t feel that you have swum badly if you were slower. You haven’t.

This weekend is the time trial at Boy Charlton on Sat, Bilgola on Sun and VLADSWIM Christmas Party on Sunday afternoon. Hope to see you all there.

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Sat 19 November Swim Report

Weird weather on Saturday morning didn’t stop 19 members of the Vladswim family turning up at Bondi surf club to be escorted around the ocean by Louise and Charm. The fog had engulfed the beach and was thick enough to make it difficult to see from one point to the other so the original plan of taking a group to Bronte and back was shelved in favour of doing laps of Bondi. Louise chaperoned the more experienced up and down whilst I took a boutique group of 4 for a steady 2 laps. Congrats to Jamie, even though he was in a wussuit, for crossing off an item on the bucket list by doing his first Bondi laps, Penny C for swimming her first Bondi laps doing freestyle for the majority of it and Rachael one of The Boy Charlton lifeguards, who screamed so loudly when she touched a jelly blubber that Manly must have heard her.

Water was about 18 degrees so there were a few wussuits but the main thing was we were out there and had a great time.

Next Sat we have 2 options for you

  1. Bondi again at 830ish or (Louise and Vlad)
  2. Balmoral – a charity 2, 4 or 6km swim has been organised to raise money for melanoma institute. Entry fee is a donation to the institute suggested amount has been $50 but up to you. (Tax deductable) Course length of Balmoral and back either 1,2 or 3 times. Good chance to see how your Rotto training is going. (Charm)

If you are planning on attending please let Vlad ,Charm or Louise know

Below are the guys who swam on Sat

– Cheers Charm

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