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Mollymook Ocean Swim, May 16, 2021

 

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Mollymook Ocean Swim is scheduled for May 16, 2021

 

Breaking News

 

The Mollymook Surf Club President, Mr Rodney Austin OAM advise today that a group of younger surf club members are taking on the responsibility for the organisation of the 2021 Mollymook Ocean Swim. The event is being organised to take place on Sunday May 16, 2021

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Mollymook Ocean Swimmer makes a comeback

 

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Simone Brayne Mollymook, GOLD Medal in the 35 to 39 Female Masters Surf Race

 

20 years on and Simone shows it is not to late to comeback

NSW Surf Titles continued over this weekend for the 2021 Masters surf and beach events.

Mollymook competitor Simone Brayne (nee Everett) a former brilliant junior swimmer and one of the original Mollymook Ocean swimmers who competed back in the 2001-2004 period, swims 20 odd years later, for the first time in Masters events, the 35 to 39 year female category.

She was brilliant, winning GOLD in the surf race, SILVER in the surf tube and BRONZE in the board race. It was an exceptional performance, if not for a little fatigue it would have been gold in all 3 events. 

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Mollymook Ocean Swimmers compete at Broulee

 

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The 2021 Broulee Ocean Swim

Held this past Sunday March 7, 2021 Mollymook Ocean Swimmers were represented by a small contingent of swimmers.

Kim provided this following report: Quote “The course location was changed due to the dangerous swell that persisted over the weekend, so rather than swimming the normal course that has its finishing leg in front of the surf club, we ended up swimming in beautiful flat water at Broulee Bay.

Kate came 9th in her 50 to 60 age group in a time of  27:21. A Top 10 finish. Yay! 

Greg came 3rd in his over 60 age group in a time of  24:27.

I (Kim) came 11th in my 40 to 50 age group in a time of  28:12.

Kim added, I thought of Jan as I swam into a tree sized bit of seaweed – trunk and all! I nearly stopped swimming because I heard her voice in my head telling me we’d arrived at the tree ” unquote.

Sue Feigler a regular swimmer at the annual Mollymook Ocean Swims also swam finishing 5th in the over 60 age group in a time of 26:37. Sue’s daughter Danielle who has swam with the Mollymook mid-week swimmers also swam winning her 30 to 40 age group in the time of 22:16

Broulee had a wonderful turn up for the swim with a total of 358 contestants in the various age groups, again demonstrating the popularity of ocean swimming.

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White Wash Magazine Feature Article

 

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The Mollymook Ocean Swimmers are the feature Article.

Virginia waxes eloquent in her beautifully written article on the Mollymook Ocean Swimmers and as could only be expected, Dean Dampney provides his professional touch with some classic photography.

The magazine will be available from March 1 at most of the coffee shops in Milton and Ulladulla, also at Bannisters Pavilion, Mollymook bottle shop etc. Alternatively for our out of town ocean swimmers, you can access it on the ‘White Wash’ web site via the following link:  www.whitewashmagazine.com.au  

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Mollymook Ocean Swimmers – Feb. news

 

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The pioneer Ocean swimmer at Mollymook in 1999, now at Charleville Qld.

John Sarich (Smeeth) who pioneered the original ocean swimmers at Mollymook is now retired in the outback town, Charleville Qld. John provides this update: “After several year’s hiatus, I’m rekindling my love for swimming. All the rivers up here are a series of permanent waterholes and only flow after good rain. The Ward River (pictured) is 25k west of Charleville. It is a great spot for open water swimming and I have it all to myself during the week. Had a mate take some pics and video so I could check my stroke. Its Looking good so its all about fitness now. I wear fins because the water is black underneath the surface, have a look at the water coming off my hand in one of the pics. Also wear fins in case I throw my arm over a snake. These days I’m always swimming on my own. I do miss the ocean, but am loving my life. Take care, guys, catch up soon. Ciao. John” (A couple of more pics below)

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Tathra Ocean Swimming

 

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Tathra Ocean Swimming

The daily routine for this gregarious group at Tathra is to begin each day with an ocean swim, usually out to the Tathra wharf and return, providing there isn’t a big swell. They begin at 8.00 am each day (I learnt not a minute before nor a minute after) with numbers varying from say 4 to as high as 30 during the holiday periods when swimmers on holidays join in from Sydney and elsewhere. The locals swim daily throughout the year with the coldest water temperature’s getting down toward 13c in the winter with the odd occasion, reaching a low of 12.5c Besides enjoying an invigorating swim to commence each day, they are also a very social group who adjourn to the aptly named ‘Gap’ café for coffee at the conclusion of their morning swim. I was made very welcome, I showed them a copy of our Mollymook swimmers book which they were very impressed with. One of the ladies (Rachel) asked “did I know Ian and Leonie?”. Yes, I responded. She went onto mention that she was also from Lockhart.

On Tuesday the water temp. was reportedly 18c, a little low for this time of the year due to the recent strong Nor-easterly winds/currents.  

They swim to the wharf and return although on Thursday they took me through to the other side of the wharf. The swim is spectacular as you weave in between the rocky outcrops staying reasonable close to the steep shoreline cliffs. The sea life is quite diverse. I swam over this massive ‘Bull Ray’, I was momentarily in wonderment, ‘what was it’? We also saw a variety of sea life, so pretty! On another occasion one swimmer stopped me, waved and yelled out “did you see it”? It was another giant ray, she called out.

I could imagine how pretty and enjoyable it would be diving in these crystal clear waters with a snorkel and flippers.

The following pics, map out the spectacular journey swim as you weave in and through the various rock formations.

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Molly circumnavigates Fingal Island, solo.

 

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Graeme (Molly) Wolfenden circumnavigates Fingal Island in an 8 km solo, ocean swim.

 

Graeme moved to the Port Stephens area from Mollymook and began swimming with the ‘Shoal-Bay Wharfies’. Accordingly they gave him the nick name ‘Molly’.

Prior to his move up north, Graeme was one of the foundation builders of the original Mollymook Ocean Swimmers group and the inaugural Mollymook Ocean Swim Classic in 2003.

Moving north to the Port Stephens area he has made his presence known as a keen ocean swimmer. Here is an example of his most recent feat:

Graeme writes: “The old adage, ‘Don’t let the old man in’ was ably demonstrated last week when I (aged 68), completed a solo ocean swim circumnavigating Fingal Island in 2 hours 40 minutes. Water safety was  provided by members of the Fingal Bay Surf Club and several ‘Wharfies’.

The 8 km swim was undertaken in treacherous seas (on the ocean side of the Island), with some bommies unloading on me and a couple of sharks for company. This swim had it all!

Anyway I became the first person to complete this challenge – I must be mad! Our swimming group have t-shirts displaying “ Don’t let the old man in” fits perfectly with me, nearly 68 and still having some mongrel left in me. Say hi to the gang down Mollymook way. What memory do they have of me?” Regard, Graeme.  

P.S. Some of Molly’s previous swims have been from Shoal-Bay to Hawks Nest ( Jimmies Beach) and return and on another occasion from the Tea Gardens bridge to Shoal-Bay.

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Australia Day Celebrations

 

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Australia Day 2021 was not our traditional style swim

 

Mollymook Ocean Swimmers Celebrate Australia Day like no other.

 

Spectators at the Beach Hut café were agog, what in the world is going on. The ocean swim group normally do a length of the beach swim to celebrate Australia Day each year. BUT 2021, here they are floating down the beach with the strong ‘north-south’ current next to the sandy shore. The question was asked did anyone get a picture for proof? What were their names? 

Sanity prevailed. Apparently the leadership group agreed that the swimmers would earn their coffee simply by floating down with the strong ‘north-south’ current rather than attempt to get out and swim in these very challenging conditions with strong rips, currents and large bumpy / choppy swimming conditions.

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Mollymook Ocean Swim Competitor in Wahun, China

 

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Mollymook Ocean Swim competitor, Professor Dominic Dwyer is a member of the WHO delegation in Wahun, China.

 

Australian microbiologist, Professor Dominic Dwyer a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Sydney and has been appointed a member of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) delegation currently in Wahun, China with the purpose of investigating the source of the original outbreak of COVID-19. 

Dominic is a keen ocean swimmer having competed in the 2 km Mollymook Ocean Swim Classic on numerous occasions as outlined below:

2019 – 2 km Mollymook Ocean Swim he finished 71 overall and 49th in male category, just behind Lloyd and ahead of Jill P. in a time of 38:01 (60-69 age category. Overall number of competitors was 190)

2018 – 2 km Mollymook Ocean Swim he finished 57 overall and 38th in male category and ahead of Lloyd on this occasion and 6th in his 60-69 age category. (170 starters)

2017 – 2 km Mollymook Ocean Swim he finished 54th in the male category in a time of 34:12 and 3rd in his 60-69 age male category. (309 starters)

2010 – 2 km Mollymook Ocean Swim he finished 52nd overall in a time of 33:56 and just behind Tony Ireland. (266 starters)

2008 – 2 km Mollymook Ocean Swim he finished 40th overall, in 34:44, only 4 seconds behind Dick M. and 3rd in the 51-60 male category. (184 starters)

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Supporting contributors to our earlier post on our headline act – ‘Peter the Priest’

 

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Another pic of our headline act – Peter the Priest

 

A brief update on the supporting acts today for Peter the Priest.

 

As the BOM meteorologist Melody Sturm reported today on the current surf conditions, “We’re seeing waves over three metres high just off-shore, and closer to the coast (there’s) a little less height in those waves, but they’re still quite powerful”.

Peter the Priest, as seen earlier was the headline act providing entertainment for all and sundry, however not to be overlooked were the supporting contributor’s. 

Click on images to enlarge

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Mollymook Beach Entertainment – Peter the Priest

 

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Peter enjoys this glorious morning in Mollymook

 

The Exploits of Peter the Priest.

 

BOM meteorologist Melody Sturm gave her latest report on the current surf conditions and said, “We’re seeing waves over three metres high just off-shore, and closer to the coast (there’s) a little less height in those waves, but they’re still quite powerful”.

Peter the Priest having recently transferred from the Northern Territory to Sydney, chose to spend a few days at his favourite South Coast destination, Mollymook. Aware of the hazardous surf conditions, Peter revels in a big surf and this was his day. Whilst other swimmers spent their time in Mollymook’s ‘sooky corner’ Peter got out the back, waiting on the big sets to come through. From the Beach hut café, spectators were able to enjoy this incredible spectacle, as if Peter had nine lives or as another spectator mentioned, “maybe he has a higher power looking down, after him”.  Anyway after eight big sets of waves, Peter choose not to push his luck to far, and it was time for coffee, so he finally came back to shore.

Click on images to enlarge

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Times Newspaper article on Laura’s marathon swim for MND

 

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Laura prepares for her 27 km ocean swim from Palm Beach to Sherry Beach to raise funds for MND

 

Times Newspaper article on Laura’s marathon swim for MND

Laura explained that this ocean swim will take me between eight and nine hours, however, it will only take you a few short minutes if you wish to contribute a donation to help us fight MND together. Laura’s swim will be from Palm Beach to Shelly Beach [South of Manly] and she is up for the challenge because she has set her sights on raining much-needed funds for MND.

Her gaol is $10 000 and so far has raised $6,486. Donations over $2 are tax-deductible and can be made direct, follow this link:  FightMND on their secure website.” 

She mentions her gratitude for the support she has received from local Mollymook Ocean swimmers. Recently on a 20 km / six hour training swim in the ocean off Mollymook  she received lovely support from Lloyd, Sean, Ross, Greg, Kate, Grant, Simone, Chris and Sue, Kaye and Monica, and Garry and a number of others throughout the six hour swim.

The full article can be read on Page 9 of today’s local Times Newspaper. Laura is grateful for their support of her fund raiser! 

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Where the Bloody Hell are You?

 

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Where the bloody hell are you Chris?

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Ski-less and alone . . .   A tale of romance and adventure on the high seas of the South Coast   (By contributing Editor Mike G.)

A howling nor-easter awaited as a socially distant cluster of intrepid ski paddlers made their way beyond the heads of Ulladulla Harbour en route to the southerly port of Lake Tabourie.

As they scooped and swayed ever eastward toward the continental shelf, the bravest among them – a fellow called Chris, veered his vessel to the right hoping to catch and slide the swell. With his comrades beside him he rode the waves, glancing over his shoulder for the next herd of white horses to carry him onwards to his beloved partner, Sue waiting on the shores of the mystical romantic south coast lake.

Suddenly, without warning, Chris and his ski were thrust high into the air by a rogue bombora. Crashing back into the briny, his leg rope (with expensive GPS enabled watch and very expensive ski attached) parted company with his body.

He was alone, ski-less and drifting in the angry sea miles from shore.

His paddler mates and his surf ski were gone, blissfully riding and sliding their way southwards.  With only his faith in his ocean swimming ability and his love of Sue to sustain him, Chris pressed the location device on his life jacket – flares and signals rang out.

In far off Nowra, a Navy helicopter was dispatched in haste. 

Meanwhile Chris floated about watching for signs of dangerous sea life, reflecting on the meaning of life, and occasionally thinking about swimming the forty or so kilometres back to shore (actually, this needs a fact check!).  His reverie was disturbed some 30 minutes later by the sound of rotors overhead, and the sight of a rope (with rescuer attached) descending upon him.

Shortly after, Chris was hooked up, embraced, and ascending above the swell to the swinging, hovering refuge of the Navy chopper. When asked where he’d like to be dropped off, Chris answered ‘Milton please’. The helipad at Milton was cleared for landing, and the ambulance was ready and waiting to lead the cavalcade and await the media frenzy at Milton Hospital. Chris, his body littered with all sorts of devices to monitor his bodily functions, calmly disembarked and rang Sue who was waiting patiently down at Lake Tabourie.

‘You’re where?’ asked Sue feeling somewhat inconvenienced. ‘We are supposed to meeting everyone at the Milton-Ulladulla Bowlo for dinner, now we are going to be late’.  Needless to say, both Sue and Chris made it to dinner – and we were all very pleased and relieved that this tale of romance and adventure ended happily.

Chris was lost and then found – safe and sound. A tale of adventure and romance, which is – well – not all fake news!

Ed. Note: Chris is now at unbackable odds to take out the 2021 Mollymook Ocean Swimming – Golden Flipper Award

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Mollymook Ocean Swimmers, New Year’s day 2021

 

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Pic of the south end swim group plus others at the north end totalled approx. 40 ocean swimmers, some did the 2021 ‘length of beach’ 2km swim whilst others did both ways, 4 kms.

 

Mollymook Ocean Swimmers, annual ‘Length of the beach’ ocean swim, New Year’s day 2021

 

2021 was welcomed by the Mollymook Ocean swimmers as they met at the beach to undertake their annual ‘length of the beach’ ocean swim. Cloud above and chop in the ocean didn’t prevent this die hard group from enjoying their new year’s day swim with a water temp. of 21c. This is the paradise we remember Mollymook for in bygone years. (That is with the exception of 2020 which was a year, that we will never forget.) 

Back in 2020 on New years day we awoke to the destructive / horrendous bush fires that had swept through our area the previous night and were still burning out of control on New Years day.  Most had no electricity. Bewilderment and disbelief were just some of the descriptive words used. There was no ‘length of the beach’ idyllic annual swim, as in past years.

(Click on images to enlarge)

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