Saturday 15 February 2014 saw the annual Around the Rocks swim take place at Big Bay, Blouberg. The weekend saw what must have been the best summer weather of the season, with temperatures well into the 30s and nothing more than the lightest movement of cool ocean air at the coast.
This was critical training for IronMan South Africa 2014. I have clocked up way more mileage in the water already than I did leading up to IronMan South Africa 2012, but the real advantage of the swim was mental preparation — I need all the practice I can get to find my calm and get my focus in the water.
The event was organised by Big Bay Events. I had entered online, so registration was quick (I was running late after parkrun Big Bay) and briefing was on time at the Big Bay Lifesaving Club.
From the briefing we strolled across the beach towards Kleinbaai where we waited for the start. There was some decent swell which made for a fun entry as we swam out around the rocks. Once clear of the rocks we rounded the buoy and headed across the backline to the buoy on the outside of the rocks on the far side of Big Bay. After rounding those rocks we cut across into the center of the bay to round the final buoy before heading in to the finish in front of the Lifesaving Club. There were some decent waves to be caught and I had a fun bodysurf on the way in!
I finished in a time of 00:34:07 in position 22 out of 83. My category result, wetsuit male, was 6 / 23.
The swim doubled as the first official qualifier for the 2014 Freedom Day Swim so there were some fairly serious fish in the sea!
Thanks to Big Bay Events for a well organised swim and all the safety marshalls out on the water.