After the disaster that was Saturday, Sunday turned out to be a better day.
The kayak hire place (that hired out the kayak on Saturday with a broken seat, that made my experience quite a lot tougher) offered us an actual kayaker for the Sunday swim, so that we would have someone with more experience and skill if the water got as choppy again. What it actually meant for us was an extra body and Rach no longer had to kayak for me and could actually swim – getting back at least some of her lost swim from Saturday.
Originally Rach’s plan was to set off as a solo swim after the event had set off. She had informed the safety boats and had promised to keep out of the way of championship swimmers. They knew she was competent and would have a tow-float, so had promised to keep an eye on her too.
However, the BLDSA being what it is, as soon as the organisers were aware of this – coupled with the fact that they knew they had a spare kayaker – she was immediately placed as a late entry into the event.
So three of us from Team Bear set off to do the 3-mile one-way swim.
After the previous day, the berating of myself and a poor night’s sleep I wasn’t feeling on top form. But equally I had made the decision not to mope and attack it properly as I felt it would have been disrespectful to Rach to do anything else.
While the weather wasn’t as bad as Saturday, it was still a ‘little’ choppy. The first 500 or so metres across the lake from the start were certainly tough, then we turned to swim down the lake with the wind and chop [mostly] to our back. A breeze pushing us down the lake is predominantly helpful, although it can disrupt rhythm at times and increase the likelihood of taking in mouthfuls of water. So a couple of stops mid lake to spit out water and regain my rhythm aside, I pushed on and swam hard.
Rach beat me (as expected), but I was pleased with a time of 1:34.
And to top it off, Cathy completed the swim – her longest ever and after she had kayaked through the horrible conditions (and kayaked it all) the day before.
There are more thoughts to be had about the Saturday (which may well be blogged), but in the end it turned out to be a successful weekend and a lovely bunch of Bears to spend it with.