okay for this i was seriously nervous - throw up nervous. swimming 1000 metres is not an issue. swimming 1000 metres in open water and at cottesloe was. plus (again) i was nervous because being a swim only event all the 'real' swimmers would be there. i did not sleep well and did not want to do it. but i kept telling myself that this is what it is all about. facing that which scares the shit out of you. so i get dressed, go to the toilet, organise my gear, go to the toilet. i hope the toilets at the surf club are nice. i drive the hour to cottesloe. this beach is famous for many things (shark attacks being one) but this is where the friends and family of heath ledger said a public farewell. it is a great beach. i get there and it is flat and very little wind. then i see the buoys and the distance to swim is right there in front of me. it looks so much further when you can see it all. i drop by the toilets. i get to sit and watch as the 1600m folks get ready and they go through the race briefing. huge plug for the cottesloe surf lifesaving and organisers. there were about 40 in the water on surf skis, speed boats and jet skis out and about and the westpac helicopter overhead shark spotting the whole time. then the 1000m people are called up and we walk down to the start. now you get to pace out the distance. i have put myself in the 30 minute wave and notice that not everyone appears to be grant hackett. i now figure that i will just give it my best shot and have fun. it is a beach start and i just hang out the back. it is rough getting out the thirty metres to the first buoy and what has become the norm i struggle to get my head in the water,breathing relaxed and my stroke going. so i resort again to breaststroke until i turn that first buoy. then i start freestyle and maybe for 100 metres alternate. then it is all freestyle. then i am relaxed and i am sighting and i am LOVING this. some people get in my way and this takes up some time and maybe i sight too much and i notice i go crooked when breathing to my weak right side. but i am LOVING it. about 400 metres to go i actually start putting on the pace. i can feel myself pulling the water back and i feel the strength in my stroke that i have in the pool. i pass people. i feel like i could swim forever and i am kicking strong. i turn the last buoy and sprint for home. i even catch a wave in and get up at the perfect time and cross the line. i remember saying to timing chip girl that was beautiful. did i mention that at the beginning a stinger got me on the arm. while in the water this doesnt hurt so much but it sure kicks in when you get out. grabbed some ice and watermelon - ice for arm and watermelon for me. i was so excited and so freakin pleased with myself. i did it. 23 minutes. whao hoooo.