this was the day after the womens power station triathlon. the theory being that the distance was only 1.25km, i had slept after the event yesterday and then it wasnt an extremely early start. the open water series are organised by swimming wa and adhere to FINA rules. that means no wetsuits - ever. they also check your nails and no jewellery or watches etc. if you swim in a wetsuit they will not time you and your are recorded as DNF. this one included a 2.5km, 5km and 10km distance. i was surrounded by very good swimmers - most of the 10km swimmers would be rotto contenders. the lake is man-made and advertised as crystal blue waters. this is so not true. while not bad it is more like bracken brown waters. they regulate the temperature and have all number of things installed to monitor it. they also leave the rowing lanes up so it is very easy to sight but very boring as you cannot see anything. no fish to check out. so the 1.25km swimmers are going first and it is a deep water start - straight down 600m, across 25m then straight back down 600m with another turn into the shore. most of the people are either 12 or 60 years old and a lady with goggles and snorkel ??? this could be embarrassing. i have only swam 1000m once and that was only a few weeks ago but think that another 250m will be okay. very nervous and extremely thankful the toilets are close by. the event starts and i am out the back (as usual). the start is bad - really bad. i feel like i cannot swim 25m let alone 1250. i am tired and feel like i am going to sink. i dont think i put my head under before the start. i cannot remember. i struggle along doing breaststroke - this is very embarrassing. then my goggles fog up. i get mad. i must look like i am drowning. this course allows people to walk along with the swimmers so it is not like i have disappeared from view. i look behind me and there is maybe the lady with the snorkel and the 60 year old is passing me. i stop and try and fix my goggles. then i decide to just friggin swim. i go around the first buoy so half way there and i pass the 60 year old. i start feeling better and as i go around the next buoy i start feeling the rhythm. then wham everything comes together and by the time i get to the last buoy i have been hooting along and passed probably a dozen people. you would have seriously thought it was two different swimmers. i sprint to the shore and the result is 29.23m. the lesson gained is that i KNOW i can swim in open water. but what i cannot do is have that form for the whole race. so i will stick with what shelley taylor smith advised. experience, experience, experience. i went home and signed up for leightons and sorrento. p.s. it was a bloody hot day and most of the 10km swimmers got roasted along with their food/drink suppliers. the fastest 10k swim was a young guy at 2h9m. amazing - he is off to nationals.