this is the last of the open water swim series. the weather is perfect and no wind. i am not excited but i dont want to not do it either. and for once it is only a 30 minute drive to location. i am still surprised every time by just how far it looks when the buoys are in the water. another deep water start which i prefer and we then swim, keeping the buoys on our left, turning left to head further out and then the biggest stretch before turning left and heading in to another left before a final small buoy and a right turn to the finish. we have the 5km swimmers with us juniors at 1.25km. the 2.5km and 10km swimmers are tomorrow. anyone who has not completed the 19.7km swim to rotto and is entered this year has to complete the 10km within a time limit to qualify. since i felt good at the leighton swim i follow the same format. i go for a short warm up swim and the water is quite cool but very clear. i get over the first shock and swim maybe 50m at most. back in to relax for the race briefing. they had shark sightings here about 10 days ago so the surf patrol are out and about along with guys on surf skis etc. we all head out into the water and it is hard to time it so you are not out too long but you have to be careful with so many people. i am in a pretty good position and get back to my granny floating skills when the hooter sounds. i am straight off the mark and it feels good. a little surprised maybe at the swell as it is quite bouncy. then come the stingers. i swear they got me over a dozen times. i kept thinking that is gonna hurt when i get out and please not my mouth or nose. i could hear the westpac shark spotting chopper overhead during the race and it was very distracting whilst also good to know they were there. i wish someone could watch me swim (maybe i could ask the chopper dudes next time) as i dont know if it is me swimming crooked or all the other #$%@& who keep crossing in front of me. i swallowed water three times with the swell so have to be more careful with the angle when i sight. i am more than ready for a 2.5km swim but will have to wait till next year when i will do the whole series. from the last buoy to the right hand turn buoy (300m) i spotted people ahead and thought fuck it - i am going to beat them home and i got the feet working and started the stroke working hard. i raced past them and then aimed for the next group of people. i felt good. i havent found out what the time was yet and while it felt positive the swell would have slowed things down. i checked my watch after waiting to hand my time card in (bummer you cannot wear during race) and it said 9.28. race started at 9.00 so it you take time off for handing card in i should be under my previous time of 29.13 at Leightons. ** Update ** time was 26.2. just a little excited about this result !!!!!!! THREE MINUTES faster than previous PB. and in fourth place :):) i have hope. pics are looking in each direction of the course. the flags at waters edge is the finish line. i think i can say that i am over my bad starts. two things have to happen. i need to get in the water prior to start even if it is for a 50m cruise and i get my head under water. i must start at my own pace. in triathlon starts i am distracted by what everyone else is doing. i havent worried about this in my last two swims and have been relaxed. i wont have to wait long until i find out if this is true. australia day triathlon is tomorrow !!