Fair Dinkum Seals – The “oort, oort” kind, not the Navy kind
Sunday, 16 October, 2011
It was a fantastic 7am sunrise last Sunday morning in HK, not that Jon O, (“O” for “Oh my God it’s early”) could tell, having exercised typical FD pre-race discipline the night before, parachuting out of a wine bar at 2am on Saturday evening.

Arriving at the starting venue, we promptly decided to do a quick recon of the course from the pier and conferred with a race official to confirm the finish point. Unfortunately the official confidently pointed to the HK Museum of Coastal Defence in Shau Kei Wan, to which we had to help

remind him that the finish point was actually in Quarry Bay, approximately 45degrees east of where he was pointing…it was at this point we realised the course was probably not the best marked out, which would make “sighting” (looking where you’re going whilst swimming) a lot more difficult. And so we stripped off to matching FD mankini’s and were quickly spotted by HK media with true to form results – newspaper media coverage (below).
The solo Liechtenstein Princely Navy swimmer who we spotted in the race pen looked lonely…The race path itself was a dog-leg course, with an intial 700m swim to the turning point, afterwhich we were to make a bee-line for 1.1km to Quarry Bay.

Lining up for the race, we prepared for a rough start, and rough it was, as swimmers jumped for it at the beginning, swimming through and over each other to separate themselves from the pack – lucky we had prepared with our dragonboat-style start of 8-20-long which came in handy.

As we swam, it was inevitable to take in some water, which was surprisingly non-odorous and litter / object free (Phil – thanks for not flushing till after 10am). Visibility was also good and in the bright sunshine, everything felt great! Unfortunately, the poor marking of the course came to play as many of us found it difficult to know which barge to swim for to turn, which side to swim by and whether to aim for the Fireboat Alexander Ship or the pavillions in Quarry Bay Park to finish.

Regardless, we all soon arrived at the finish point, safe and sound but fully charged from the whole fun of it!! We had just saved an $8.90 MTR train fare!!! Yee-ha! Even better though was that we saw some of you at the end to give us a pat on the back, which made it all worth while.

Thanks again for your thoughts and support.

FD Seals (Ooort! Oort!)


Wynnie, Duncan, Jon, Simon, Chowy

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