Saturday, December 21, 2019

15 years of thank yous! Swim Smooth turns 15!

Hey Swimmers

In case you missed the blog on our main "Feel For The Water" platform, today we celebrate a very special milestone in Swim Smooth history with our 15th birthday! That's right, it was 15 years ago to the day since we launched Swim Smooth in sunny Perth and since those days we now have Swim Smooth in 119 countries around the world via our governing body partners of the International Triathlon Union and British Triathlon who choose us above all others for their swim coaching curriculum - something we're hugely proud about!

We also have now 50 coaches operating around the world running exact replicas of the very special group we have here in Perth too.

One of my biggest passions and "WHYs" for what we do is to help raise the standard of swim coaching for adult swimmers, triathletes and open water swimmers worldwide, so in conjunction with our own certified coaches program and that of the international governing bodies we are making a significant impact on that aim and hope to do so for many years to come.

Absolutely none of this would be possible without your support and dedication over the years and making the Perth Squad the centre-piece that it is and something I wake up to every morning grateful to be engaging in a career I am truly passionate about. Yes, it's been a tough year this year, but we're forging ahead and currently recharging our batteries to make 2020 our biggest and best yet. Thanks so much for coming along on that ride!

You can see some cool historical pictures and images from our other Swim Smooth Squads around the world here:

...and you might even spy yourself in this cool video we've put together here:

Thanks again - have a great Christmas!

Paul & the team

Monday, May 13, 2019

Swim Smooth KIDS & JUNIORS coming to Claremont Pool this June!

Dear Swimmers

I have some GREAT news for you all, and something that's been a LOOOOOONNNNGGGGG time coming!

Swim Smooth KIDS & JUNIORS!

5 years in the making...the Swim Smooth KIDS & JUNIORS teaching and coaching curriculum is coming to Claremont Pool every Saturday morning from June 15th onwards for kids aged between 7 and 14*!

Winning doesn't necessarily mean finishing first!

*subject to swimming ability (see below) we may consider kids and juniors slightly below / above this age range by +/- 1-2 years.

The premise of the program (at least initially) is to run a concurrent, fun training session for both adults and their kids utilising water space in the 50m pool (adults) and 25m pool (kids) between 0530 and 0700 every Saturday morning, culminating with an optional buffet-style family breakfast at Fred’s cafeteria.

"Five thirty...on a Saturday!" I hear you saying, and, "starting in the winter months?!" - we've never been ones for following "rules" and believe that the combination of the goal of getting you swimming "with" your kids followed by a family social breakfast all well before any other Saturday activities start, will become a staple in the western suburb's weekend routine. At the very least, we're willing and committed to giving this great initiative a bit of a crack and a fair go, as we really believe in the value that this experience will bring to many families.

We’ve been running the adult program since April 2018 on a Saturday morning and it's firmly established itself as the most fun session of the week and the best way to start your weekend off on the right track! This will still continue in the same capacity, even if you don't have kids of course! However, if you do have kids, we want to bring this same experience to your children and at the same time help solve the issue that many young families have of “who’s looking after the kids whilst I go and swim?” which is especially problematic on a Saturday morning when there’s often a tug of war of who can swim - often resulting in stalemate with neither attending!!

Head Coach, Paul Newsome, has been voluntarily coaching the Mount Claremont Primary School swim team for the last three years and will be bringing the fun flair that this program has garnered a reputation for to the Saturday morning session - see more here:

Watch our 3 minute intro on the program to see how you / your family might be able to take part in this great initiative! Watch the video at

We are really hoping to create a very special family affair on a Saturday morning to complement what has been a very successful program down at the Claremont Pool since 2008.

In a nutshell, the kids program will be very different - and designed to complement rather than compete against - the other successful and commendable kids programs at the pool due to it a) being run in conjunction with an adult session, b) most of those adults being parents to the kids in the pool, c) the early start on a Saturday morning to really boost health and the start to a fun family weekend!

Register you interest here:

Please register your kid's interest for joining the program here:

We'd appreciate if you could fill out the form above for any / all of your kids between the ages of 7 and 14 (by all means for anything below / above this age range, please complete and we'll consider +/- 1-2 years as the program develops).

Places can now be booked within the main Swim Smooth Perth Squad app, but we'll also need fuller details from the form above too - thanks!

We will be hiring the whole 25m pool every Saturday morning, but even then, places will be limited and those registering first will have the first option of reserving "Permanent OPT OUT" places just like in the main adult squad.

Looking for some volunteers - can you help?

We aim to have 1-2 coaches on pool deck running the adult component (still created by Paul) and 1-2 coaches taking the kids and juniors. Head Coach, Paul, will be overseeing both programs each week. We are seeking additional volunteers to assist in the smooth delivery of the program each week. If you're keen to receive some free training and to lend your hand to the next generation of Swim Smooth Perth participants, please register your interest here:

How is Swim Smooth different to the other kids programs out there... for the bizarre fact that you're starting at 0530 every Saturday and during winter ("it'll never work!" they say!)?

You can learn more about the Swim Smooth KIDS & JUNIORS curriculum and philosophy which we've been secretly developing in deepest, darkest Prague in the Czech Republic with our brilliant certified coach Gabriela Minarikova over the last 5 years in this 7 minute video clip:

Watch the video about the genesis of our kids program here:

What's the cost? How does payment work?

We are going to keep the exact same payment system you're all used to using, using the same platform / app but all at a concessionary rate! Yay to that!

If your kids are swimming "solo" (i.e. and you're not attending the Saturday session), the fee will be $120 for 10 sessions, or a very good value $12 per session* for 1.5hrs including 30 minutes of dryland warm-up exercises and fun games.

If you're bringing your kids along to swim "with" you (our ultimate aim), they'll score an extra 2 sessions for free, so you get 12 sessions for $120 or just $10 per session*.

*these are introductory rates for the program, if we re-assess, it'll always be in favour of extra discount for you swimming with your child. We hope that helps!

The SQUAD for kids who don't do SQUAD!

This isn't strictly true (squad kids can also apply!), but if your kids have some passion and enthusiasm for swimming and can complete 50m of freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke with some fluency and can just about manage a 25m lap of butterfly (give or take), we are happy for them to apply for the squad!

We will be grading the lanes by ability as opposed to age, and will create a fun program that your kids want to be part of, even if the idea of a "proper" swim squad maybe doesn't appeal to them!

We aim to create a lifelong love of swimming and will do this through our entirely unique approach of recognising that: a) your stroke doesn't necessarily have to look textbook perfect for you to be effective (see; and that b) swimming for swimming's enjoyment sake, is just as commendable as aiming for the Olympic Games!

If we do happen to produce some future champions though, then that's OK too of course, but we'll have hopefully done it in a lifelong, sustainable way.

So many kids find swimming in squads ultimately dull and boring, so we want to change that. More than anything though, we want your children to have the opportunity to attend swim practice with you, at the same facility, completing a similar type of enjoyable session, and perhaps even having an occasional KIDS vs ADULTS race, so that you can both enjoy the experience, look forward to going for a swim, and then be able to engage and chat over a yummy breakfast about the highs and lows of the session!

We believe that this new Saturday morning set-up is a world first and we would love for you and your family to be part of it!

Please register your kid's interest for joining the program here:

Paul Away & update on the back injury (including some useful stats we can hopefully all benefit from!)

Dear Swimmers

Whilst Paul's away, the mice will play!

As you're probably aware, I will be away from the squad from Monday 13th May and returning Friday 7th June. During my absence, both Coach Sally and Coach Ross will be cracking the whip, so please make sure you're still getting down, especially whilst the weather is so good!

My work itinerary sees the following:

  • Monday 13th May to Monday 20th May in Prague, Czech Republic to finalise our Swim Smooth KIDS & JUNIORS program (more on this in another post)
  • Monday 20th May to Tuesday 4th June in Mallorca, Spain to both run two 3-day Swim Smooth Coach Education Courses and to also support the Best Festival of Open Water Swimming where I will be the guest coach alongside dual Olympic silver medallist Jazz Carlin
Sadly, due to my recent back injury, I have had to withdraw from competing in the "Best Fest" as I've done for the last 3 years, so I'm going to hone my energies into some good coverage of the event whilst having the opportunity to interview some of the best open water swimmers on the planet for our new podcast (check out our most recent one with David Davies, dual Olympic medallist and Britain's only swimmer to win an Olympic medal in the pool and open water).

I can't wait to share all of this with you!

Update on the back injury (including some useful stats we can hopefully all benefit from!)

If you read the above Instagram post from Monday 15th April, you'll see I was somewhat gloating about the amount of hard work myself and Adam and the rest of the Swim Smooth team have been putting in recently to discover and train up the next generation of Swim Smooth Coaches. Who'd have thought, that just 5 days later and literally 3 minutes prior to heading off down south to Bremer Bay for a well-earned family holiday with Mish and the kids, I'd be lying on the drive in agony, unable to move due to a prolapsed disc in my lower back causing massive radial nerve pain down my right leg. How ironic - in recognising that holidays are important for that work / life balance we all strive to achieve, I'd obviously put myself in so much of a hole that I wasn't even able to take the holiday and the recovery that would have ensued!

After 9 days totally in bed on a HUGE amount of pain killers, I had to re-start work back on the pool deck on Monday 29th April and work / survive until my last session on Saturday 11th May. A massive thanks to doctors Kirk, Gary, Nolan, Jo, Stephen, Emma and Lorry (plus Mish, of course!) for getting me through this period, which saw multiple trips to imaging clinics, hospitals and two nerve root sleeve injections. Eventually my lower back loosened off and the nerve pain eased (somewhat) enough to contemplate the 30+ hour trip to Prague and then on to Mallorca. I usually travel cattle class (boot-strapping and all that!), but had to take an upgrade to business to ensure I could lay flat. 

The good news is I've made it to the UK (not quite Prague yet), but have not done any form of exercise for 23 days (and counting!) which is driving me nuts!! I'm totally aware that I am becoming the classic "chronic pain" case, and it's made me look at my whole work / life balance and how I might be able to modify things - I certainly can't risk another episode like this and am keen to avoid any further surgery to the microdiscectomy I had in December 2013.

So, how does this affect you all?

What we can learn about our health from our sleep patterns:

As you know, I'm an Über-geek when it comes to technology, and a few months ago I bought an Oura Ring to track my sleeping patterns. Of course, I knew the results would be "bad" having to get up 6 out of 7 mornings per week at 4.30am, but check out the results below during the period April 5th to today (13th May):

The middle (green) section is the period during when I injured my back and all I could do was lay in bed and sleep. Typically I average just under 6 hours of sleep a night (something I used to wear as a "badge of honour" believing it showed the integrity of "hard work").  During the green period I was getting more like the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night. The effect was incredible on what is called your Readiness Score which uses HRV (Heart Rate Variability) and aRHR (average Resting Heart Rate) to determine how well rested you are. Ironically enough, the ring kept yelling at me that I should be feeling super-human and ready to take on the world, despite being laid up in bed feeling sorry for myself!

In the period prior to the injury (when I was coaching over in the USA), my aRHR and HRV are what I'd describe as "moderately good", during the period of rehab (given all the rest), they are off the charts "good", but when returning back to my normal routine, average HR and HRV are both very "poor" indeed. This is how I've most likely been living since I started Swim Smooth in October 2004 and as I'm ageing, this gives very strong support to the notion that I need to change a few things in order to ensure I don't spiral down into a massive pit of "brokenness"!

All this data is very nice of course, but it's only of value if we do something with it of course. I haven't got an answer for that yet in my situation, but trust me, the warning bells have rung loud and clear and I'm now in a period of deep reflection looking at where I can make these adjustments.

I'd love to hear from any of you who've been through similar periods in your life which prompted change and how you went about that?

Cheers and see you all in a few weeks - hopefully in a better way than when you last saw me grimacing on pool deck!

Thanks for all your support and understanding through what has been a very tough time for me and the family especially #MrGrumpy


Funky new swim caps coming your way with the 10 week winter program starting Monday 10th June!

Dear Swimmers

Hope you're doing well. Here's my office right now, sat at the foot of the Serpentine in Hyde Park, London (the scene of the triathlon and open water swimming events at the 2012 Olympics) prior to my flight over to Prague to finalise our Swim Smooth Kids & Juniors program (more on that in another post, shortly):

Funky new, reversible Swim Smooth silicon caps - a gift from us to you!

I wanted to keep you posted on the funky new swim caps we have coming your way...

...the artwork has been done and the first prototype has been made (they need brightening up a bit as you'll see), but if you're a current / active member of the squad, you'll be receiving one of these FREE cool new caps and be encouraged to wear them at each squad session. Why, you ask? Because they're reversible and aimed at being a fun way for you to show myself and the other coaches as well as your swimming buddies, what sort of mood you're in:

  • BLUE = I'm good to go and ready to rock this place! I'm charged up, I want to lead with that beeper and / or I want your feedback on my stroke*
  • ORANGE = I'm quite happy to take a bit of a back seat today...Rome wasn't built in a day and I'd prefer just to keep a low profile, thank you very much...don't even think about giving me that beeper!
*during technique sessions

I am sure this will be a bit of fun - even a bit of a social "experiment" - and I'm hoping you'll take it in that capacity and have a little laugh with us every time you don your new silicon Swim Smooth cap (super comfy!)...and yes, you can change your mind mid-session too and switch it around!!

The caps will be with us for the start of the new Swim Smooth Perth Winter Program, details of which are further below.

Fun challenge:

What might be fun to do, is for you to tally up how many times you wear blue vs orange over the course of the 10 week program...something to try at least!

Here's the look:

As every good GOT (Game of Thrones) fan knows, Winter is coming...

As we tail off into the winter, don't let that curtail the healthy habits you've established with regular swim squad attendance. Buoyed up with your cool new Swim Smooth Perth silicon swim cap, you'll be inspired to hit our crowd-favourite winter program running (or swimming!).

The winter program will commence on the 10th June and run for 10 weeks until the 18th August, just in time for you to then start thinking about ramping things up for the spring!

Whilst we have been trialling the mini whiteboards on pool deck in a random session order number, when we commence the program we'll be following these faithfully, in order, to guide us forwards. These sessions have been carefully selected as being both liked by you guys (from your feedback over the last 12-18 months) and also beneficial given their content.

The advantage of the mini whiteboards are:

  1. for those of you in lanes 1 and 4 you will always be able to see what's coming up even though you might not have a direct view of the board
  2. during Pure Technique sessions, this will allow you to work through the set session at your own pace, allowing myself or any of the other coaches to spend better time giving you valuable feedback on your strokes or better demonstrations of the exercises
  3. this will all be keyed up with FREE access for every member of the squad from June to the Standard license of the the advantage of which is that we can email through quick video links to watch through drills or technique focal points pre-session for you to really maximise your time in the squad

As ever, your feedback on each session will be really valuable - we'd love to get to the stage where you could hit a button (like above) as you leave each session, thus better catering to your needs and wants!!! Albeit, sometimes the stuff you don't necessarily like can be some of the best stuff for you!

You can watch more about the idea of us trying to make improvements for the benefit of your enjoyment of the squad here:



Sunday, March 17, 2019

Port to Pub Results - Coach Ross pulls out a blinder!

Man of the moment: Swim Smooth Perth Coach, Ross Robertson, displays an inspirational level of stoicism to finish 8th overall in the 25km Port to Pub swim - on ya Ross!

Dear Swimmers

Well, there we go! It just goes to show that you can't judge a book by it's cover, hey? I readily admit that I had my doubts come Thursday last week that the Port to Pub might be headed the same way as last year given the weather forecast, and whilst it was anything but "smooth" out there, it was great that everyone got to have their chance to once again conquer the Rottnest Channel! Well done if you made it across!

Some interesting stats, Swim Smooth Perth Squad swimmers and 1-2-1 athletes accounted for:

  • 20% of all Solo swimmers
  • 10% of all Duo swimmers
  • 9% of all Team of 4 swimmers
  • 13% of all Team of 6 swimmers
  • 13% of all Team of 4 assisted swimmers
  • 60% of all Team of 6 assisted swimmers
Here's how those results break down:

A special mention...

I know you shouldn't technically have a "teacher's pet" (especially when it's one of your own coaches!), but what the heck, I'm going to anyway!

What a legend in every way!

Tuesday evening's Technique / Endurance coach Ross Robertson and his wife Mel have had a tough old time these last 18 months since their twins Luke and Harvey were born about 14 weeks premature:

Despite the tough times they've gone through, Ross has never once faltered with his consistency of running the Tuesday evening session (not once!), he's started a revived movement of SwimRun events here in WA with the Shoreline Swim Run Series and even ran a brilliant Olympic Distance Triathlon too. He runs his own swim coaching business in the northern suburbs and this is all just in addition to his normal full-time work. On top of all of that, Ross is a bloody brilliant guy and one of the nicest people you will meet. Always caring and always interested in what others are doing. So it makes me very proud indeed to see him swim a 7h37m 25km ultra-marathon yesterday on the back of a "very average" year of personal performances (his words!). Even just a few days ago, we were discussing how he might pull out of the event in attempt to ease some stress away, but kudos to Ross, he picked his plan to go out super steady and just build from 15km onwards if he could. I'd loved to have seen a virtual pathway of his route moving up through the field, as this strategy paid massive dividends to finish 8th overall! Well done Ross - so, so proud of you mate in light of everything I know you've gone through and how you've been feeling about things of late - a truly brilliant, stoic performance!

Well done to everyone who competed - the Lane 1 (630am) Aquadragons never cease to impress either, coming in with a very commendable time of 7h05m. Well done all!!



P.S I have some cunning plans brewing for a winter challenge which (if we get this new app up soon) could mean some great rewards points towards some cool this space as the show must go on!

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Rottnest Channel Swim 2019 Musings

Not as fast as everyone thought...but the question is, "did that get to your head halfway across - a paranoia that everyone else must surely be having a better day than you?"

NOTE: swimmers in blue = top 3 men's times / pink = top 3 women's times / yellow = Swim Smooth Perth Squad swimmers in the 2018/2019 season / green = Paul Newsome's 1-2-1 Video Analysis swimmers and users

Dear Swimmers

You'll note my tardiness in getting some response out about this year's Rottnest Channel Swim. Why? Simply because I've used the last two weeks to reflect on the results and also soak up all the feedback and stories from those in the squad (and wider afield) who did the event and their thoughts upon it.

It almost seems eerily ironic that I should have posted this article on Managing Expectation just a few days before the event, and this is also what I've held back with this year's summary too, in the hope that those of you now preparing for next weekend's Port to Pub event, might be in the headspace to try to soak up these views with 5-6 days to go before your big swim.

Whilst I'd highly encourage you to read the article above (about 2017), it basically breaks down like this (as did 2019):

  • weather forecast looks AMAZING
  • expectations about what might be possible RISE
  • excitement BUILDS - could this finally be my year to break XX hours?!
  • I'm feeling GREAT - I know this is going to be my BIG chance!
  • weather looks brilliant as you leave the beach and those not swimming are all MOANING about how they're MISSING OUT
  • you feel pumped - the energy PALPABLE
  • you find a good rhythm and the SUNRISE IS BEAUTIFUL
  • you tick off your first few feeds and all is ON TRACK
  • halfway across you check your time AND ITS NOT QUITE WHAT YOU'D HOPED
  • don't panic you tell yourself - could be JUST A BLIP?
  • next time check is still NO BETTER
  • maybe you're BLOWING UP or HAVING A BAD DAY?
  • panic sets in - EVERYONE else must be having a blinder, so why not me?!
  • you eventually get to Thomson's Bay, check out the clock and "on no!" WHAT HAPPENED?! Where's my SUPER FAST TIME?
...and that, as they say, is open water swimming at it's best - always unpredictable!

So yes, the weather was EXCELLENT but what about the CURRENTS - how do you know how these affected things?

First place to start - always look towards the winners: Solomon Wright set the course record in 2018, finally tipping under 4 hours. There's nothing to suggest he had a bad swim this year (he came a very creditable 2nd behind an equally great performance from Sam Sheppard and a further 7 minutes ahead of Perth "wonderkid" and one of my personal heroes, Rhys Mainstone), but he went 22 minutes slower than last year. That's nearly 9% slower on a day which, on the outset, looked just magic. Add that kind of margin to a 7 hour swimmer and you're adding nearly 40 minutes additional time. Furthermore, the longer you're out there exposed to the elements (SW wind picking up, possible strengthening of the current etc), and you can be assured that the conditions this year were anything but the idyllic conditions that we were all conjuring up in our heads. But therein lies the problem - our heads - when you're out there right in the thick of it, unsure of which way is truly west, or exactly how fast you're moving or what the currents are doing - the story so many of us tell ourselves when TIME IS OUR ONLY MEASURE is that we must be failing. How much of this then ultimately adds to our time and the feeling of how well we have or haven't done?

To this day, my biggest regret is my first ever solo finish in 2009. I desperately wanted to break 5 hours and felt I could probably fit inside the Top-20. I had done some training with David Cox (who went on to win the event) and I can recall our conversation on the start-line like it was yesterday: David told me "these brilliant conditions are ripe for the record, and I'm going to be the guy to do it!" - and yet he was one of only 5 swimmers to break 5 hours that year, finishing over 40 minutes behind the 2000 record of Mark Saliba. 40 minutes! Now David wasn't a dreamer - he was a brilliant swimmer - but I should have been looking at his result when I came across the line totally deflated with a 5h24m swim and yet I'd finished 6th male and 9th overall. I should have been chuffed, but I wasn't - I only saw 5h24m and in that I saw FAILURE. 

Of course, in the past 10 years and having coached many hundreds of Solo swimmers myself now, having swum the English Channel in 2011 in atrocious conditions and managing a time little better than "average" but equally smashing the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim (46km) in 2013 with the overall title in super-fast speeds, I have come to really understand that there's really very little you can do out there other than trust in your training and manage your expectation when you're at it tooth and nail. Never assume that everyone else is having a better day than you just purely on your target times and paces. This is why we do so much training with the beepers to really dial in your paces so that you truly know what effort level you can sustain for whatever distance - if that results in brilliant times (like the Busselton Jetty Swim this year) because the conditions were so good, great! But if it means that your swim times were slower than expected at the Rottnest Channel Swim, then they are what they are. All you can really do is look at those around you as your benchmark - those that you've been swimming against all season and how they stacked up against you. But one thing's for sure - if you complete that swim, it's NEVER A FAILURE.

So, that all being said, congratulations to everyone who made it across to Thomson's Bay last fortnight and good luck to those of you trying again next weekend at the Port to Pub swim. Interestingly enough, the conditions for this Saturday are in stark contrast to two weeks ago - the wind looks set to be strong early on from the SW at this stage, so it'll be interesting to see how people's expectations fair this week in light of that... things for sure, YOU CAN'T CHANGE IT - you've just got to do your best and keep those arms ticking over until you get there!

Well done everyone - whether you be Solo, Duo or Team - what a brilliant achievement to have under your belt!


Your Proud Coach, Paul

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Tips for this weekend's 2019 Rottnest Channel Swim

Dear Swimmers

In 4 days time many of you will be on Thomson's Bay sucking back a coldie or two and celebrating how you made it across to Rottnest amidst what were some favourable swimming conditions!
I'm always asked to give my thoughts a few day out on what the weather will be like come race day and I usually precede by saying:

"Que sera, sera...whatever will be will be!"

Always at the forefront of my mind when preparing a great number of you to take on this epic swim, is how to prepare you for a wide-ranging multitude of scenarios - to make you the most versatile swimmer you can possibly be. There's always an undertone to every session we do in this regard:
  • MONDAY (Pure Technique) - we work on the ability to switch and change breathing sides at will and to be able to cope with the need to go a few extra strokes (2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9...) if needs. We work on posture and alignment and your ability to swim the straightest possible line
  • TUESDAY (Technique / Endurance) - we work on developing your steady state aerobic capacity and your ability to swim with enhanced rhythm into waves, swell and chop through the use of pull buoy, paddles and bands.
  • WEDNESDAY (Red Mist Endurance) - we work on your ability to pace yourself out well and sustain this, even when you're not feeling at your very best...if you can be the best version of yourself even when you're having a crap day, then you'll go well! Mental fortitude is what Wednesdays are always about.
  • THURSDAY / FRIDAY (CSS Development) - the one and only number you ever need to know and be aware of as a distance freestyler is your CSS pace...if this gets quicker then everything you do over 400m improves.
  • SATURDAY (Stoic) - a sage reminder of how to not take yourself too seriously, how to have fun whilst practicing all of the above and to always be grateful for your ability to take onboard these crazy challenges, no matter how daunting they might sometimes one is holding a gun to your head saying "you must swim!" - so do it for you and you only and all will go well.
So, with that little pep talk under your belt, let's look at this weekend shall we.

First off, your resources:
  1. WEATHER - I like the Willy Weather app (available here:
  2. CURRENTS  - the UWA Coastal Oceanography is excellent in this regard (
  3. TRACKING - I like the MapSwim app (available here:


The currents around Rottnest Island can be quite changeable and there's no specific forecast for those, but from just tracking the last few days, I believe we'll see very light currents moving from South to North accompanied by light to moderate SW winds (a typical sea breeze but perhaps not so strong) which will kick in from around 11am. Many of the Solo swimmers will be well on their way by that point (and some will be in of course!), but as this wind strengthens over the course of the morning / early afternoon, the biggest gains will be for the faster swimmers (as is often the case - read about 2017 here:

My recommendation would be to stick to a direct line to Rottnest, possibly edging slightly south especially if you are planning on arriving in Thomson's Bay say after midday. I wouldn't be recommending any radical "very" south or "very" north moves this year, as right now, the conditions don't dictate that...but of course these can change! So here's what we're looking at right now, but check those resources on the day before and you should be set.

Wind (on Saturday)

Wind (today)

Water temperature (today)

Currents (today)

Further reading:

How many swimming from the squad?

It's interesting to note that this year I believe we've seen our LOWEST uptake on either the Rottnest Channel Swim or the Port-2-Pub Swim and yet THE SQUAD IS AT AN ALL TIME PEAK in terms of consistent attendance. 

I know triathlon specifically has seen a down-turn in participation in recent years (TRI Events folded late last year citing this as a reason for example), but I'm not so sure that's the case with open water swimming? 

The Busselton Jetty Swim saw it's biggest completion rate ever and some marvellous conditions too. 

My belief is that big events like these two swims and also Ironman etc take a huge toll on the body and family / social / work life balance, so it could simply be that in the average life-cycle of the average squad member that priorities are being directed elsewhere perhaps? I'm not sure. My read on it (and I can relate to this myself) is that give me 2-3 solid training sessions a week that challenge me and my limits, maybe have some kind of competitive element to them, keep me fit and healthy but don't destroy me for everything else that I do, and ultimately I'm a happy camper. Whether or not you think that a Red Mist Endurance Set hasn't "destroyed you" as you doze off at your desk over a long macchiato is purely a matter of perspective 😉

That's not to say that no one should consider doing these types of events (or that we wouldn't support them in that quest - we do, gladly!), but that we have quite a collection of stalwarts within the squad who've "been there, done that, collected at least X number of t-shirts" and so perhaps that's where the life cycle of the squad is right now? Que sera...

As we have a large majority of you having swum with the squad for in excess of 10 years (some as many as 17 - wow!), perhaps that's just where we're all at? And that's OK...I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions on that if you wanted to email me back? Am I on the right track do you think?

Nevertheless, come Saturday, I know for sure, that if you're swimming - in whatever capacity - that you'll have the full backing and support of every one of our 450+ active squad members wishing you well as you embark on your own personal challenge!

Remember, do it for you and you alone and all else will fall into place.

Good luck!

Proud Coach x

P.S please email me your number and race name (Duo / Team) if you are competing!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Will you be joining us in sunny Mallorca (26th May to 1st June) for the BEST Festival of open water swimming?

A multitude of races over a variety of distances to choose from

Dear Swimmers

Hope you are doing fine this sunny Friday afternoon!

After the last 3 years attending Europe's BEST Fest of open water swimming in Mallorca, Spain, many of you have been enquiring about the possibility of joining us on the magical Mediterranean island to participate yourself in arguably the best open water swimming experience available anywhere on the planet.

Picture this: waking up every morning to join the Swim Smooth team of coaches and other swimmers for a super invigorating 800m swim in the Med, before a relaxed buffet-style breakfast and a casual stroll through the town to the start of the day's race - anywhere from 1.5 to 10km - and then enjoying a late lunch, a sangria or two and then accessing one of the multitude of free swimming clinics and seminars that we offer to support the festival. That's all before a sunset dinner at some of the best casual dining in Europe. Sound good? Multiply by seven and you've got a fabulous week of swimming where you might race anything up to 30+km and with the additional swim sessions and easy morning limber-ups, easily clocking up 40km...if you want to! Take it as seriously or as casually as you wish. Bring or hire a bike and take a 90 minute road trip to access some of the best mountainous riding anywhere on the planet, or bring your trainers for some brilliant coastal trail running around Colonia Sant Jordi.

Think of it like: the Tour de France of open water swimming, accumulating points from each race to a series final in your age group. Meet new swimming friends from literally all over the world and enjoy the company of these like-minded swimmers in an area of extreme natural beauty...and no stingers or sharks either!

Where is it: Colonia Sant Jordi on the southern tip of Mallorca, approximately 50 minutes drive from Palma (the capital). Various hotel accommodations can be booked / quoted via Vanessa at (please quote "Swim Smooth" for the best deals) - we prefer to stay in the THB Sur - not the finest hotel in the area, but great for the budget conscious and right on the Med! An other good option is the Blue Waters, which is right next to the town's 50m pool (as pristine as Claremont Pool it has to be said!)

Event website: entry for the various races can be made at - all 7 events plus a free relay entry can be purchased for 250 euros but there is the option to also pick and choose as you wish!

Race as Swim Smooth: I reckon we've got a good chance of being the best attended "club" or even "country" through the "People's Republic of Swim Smooth" - as we're making a big push for other Swim Smooth followers from across the planet to come and join us for one almighty meet-up! So please add "Swim Smooth" as you club name when registering!

Getting there: Swiss Air are offering a return trip from Perth via Singapore and Zurich for just $1460 - see details here. I'd suggest arriving on the Friday 24th May and maybe departing Sunday 2nd June or Monday 3rd June.

Please drop me an email if you're keen on coming for my reference and we'll keep you posted on extra curricular Swim Smooth activities for that week!

Here's some pictures from last year's event to whet your appetite:

Morning dip

SwimRun coaching

Post race!

Trail running

The morning routine

The amazing Med

Classroom set up (we'll be there for our 3-day Coaches Course 23-25 May)

Knocking out some good times

Casual dining

The view from the THB Sur

Coaching clinics


Awesome cafes

The airport!!!

Picking up some medals!

More spoils

Awesome atmosphere 

View from the hotel (other side)

The team

Ready to ride!

Bottom of Sa Calobra

Top of Sa Calobra

Getting the miles in

What a view!

What a climb!





Loving it!

The Med