Therese’s water solution
BEING out on the open water is not just about competing for Therese Crollick - it provides the answer to all life's problems.
The 56-year-old is preparing for her first Evans Head Ocean Swim this Saturday.
Goonellabah-based Crollick comes into the event fresh from an outing in last Sunday's race at Yamba, where she completed the 2km course in about 40 minutes.
The experienced ocean swimmer said such events were a great distraction from the stresses of modern life.
"I find that if you are having a bad day, if you go and have a swim or a surf then you feel so much better," she said. "The problem may not be cured but it's a start.
"Most of my sporting life has revolved around water. I've played most water sports and just seem to find them relaxing.
"I always seem to come back to the water."
Originally from Sydney, Crollick was a keen contestant with the Royal Life Savers before moving up to the North Coast about 30 years.
A member of the Southern Cross University Duck Creek Masters swimming club, she has competed in ocean swims for the past 25 years.
"A lot of these events are about the socialising," Crollick said. "I love catching up with other swimmers.
"These competitions are a safe way to enjoy swimming in the ocean with other like-minded people."
Scores of contestants will take part in this Sunday's event, which has been switched from its usual annual June long weekend staging.
Swimmers can under take either a 2km or 750m swim, with all proceeds going to the Evans Head Surf Life Saving Club.
A keen kayaker and body surfer, Crollick said she had always felt at home in the water.
"I guess I feel fortunate that we live somewhere where we can swim in the open water," she said. "Not just on the North Coast but in Australia generally.
"I guess I love that sense of freedom - being out there with nature, the water and fresh air.
"I think we will have good water at Evans Head. I am really looking forward to it."
THERESE CROLLICK'S TOP FIVE TIPS FOR BUDDING OCEAN SWIMMERS
1. Join a local swim group. You can get fitter in a friendly environment.
2. Take it slowly. Work towards increasing your mileage.
3. When you have more confidence, test yourself in a suitable outdoor area. Somewhere like Ballina's Shaws Bay would help you get used to swimming without a pool line to follow.
4. The Tweed River and Coffs Harbour swims offer a more gentle introduction to the sport. It's important to get your confidence up with a swim that's not too rough. Check http://www.oceanswims.com for other swims suitable to your ability and work your way up to longer swims.
5. Check the Masters swimming website. There are some wonderful training groups which offer lots of information and will help with motivation to get even better.
Fancy a leisurely or competitive Sunday swim?
THERE is still time to get involved in Sunday's Evans Head event.
Entries are being taken right up until race morning, with 2km and 750m swims on offer.
Co-organiser Ray Adams said whatever contestants' standard, there should be plenty of fun on offer.
"The longer swim is for those who are a bit more confident," he said. "(Those contestants) usually come from an ocean swimming background.
"The ocean swim can be as comfortable or as challenging as you like.
"If you want to push yourself, you can, but if you want to take your time it can be an interesting and rewarding experience."
This will be the first time the event, which was previously hosted over the June long weekend, has been held in early January.
With all proceeds going to the Evans Head Surf Life Saving Club and a decent crowd expected, Adams said he was expecting an enjoyable day.
"There's usually a friendly atmosphere and it's a great social occasion," he said.
"The water temperature should be great and this should be a great time of year to host an event like this.
"It's just usually a very rewarding day."
The races start at 9.30am (750m) and the 2km race at 10.15am.
Both swims run on circuits in front of the Evans Head Surf Life Saving Club.
For more information, visit www.oceanswims.com.
Time to train for big swim
IF YOU fancy testing your skills in an ocean swim, but this year's Evans Head event has come around a little too quickly, don't fear.
Entries for the Byron Bay Property Sales Ocean Swim Classic, which takes place on Sunday, May 4, opened today.
The contest, which is open to participants 12 and upwards, sees swimmers take on a 2.5km course from Wategos Beach to Main Beach.
A fun 800m mini-swim from Clarkes Beach to Main Beach, suitable for swimmers aged nine and over, also takes place.
The event has raised thousands of dollars for charities since its launch in 1988 and usually attracts hundreds of competitors of all ages.
Various organisations are supported by the Classic, included the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, the Salvation Army and cancer support groups
This year's swim will take place on Sunday, May 4.
For more information, visit http://www.byronbayoceanswimclassic.com.au.
Alternatively, call 0421 155 600 or email email@example.com.