AMMJB on 4th July 2020 initiated an Open Water Clinic charity event targeting participants who are Ironman, Triathletes and Open Water Swimmers enthusiasts.
About 30 athletes had registered for the event that was held in Port Dickson which is popular among local and oversea tourists for its sunny beaches. Port Dickson is about 1 hour and 15 minutes’ drive from the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The invitation for registration for this Open Water Clinic was announced on my personal Facebook page, Mak Pool Jeng Bong and open for a maximum number of 20 participants only. It took merely 6 hours for the 20 interested athletes to register and make full payment. Due to the limit in participation numbers, the over registrants were brought forward to another event that will soon be held.
The minimal participation fees of MYR53 per person that was collected for this event was donated to the under privileged people (Asnaf) of Wilayah Mosque in Kuala Lumpur.
The Open Water clinic was supposed to kick-off at 7.30 am but was delayed due to heavy rain that may bring strong current and high waves as a result of it. The rain ceased at around 8am and we were blessed with a sunny day just as all the participants had registered. We chose the beach at Admiral Cove because the sea bed was flat and gradual which minimal current thus made it easier for us to hold the practical session.
We started with a quick body warm up with some preferring to dip themselves in the sea water for a few quick strokes instead. The water was calm and it felt like we were swimming in a pool. The water temperature was very warm and comfortable and it was relaxing just staying in the water without moving a muscle.
The practical session lasted approximately 15 minutes which was followed by a grueling theory session.
The clinic covered important Open Water swimming concepts and strategies which concentrated mainly on acquiring key skill sets. The theory session was completed in 2 hours covering the following topics in detail.
- Water Entry
- Buoy Cornering Tactics
- Water Exit
- Strategies and tactics
- Other Open Water Tips
We are pleased to note that all the participants were very attentive, respectful and concentrated fully during the theory class.
We went in great detail for each topic by explaining in depth of how all of the topics are to be applied and used later.
It was a good ‘Under the Tree’ open concept class on the beach, even better than sipping a coconut mocktail.
After a good 2 hours of theory, the participants were ready to go for a dip in the sea. This time, they set out practical sequences in line with the topics that we had been taught earlier during the theory session applying the correct swim techniques and skills.
They learned the correct water entry technique and performed the cross over from shallow to deep water with a dolphin dive.
Sighting was another new tactic they learned and it comprised of 3 types of sightings. Unlike swimming in a pool, a swimmer can easily see his way without the waves pounding on him while swimming plus the visibility of the pool water is crystal clear. In open water swimming, the navigation tactic is totally different and with my guidance they learned and practiced this skill perfectly.
Drafting was fun, they went in pairs with one leading and the other followed, and after each draft is completed, they changed role. The swimmers had a good practice with feet drafting as well as hip drafting. They had the chance to feel what drafting is all about by swimming 100 meters towards the open water and back and repeating the drill until both have experienced both drafting methods.
Buoy cornering or turning was another important skill. One should sight before initiating the cornering and in this session, we emphasize on how to take the turn the fastest way possible.
Water exit was the last topic that they practiced. The important tips about this lesson is the decision as to when you should rise from the water and start running or when you should consider continuing to swim with high arm catch / dolphin dive swim before performing the run exit.
After all these practical sessions, we had a fun race. The participants were given 20 mins duration with a 150 m loop to complete as many rounds as possible.
Hand bands were handed out every time one loop was completed. The swimmer who received the most bands in 20 minutes duration won the race
I wanted to join in too but then if I did win, I know that I would definitely be disqualified for sure.
The Champion won the first prize worth RM300, followed by the 1st Runner up winning MYR200 and the 2nd Runner Up winning MYR150
It was a good session; selfies were like as common as muck. After all the hard work and the knowledge, I had imparted, my satisfaction came when they gave an absolute best rating about the open water swimming clinic. The feedback I received were, well organized, very informative session and great practical strategies learned. Everyone went back home exhausted but happy with new knowledge they can use for their future events.