fos tallies 2019/20... And that's final!

West dominates in season cut short by Covid

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WA's Max Coten (2nd l) is the youngest swimmer ever to top the fos tallies.

It's official: the fine ocean swimmers' tallies for season 2019/20 are dominated by swimmers from anywhere other than NSW. Swimmers from Western Australia fill 13 of the highest 20 positions in terms of distances swum over the course of the season, with Victorian swimmers filling another four positions and Kiwis another two. NSW's sole representative in the highest 20 comes in at 17. 

But the results in 2019/20 were notable for another reason: the highest ranked swimmer was also the youngest swimmer ever to top the fine ocean swimmers' tallies: Max Coten, at 16, is the only teenager ever to figure so prominently since we've been running the tallies over the past-15-odd seasons.

Swimmers from the West and NZ have been ranking for years, but this is the first time that mugs from NSW have not figured prominently. The highest ranked NSW swimmer in season 2019/20 was last year's top-ranked swimmer overall, the ubiquitous Jim Donaldson, who did 79.6km from 22 swims, averaging 3.62km per swim. Jim was 17th on the list in 2019/20. In contrast, the highest ranked swimmer overall was Max Coten, from WA, with 121.6km from 21 events at an average of 5.79km. Another swimmer from the West, Tara Grout, was 2nd with 116.7km from 17 swims (6.86km average). Eveready Kiwi Mike Cochrane is 3rd with 106.7km from 35 swims (3.05km).

The reason for the difference this season is --  you'll be surprised to hear -- Covid-19, which closed off all states and national swim seasons in mid-March. At that point, some areas, such as Victoria, South Australia, Tassie and Queensland, were pretty well over for the season -- Queensland has swims over winter, so their season is weighted differently anyway -- whereas NSW, and to some extent New Zealand, still had events to run. Indeed, with the dramatic growth of ocean swim events in NSW over the years, late March and April have become the sport's busiest period there; the Covid curtailment cut off the opportunity for as much as 45-50km in further event distance in  NSW.

Indeed, as one delves into the figures (see link below), the effects of the pandemic are stark: season 2019/20 saw 658 individual swim events, after 957 in season 2018/19. There were 45,071 individual swimmers, after 53,025 the previous season. Total distance swum was 172,853.55km, after 200,887.38km in 2018/19; and 81,347 swims (by individuals) after 96,113. The only key stat that remained constant was average distance swum, which, at 2.1km, has remained constant now for four seasons, up from 2km for four years prior to that.

It is what it is. As this is not a competition, none of this really matters, but it is interesting, and it's important, we feel, to acknowledge the efforts of all swimmers.

(It's important to understand that the fine ocean swimmers' tallies are not a competition. We simply tally up everyone's distances as a matter of interest, and to recognise the effort that all swimmers put in over the course of the season, irrespective of whether they are or how they figure in individual event results.)

We had a few swimmers come to us after we posted preliminary tallies a few months ago, and our tallist, propellor-head Colin Reyburn, has made a couple of adjustments as a consequence. But if there are still issues for individual swimmers, please let us know... Click here

Understand that many organisers, and many timers, are sloppy with their reporting of results. They record only name, usually — but not always -- gender, sometimes age, but only rarely other identifying data, such as where a swimmer is from. Often, too, their input of data is misspelt or otherwise in error. This means that it is often very difficult to identify swimmers, and to separate swimmers with similar names. Thus, some swimmers will appear several times in these lists as if they are different swimmers. We need you to check the lists and to draw these anomalies to our attention, so that we can then edit the master list to ensure the final tallies are as accurate as we can possibly get them.

Thak you to Colin Reyburn for his work in compiling the tallies. It's an enormous job, but Colin is a dab hand with Excel and makes it easier than it would be for most, including us.

With errors, please let us know... Click here

Tallies 2019/20

Regional leaders

  Swimmer From Distance km Swims Ave. Dist. km
Overall Max Coten WA 121.6  21 5.79
New Zealand MIke Cochrane NZ 106.7  35 3.05
NSW & ACT Jim Donaldson NSW  79.6  22 3.62
Queensland & NT Julie Boxsell  Qld 46.7  6 7.78
South Australia Andrew Legge  SA  50.0 13 3.85
Victoria & Tasmania Dee Greenwood  Vic  91.6  19 4.82
Western Australia  Max Coten  WA 121.6 21 5.79


 fos tallies 90 swimmers 600


fos tallies 90 distances 600

Tallies meister

Thank you to absolute genius Colin Reyburn for his work in compiling these tallies. We couldn't do it without him.

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