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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Dancing In The Water By Wayne Ewing

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

One of the four documentary films to be shown at the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference on the Isle of Bute in Scotland will showcase the unprecedented solo swim of Matthew Moseley across Lake Pontchartrain.

Dancing In The Water was created by Wayne Ewing, an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker.

Ewing has produced and directed over 30 documentaries for American television networks, as well as 8 recent independent feature documentaries. The Yale University graduate's first 20 films, beginning with the critically acclaimed If Elected… were broadcast on Bill Moyers Journal on PBS. The Emmy-nominated Blood’s of ‘Nam and A Journey To Russia followed.

For NBC News, Ewing made 1-hour documentaries, directing Women In Prison with Maria Shriver, Gangs, Cops, & Drugs, and The New Hollywood. Gangs, Cops, & Drugs was one of the highest rated documentaries ever broadcast on American television. His commercial television journalism also includes segments for Ted Koppel at ABC and Charles Kuralt at CBS.

In 1992, Ewing designed the photographic style of the dramatic series Homicide: Life On The Streets that is credited with changing the look of American dramatic television in the 1990’s. Ewing also directed Breakfast With Hunter, When I Die, Free Lisl: Fear & Loathing, Benched, The Last Campaign which was nominated as the Best Documentary Feature of 2005, The Outsiders of New Orleans: Loujon Press, The Border Wall, and Animals, Whores & Dialogue.

Dancing In The Water shot Moseley's swim with the recovery of the lake's environment as a backdrop, certainly will be treat for the Global Open Water Swimming Conference audience.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

What Goes Around, Comes Around - The Mallorca 360º

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Righardt Krugel is planning a unique 360 km stage swim around Mallorca, Spain.

His Mallorca 360º stage swim includes 20 km per day total around Mallorca in the Islas Baleares beginning in Palma de Mallorca on September 20th. He will swim the equivalent of two marathon swims per day – 10 km in the morning and 10 km in the afternoon – from beach to beach in the counterclockwise direction.

He will feed from his escort boat and stay as close as possible to the shore as the swim will be GPS’ed all around. He will start and finish onshore.

To follow, visit his Facebook page here.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Janet Harris, Charlotte Brynn Dominate Swim The Kingdom

Photos and reporting courtesy of Phil White in the Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association.

Between August 9th and 17th, scores of swimmers descended on the legendary lakes of the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and the Eastern Townships of Quebec. They came from all over North America to participate in one or more swims during Swim the Kingdom Week – 8 lakes in 9 days, totaling 45 miles.

The swims include Crystal (5 miles), Island Pond (4 miles), Echo (7 miles), Seymour (6.2 miles), Massawippi (9 miles), Memphremagog (6.2 miles), Willoughby (5 miles), and Caspian (3 miles).

In all, 65 swimmers from California, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont ranged in age from 10-year-old Vera Rivard of New Hampshire to 67-year-old Bob Aitcheson of West Virginia. Canadians from Ontario and Quebec also participated in the event was hosted by the Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association and Kingdom Games. "Over 25 kayakers and 17 motor boats made these swims possible," said race founder Phil White.

"It was a special treat to be greeted and supported by Alec van Zuiden, Mayor of Ayer’s Cliff, Peter McHarg. Council Member, and Francois of College Servite. The police boat was a big hit among the swimmers at Lac Massawippi, as was the after dinner at Auberge Ayer’s Cliff."

Three swimmers completed all 8 swims. Janet Harris, 48 of New York, swam the full 45-mile distance in all 8 lakes without a wetsuit. Paula Yankauskas, 60 of Vermont, also swam the full 45 miles, but used a wetsuit on some days. Lori Carena, 60 of New York did all eight swims, but took the short course at The Clubhous slash swim on Lake Memphremagog on Thursday. Most of the registrants did 2 to 5 swims at various times during the week.

The week culminated in two races in Willoughby and Caspian.

Charlotte Brynn, 47 of Vermont, dominated the weekend races.

Brynn posted a winning time of 2:02:58 for Willoughby’s 5-mile swim from South Beach to North Beach. Finishing second and third among the women were Sarah Greskopf, 34 of California, with a time of 2:14:03 and Harris who came in four minutes later at 2:18:34. Harris could not stay out of the water. Even on the off rest day, she swam in the Green River Reservoir before the big race at Willoughby.

First among the men at Willoughby was Bill Pease, 60 of California, who was second overall with a time of 2:07:57. David Uprichard, 48 of New York, posted a time of 2:10:15 followed by Alan Giese, 48 of Vermont.

The fastest two times of the day were posted in the men’s wetsuit division by Adam Homoki, 24 of Massachusetts, with a time of 1:45:30 and Kevin Sullivan, 53 of Massachusetts, who was just 7 minutes of the pace with his time of 1:52:10. Jim Podolske, 59 of Massachusetts, placed third in 2:42:18.

On the neoprene side of the equation, 2013 NEKOWSA Swimmer of the Year Yankauskas came in 2:19:52 with 56-year-old Margaret Haskins of Vermont swimming the longest she has ever swum in her life, in 2:22:36. Marty Munson, 50 from New York City placed third in 2:38:08. Winning the prize for the most mature was 67-year-old Bob Aitchesan of West Virginia. Last one back to the barn was Laura Malieswski of Vermont, who won a copy of the recently published book on Memphre by Barbara Mallow, Vermont’s First Lady Dracontologist.

Charlotte Brynn also won the Caspian’s 3-mile swim 1:17:21 from the Hardwick Beach to Bathtub Rock and back with David Uprichard came back from his second place finish in Willoughby to top the men’s field at Caspian with a time of 1:20:50.

Stealing the show and the hearts of the 21 swimmers who showed up for the Crystal Lake rough water swim, was 10-year-old, Vera Rivard of New Hampshire, who completed the 3-mile swim in challenging, wavy conditions in 1:43:42. "Watching Rivard take on one whitecapped wave after another with the quiet determination and confidence of an experienced open water swimmer was the highlight of Swim the Kingdom Week," recalls White.

"The week started in sunny, still, warm conditions on Crystal, Island Pond, and Echo Lakes with air temperatures in the 80’s and water temperatures in the high 60s and low 70s," recalled White. "Everyone swam in the morning and then relaxed in the afternoon. But the weather got feistier starting with the Seymour swim on Tuesday, Massawippi on Wednesday and Memphremagog’s Clubhous/Slash swim on Thursday. There was a nice push through the Willoughby Gap on Saturday. By the time we got to Sunday’s Caspian Swim, the swimmers faced increasing winds, rain on and off, and lowering fall-like air temperatures. It was in the face of these conditions that 10-year-old Vera shown like a beacon."

But speed and distance were really secondary to some of the other shining moments of the week as open water swimmers enjoyed some of the most beautiful and pristine lakes in the Americas, congregated and relaxed together, slowed down to a summertime pace in The Kingdom, and swam. This was only the second year of the full Swim the Kingdom Week. Next year’s “Week” will be run on August 8th through August 16th.

Swim the Kingdom Week 2014 photos are posted here:

* Swim the Kingdom 2014
* Crystal Lake
* Island Pond
* Echo Lake
* Seymour
* Massawippi
* Memphremagog - The Clubhous Slash
* Willoughby
* Caspian

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Anna Olasz Wins BCT Gdynia Marathon In Poland

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Anna Olasz has been busy studying at Arizona State University in America, but when the native Hungarian returned home to Europe for her summer vacation, she was busy as can be.

From winning the BCT Gdynia Marathon to finishing fifth in the 10 km and second in the 25 km at the 32nd LEN European Swimming Championships, Olasz is making the most of her return to Europe.

"Anna was the best of the best," says Paulina Olczyk of the overall victor of the race between the Hel Peninsula and the city of Gdynia in Poland.

"She won the whole race. And I must say we're all proud of Krzysztof Pielowski - he's been competing in our race for 3 years, he took part in every race we had organized, so we're glad he's the one who won in men's category."

The results from Poland's 2014 Results:
1. Anna Olasz (HUN) 4:23:03
2. Krzysztof Pielowski (POL) 4:26:43
3. Hugo Alberto Ribeiro (POR) 4:28:39
4. Christine Jennings (USA) 4:30:40
5. Arkadiusz Osses (POL) 4:30:47
6. Michael Sheil (AUS) 4:35:40
7. Benjamin Konschak (GER) 4:40:28
8. Ines Hahn (GER) 4:48:47
9. Lena Krichner (GER) 4:54:24
DNF Marianna Mello (BRA)
DNF Pedro Mello (BRA)

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

The Mindset Of An Ocean Swimmer

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Many people call themselves an ocean swimmer. They swim for fun or fitness, charity or competition in the world’s oceans.

But no one is in the category of Benjamin Hooper who is truly aspiring to become a true ocean swimmer. An ocean swimmer who plans to swim across the entire Atlantic Ocean.

Hooper plans to swim 2,000 miles from Africa to South America, swimming every single mile of the Atlantic Ocean throughout his traverse from Dakar Harbour in Senegal in western Africa to his expected finish in Natal in northeastern Brazil. HIs unprecedented stage swim will require him to swim up to 12 hours per day – in two sessions.

He will start each session after drifting a bit as he rests, eats and sleeps. It is practically impossible to start each session in the exact location where he exited in the previous swim because of the total amount of fuel required. The amount of drift while Hooper is on the boat will be reduced by using a sea anchor and the boat engine for control. The drift distance will then be added to the swim in order to ensure every single mile across the Atlantic is swum.

"When you look at the fact that we will need an oil tanker full of diesel, it ain't practical. Instead, we will limit drift. We can get it down to a few miles per day or close to zero depending on weather and sea movement. The miles will be swum within the swim, as we will not swim in a straight line and during the doldrums where the sea is flat; we can go back during my sleep so I can get back in. We can calculate potential drifts at this point and use the Doldrums to our advantage to swim the mileage we will lose out the other side as we go down for Brazil."

While the endurance sports community knows all about physical training and the open water swimming world knows all about acclimatization, what Hooper is setting out on is a tremendous psychological burden. His training of his mind is a most intriguing aspect of the Swim The Big Blue. We asked him about his preparations:

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What are you doing to specifically prepare mentally and emotionally?

Benjamin Hooper: Mentally, I am training in a multitude of environments and conditions under the guidance of those who are best equipped to advise on endurance, conditioning and physical fitness for my swim. This gives me confidence and safety mentally, that I can take on this epic challenge. For strategies, goal-setting, I am working more specifically with sports psychologists and counsellors. But like so many world firsts before, there is a lot that remains unknown, and we will not know until the swim is under way. Therefore, positive attitude and reinforcement from my team is not only vital now, but will be across the Atlantic.

Emotionally, this past nine months has been a roller coaster of stress, tears, mental and physical pain, excitement, elation, achievement and pure aggression at points. Not only does the training evoke emotion, but the stress of expedition organisation, being let down, pushing one’s self to the maximum to ensure I am best prepared for the swim, takes its toll. There are days where I question myself, days where I begin to wonder if it is possible. But then, I remember why I am doing this. Yes, for charity and yes, because it has not been done before but emotionally, I can draw on my daughter’s inspiration and that of her friends, the look in their eyes, the children and adults I have already inspired to improve their fitness and healthy eating, or simply trying things they never thought possible. Emotionally, this boosts me and reminds me that nothing is impossible, no matter how hard it gets, no matter how hard the swim becomes, my emotional and resilience preparation is now. Beyond this, I am unsure as to whether emotionally I can prepare myself for what is to come. Especially when we do not really know what is to come.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Do you have family, spouse or children? If so, have you ever been away from them for 3 months before?

Benjamin Hooper: I have a partner and 5-year old daughter, Georgia. They have been beyond incredible in support, inspiration and enthusiasm. Georgia still wants to swim with me across the Atlantic and has just achieved her next swimming qualification. Very early, but I am very proud.

In answer to your question, I have been away from them for extended periods of time, months at a time, and I am sure they would be grateful of the rest to be honest by the time November 2015 arrives. All I do is eat, live, breathe, swim, and train and prepare Swim The Big Blue. As Brock Lesner, WWE superstar, might say: “Eat, Sleep, Train, Swim again…”

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Does the possibility of death or serious injury worry you – or bring a thrill to this adventure?

Benjamin Hooper: Both.

To appreciate we are alive, we must come near to death and experience what it may be to lose all we hold dear, believe we own and possess in our modern lives and I have had both. I came into this expedition with my eyes open. Not only has my understanding from my past employment in the military and police lessened the fear, allowed for greater appreciation of life and how easily it can be lost or taken, but from my childhood and adulthood hero, nominal patron to my expedition, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the greatest living explorer in history and having followed his exploits I can see how death and serious injury can occur, be battled and overcome. If I did not have some fear, worry of death, then I would not be mentally stable.

But, I have already suffered drowning as a child and injuries in adulthood; so no reality check is needed. I believe if I train hard, prepare well and have the best team I can about me, we can reduce risks and minimise the fatality option. Hence why I have constructed not only an excellent training team to ensure I am as prepared as I can be but also putting in place seasoned medics, support crew on the boat and of course my divers, shark experts with experience of distance swims ensures that whilst I am in the water, there is a team to protect me every stroke of the way. My shark team are coming from Key West, Florida headed by Andy Olday, to sail with me. Knowledge cures fears and both my team and I are ensuring that the odds are in my favour as much as possible. We all believe I will make it, not just for me and the charities I support but my daughter Georgia and our sponsors too.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Very few people in the world can imagine the loneliness of open water swimming where so few visual clues are available. How will you deal with doing the equivalent of an English Channel swim every day for 90 days?

Benjamin Hooper: This is a good question and one I think about most days. It links to the mental and emotional game that will play out during the swim. It will be lonely, and I by swimming alone as the likes of Martin Strel did in training, will surely best prepare me for swimming alone. However, during the swim, I will need to be alert for what is beneath me as the shark risk is high, yet constantly being alert will drain resources mentally and physically. In training, I sing songs, listen to music and think about of stories and life. This keeps me company. There will also be elements that creep in from deep sub-conscious which I cannot control, and it is these thoughts, feelings, demons that I will battle alongside the natural elements. I believe there are huge unknown quantities here also, loneliness is something I will encounter and only when on the support boat will I enjoy limited company, and perhaps not feel so alone. This is where the support of my sports psychologist both in training and during the expedition, matters most. The mental preparation and ability to take one hour at a time, not think about the what if’s, keeping negative people and actions away from me during training and the expedition, talking by remote communication during rest to our psychologists, will all contribute to reducing fears and keeping the biggest variable under control, my mental well-being.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: That sort of self-induced isolation is probably only equivalent to explorers walking to the North or South Poles. How does one psychologically prepare for that?

Benjamin Hooper: I am working closely with my support team in understanding the physical, ocean, and myself. Psychological strategies are being discussed but as I know from past experience of lone, long-distance, songs in your ears or head, keep me going. I also have to accept psychologically that the risks are there, isolation is a given and that nobody knows what the outcome will be: mentally or physically. As I said previously, we can draw on psychology supports now, during the swim and the support crew as a whole will play a part in ensuring my success physically and mentally.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What have you done in your life that will help you in this attempt?

Benjamin Hooper: I have always swum. It’s funny in some ways, drowning when I lived in Belgium as a child and been brought back to life on the pool side, had the opposite effect. It only made me more determined to swim and although I am not a professional swimmer, I’ve never competed for GB or county level, I have always swum. Long-distance 10 km, triathlon and some charity swims too. My affinity with the sea continued with PADI scuba and free-diving too, all of which helps with confidence and understanding in what is to come. My resilience and mental strength from service with the military and police, will also support me during training and the swim itself. In these roles, endurance, mental resilience and the ability to adapt to new circumstances and calmly in emergency, all come to help me at this point now and the swim expedition.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Lastly, the need to be extroverted and exploit your ability to market and promote this event seems in contrast to the fundamental introverted nature of marathon swimmers. How do you balance that ying-and-yang in your personality?

Benjamin Hooper: The bottom line is I don’t. I am who I am, and I love talking to members of my community and the public in general whether it be corporations or charities, children or members of my training facilities. I am a little extrovert, but I also enjoy the solitude and introversion that comes with swimming. Like most things in life, it is not black and white, the ying and yang flow like a river, entwined and always going forwards and I adapt to the situation I find myself in at any given time. This is also where it is key to have a team with mixed strengths, experience and attitudes. Medics will offer support physically; psychology and physiotherapy will aide mentally and emotionally, and the sailing crew including a friend of mine John Rogers, will certainly bring different motivations, viewpoints and considerations to the expedition.

All of which will see me overcome the challenges daily and succeed in this epic swim. Most important of all, is that I stay true to myself: Every single mile will be swum – nothing is impossible.

Benjamin Hooper's Swim The Big Blue will be broadcast in its entirely on SmackDab by Doug Stanley and the crew from Ridgeline Entertainment.

For more information, visit here.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Multiple Sclerosis Is No Barrier To A Brave New World

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

49-year-old Susan Simmons was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis nearly 20 years ago.

She took to swimming nine years ago to help manage the disease. It has been a long journey, but an extraordinarily interesting one.

When she first started swimming, 20 laps of the pool led to 2- to 3-hour naps. But she continued to build herself up and kept on swimming.

Three years ago, she swam with an all-women's relay team across the Strait of Georgia. Two years ago, she swam 10 km solo from West Vancouver to Kitsilano Beach in the Vancouver Open Water Swimming Association's Bay Challenge. Last year, she swam 34 km across Cowichan Lake and also participated in an English Channel relay late July.

She continues to escalate her swims and expand her dreams to unprecedented levels.

On August 22nd, Simmons is pioneering a marathon swim together with her swimming partner, Alex Cape. They will set off on a two-way crossing of 70 km across Cowichan Lake in British Columbia, Canada.

The Canadian pair will start at 2 pm and plan to complete the double crossing in less than 30 hours.

Simmons and Cape will swim unassisted from Lakeview Park to Heather Campground. They plan to turn around, without stopping, and swim back, probably becoming members of the 24-hour Club by the end of the swim. There are fewer than 10 swimmers on record who have swum a distance greater than 70 km in a lake unassisted.

"A lot of preparation has gone into the swim," says Simmons.

"It's a significant undertaking. There are over 65 volunteers, a fleet of motorized boats, and a flotilla of kayaks and canoes. Len Martel, our logistic guru, has been organizing escorts and safety crew into manageable shifts in order to keep things as safe as possible."

Cape and Simmons started focusing on long distance training back in October 2013 under the direction of their coach Danielle Brault with the Victoria Masters Swim Club. The two have swum between 1,500 and 2,000 km as part of their preparation including long training swims around Thetis Lake.

Eating will be key,” predicts Simmons. “We need to be able to sustain our energy levels to keep us moving and warm. We will be stopping to fuel-up every 30 minutes throughout the swim – that’s about 50 snacks. It’s been a challenge finding the right food and the right portions. After a certain point it’s easy to not want to eat or worse, get sick."

Their 70 km swim route will take them along the south shore of Cowichan Lake. The pair will be joined by Lauren Westmacott and Carol Pal who also has MS. The two support swimmers will swim with them for the first 10 km, rest overnight, and then join them on their way back for the last 10 km.

Several members of the Victoria Masters Swim Club who will also jump in to the lake with the women throughout the swim. "Heading out for a workout in the lake with a group of swimmers makes me so happy," says Cape. "I love that we are all together, enjoying this beautiful lake. It's such a refreshing change from the pool."

The rest of the night will be quiet adventure of endurance with just the two of them swimming down the lake escorted by their kayakers and safety boat throughout the night. “I’m excited and a bit afraid at the same time,” says Simmons. “I’m not afraid to swim in the dark, and I trust my crew to guide me. I am, however, concerned about the cold. The lake gets colder as you swim toward Heather, and the air will get colder as darkness sets in. I am worried the cold will set-in. We have no way to warm ourselves until the sun is out the next day.”

Cape and Simmons plan to reach the halfway mark at Heather Campground by 3 am. At that point, they will turn around without touching the bottom or exiting the lake, and start making their way back. Simmons’ English Channel relay teammates Jim Close and Bill Burton will join them for a few kilometers, supporting them during the coldest part of the swim.

The two women will be on their own again for the next 20 kilometers as they head back toward Gordon Bay and, eventually, Lakeview Park. Cape has been studying the map, breaking it down into sections, to visualize her progress along the lake. "I am already thinking ahead to this part of the swim. I have been telling myself that it will feel really reassuring to be heading back towards the finish line. We will recognize points, and will hopefully feel good to be on the home stretch."

Members of the local swim and triathlon communities will join them for the last 10, 5, and 2 km. A dozen or more swimmers will swim the last 2 kilometers with the women, including members of Victoria’s Special Olympic Swim team, a club Simmons helps coach.

34-year-old Cape has been swimming since 1991 where she started as a newbie. She played water polo while studying at university, which is where she was first introduced to masters swimming. In her travels with work in the military, Cape has swum in pools all over Canada over the past two decades. “Swimming is often the most normalizing part of my day, as it offers a whole-body work out in a quiet and calming environment.”

Both Cape and Simmons have created a large groundswell of support that has followed them to the water. During their training sessions on Thetis Lake, swimmers often jump in and join them for a loop, and an ever-growing list of paddlers have been offering to join in as supporters. The number of friends who want to jump in the water and swim alongside them at various points continues to grow.

To learn more, visit here and here.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Monday, August 18, 2014

Netherlands And Italy Top Nations In Open Water Europe

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The Netherlands finished with the most gold medals and Germany claimed the most overall medals in the open water swimming events at the 32nd LEN European Swimming Championships. Italy scored the most points after the 5 km solo, 5 km team pursuit, 10 km and 25 km marathon swims.

Overall Medal Standings:
1. Netherlands (4): 3 gold, 1 silver
2. Germany (6): 1 gold, 2 silver, 3 bronze
3. Italy (3): 1 gold, 2 bronze
4. Great Britain and France (1): 1 gold
6. Hungary (3): 2 silver, 1 bronze
7. Greece (1): 1 silver
8. Spain and Russia (1) 1 bronze

Top 5 Open Water Point Standings:
1. Italy - 174 points
2. Germany - 159
3. Russia - 128
4. Hungary - 107
5. Netherlands - 88

Women's 5 km race results:
1. Isabelle Härle (GER) 57:55.7
2. Sharon Van Rowendaal (NED) 58:29.9
3. Mireia Belmonte Garcia (ESP) 58:41.4
4. Eva Risztov (HUN) 58:48.7
5. Rachele Bruni (ITA) 58:56.3
6. Kalliopi Araouzou (GRE) 59:37.2
7. Mariia Novikova (RUS) 59:50.5
8. Erika Villaecija Garcia (ESP) 1:00:06.4
9. Patricia Wartenberg (GER) 1:00:08.4
10. Finnia Wurnram (GER) 1:00:19.9
11. Nikolett Szilagyi (HUN) 1:00:46.9
12. Isabella Sinisi (ITA) 1:00:48.9
13. Anastasiia Krapivina (RUS) 1:01:02.7
14. Elizaveta Gorshkova (RUS) 1:01:12.1
15. Julie Berthier (FRA) 1:01:13.8
16. Alice Dearing (GBR) 1:01:50.9
17. Giorgia Consiglio (ITA) 1:01:52.0
18. Jana Pechanova (CZE) 1:02:10.8
19. Lucinda Campbell (GBR) 1:03:12.9
20. Luisa Morales Gil (ESP) 1:03:26.6
21. Kseniya Skrypel (UKR) 1:03:30.3
22. Barbora Pickova (CZE) 1:05:33.1

Men's 5 km race results:
1. Daniel Fogg (GBR) 53:41.4
2. Rob Muffels (GER) 54:01.8
3. Thomas Lurz (GER) 54:02.6
4. Simone Ercoli (ITA) 54:12.3
5. Soren Meissner (GER) 54:19.2
6. Nicola Bolzonello (ITA) 54:33.9
7. Kirill Abrosimov (RUS) 54:34.9
8. Romain Beraud (FRA) 54:43.9
9. Luca Ferretti (ITA) 54:58.3
10. Antonios Fokaidis (GRE) 55:08.0
11. Patrik Rakos (HUN) 55:19.2
12. Artem Podyakov (RUS) 55:59.1
13. Ventsislav Aydarski (BUL) 55:59.6
14. Matthias Schweizer (AUT) 56:10.1
15. Mark Papp (HUN) 56:21.2
16. Antonio Arroyo Perez (ESP) 56:29.3
17. Jan Posmourny (CZE) 57:00.8
18. Anton Evsikov (RUS) 57:02.9
19. Thomas Liess (SUI) 57:26.3
20. Mark Deans (GBR) 57:28.5
21. Kyrylo Shvets (UKR) 57:54.0
22. Danylo Sereda (UKR) 58:26.4
23. Jakub Tobias (CZE) 58:37.3
24. Daniel Szekelyi (HUN) 59:46.7
DSQ Pal Joensen (FAR)
DSQ Marc-Antoine Olivier (FRA)

5 km team pursuit results:
1. Netherlands: 27:59.9 + 27:47.9 = 55:47.8
2. Greece: 28:01.8 + 28:03.7 = 56:05.5
3. Germany: 28:03.3 + 28:11.5 = 56:14.8
4. Hungary: 28:17.5 + 27:58.5 = 56:16.0
5. Italy: 28:16.2 + 28:04.7 = 56:20.9
6. France: 28:26.9 + 28:12.9 = 56:39.8
7. Great Britain: 29:21.2 + 28:45.3 = 58:06.5
8. Russia: 29:34.5 + 29:32.6 = 59:07.1
9. Poland: 29:35.4 + 29:47.8 = 59:23.2

Women's 10 km race results:
1. Sharon Van Rouwendaal (NED) 1:56:06.9
2. Eva Risztov (HUN) 1:56:08.0
3. Aurora Ponsele (ITA) 1:56:08.5
4. Aurelie Muller (FRA) 1:56:09.2
5. Anna Olasz (HUN) 1:56:10.7
6. Rachele Bruni (ITA) 1:56:11.9
7. Erika VIllaecija Garcia (ESP) 1:56:14.7
8. Kalliopi Araouzou (GRE) 1:56:16.1
9. Coralie Codevelle (FRA) 1:56:18.3
10. Martina Grimaldi (ITA) 1:56:21.9
11. Anastasiia Krapivina (RUS) 2:00:36.8
12. Elizaveta Gorshkova (RUS) 2:00:39.0
13. Angela Maurer (GER) 2:00:40.4
14. Finnia Wunram (GER) 2:00:41.2
15. Nikolett Szilagyi (HUN) 2:00:45.8
16. Angelica Andre (POR) 2:00:47.6
17. Svenja Zihsler (GER) 2:00:48.6
18. Maria Dominguez Cabezas (ESP) 2:00:53.1
19. Anastasia Azarova (RUS) 2:02:02.8
20. Luisa Maria Morales Gil (ESP) 2:02:52.8
21. Danielle Huskisson (GBR) 2:03:01.9
22. Karla Sitic (CRO) 2:03:03.4
23. Morgane Rothon (FRA) 2:03:53.7
24. Silvie Rybarova (CZE) 2:03:57.5
25. Kseniya Skrypel (UKR) 2:04:02.6
26. Lauren Walton (GBR) 2:04:55.6
27. Barbora Pickova (CZE) 2:06:55.4
28. Lenka Sterbova (CZE) 2:10:49.4
DNF Joanna Zachoszcz (POL)
DNF Natalia Charlos (POL)

Men's 10 km race results:
1. Ferry Weertman (NED) 1:49:56.2
2. Thomas Lurz (GER) 1:49:59.0
3. Evgenii Drattcev (RUS) 1:50:00.6
4. Federico Vanelli (ITA) 1:50:02.3
5. Matteo Furland (ITA) 1:50:03.8
6. Jack Burnell (GBR) 1:50:04.1
7. Kirill Abrosimov (RUS) 1:50:05.1
8. Spyridon Gianniotis (GRE) 1:50:05.1
9. Axel Reymond (FRA) 1:50:07.6
10. Gergely Gyurta (HUN) 1:50:08.0
11. Christian Reichert (GER) 1:50:09.4
12. Antonios Fokaidis (GRE) 1:50:10.1
13. Romain Beraud (FRA) 1:50:11.6
14. Thomas Allen (GBR) 1:50:12.5
15. Simone Ruffini (ITA) 1:50:12.8
16. Christopher Bryan (IRL) 1:50:13.4
17. Mark Papp (HUN) 1:50:14.3
18. Marcel Schouten (NED) 1:50:14.6
19. Igor Chervynskiy (UKR) 1:50:14.6
20. Andreas Waschburger (GER) 1:50:39.9
21. Igor Snitko (UKR) 1:50:40.1
22. Ventsislav Aydarski (BUL) 1:50:44.9
23. Mateusz Sawrymowicz (POL) 1:50:45.9
24. Caleb Hughes (GBR) 1:50:56.7
25. Volodymyr Voronko (UKR) 1:51:55.9
26. Patrik Rakos (HUN) 1:52:01.2
27. Matthias Schweizer (AUT) 1:52:02.5
28. Damien Cattin-Vidal (FRA) 1:52:12.1
29. Daniil Serebrennikov (RUS) 1:52:12.3
30. Shahar Resman (ISR) 1:52:16.0
31. Jan Urbaniak (POL) 1:53:25.0
32. Vasco Gaspar (POR) 1:53:32.7
33. Yuval Safra (ISR) 1:53:51.8
34. Karel Baloun (CZE) 1:53:57.8
1 35. Vit Ingeduld (CZE) 1:58:32.8
36. Georgios Arniakos (GRE) 1:58:59.1
37. Antonio Arroyo Perez (ESP) 2:02:59.7
DNF Thomas Liess (SUI)
DNF Jan Kutnik (CZE)

Women's 25 km race results:
1. Martina Grimaldi (ITA) 5:19:14.1
2. Anna Olasz (HUN) 5:19:21.0
3. Angela Maurer (GER) 5:19:21.4
4. Olga Kozydub (RUS) 5:19:32.5
5. Margarita Dominguez Cabezas (ESP) 5:19:44.3
6. Ilaria Raimondi (ITA) 5:19:45.7
7. Alice Franco (ITA) 5:20:23.0
8. Karla Šitić (CRO) 5:24:32.7
9. Silvie Rybárová (CZE) 5:24:42.1
10. Aleksandra Sokolova (RUS) 5:26:11.0
11. Angelica Andre (POR) 5:29:21.4
12. Svenja Zihsler (GER) 5:29:39.9
13. Lenka Sterbova (CZE) 5:35:29.4
DNF Finnia Wunram (GER)
DNF Nikolett Szilagyi (HUN)

Men's 25 km race results:
1. Axel Reymond (FRA) 4:59:18.8
2. Evgenii Drattcev (RUS) 4:59:31
3. Edoardo Stochino (ITA) 5:08:51.0
4. Andreas Waschburger (GER) 5:08:52.6
5. Mario Sanzullo (ITA) 5:09:02.8
6. Alexander Studzinski (GER) 5:09:42.6
7. Yuval Safra (ISR) 5:10:09.6
8. Marcel Schouten (NED) 5:10:48.4
9. Christopher Bryan (IRL) 5:12:40.1
10. Valerio Cleri (ITA) 5:12:53.5
11. Shahar Resman (ISR) 5:14:14.7
12. Jan Posmourny (CZE) 5:22:36.2
13. Vit Ingeduld (CZE) 5:24:57.5
14. Georgios Arniakos (GRE) 5:25:45.9
DNF Marin Milan (CRO)
DNF Karel Baloun (CZE)
DNF Daniel Szekelyi (HUN)
DSQ Christian Reichert (GER)

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Marco Allegretti Leads International Field Across Lake Zurich

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

One of the world's most classic marathon swims, the International Self-Transcendence Marathon-Schwimmen is organised by the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team Switzerland. The 27th event saw nearly ideal conditions on August 10th where Allegretti Marco of Italy set a new masters record in 6 hours 19 minutes.

From the the lido in Rapperswil, the soloists and relays headed across the lake. By noon, the sun came out and the air temperature climbed up to 27°C. Around the halfway point at Meilen, the conditions became a bit choppy for a while before calming down again and becoming downright peaceful.

With water temperatures at a comfortable 21-22°C, swimmers did very well. Out of 40 soloists and 21 relay teams representing 15 nationalities, only 3 swimmers and 1 relay did not complete the 26.4 km swim within the slightly extended time limit of 12 hours.

First to touch the finish line in Zurich was Allegretti who broke the record of Jürg Schmid set in 2008. Rachael Lee from Dublin, Ireland was his female counterpart on top of the podium with a time of 7 hours 2 minutes.

The top places for the open relays were dominated by the female gender. In the wetsuit category, the 3-girl Young, Fast and Furious relay from the Limmat Sharks, Switzerland placed first overall in 6 hours 59 minutes. The young girls were only 12, 13 and 14 years of age respectively. Among the non-wetsuit relays, the 2-person Minion Mermaid team from the Chalkwell Redcaps/Great Britain won in 7 hours 58 minutes.

Men's non-wetsuit (16 to 39 years) results:
1. Alex Stoyel (GBR) 6 hours 36 minutes
2. Dion Harrison (GBR) 6 hours 56 minutes
3. William Ellis (GBR) 7 hours 4 minutes
4. Timothy Donovan (AUS) 8 hours 37 minutes
5. Theodosis Charalampos (GRE) 9 hours 0 minutes
6. Roger Rüttimann (SUI) 10 hours 42 minutes
DNF Dino Sarpi (ITA)

Men's masters non-wetsuit (over 40) results:
1. Marco Allegretti (ITA) 6 hours 19 minutes
2. Trevor Malone (IRL) 7 hours 30 minutes
3. Graeme Schlachter (GBR) 8 hours 20 minutes
4. Mäx Beer (AUT) 8 hours 23 minutes
5. Kenneth Rodgers (IRL) 8 hours 39 minutes
6. Simon Lee (GBR) 8 hours 39 minutes
7. Pavel Dagorov (SUI) 8 hours 47 minutes
8. Huseyin Dermis (GBR/TUR) 8 hours 51 minutes
9. Rudolf Maurer (SUI) 9 hours 41 minutes
10. Patrick Cray (GBR) 10 hours 25 minutes
11. Clive Smith (GBR) 10 hours 33 minutes
12. Stephen Payne (AUS) 11 hours 37 minutes
DNF Jörg Büttner (GER)

Men's wetsuit (16 to 39 years) results:
1. André Le Guin (GER) 10 hours 45 minutes

Men's masters wetsuit (over 40) results:
1. Yggve Richter (GER) 9 hours 16 minutes
2. Peter Tomasek (SUI) 9 hours 20 minutes
3. Pataka Spacek (CZE) 9 hours 25 minutes
4. Dirk Rönsch (GER) 11 hours 22 minutes

Women's non-wetsuit (16 to 39 years) results:
1. Rachael Lee (IRL) 7 hours 2 minutes
2. Nathalie Pohl (GER) 7 hours 43 minutes
3. Katrin Walter (GER) 8 hours 15 minutes
4. Abhejali Bernardova (CZE) 8 hours 57 minutes
5. Kristy McIntyre (AUS) 10 hours 5 minutes
6. Alice Hubbard (GBR) 10 hours 56 minutes
7. Sigrid Stangl (AUT) 12 hours 3 minutes

Women's masters non-wetsuit (over 40) results:
1. Tasha Morey (GBR) 7 hours 57 minutes
2. Sydne Didier (USA) 9 hours 10 minutes
3. Kate Steels-Fryatt (GBR) 9 hours 11 minutes
4. Caroline Muggridge (GBR) 10 hours 40 minutes
DNF Andrea Hawkins (GBR) 20.5 km in 10 hours

Women's wetsuit (16 to 39 years) results:
1. Danica Kowalewski (GER) 10 hours 40 minutes

Women's masters wetsuit (over 40) results:
1. Barbara Atzmüller (AUT) 9 hours 2 minutes
2. Marianne Küffner (SUI) 10 hours 24 minutes

Photos of the event are posted here.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

When Two Minds Become One

Photo of Anna-Carin Nordin and escort pilot Brian Meharg discussing a crossing of the North Channel where she achieved the Oceans Seven.

When a swimmer and pilot get together, they become two individuals with a profound understanding and appreciation of what can happen out in the open water. But at the end of the day, the swimmer is tied to the experience, decisions and know-how of the pilot (or kayaker). If the pilot goes left, the swimmer shifts left. If the pilot goes right, the swimmer moves in tandem.

It is the embodiment of when two become literally one on the high seas.

Photo courtesy of Nuala Moore.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

What Is Beyond The Next Wave?

You never know unless you venture past the shoreline.

Photo courtesy of Bruckner Chase, Ocean City Swim Club, somewhere along the south Jersey shore.

Hands Up To Round The Rock

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The Irish Long Distance Swimming Association with Camlough Lake Water Festival hosted the 1.5K 'Round the Rock' sea swim in late June in Warrenpoint Co. Down.

"There was sunshine on shore, but a cool offshore breeze, choppy waters and a tepid 17ºC water temperature met almost 100 swimmers for the event that is among many exciting and challenging swims on the 2014 open water swimming calendar," reported Jacqueline Galway. "Thanks to the water safety team - boat crew - lifeguards - kayakers, registration team, support crews, The Whistledown Hotel, and to all for their support."

The results:

Wetsuit Male:
1 John Callaghan 16.65
2 Niall McCarron 19.12
3 Kevin Magill 19.13

Wetsuit Female:
1 Oonagh Garry 19.09
2 Maria Byrne 20.44
3 Daisy McIlheron 21.23

Skins Male:
1 Keith Garry 17.28
2 Ronan McClean 19.38
3 Mark Judge 19.58

Skins Female:
1 Aoiffe Lynch 20.20
2 Carmen Marquez 24.30
3 Mary Bradley 26.35

For more information, visit www.clwf.eu.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Rough Water Training: Coastal Challenge Workouts

Coastal challenge workout courtesy of WOWSA in Huntington Beach, California

Some swimmers get seasick in rough water conditions. Some swimmers swallow water when the water gets bumpy. Turbulence, waves, swells and surface chop can wreck havoc on a swimmer, especially when they are not acclimated to difficult conditions.

When they practice in a pool and in calm conditions in lakes, they get accustomed to swimming in tranquility.

But every now and then in order to practice what ocean swimmers or channel swimmers may face in the worse-case scenario during races or solo swims, difficult rough water workouts can and should be attempted. These coastal challenge workouts are not easy by any means. These types of workouts are definitely not for beginners and live up to their name. These training sessions are only for the most seasoned swimmers who are accustomed to dealing with ocean waves and who are training with their most experienced swim buddies.

The coastal challenge workouts ask swimmers to train along a long stretch of beach where the surf is constant and where there is no reef, rocks or jetties where injuries may occur. Swimmers can swim inside the surf line or right alongside the line of whitewater and foam-crested waves breaking near the shoreline. so they are in a position to be constantly battered by the crashing surf and whitewater. With waves relentlessly coming at them every 5-10 seconds, the swimmers must always be on high alert. Their focus must be constant and their attention to the dynamics of the ocean becomes necessarily concentrated like never before.

Laura Hamel of Sarasota YMCA Sharks Masters Swimming says, "There's something thrilling and magical about being tossed around by huge waves. Your body learns to move in rhythm with the water. Even if the surf is disorganized, you can learn to feel what's coming and adjust your stroke and breathing to accommodate it."

Under these conditions, as Hamel says, swimmers can gain valuable experience in the roughest and most difficult of sea conditions. They necessarily develop breathing patterns that become in unison with the dynamics of the ocean. They might swallow a bit of water every now and then - or get surprised by a random wave or whitewater, but the practice is invaluable and pays off dividends.

Bruckner Chase agrees, "We live for this kind of [rough] stuff. You should see some of the stuff our guards go out into for our training sessions offshore. We also have a names for these sessions: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday."

Whether it is coach Pam Lazzarotto in Sauble Beach on Lake Huron in Canada [part of its 12 miles of white sand and sandbars are shown above] or Theodore Yach getting 'shmangled' during his pod's weekly workouts on Clifton 4th beach near Cape Town, South Africa, experienced swimmers frequently know that dealing in rough conditions during practice makes tough swims more bearable on race day.

The video above from coaches of the World Open Water Swimming Association gives some hints, visuals and information on these difficult coastal challenge workouts.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Big Hairy Audacious Goals Accomplished In 24 Hours

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

13-year-old Abi Tripp, 17-year-old Nick Streicher, 17-year-old Michelle Sempowski, 17-year-old Natasha Dobson, 18-year-old Harley Bolton, 21-year-old Natalie Lambert, 23-year-old Jenna Lambert, and 53-year-old Vicki Keith have anxiously awaited the day when they could set off on their relay attempt to swim 305 km from west to east lengthwise across Lake Ontario.

But their planned The Great Lake Adventure had been postponed since July. The weather was bad. Then the lake water temperatures started to drop significantly.

Coach Keith was beside herself in trying to salvage a lot of training as the window of opportunity was quickly closing on the octet from the Kingston YMCA in Ontario, Canada. She did not want to dash dreams; she wanted to help realize them.

The plans for a lengthwise crossing of Lake Ontario were substituted by a safer, closer-to-shore course. The team included 4 disabled swimmers and 5 teenagers so safety was paramount. But safety was also counterbalanced by the deep passion and desire each of the relay members to attempt something audacious. "Big hairy audacious goals," described Coach Keith who herself was going to swim 3-hour legs every 24 hours as part of the team.

The team started at 10 am on Saturday on their big hairy audacious goal.

But like their problems on land with the weather and conditions, their unfortunate luck continued on the water. "The swimmers are doing well," explained Keith in the middle of their first day on the lake. "But we are having boat issues. If we don't solve them by 5:00 tonight, we are going to have to abort the swim. We have a second boat arriving tomorrow."

Tomorrow came, but so remained the mechanical failures. "It wasn't safe to continue, so we aborted the swim after 24 hours and 65 km. It was an amazing effort in wavy, cold, tough conditions."

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Swimmers Explain What To Do During A Shark Encounter

Photo shows flesh wounds of Steven Robles after a shark encounter along Manhattan Beach in Southern California.

We asked, "If a shark is seen during a training swim by a pod of swimmers, what do ocean swimmers normally do? What should they do? What is the best advice?

If a pod of swimmers are training together along the coast in close proximity to one another, what should they all do when a shark is sighted: stop or scream or scramble or swim (fast, slowly, calmly together)? In contrast, if the swimmers are swimming in the same general direction, but spread out over a wide area (e.g., over 100 meters apart), what should they do?

What reaction makes sense? What precautions are advisable?

In some channel swims (e.g., Cook Strait), swimmers are given the option to get on the boat for 10 minutes as a standard, acceptable safety precaution. In other channel swims (e.g., Molokai or Maui Channel), swimmers simply carry on as the crew stays alert and the swimmer swims close(r) to the boat.

But what happens - or should happen - during training swims, either solo or in groups, especially when there are no escorts available?

Experienced ocean swimmers explain their advice and reactions regarding real-life shark encounters below:

Lynn Kubasek recalls, "I was a Huntington Beach Junior Lifeguard Captain in the summer of 1975. The thought of sharks didn't enter into my thought processes at all. I was a pretty mediocre swimmer and I did my first Huntington Beach Pier swim time in 18 minutes - that was the summer of [the movie] JAWS. After I saw that movie, my next pier swim time was 15 minutes. Oh dear...the water is not so clear and the white bubbles emanating off my hands could be the flashing pearly-whites of the man-in-the-grey-suit. Fear is a great motivator.

That movie effected me for many years after, though it did not stop me from enjoying the ocean. I read Devil's Teeth after our Farallones Relay in 2011 and would still do it again. We are not on the menu. I like to think that Patchouli and Lavender and bikinis are a shark deterrent as well. It has worked so far. [Sharks are] fish-eaters. Don't worry about it.

Carol Hayden agrees, "Sharks are everywhere all of the time. I have seen many. I never am scared, just watchful for behavior. Don't worry. They are not interested in you."

Cherie Edborg recalls her experience, "I saw one juvenile [shark] one time and it was gone before I could put my head back into the water after telling Patsee and Marc something was down there. Then I proceeded to swim as fast as I possibly could to shore. Lisa saw one a couple weeks before that and she grouped up with her boyfriend amd swam into shore.

I honestly cant say I would know what I would do if there was a real threat. Swimming Shaws is a little more complicated because we aren't swimming just along the shoreline. I would like to think I wouldn't be freaked out enough that I would be able to attempt to warn anyone near me and then swim to the safest spot into shore

Scott Zornig talks of studies conducted in Australia and the Discovery Channel. "The Discovery Channel stuffed some dummies with chum and put one dummy in black and the other one in something flesh colored. They actually installed robotics in the dummy so they actually moved like a swimmer. The shark went after the black wetsuit each time. The studies done in Australia are yielding similar results.

Look at all the attacks which have taken place in California. I think with the exception of Steven Robles, almost every swimmer was wearing a black wetsuit. Steve's attack has to be completely discounted because of the illegal provoking of the shark. I am not saying that sharks don't attack people without wetsuits because they do, it is just mistaken identity in these cases (i.e., surf, cloudy water, etc.)

The bottom line is that swimmers should distance themselves from seals in both proximity and attire. A swimmer should not swim alone either. My guess is that a person can go in to a case of shock even with the minor attacks and your swim pal could be the difference between life and death."

Julian Rusinek chips in his own personal experiences, "A few years ago I was night swimming around Pismo Beach [California] and was confronted with a very large shark fin silhouette against the moon a few yards away. I was a good 500 yards offshore and knew if I sounded like a panicked seal I would be attacked so I calmly, (but quickly), swam to shore.

Speaking to shark experts over the years, they have come to realize that sharks do scavenge the ocean seeking out easy prey. Injured fish or dead whale carcasses seem to be first on the menu. Studies on swimmers that wear fins give off the "injured fish" sounds that do attract sharks.

The ORCA system [Ocean Recreation Comfort Apparatus] seems to be the new product out there that may be the answer, along with the anti-shark patterned swim suit. This duo is probably the best shark deterrent if you train in shark populated waters

Scott Zornig agrees, "I ordered an [ORCA] not because I am scared of sharks. The white noise is soothing and actually helps me sleep. Right, I am terrified of sharks and would have ordered one for each limb, but the makers told me 1 unit covers the same 130' distance that 4 would. They said I would be wasting my money if I bought 4."

Nan Kappeler, a former competitive swimmer, triathlete and lifeguard, recalls a story she wrote on shark attacks. "The Shark Research Committee, a non-profit scientific research group who documents shark attacks on the Pacific Coast of North America reports only six swimming fatalities since 1952 along the entire coastline of California. But suddenly, the possibility of a shark lurking in the waters near us—is very real.

California State University Long Beach marine biology professor and shark specialist Dr. Chris Lowe said he was surprised to hear of the recent shark attack, especially one that resulted in a fatality. “Humans are not the number one item on a sharks menu and generally don’t come close to shore,” said Lowe. But coupled with the increase of people in the water, and sharks being found closer to shore, Lowe predicts we will see more shark attacks.

Even though many theories exist as to why sharks attack people, Lowe said we really don’t know the answer. “Mistaken id is one theory, but this probably isn’t the only reason for an attack. Why would a shark expend the energy to bite and not come back?” he said. “They may think of us as food, but some may be biting for defensive reasons. We may be invading their territory. The fact is, we really don’t know what a shark is thinking.”

The experts do know that sharks see very well, and see colors, but also depend on other senses such as smell and vibration. “We don’t know how well a shark can see in the marine environment, where the conditions can change quickly from clear to cloudy.” And the chances of a shark mistaking a swimmer in a wetsuit for a seal? “Very little,” said Lowe. “We have no evidence to support the theory that more people wearing wetsuits get bit. People in Florida getting bit aren’t wearing wetsuits

Rusinek hints at the old open water swimming mantra, Expect the Unexpected, "We all think about a shark coming up behind us and picking off a leg or two. Its just natural. Kind of like being alone in the carpool lane and waiting for a Highway Patrol officer to catch you. It might just happen."

Thomas Hale has a similar perspective, "An old business colleague of mine flew a jet in the Vietnam War. To deal with the threat of death from being shot down, he just subscribed to the Golden BB Theory when its time, there is nothing in the world that will stop it from happening. If it is not your time, not a thing in the world can hurt you. That one Golden BB is all you have to watch out for and it's said you will never even see it coming if it is, so go like Hell in the meantime."

Linda Kaiser from Hawaii who has seen numerous sharks in her time in the ocean says, "Just because a shark is seen does not mean it will bite. Sharks are curious and will want to check out what is in their territory. Most times, they will circle and then leave. Seeing a shark is a privilege and rare. Face the shark. If it does become aggressive, charge it and never swim in the open water alone."

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Tandem Swim Completes Triple Crown For Two Veterans

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California: an update to the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming:

There were a lot of decades of swimming and open water experience when Marcy MacDonald and Scott Lautman jointly took off on their last leg of the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming last year in June. If there was anything like a guarantee in channel swimming, it was when these two veterans jumped in the inky black waters off Catalina Island to begin their tandem swim.

The veterans completed their Catalina Channel crossing in June 2013 in 12 hours 9 minutes. While they were swimming from Catalina Island to the California mainland, they stopped while a pod of dolphins swam around them and their escort boat.

MacDonald has completed 15 English Channel crossings and 5 Manhattan Island Marathon Swims. She started off in 1993 with the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim and in the English Channel in 1994 - and has not slowed down one bit.

Lautman completed his Manhattan Island Marathon Swim and the English Channel both in 2000 and was 60 years 7 months old when he completed the Catalina Channel last year with MacDonald.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Dan Robinson Does Triple Crown Of Open Water Swimming

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Daniel Robinson is an American open water swimmer from Seattle, Washington completed the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming with his second Half Century Club crossing.

Robinson started off his Triple Crown campaign with a Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in 2006 and followed it up with a crossing of the Catalina Channel at the age of 51 in 9 hours 28 minutes from Catalina Island to the California mainland in 2008. He completed his Triple Crown under the escort of Michael Oram at the age of 56 years when he crossed the English Channel in 11 hours 59 minutes this July.

Robinson tells of his adventure in the English Channel first-hand, "Sunday morning, as my wife and kids were figuring out where to go sightseeing, I got a message to call Mike Oram, my pilot. I called Mike. He advised me that I should go Sunday afternoon instead of Monday morning, because the weather looked better from 4 pm to 4 am than after 4 am Monday. When he asked if I wanted to go in the afternoon, I said yes and suddenly two and half years of preparations came down to 5 hours to go. We were at the dock at 3 pm and at 4 pm I jumped into the water and swam out to Shakespeare Beach. I began my swim with started 40 years earlier as a teenage belief that I could swim the English Channel and from a conversation with Scott Lautman 11 years earlier that I was not too old to make the swim.

The swim started. There wasn’t a lot of chop, but enough that it made breathing difficult and my low left arm recovery was hitting the water. At 2 hours into the swim, my throat ached, my back was aching and my left shoulder was hurting. At that point, I wondered if I could keep going for another 10-12 hours. I never mentioned this to my crew, wife and kids, or Mike. I decided it would be too embarrassing to stop after 2 or 3 hours. I decided to just swim from feeding to feeding and hope it gets better. Mike was correct about the weather and the water calmed down. After 3 or 4 hours, I was able to swim my normal stroke and get into a rhythm.

About the middle of the channel, we ran into some jellyfish and I was stung a couple of times. The stings actually distracted me from my other aches and pains and were not a problem.

Sunset came and the sun dropped below the clouds and was a red ball to the north. At this point, my body was in autopilot and I kept swimming to the next feeding. When it got dark, Mike turned a spot light on me and at first it was irritating and blinding. After a while, it became my friend and the light became my connection to the boat. In the night, we saw the lights of 3 French cities, ferry boats and cruise ships. The city lights gave me the feeling that I could finish the swim. Soon we were moving away from the city light as the tide pushed me to the west. At that point, I decided to swim till dawn and I hoped I’d be done by then.

Around 2:30 to 3 am, Mike made a course correction and I knew we were close to the finish. 1 mile out, Mike told me it was a mile away and I was relieved. But it was the longest mile. I must have taken an hour to swim the last mile. When the boat stopped 100 yards in front of the beach, I veered to my left and soon I was swimming away from the beach. Mike swung the boat into my path to get my attention. He explained, I was swimming away from the beach and there was 150 yards left to swim. I was to follow the boat till it stopped 100 yards away from the beach and then follow a spot light to the beach. It was an hour and half before dawn and very dark. This time I followed the boat and the light to the beach finishing my Channel swim.

At 56 years old, Scott was right: I wasn’t too old. Completing the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming was a byproduct of my preparation for my English Channel swim. The Manhattan Island Marathon Swim and Catalina Channel swims taught me how to train for a long swim and they gave me the confidence to swim the Channel. Scott Lautman mentored me the whole time. His friendship, guidance, long Saturday pool swims in the winter, our 3-day La Jolla Cove training weekend in April and the many Puget Sound swims in June and July prepared me for this swim. Scott’s mentoring and my wife Kathy’s support made all of these swims possible

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Open Water To The Max, The Hellenic Swimming Federation

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Of all the various aquatic national teams around the world, the Hellenic Swimming Federation (Greece) is undeniably focused on its open water swimming discipline. Greece sent 28 athletes to the 2014 LEN European Swimming Championships this week in Berlin, Germany. Of those 28 athletes include, 9 for pool swimming and 4 competed in the open water swimming events.

The Greek open water representatives included Kalliopi Araouzou, Giorgos Arniakos, Antonios Fokaidis and Spyros Gianniotis.

The focus on the open water paid off with a silver medal performance in the 5 km team pursuit with Araouzou, Gianniotis and Fokaidis working as a team at the Regattastrecke Grünau.

5 km Team Pursuit Results (2-loop course with splits below):

1. Netherlands: 27:59.9 + 27:47.9 = 55:47.8
2. Greece: 28:01.8 + 28:03.7 = 56:05.5
3. Germany: 28:03.3 + 28:11.5 = 56:14.8
4. Hungary: 28:17.5 + 27:58.5 = 56:16.0
5. Italy: 28:16.2 + 28:04.7 = 56:20.9
6. France: 28:26.9 + 28:12.9 = 56:39.8
7. Great Britain: 29:21.2 + 28:45.3 = 58:06.5
8. Russia: 29:34.5 + 29:32.6 = 59:07.1
9. Poland: 29:35.4 + 29:47.8 = 59:23.2

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Martina Grimaldi Comes Through On Last Loop On Last Day

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

On the first day of the 32nd LEN European Swimming Championships, Italy's Martina Grimaldi finished an uncharacteristic 15 seconds behind the winner, placing 10th in the 10 km race and did not compete in the 5 km or 5 km team pursuit.

But the powerful swimmer came back characteristically strong on the last day of the open water swimming competition in Berlin. She blasted a fast last loop in 29:42 to capture the 25 km championship over Hungary's Anna Olasz in the 10-loop course.

The veteran cleverly played her cards right, always lurking in the back of the lead pack. She ranged from ninth position on the first loop (swum in 31:40.7) to fourth on the ninth loop (swum in 32:53.5), but when it came to bring it home, Grimaldi came through to win by a comfortable 7 seconds in the 5-hour race.

The age differentials in the top 3 women are interesting to note: Grimaldi is a 25-year-old Olympic medalist, Olasz is a 20-year-old college student, and Angela Maurer is a 39-year-old mother and veteran of two Olympic Games.

1. Martina Grimaldi (ITA) 5:19:14.1
2. Anna Olasz (HUN) 5:19:21.0
3. Angela Maurer (GER) 5:19:21.4
4. Olga Kozydub (RUS) 5:19:32.5
5. Margarita Dominguez Cabezas (ESP) 5:19:44.3
6. Ilaria Raimondi (ITA) 5:19:45.7
7. Alice Franco (ITA) 5:20:23.0
8. Karla Šitić (CRO) 5:24:32.7
9. Silvie Rybárová (CZE) 5:24:42.1
10. Aleksandra Sokolova (RUS) 5:26:11.0
11. Angelica Andre (POR) 5:29:21.4
12. Svenja Zihsler (GER) 5:29:39.9
13. Lenka Sterbova (CZE) 5:35:29.4
DNF Finnia Wunram (GER)
DNF Nikolett Szilagyi (HUN)

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Alex Reymond, Steady And Strong Wins European 25K

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Axel Reymond had his strategy to win the 25 km European Championship in Berlin, Germany today - and stuck to it. The French swimmer was never out of the top 3 positions and held a steady, strong pace throughout the 10-loop course.

His splits throughout the 25 km race were casual in the beginning and gradually picked up in the second half, especially as he threw down a strong 5th loop that put him in the lead that was only threatened by eventual second place finisher Evgenii Drattcev of Russia:

1st loop: 31:48.6
2nd loop: 32:01.4
3rd loop: 31:02.9
4th loop: 31:37.8
5th loop: 27:46.4
6th loop: 28:39.2
7th loop: 29:18.4
8th loop: 29:35.1
9th loop: 29:02.2
10th loop: 28:26.8

1. Axel Reymond (FRA) 4:59:18.8
2. Evgenii Drattcev (RUS) 4:59:31
3. Edoardo Stochino (ITA) 5:08:51.0
4. Andreas Waschburger (GER) 5:08:52.6
5. Mario Sanzullo (ITA) 5:09:02.8
6. Alexander Studzinski (GER) 5:09:42.6
7. Yuval Safra (ISR) 5:10:09.6
8. Marcel Schouten (NED) 5:10:48.4
9. Christopher Bryan (IRL) 5:12:40.1
10. Valerio Cleri (ITA) 5:12:53.5
11. Shahar Resman (ISR) 5:14:14.7
12. Jan Posmourny (CZE) 5:22:36.2
13. Vit Ingeduld (CZE) 5:24:57.5
14. Georgios Arniakos (GRE) 5:25:45.9
DNF Marin Milan (CRO)
DNF Karel Baloun (CZE)
DNF Daniel Szekelyi (HUN)
DSQ Christian Reichert (GER)

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference

Learn more...
Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.


The Global Open Water Swimming Conference is a conference on the sport of open water swimming, marathon swimming and swimming during triathlons and multi-sport endurance events.

The conference which has been attended by enthusiasts and luminaries from 6 continents, is devoted to providing information about the latest trends, race tactics, training techniques, equipment, psychological preparation, race organization and safety practices used in the sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons.

The conference's mission is to provide opportunities to listen and meet many of the world's most foremost experts in open water swimming, and to meet and discuss the sport among swimmers, coaches, administrators, event organizers, sponsors, vendors, officials, escort pilots, and volunteers from kayakers to safety personnel.

Dozens of presentations at the 2014 Conference at the Mount Stuart House cover numerous aspects of the vast and growing world of open water swimming where attendees can learn and share the latest trends, race tactics, training modalities, swimming techniques, equipment, race organization, logistics, operations, and safety practices for open water swimming as a solo swimmer, competitive athlete, fitness swimmer, masters swimmer, triathlete, multi-sport athlete, administrator, race promoter, sponsor or referee.

The conference was first held in Long Beach, California as part of the 2010 USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships. It has since been held on the Queen Mary in California, at Columbia University and the United Nations in New York City, and in Cork, Ireland. This year in September, it comes to another iconic location, the Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute in Scotland.

"The Global Open Water Swimming Conference was started due to the desire and need for athletes, coaches, referees, administrators, race directors, promoters and sponsors from around the world to share, collect and learn information about the growing sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons," said founder Steven Munatones. "Other swimming conferences usually offering nothing on open water swimming or perhaps a speech or two, but we thought open water swimming deserves its own global conference. It is great that the community shares its information via the online social network, but there is nothing like meeting other open water swimming enthusiasts face-to-face and talking about the sport from morning to night."

Speakers at the conference include English Channel swimmers, ice swimmers, record holders, renowned coaches, world champions, professional marathon swimmers, renowned race directors, officials and administrators from the Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.

"Because the audience is passionate and educated about the sport and its finest practitioners, the Global Open Water Swimming Conference is also the location of the induction ceremonies for the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and the annual WOWSA Awards that recognize the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year, and the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year. Special Lifetime Achievement Awards are also occasionally presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport over their career."

The 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference Programme

Wednesday, September 17th
Leave Glasgow to commence 2-day tour of Scotland [closest international airport is Glasgow]

Thursday, September 18th
Stay Mainland, North of Scotland

Friday, September 19th
14:00 - Swim Loch Lomond
17:00 - Head to Isle of Bute
19:30 - Scottish Banquet
21:30 - Dinner Dance

Saturday, September 20th
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
12:20 - Lunch and WOWSA Awards
13:40 – Speeches
15:40 - Round Table
19:00 - International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony

Sunday, September 21st
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
14:30 - Swim in St Ninian's Bay on the Isle of Bute

The luminaries of the open water swimming world who will be honored in Scotland will include:

* Sandra Bucha (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Jon Erikson (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Claudio Plit (Argentina), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Judith van Berkel-de Njis (Netherlands), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* David Yudovin (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Mercedes Gleitze (Great Britain), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* George Young (Canada), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Dale Petranech (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Contributor
* Melissa Cunningham (Australia), 2013 Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award winner
* Vojislav Mijić (Serbia), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* James Anderson (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Dr. Jane Katz (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Indonesian Swimming Federation, , International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Organisation
* Elizabeth Fry (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Pádraig Mallon (Ireland), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year
* Olga Kozydub (Russia), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year
* Bering Strait Swim (international team), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year
* International Ice Swimming Association (Ram Barkai, founder, South Africa), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year

For additional articles on the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference, visit:

* Olga Kozydub To Be Honored In Scotland
* Pádraig Mallon To Be Honored In Mount Stuart Castle
* Mount Stuart House, Splendid Setting For Swimming
* Colleen Blair To Kick-off Global Open Water Swimming Conference
* The Man Who Swims Better Than He Walks
* Joining In The Sea Goddess At The Hall Of Fame
* Mercedes Gleitze To Be Honored In Scotland
* The Incredible Career Of Merceded Gleitze
* Jon Erikson To Be Honoured In Florida
* The Incredible Career Of Mercedes Gleitze
* St Ninian's Bay To Host International Swim Conference

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Swim Across the English Channel...


Who else is looking for a qualified open water swimming coach to help them swim across the English Channel?

Chloë McCardel is a 6-time English Channel Swimmer who inspires and instructs. Access featured content by Chloë in this month's issue of the Open Water Swimming Magazine. Published monthly by WOWSA, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a digital, interactive publication made available exclusively to WOWSA members. See what you've been missing! Become a WOWSA member today!

Open Water Swimming Magazine

Open Water Swimming Magazine

The Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.

WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...

The Other Shore

The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.

2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac

An Almanac for Open Water Swimming

An almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.

This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.

But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.

In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...

Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:

The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.


Open Water Swimming Event Sanctioning

World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation

Open Water Race Calendar

Coaches Education Program