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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Beverly Shark Swim Lives Up To Its Name

Courtesy of Daphne Papp and the Gloucester Daily Times.

The Beverly Shark Swim is an open water swimming competition of 500 yards, 1 mile and 2 miles that will be held in Lynch Park in Beverly, Massachusetts next week.

This week, the exact location of the event had a visitor that makes the swim live up to its name - see here.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Keep Left With Your Team Around Manhattan Island

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

There were 32 finishers over the six separately conducted circumnavigations of Manhattan Island this year.

With an average age of 45.2 years, many of them swam their age (i.e., swam a greater number of kilometers than their age) in the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim.

Each of the finishers has a fascinating background and a different perspective of their swim around Manhattan Island including the King of MIMS, Kristian Rutford, the 55-year-old swimmer from Nebraska who completed his 21st circumnavigation.

40-year-old Michele Walters from Washington D.C. tells the story of her swim, guided by kayaker Richard Clifford below

Wow! I finished. I still can't believe I swam 28.5 miles around Manhattan Island. I had a time of 7:46:11, which is a great time given the conditions. This was my first 20+ mile swim and it was a tough day, but I was able to put all those countless hours of training to good use.

I was so happy and honored to do this swim in Rachel’s memory, a dear friend, who passed away in 2012 from cervical cancer and raise funds for her charity of choice, The Foundation for Women’s Cancer.  

I was so humbled to be in the company of a great group of swimmers on Saturday and make new friends. I was honored to be 1 of 4 women out of the 19 swimmers.

The swim started around 8:30 am. There were 8 waves of swimmers and I was in wave 3. I got on a boat with two other guys. We were all nervous with built up energy. I kept telling myself, 3 rivers, 3 different swims.

Waves 1 and 2 were off and then it was us up next. I jumped into the water and saw my kayaker, Richard Clifford, and thanked him for what was about to be a long day. As they counted down and the horn went off, I just shot out and swam hard.

We were instructed to hold our first feed until we were above the Williamsburgh Bridge. We started at Pier A and then made our way around Battery Point, missing the Staten Island Ferries and then swimming up into the East River where the currents were faster. I made sure to swim backstroke under the Brooklyn Bridge. I was in the lead by then, but the other waves of swimmers hadn't yet caught up to me.

I felt like I was darting all over the place in the East River. With that being said, in terms of swimming, you never really know where you're going since the kayaker is your eyes out on the water. It's a completely different perspective when your body is half immersed in the water since you really can't see or hear anything. It was also unnerving since I could feel things getting caught in my suit. I found out later it was sea lice, part of the course with open water swimming. Fun times!

After we made it past Hell's Gate, things slowed down in the Harlem River where I knew the current would not be as strong. I got passed up by quite a few swimmers in the Harlem since I just have a steady pace when I swim, so I'm not as fast when it comes to flat water. I have a short stroke. I must admit, it was somewhat hard and almost defeating to see them swim by me. I was encouraged to swim faster, but I knew that I still had a long way to go and I was giving it my all.

This was the second river and I had one more to go. I kept swimming and doing my feeds (i.e., liquids and/or food) every 30 minutes. I was so tired. Every now and then I would see glimpses of the purple pinwheel that Rachel’s mom gave me. It was a reminder of all the reasons of why I was doing the swim and kept me strong.

As we rounded the corner of the Harlem into the Hudson under Spuyten Duyvil, I could feel the current pull us as well as the chop. It was cool to swim under the bridge since it happened to be open. The Hudson had 20 mph winds coming out from the SW, so we had a strong head wind. Richard started moving us out to what felt like the middle of the Hudson, but we held the line that we were given.

I was somewhat elated since I love swimming in chop, but there were quite a few times where I was just said out loud, "Holy crap!" Each wave would just move me up to where I felt like I was not moving. The winds were so strong that most of the swimmers and kayakers got pushed to shore. To keep the course, my kayaker had me swim at a 60-70° angle to keep from blowing into the Manhattan shore. It was a fun challenge and I graciously accepted what the Hudson had to offer.

The George Washington Bridge felt like it would never come. I swallowed so much water at that point. There was a constant thrashing and rocking with each wave and it wasn't in any pattern to where I could time my strokes. I just had to keep swimming and kicking strong. As I swam under the George Washington Bridge, I decided to swim backstroke and started smiling at what an awesome experience it was to be swimming under the bridge.

I flipped over as I passed the bridge and just started swimming and kicking harder. There were times where I was just smiling thinking about how crazy it all was, but I knew I was at the last stage of the swim and that I could finish. I kept an eye out for the Freedom Tower, but it was hard to see over the chop and waves.

By then, I had swallowed so much water that my throat was parched from the salt water. I wanted to stop to drink something, but kept swimming until Richard would stop for a set feed. Each stop would only add more time to the swim and I knew it was hard for him to keep the kayak from turning him over with all the waves. I could see him constantly stabling himself in the kayak since the waves were hitting us from the right. We finally got to stop and I took a quick drink. I knew this would be my last feed since we were so close to the finish.

Since I breathe to the right, I didn't see much of Manhattan. I saw Richard throughout the swim and near the end he gave me these really emphatic hand signals. It's kind of hard to figure out what he's saying when you just have to keep swimming and you can't stop to ask, but I breathed to my left and could just barely see the other boats and kayakers, which meant swimmers. I realized he was telling me to kick it up in gear. I saw Ed, one of my support crew on the boat and he was waving the purple pinwheel. It inspired me and I swam with all my heart and gave everything I had.

I was able to pass quite a few swimmers since the chop was quite bad. I knew the end was close since I could see the Freedom Tower to my left. Richard decided to stay with me all the way to the end of Pier A. He started giving me all these hand signals to kick hard and I realized it was me and another swimmer near the end. I did a fast sprint and the other swimmer came from the other side and touched the buoy.

I was three seconds behind him. It turned out to be another guy that I swim with and we both gave each other a hug. I looked up and I could see Rachel’s family at the top smiling down and cheering for me. It was an awesome feeling.

I swam over to the boat and as soon as I got on, I was so elated and overcome with emotion. There was so much going on in my head at that moment.

I could not have done this swim without the support and love from all my family and friends that cheered me along the way and those in particular that made it out to the swim. A big debt of gratitude goes out to my support crew, Ed, Sophie and Beth. They were awesome with all my feeds and kept cheering me throughout the swim and posting all the updates. Thanks to Joe, our NYC Swim boat observer, who was so sweet to take stunning pictures throughout my swim. Thanks to my boat captain, Phil, who did an awesome job blocking boats in the Hudson and kept me and Richard safe throughout the swim. I definitely could not have done this swim without Richard, who did an excellent job kayaking for me, especially in the Hudson when she was rolling us with her waves.

It was a team effort and we gave our 100

June 16th Manhattan Island Marathon Swim Results
1 Ivan Rabell (50) 9:09:06
2 Katherine Batts (55) 9:36:57
3 Helen Beveridge (47) 9:39:57

June 24th Manhattan Island Marathon Swim Results
1 Bob Fernald (48) 7:15:06
2 Rohan More (29) 7:43:50

June 30th Manhattan Island Marathon Swim Results
1 Kevin Shinnick (46) 9:02:09
2 Kenn Lichtenwalter (50) 9:27:07
3 Arleen Gonzalez Perez (33) 9:39:47

July 15th Manhattan Island Marathon Swim Results
1 Henry Biggs (51) 8:32:14
2 Janine Serell (53) 8:57:24

July 28th Manhattan Island Marathon Swim Results
1 Bryan Avery (47) 8:29:54
2 Suzie Dods (55) 8:37:07
3 Anthony Marzulli (66) 8:59:28

August 1st Manhattan Island Marathon Swim Results 1 Matthew Fernandez (39) 7:17:54
2 Jaime Lomelin (52) 7:25:51
3 Xabier Elizegi Beloki (33) 7:28:58
4 Peter Tanham (56) 7:35:07
5 Mark Faure Walker (39) 7:36:03
6 William Shipp (55) 7:39:47
7 Lori King (40) 7:39:53
8 Nathaniel Dean (38) 7:40:47
9 Michael Johmann (53) 7:45:21
10 Kristian Rutford (55) 7:50:24
11 John Royer (32) 7:57:11
12 Rebecca Nevitt (48) 7:57:36
13 Michele Walters (40) 8:01:11
14 Victor Galve (41) 8:04:25
15 Mark Spratt (59) 8:04:47
16 Thomas Bell (46) 8:06:33
17 Markus Marty (32) 8:08:25
18 Vicente Martinez (43) 8:18:39
19 Simona Dwass (18) 8:20:07

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Beach Talks About The Old Men And The Sea

Courtesy of Ron Collins, an interview with Bob Beach of The Old Men And The Sea Relay.

84-year-old Don Baker, 80-year-old Dr. Bill Spore, 81-year-old Dave Radcliffe, 84-year-old Graham Johnston, 82-year-old Bob Best, 85-year-old Bob Beach, and 82-year-old Norm Stupfel demonstrated the confidence, calm and capabilities of veteran swimmers in the water.

While their 12 hour 15 minute crossing of the Catalina Channel on August 20th drew local raves and garnered national media attention, The Old Men and the Sea Relay simply and spectacularly went about their business in the relatively calm waters of the Pacific Ocean.

The octogenarian relay, supported by kayaker Claudia Rose, paddle boarder Kevin Eslinger, and observers Paula Selby and Michelle Macy, had things under control as they gradually made their way from Doctor’s Cove on Santa Catalina Island to Portuguese Bend in Rancho Palos Verdes on the California mainland.

Beach recalls the relay in the video above

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Kilo, Ignacio, Jimena To Make Waikiki Really Roughwater

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

This Saturday, the 46th Annual Waikiki Roughwater Swim will take place - and it should definitely live up to its name and maybe more.

Three hurricanes (Kilo, Ignacio and Jimena) have formulated in the Pacific Ocean in the week leading up to the 2.4-mile swim from the Diamondhead Volcano to the Hilton Hawaiian Village across Waikiki Bay.

"There will be a high surf advisory for race day so should be a real 'Roughwater'," said race director Kaia Hedlund.

The most powerful hurricane season in the central Pacific Ocean since 1994 saw all three Pacific hurricanes reaching Category 4 strength at one point within a week of the Waikiki Roughwater Swim — something that's never been seen before, the National Hurricane Center reported.

While Hurricane Ignacio was weakened Monday to a Category 2 storm with winds of 105 mph, Hurricanes Kilo and Jimena followed up behind creating more havoc offshore, but none will hit land.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Try And Try And Try Again

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Round Two of the 22-mile The Swim Around The Islands goes to Mother Nature. So far, She is up 2-0 on the relay quartet of Joe Rainero (49, shown above), Matt Maurer (38), Triple Crowner Lance Ogren (44), and Mike Stresemann (54).

Rainero summarized their effort, "We successfully determined another way not to do this swim - or maybe we even figured out the hardest way to attempt it. We miscalculated the tides and were swimming against the current nearly all day. We made it over 10 miles, but eventually had to cut the swim short because two swimmers only progressed about 100 yards in two 15-minute intervals of swimming as we entered the Charleston Harbor."

Matt Maurer reported similarly, "It took 6 or 7 hours to go 10 miles. [There was] no love today. We swam the entire coastline [and] got to the end of Sullivan’s Island. Lance and I swam in place and literally did not move one inch because of the tide. It was terrible."

But not terrible enough to stop trying.

"It was tough, but we will learn from it and make another attempt soon," said Rainero.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

All Hands On Deck And In The Water

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

According to the Channel Swimming Association, Peter Frayne was an observer on Florence Chadwick's swim and had to jump in the English Channel to guide her after the water pump on her escort boat failed within three miles of shore.

Prior to that call of duty, Frayne was below decks on her escort boat pumping water out of the bilge.

Cold, tired and tough, Frayne, a police officer whose beat included the Dover waterfront, was the epitome of a supportive crew member for channel swimmers.

Frayne (shown on left with Dr. Harry Huffaker) served as the Honorable Assistant Secretary of the Channel Swimming Association, passed away in 2012 at the age of 92.

Huffaker remembers his good friend who also served in his wedding. "Peter was instrumental in introducing me to the English Channel. When he was is his 90s, he still pedaled his bike down to the seafront where he crawled across the cobblestones to enter the water for his almost daily swim year around.

He said it has become advantageous to plan his daily swim to coincide with high tide so he didn't have so far to crawl. He was a man with an impressive war record; he was definitely tough

Huffaker recalls Frayne's uncomplicated life. "He was uncomplaining and always upbeat; never a burden to anyone and never spoke ill of anyone.

After high school he enlisted in the British Army to serve in World War II. Most of his military duty was spent in North Africa. After that he joined the police force and spent his working life pounding the pavement in Dover.

After retirement he took up residence in nearby Herne Bay and enjoyed three principal activities - going to the dance hall, daily walks down to the seafront every day year round for a quick dip in the water, and traveling to Spain during the winter months

He became served many years as Assistant Secretary of the Channel Swimming Association and was keenly interested in following and assisting Channel aspirants with whatever needs they may have. "Several years ago I flew to England to visit him after learning he had suffered a stroke. I found him to be his usual non-complaining, chipper self. Despite macular degeneration, he still managed to make his way down to the sea front on his bicycle for a quick swim."

A true stalwart of the community he lived by the sea, he enjoyed swimming in the sea, and he helped others in the sea.

Photo from the Channel Swimming Association archives.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Discipline Enables Bridgette Hobart To Meet Demands

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Bridgette Hobart Janesczko has successfully completed the longest 5 crossings of her The 5 Majors & The 4 Minors Swimming for a Cause event in the New York Finger Lakes.

Her 5 swims have been long, difficult and thoroughly taxing:

Stage 1 - Canandaigua 15.5 miles in 7 hours 38 minutes on July 11th
Stage 2 - Keuka 19.88 miles in 9 hours 7 minutes on July 18th
Stage 3 - Skaneateles 16.03 miles in 7 hours 27 minutes on July 26th
Stage 4 - Cayuga 37.9 miles in 20 hours 33 minutes on August 7th-9th
Stage 5 - Seneca 37.9 miles in 24 hours 31 minutes on August 28th-30th

She has four more swims, albeit shorter, in The Minors: Otisco at 6.21 miles, Owasco at 10.56 miles, Hemlock at 7.45 miles, and Conesus at 8.07 miles to complete the 9-stage swim charity event.

But swimming such long distances week after week, especially for a 52-year-old and a working professional at that, places not only a tremendous toll on her body, but also places significant other demands on her time, from logistics to media interviews.

She explains how she recovers from her swims as she is preparing for her upcoming ones. "Between my swims, I just do recovery swims and Pilates to stay loose. I find at my age I need to keep my body moving of sorts…recovery swims though are really just 1500-2000 yards easy, long pace a day.

However, after the Cayuga swim (of 20 hours 33 minutes), I gave my shoulders a break for a few days, Now [after the 24 hour 31 minute swim across Seneca], I plan to give them a solid break until Monday - or full week. Otherwise, my energy level has bounced back quickly and I think working full time helps that because my body doesn’t have a choice.

We’re super busy at work now so I’m averaging about 50-60 hour work weeks between these swims and only taking days off for travel to the lakes. This type of schedule works well for me because I’m really used to it and find it keeps me focused and disciplined, so I prefer it. I did require a nap on Sunday though, and that was a first. [The nap] had me a bit worried to what Monday would bring, but Monday I woke feeling back to normal and was relieved. I went back to work Tuesday.

I’m also in final planning for our annual Lake Hopatcong Open Water Swim Festival [of which she is the race director] on September 13th so that is also a big focus now.

I’ve been fine with the media as they’ve been very respectful of my work schedule. I’ve mostly handled via email, calls at night or while traveling. [Husband] Bob [Janesczko] drives so I can get a lot done on just the commutes to the lake with phone and mobile wifi

As the race director for the Lake Hopatcong Open Water Swim Festival, Hobart knows not only how to get things done, but how to get others to help her along. "I haven’t stressed on the planning and all has worked well. Family friends handled all the Canandaigua crossing for me. I just showed up and swam and that was awesome.

Keuka was the hardest because I found myself with guest swimmers and making all their plans, along with a heavy work schedule. From that I learned I just need to realize I can’t become a race director during this, so lesson learned. That same lake required 3 boat rentals as I couldn’t even bring my own over due to the classic boat show, but we all managed and buddies stepped up to help

Because her charity event, The 5 Majors & The 4 Minors Swimming for a Cause, has generated local interest, the community support she has received has been significant. "Skaneateles was planned by my Nazareth College buddies Belinda Stayton and Linda. That is Belinda’s lake and we used her boat. My boat is on Seneca so we used that for Cayuga and Seneca and my parents hosted us for Keuka, Cayuga and Seneca. Belinda for Skaneateles and the other upcoming Syracuse lakes. We’ve on stayed at a B&B once so far, which was very cool.

My Naz buddies, family and friends as well as new friends we’ve met along the way have just grown our support network, and that really has been a more amazing feeling then finishing the lake itself. My Naz roomie took charge as crew chief and she is incredibly organized, knows the area, and being in the school district has available time during the summer. She’s been a lifesaver to me.

Bob is also my kayak escort and we do it all together, so that is great feeling and he gives me security. Louise reached out to us to help on Cayuga and then joined us on Seneca. She is the one who woke to see the conditions on Seneca, jumped in her car with her kayak and found us on the lake. She came within 30 minutes after Bob pulled because the winds were pushing him back so much. Her kayak was long, lean and handled the winds and she was fresh. She just appeared and I heard a cheery good morning. Just amazing timing, and why the journey has just been so awesome.

Friends of friends joined the crew and helped us with logistics, and made this really easy for me to plan.

Russ, my main support swimmer starting with Cayuga is someone I actually first met in person just an hour before the start of Cayuga. Most probably think I’ve lost my mind letting someone I just met on my boat for a 20-hour effort, but Russ struck up a conversation with me on Facebook and his love of the Finger Lakes was infectious. He then called Nazareth College and connected with the media department and they then emailed me the week before Cayuga. He just wanted to offer his help in any way, even towing our boat, as he just wanted to be involved. That was his only agenda, and I felt that and these are the folks I want to surround myself with and have done so. I talked with him and while I previously only ever used a support swimmer once (English Channel), I thought 'Why not as it may be fun in that long of a swim?'

I asked his pace and it was perfect. He jumped in for his first bit before sunrise and it was as if we’d swam together our entire lives. He knew the lakes, he knew how to drive a boat and he is a great person. It was a win-win for all. He joined our crew and has been with us since. We got to Seneca start and he already was at the boat with the banners on.

Everyone just pitches in and it really does seem like little effort to get going on each lake. A great crew, land support and community support has made this seem like just fun with little effort otherwise to me, or rather all my effort is in the water type of feeling

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Five Major Deals Done By Bridgette Hobart

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

With her escort boat piloted with Betty Billings and Belinda Stayton, and her crew anchored by her kayaking husband Bobby Janesczko, Bridgette Hobart Janesczko set off across the at Seneca State Park at 6:01 pm.

24 hours 31 minutes and 38 miles later, she walked up onshore at Village Marina in Watkins Glen.

With her final stroke, Hobart became the first person to complete a swim across all five of The Majors, the largest lakes of the New York Finger Lakes.

Going five for five, Hobart's final report card on The 5 Majors & The 4 Minors Swimming for a Cause event is as follows:

*Skaneateles 16.03 miles in 7 hours 27 minutes
*Canandaigua 15.5 miles in 7 hours 38 minutes
*Keuka 19.88 miles in 9 hours 7 minutes
*Cayuga 37.9 miles in 20 hours 33 minutes
*Seneca 37.9 miles in 24 hours 31 minutes

The 52-year-old recalls her latest swim that placed her in the exclusive 24-hour Club for the 60.9 km swim. "We started Friday around 6 pm and looked forward to the forecasted calm night with mostly clear skies so we could enjoy the beautiful sunset and the full moon. The first 6 hours delivered that, and then all hell broke loose.

Headwinds hit us for approximately the next 10 hours delivering 2-3 foot chop, pushing me backwards on feeds and slowing my progress significantly when swimming. We still had our lovely full moon though, which was awesome.

The wind chill was tough at night so I knew I just had to keep swimming and feed the best I could. I felt beat up and my shoulders were hurting. I continued to alter my stroke the best I could based on body feedback in hopes of avoiding injury and ending my swim on my final lake in The Majors.

Her husband reported similarly. "What we had originally expected to be an 18- or 19-hour effort turned into a 24 and a half hour ordeal due to some really brutal conditions overnight. She fought a nasty headwind and significant chop for nearly twelve hours Friday night. But she powered through and got to Watkins Glen."

Hobart is a 1984 graduate of Nazareth College and one the school board of trustees. She is swimming the Finger Lakes to help promote the opening of the the Nazareth College Wellness and Rehabilitation Institute that open in September. Her swims have been like a magnet, connecting students, alumni and many throughout the local populations of the Finger Lakes.

'I was blessed with great crew, support boats, kayak escorts and support swimmers. I felt safe in the conditions and we just plugged along hoping for a break eventually. It wasn’t great news when I thought we were at a point where it was few miles to completion and was told more like 12. I just focused on staying positive feed by feed. I felt we were forever at 10-12 miles left.

Around 11 am the winds settled and we started to make progress. The better weather brought out so much shore and boat supporters which really energized me.

The last few hours were grueling. In the final hour my Naz buddy Kama Way came to join us and jumped in as a support swimmer. I then just focused on how cool it was to finish such a swim with a Naz buddy, and that we did

Hobart was greeted many supporters who seem to be growing in numbers as she continues her 9 stage swim event in the New York Finger Lakes. "We approached Village Marina in Watkins Glen. The sounds of cheers and horns really helps push me the final distance to land on shore.

It was a long afternoon, but a rewarding one when we finished at approximately 6:30 pm on Saturday night. We planned on celebrating with BBQ in Watkins Glen on Saturday night. However, I found myself flat on my back enjoying bed spins instead. Sunday was a bit better and by Monday I finally felt normal again

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Italy Goes 1-2 In 5 km Team Pursuit

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

As expected, the Italian teams dominated yesterday's 5 km team pursuit 5 km event at the 1st Mediterranean Beach Games in Pescara, Italy.

The gold medal went to the Italian team of Dario Verani, Andrea Bianchi and Arianna Bridi who won comfortably over their teammates of Andrea Manzi, Giulia Gabrielleschi and Barbara Pozzobon.

With their team pursuit victory, both Verani and Bridi finish the inaugural competition with two gold medals while Manzi and Gabrielleschi finish with two silvers.

The Croatian team of Karla Šitić, Matija Luka, and Ivan Rafaj Šitić finished third.

5 km Team Pursuit Results:
Gold: Italy Team 2 56:50.2 (Dario Verani, Andrea Bianchi, Arianna Bridi)
Silver: Italy Team 1 58:06.5 (Andrea Manzi, Barbara Pozzobon, Giulia Gabrielleschi)
Bronze: Croatia 58:43.3 (Karla Šitić, Matija Luka, Ivan Šitić)
4 Greece Team 2 1:00:20.6 (Georgios Arniakos, Christos Charatasos, Filio Raftopoulou)
5 Slovenia 1:00:36.2 (Spela Perse, Jan Toman, Zan Pogacar)
6 Turkey 1:01:05.0 (Furkan Kaan Abatay, Berkhan Sakal, Nilay Erkal)
7 Greece Team 1 1:02:18.7 (Nikolas Petrou, Paraskevi Kritikou, Olga Egkorova)
8 Cyprus 1:03:03.2 (Irene Kyza, Georgios Koutsou, Nicolas Ioannides)
9 Tunisia 1:04:04.8 (Heithem Abdelkalek, Badr Chabchoub, Asma Ben Boukhatem)
10 Algeria 1:08:50.3 (Ramzi Chouchar, Imene Maldji, Mohamed Anisse Djaballah)
11 Morocco 1:17:43.0 (Said Saber, Ismail Lahrici, Fatima Ezzhara Moufakkir)

The 11-sport Games also includes fin swimming, aquathlon, and a solo 5 km race. The men's 5 km solo results are here. The women's 5 km solo results are here.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

eSharkForce Offers Free Shark Protection Units

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Wilson Vinano Jr. is the visionary behind the Electronic Shark Defense System (ESDS) and 808 eSharkForce, an easy-to-carry and easy-to-swim-with shark deterrent system.

Linda Kaiser and the Kaiwi Channel Swimmers Association have teamed up with 808eSharkForce and Vinano to extend an unprecedented invitation to all channel swimmers. "808eSharkForce will loan any channel swimmer a unit [the eSharkForce Ultimate Shark Protection] for them to use while attempting a crossing of any channel," explains Kaiser who has experienced a number of shark encounters throughout her decades-long career of channel swimming between the Hawaiian islands.

"All the swimmers are asked to do in return for the free use is to provide a testimonial. Brand new eSharkForce units will be available by late September. Anyone interested in this offer can contact Wilson at esharkwilson@gmail.com.

The unit wraps around the swimmer's ankle and emits an electronic pulse to keep sharks away. Adam Walker used one. It is a great opportunity for swimmers to try this at no cost

Walker gave the unit a great testimonial. "I wore the eSharkForce unit during the Molokai Strait in Hawaii around my ankle. The model didn't have a leash attached and weighted less than a kilogram. It activates when it hits water. There were also a couple of units dangled over the side. The units kept me feeling safe in my 17 hours of swimming even though I had two separate shark sightings. They kept their distance. I believe the unit was a major factor in this.

I had a similar sighting across the Tsugaru Channel in Japan where I saw one deep down underneath me and soon moved on during my 15 hour 30 minutes of swimming. This is a fantastic safety measure to help keep human beings safe and for the conservation of sharks to keep them protected. It gave me a lot of confidence.

The important thing about these devices are they have been approved to not be harmful to sharks. This is why I used them as a preventive measure."

For more information, contact Wilson at esharkwilson@gmail.com or visit 808esharkforce.com/.

Vinano received a patent for his Electronic shark deterrent: An Electronic Shark Deterrent provides protection from, and for, sharks and other aquatic creatures. Compact low power circuitry generates high voltage periodic pulse train bursts, disturbing the electroreceptors of the aquatic Elasmobranchi subclass. A train of thirty 33 us 250 Volt (V) electric pulses lasting one second is produced every six seconds. The device is fully portable, requiring no bulky activity impeding buoys, cords, or external power supplies. Advanced circuitry is compact enough to be worn on a watch sized band or attached to garments and recreation or safety equipment. The deterrent can be used in a fixed configuration to protect fish farms and vacation resort swimming areas. It can be affixed to offshore oil rigs and research stations to protect workers. The Electronic Shark Deterrent is compact and portable enough to be used on longlines, trawls and gillnets to reduce the numbers of endangered aquatic creatures unnecessarily destroyed as bycatch.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Third Time Is A Charm

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The city of Los Angeles has hosted the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympic Games, but only pool swimming events were contested in those Games.

With Boston stepping down and Los Angeles taking the mantle of the U.S. Olympic Committee candidate city for the 2024 Games, Los Angeles has the opportunity and responsibility to host the Olympics for the third time. Los Angeles is pitted against the cities of Rome, Hamburg, Paris, and Budapest in contention for 2024 host site.

If Los Angeles wins the bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics, the Los Angeles Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad will have a wide choice of open water swimming venues.

While nearby Castaic Lake is the frequent site of USA Swimming national open water swimming championship events, and Long Beach's Marine Stadium hosted national championships (see below) and the rowing events in the previous Olympics, Southern California is more known for its coastline.

With Catalina Island visible from over 100 southland beaches and the dynamic unpredictability of the ocean, we are hopeful that the organizing committee selects the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim course from one of these salt water possibilities.

While beaches like Malibu are located on prime Pacific Ocean coastline popular among movie stars, media moguls, entertainment executives and surfers, the ideal location has plenty of parking along wide stretches of white sand beaches and scenic piers with a history of hosting events with vast numbers of spectators.

Beaches like Huntington Beach [shown above] and Manhattan Beach have hosted tens of thousands of spectators at major surfing contests and beach volleyball tournaments. Cities like Long Beach and Newport Beach have hosted massive numbers of spectators for sailing events and cities like Laguna Beach and Hermosa Beach have long hosted seaside events that have drawn huge crowd.

Each of these cities have great piers, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, waves and dynamic ocean conditions, and access to literally hundreds of thousands of water craft and thousands of knowledgeable watermen and waterwomen who would love to volunteer. Each of these cities would be a great host for the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim.

Video above shows Fran Crippen outsprinting his American and Canadian rivals, including Chip Peterson, Andrew Gemmell, Alex Meyer, and Richard Weinberger to win the 2010 USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships in Long Beach's Marine Stadium.

Update to story: The influential Casey Wasserman, one of the chairmen of the LA24 bid committee, has stated that the Games will be as compact as possible, which may indicate that Olympic venues in Orange County or anywhere outside of Los Angeles County may not be considered.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Michigan's Mighty Mac Across The Mackinac

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

While Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is leading up to 65,000 walkers across the Mackinac Bridge on the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk on September 7th, those walkers will also be able to see 84 swimmers below them in the inaugural Mighty Mac Swim across the Straits of Mackinac in Michigan.

The athletes will be swimming in groups of seven, each group with an escort boat. Their goal is to finish near the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse at Fort Michilimackinac.

The Mighty Mac swimmers will not only swim through the currents of the strait that connects Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, but they also have raised US$317,000 for the revitalization of Michigan neighborhoods through Habitat for Humanity. Neighborhood revitalization includes new home construction, renovations, repairs, and neighborhood beautification projects.

"I am so impressed with this team of swimmers we refer to as 'Team Dire Straits',” said event director Jim Dreyer. “Swimming between Michigan’s peninsulas alongside the majestic Mackinac Bridge will provide an adventure of a lifetime for these athletes.

They have been pre-qualified, have been training hard for this formidable challenge, and they have really embraced the mission of Habitat for Humanity. They are checking an item off their bucket list while truly making a positive impact on families

"We can't thank the Mighty Mac team enough for their support of Habitat for Humanity," said Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Don Jones, one of the Mighty Mac Swim’s beneficiaries. "It's easy to talk about your commitment to the Habitat movement. These athletes are taking it to the next stroke -- raising awareness and funds for affordable housing."

There is strength in numbers,” Dreyer added. “Pfeiffer Lincoln donated a 2-year lease on a new Lincoln MKC, which will be raffled off on Labor Day at the Mighty Mac Swim finish line, and Meijer joined them as a major sponsor. 84 swimmers have been selling raffle tickets for the car and getaway packages. Then The Original Murdick’s Fudge, Arnold Mackinac Island Ferry, and WOOD Radio came aboard with promotions to sell raffle tickets. This has been a real team effort to rebuild Michigan through an exciting event that will just keep getting bigger every year.”

For more information on the Mighty Mac Swim and the swimmers are posted at www.MightyMacSwim.com.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Four To Swim Around Two

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

It is all for one and one for all with Joe Rainero (49, shown above), Matt Maurer (38), Triple Crowner Lance Ogren (44), and Mike Stresemann (54).

The quarter will attempt a relay swim in South Carolina tomorrow where they will swim around Sullivan's Island and the Isle of Palms.

The 22-mile course map for The Swim Around The Islands (Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island) is here).

Last year, the men called the swim short when it was not safe, but this year they are hoping for better weather. However, a storm looked like it was heading to the South Carolina shores at the end of last week. "At this point it looks like 20% chance of rain and thunder, which I see as 80% chance of no rain and no thunder," says Rainero.

"Rain and thunder will bring winds. We’re not aware of any rules about swimming in lightening for this course, but our team will make the call if we encounter any as we did last year. If one member feels that it is not safe, we will pull the swimmer and kayaker out and move to safety, which ends the attempt."

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Mind Over Matter Does Matter [40-year Anniversary of Kevin Murphy's first English Channel 3-way Attempt]

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Open water swimmers are often heard saying, "Open water swimming is 80% mental."

Today, on the 40th anniversary of the first attempt at a three-way crossing of the English Channel, Kevin Murphy literally helped expand the mindset of the swimming community with his valiant but unsuccessful attempt.

Murphy, who often said that he is 'going for a little dip', but he had a whole lot more on his mind back on September 1st 1975.

With Captain Charnick at the helm of St. Claire with P. Cox and F. Seagrove as observers and Jane Secker, Leslie Murphy, Stan Birtley and Peter Dyton on his crew, Murphy set off to France at 5:23 am on the first three-way attempt of the English Channel in history. His first leg in 15 hours flat, faster than his previous 3 crossings (2 of which were solo crossings).

But things started to get rocky on his return to England. His second leg took him 21 hours 3 minutes. But things were not quite over despite having spent over 36 hours in the way. He looked across in the direction of France and took off, convinced a three-way was only a matter of time.

But it was not meant to be.

Murphy was pulled - involuntarily - after 52 hours 30 minutes. The conditions were just too rough for the safety of the crew. Murphy, of course, was willing to continue, but other factors out of his control led to his three-way attempt being called.

"[Marathon swimming] is a team effort," the famed reporter/channel swimmer explains. "When I am actually swimming, I hate it while I am in there. When I get in, I am thinking when am I going to get out. I enjoy finishing and actually the adrenalin rush of actually completing a swim and overcoming all of the odds including one's own frailties.

I have a fear of what I am going to doing to myself."

But on this day 40 years ago, his mindset was right. His course was clear. His goal was France, to complete history's first three-way crossing of the English Channel.

Mother Nature, however, stepped in and made sure history would be made by another swimmer, Jon Erikson who later completed his three-way in 1981. "52.5 hours [swimming over] two and a half ways before I was ordered out because of bad weather."

Murphy thought it could be done and proved to others like Erikson, Alison Streeter, Philip Rush and Chloë McCardel that it could be done...eventually.

"Nobody believed before then that [a three-way] could be done. It's great to see the legacy with Chloë being the latest to achieve the three-way.

Now it just needs somebody to believe that a four-way can be done

Eventually, someone will step up and attempt that little dip. Famous little dips throughout the history of swimming across the English Channel:

* First solo crossing (England-to-France): Matthew Webb, 21 hours 34 minutes in 1875

* First solo crossing (France-to-England: Enrico Tiroboschi, 16 hours 33 minutes in 1923

* First female solo crossing (France-to-England): Gertrude Ederle, 14 hours 39 minutes in 1926

* First female solo crossing (England-to-France): Florence Chadwick, 16 hours 19 minutes in 1951

* First two-way crossing (England-to-France-to-England): Antonio Abertondo, 43 hours 10 minutes in 1961

* First female two-way crossing (England-to-France-to-England): Cynthia Nicholas in 19 hours 55 minutes in 1977

* First three-way crossing (England-to-France-to-England-to-France): Jon Erikson, 38 hours 27 minutes

* First female three-way crossing (England-to-France-to-England-to-France): Alison Streeter, 34 hours 40 minutes

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Monday, August 31, 2015

In Search Of Memphre And Back

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

A hint of nervousness, a splash of self-doubt, a fear of changing weather conditions, a bit of insomnia, and second thoughts on the amount of training performed are always possible in the week leading up to a major athletic endeavor.

This is especially true for an attempt that has never been done before.

While a two-way crossing of Lake Memphremagog has been done, no one has attempted a Biathlon Marathon across Lake Memphremagog.

But Phil White and the volunteers of the In Search of Memphre always dream up increasingly difficult challenges for athletes - and it seems there are always takers. First Sarah Thomas completed a two-way swimming crossing of Lake Memphremagog. This week, White is arranging for a two-way Biathlon Marathon in Lake Memphremagog at the 25-mile (40.2 km) In Search of Memphre.

Katie Benoit will attempt an unprecedented Biathlon Marathon where she will first swim 25 miles across the lake and then run 35 miles (56.3 km) back to the start.

The detective from Colorado Springs who specializes in Special Victims, high up in the Rocky Mountains, is a bit nervous as can be expected, but it tuning up and resting during her final week of taper for her attempt on September 6th.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Ocean Voices, We Fight for Sharks

Courtesy of Ocean Voices, We Fight for Sharks by David McGuire, an ocean advocate and founder of the Ocean Health and Shark Conservation non-profit Sea Stewards.

Click here at Ocean Voices for all kinds of photos and information about , sharks.

Night Train Swimmers Ready For A Lot Of Winter Swimming

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

"The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco," is a quote often mentioned that hints about the dynamically fickle weather of the northern California jewel of a city.

In these variable conditions, Night Train 300 (NT300) is an attempt in San Francisco Bay by the Night Train Swimmers at reaching the magical 300-mile (482.2 km) non-stop six-person relay distance.

In a charity swim on behalf of Arthur Renowitzky, Grace van der Byl, Dave Holscher, Kim Chambers, Adam Eilath, Ashley Horne and Vito Bialla will swim through at least 5 days and nights in the chilly San Francisco Bay and summer.

Team NT 300 will tax the swimmers, crew and pilots like few other distance relays. "We will have a send-off ceremony on the deck of the San Francisco Yacht Club at 9 am on September 6th," said Captain Vito Bialla.

"At 9:30 we will depart and jump off the green marker by Corinthian Yacht Club and head to Sausalito, then the north tower under the Golden Gate Bridge. When the tide turns, we will have a long flood that will take us back through the Racoon Strait. I’m optimistic we can possibly do 70 miles a day with the caliber of swimmers we have and a little help from the tide."

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Sunday, August 30, 2015

29-Year Wait Is Over At Ohrid Lake Swim Marathon

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

It took a long 29 years, but a local Macedonian swimmer finally won the Ohrid Lake Swim Marathon, an annual stop on the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix.

Veteran Evgenij Pop Acev came through in his country's long-running Ohrid Lake Swim Marathon today.

The globe-trotting marathon swimmer crossed 33 km in Lake Ohrid in 5:39:42, only six seconds faster than Brazil's Matheus Evangelista. Fellow Macedonian Tomi Stefanovski just touched out France's Bertrand Venturi so two locals were able to stand on the awards podium for the first time.

Men's Results:
1. Evgenij Pop Acev (MACEDONIA) 5:39:42 [shown on far left]
2. Matheus Evangelista (BRAZIL) 5:39:48
3. Tomi Stefanovski (MACEDONIA) 5:39:54
4. Bertrand Venturi (FRANCE) 5:39:55
5. Xavier Desharnais (CANADA) 5:39.55.76
6. Alexander Studzinski (GERMANY) 5:40.09
7. Simone Ercoli (ITALY) 5:44.00
8. Aleksandar Ilievski (MACEDONIA) 5:51.50
OTL Aleksandar Pancevski (MACEDONIA)
DSQ Damian Blaum (ARGENTINA)

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Alice Franco Win Easily In Ohrid Lake Swim Marathon

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Alice Franco won her second FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix victory of the season with a comfortable win in Lake Ohrid in Macedonia.

Franco won her first race of the season in Argentina at the Maratón Internacional Aguas Abiertas Villa Urquiza - Paraná and followed it up with a victory in the 33 km Ohrid Lake Swim Marathon .

Women's Results:
1. Alice Franco (ITALY) 5:44:03
2. Ana Mankevich (RUSSIA) 5:58:43
3. Esther Nunez Morera (SPAIN) 6:04:15
4. Pilar Geijo (ARGENTINA) 6:18:12
5. Vicencia Navarro (VENEZUELA) 6:34.55
6. Rita Vanesa Garcia (ARGENTINA) 6:52.46
7. Ana Thais Sant (BRAZIL) 6:53.03
8. Elena Lionello (ITALY) 7:11.42
OTL Victoria Mori (ARGENTINA)
DNF Dina Levacic (CROATIA)

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Aygul Sagirova, Matteo Furlan Win Faros Maratón

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Matteo Furlan defended his Faros Maratón title today while Aygul Sagirova comfortably won the women's division.

While youth swept the podium, two veterans also competed. 74-year-old marathon swimming legend Michael Read finished in 5 hours 49 minutes while Irene van der Laan with one of most prolific careers in history completed her 22nd consecutive Faros Maratón.

Men's Results:
1 Matteo Furlan (ITALY) 3:08:26
2 Volodymyr Voronko (UKRAINE) 3:09:07
3 Duje Milan (CROATIA) 3:09:44
4 Vit Ingeduld (CZECH REPUBLIC) 3:10:11
5 Yann Corbel (FRANCE) 3:10:47
6 Mark Deans (SCOTLAND) 3:11:09
7 Hugo Ribeiro (PORTUGAL) 3:14:53
8 Andrea Crevatin (ITALY) 3:25:57
9 Simon Pistor (GERMANY) 3:29:00
10 Petar Matić (CROATIA) 3:29.08
11 Dino Špadina (CROATIA) 3:30:56
12 Bence Balzam (SERBIA) 3:32:00
13 Jose Luis Larrosa (SPAIN) 3:36:56
14 Pedro Mello (BRAZIL) 3:51:06
15 Aljoša Pribac (SLOVENIA) 3:51:10
16. Andrej Pribac (SLOVENIA) 3:51:10
17 Dražen Adžić (CROATIA) 3:52:31
18 Vaso Vulin (CROATIA) 4:01:43
19 Romano Mombelli (SWITZERLAND) 4:08:46
20 Mate Nižić (CROATIA) 4:14:03
21 Filip Erceg (CROATIA) 4:41:24
22 Mladen Milošević (CROATIA) 5:04:20
23 Michael Read (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:49:18

Women's Results:
1 Aygul Sagirova (RUSSIA) 3:21:22
2 Lenka Šterbova (CZECH REPUBLIC) 3:29:07
3 Alexandra Sokolova (RUSSIA) 3:32:02
4 Ines Hahn (GERMANY) 3:32:53
5 Nika Perčić (CROATIA) 3:36:23
6 Antonija Buličić (CROATIA) 3:41:56
7 Evelien Sohl (NETHERLANDS) 3:55:46
8 Irene van der Laan (NETHERLANDS) 4:22:39
9 Barbara Pirstinger (AUSTRIA) 4:41:42
10 Mariana Mello (BRAZIL) 4:43:29
11 Eni Perčić (CROATIA) 4:43:56

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

A Thank You Gift from WOWSA

WOWSA is celebrating the
1-Year Anniversary of the monthly Open Water Swimming Magazine
by giving you a free copy of the anniversary issue.

Open Water Swimming Magazine Anniversary Issue
File Size: 13MB


Download the file to your computer, and then right-click to extract the magazine which is inside the zip folder. The magazine is in PDF format.

CLICK HERE to download your free copy now.

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