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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Hassan Baraka, A Moroccan Swimmer Around The World

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Hassan Baraka is a Morocco athlete who has pushed himself in judo, soccer and rugby, but his dryland career ended in a serious shoulder injury in 2009.

He then turned his energy to marathon runs, ÖTILLÖ swimruns [see below], and triathlons.

But he wanted something more. So he turned to the world's seas and oceans.

In 2014, the Moroccan completed his Swim Around The World. In July 2013, Baraka started off by swimming between Spain and Morocco across the Strait of Gibraltar in 4 hours 1 minute. Then he completed a number of cross-border swims between Asia and Europe (57 minutes 56 seconds in the Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swim in Turkey) in July 2014, between Asia and America (1 km in 34 minutes in the Diomedes Islands of Russia and United States) in August, between Oceania and Asia (9 km in 3 hours 46 minutes from Papua New Guinea to Indonesia) in September, and 28.8 km between Africa and Asia (Egypt - Saudi Arabia) in October in 8 hours 30 minutes. His story is highlighted above.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

New York Open Water Registration Opens Up

Courtesy of Laura Picardo, New York Open Water.

Registration for the shorter events of the 2017 New York Open Water season (2 Bridges 2.5K/5K on June 3rd, 2-mile Governors Island Swim on July 1st, and the Spuyten Duyvil 10K on September 17th) opens March 1st.

"We have a few different pricing options this year, so be sure to read the registration carefully to make sure that you select the option that is right for you. You can enter one, two, or all three events on the one entry form. Want to have a summer full of swimming? Save US$30 by committing to all three events.

All swimmers aged 25 and under as of June 3rd can swim at a reduced fee.

We also plan on hosting boat observer and CPR training for qualified volunteers in the spring

For more information, visit here.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Friday, February 24, 2017

My Two Sons Along The River Murray

Courtesy of Hunter Helmick, Team Help!, River Murray, Australia.

25-year-old Hunter Helmick is an estimated 15 days and 299 km away from becoming the first American to swim the 2,508 km length of River Murray, Australia’s longest river. Helmick left Corryong, Victoria 110 days ago in 12°C water together with his 55-year-old father Eric Helmick and 16-year-old brother Tuck Helmick.

The trio is from Idaho Springs, Colorado and plans to finish the swim together on March 12th.

The team is filming their adventure in hopes of producing a feature film documentary which will include stories of Australian youth and their dreams which the team has interviewed between swimming 30 km a day.

For more information on Help! World Tour and Team Help!, visit www.helpwt.com and www.takeyourdream.com.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Campeonato De Catalunya De Natación De Invierno Open

Courtesy of Tom Morgenstern, Revista Open Water.

The Catalunya Championship of Winter Swimming Open (Campeonato de Catalunya de Natación de Invierno Open) in Puigcerdà, Spain will be the highlight of the Pyrenees Ice Swimming Festival on March 18th and 19th.

The water temperature is expected to be between 1°C and 5°C where the event will be governed by the rules of the International Winter Swimming Association and the Federació Catalana de Natació.

Participants like Jacques Tuset from France, William Bonnet from Great Britain, Marina Bekisz from Belgium, Bernard Nizet from Belgium, Shaun Hales from Great Britain, Joan Martínez from Spain , Juan Emilio Fernandez from Spain, Gemma Sabaté from Spain, Jorge Crivillés from Spain, and Tita Llorens will compete in races including the 25m/50m/100m/200m/450m freestyle and a 4x50m relay.

For more information, visit here.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Javier Mérida Prieto To Cross The Beagle Channel

Courtesy of Tom Morgenstern, Revista Open Water.

Javier Mérida Prieto is a disabled Spanish open water swimmer who became the first disabled person to complete the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming and has completed three Oceans Seven channels.

His bioprene 3.7 km cross-border challenge to cross the Beagle Channel in Argentina in 8ºC water is highlighted in the latest edition of Revista Open Water by Tom Morgenstern here.

His coach Jaime Vigaray and his doctor Rosa Sánchez will oversee his crossing that is expected to take about an hour.

Despite the distance, Mérida predicts. "[Crossing the Beagle Channel will be] the shortest crossing of all that I have done, but until it does not end, we will not be able to compare. In 60 minutes, you can suffer more than 10 hours, depending on the temperature and the fight you have with the sea and the wind."

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

41st Annual Swim Around Key West To Open

Courtesy of Bill Welzien, 87 career swims around Key West, Florida.

Registration for the 41st Annual 12.5-mile Swim Around Key West on June 24th opens on March 1st at 8 am (New York time).

Race organizer Bill Welzien says, "We will accept applications for our hired support kayakers in March. If you have kayaked before, an email will come soon. If you are interested in helping out a swimmer by serving as a volunteer kayaker, please join our email list and choose kayaker."

On December 29th 2016, Welzien completed his 87th circumnavigation in 6 hours 12 minutes in the typically warm waters (77.5°F/25.2°C) and steady winds (5-10 mph) around the most southern point of the state of Florida, escorted by kayaker Jeremy Smith [shown above].

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

WOW, Jordan Wilimovsky Goes 2 For 2

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The WOW Challenge (Williamstown Open Water Challenge) is held along Williamstown Beach, Australia for the past 27 years. The event also serves as the Victorian Open Water Championships and hosted one of the fastest distance swimmers in the world, Jordan Wilimovsky who finished fifth in the 2016 Rio Olympics 10 km marathon swim and fourth in the 1500m in Rio.

But the visiting American was not the only open water swimming star in Williamstown Beach. Jarrod Poort, who led for most of the 2016 Olympic 10 km marathon swim, 21-time English Channel swimmer Chloë McCardel, 6-time Lorne Pier to Pub winner Sam Sheppard, and former 25 km world champion Melissa Cunningham also participated.

Australian Sam Sheppard gave Wilimovsky all that he could handle, just getting touched out by less than 3 seconds. The pair were flying as Wilimovsky defended his titles, swimming at a 11:43 per km pace.

Over 1,000 swimmers participated in the WOW Challenge that was hosted by Williamstown Swimming and Lifesaving Club.

Top 10 Results for 10 km Marathon Swim
1 Jordan Wilimovsky 1:57:14.9
2 Sam Sheppard 1:57:17.4
3 Brendan Casey 1:59:04.6
4 Robbe Dilissen 2:05:06.8
5 Dean Wilson 2:05:54.4
6 Tyler Jones 2:11:03.1
7 Connor Xu 2:13:19.6
8 Lachlan Schwarz 2:14:55.4
9 Simon Bohun 2:15:10.9
10 Nerice Smith 2:19:44.4 [first woman]

Top 10 Results for 5 km Swim
1 Jordan Wilimovsky 59:05.1
2 Sam Sheppard 59:10.5
3 Heath Macleod 59:29.1
4 Thomas Curran 59:40.6
5 Mack Horton 59:46.1
6 Matt Gilling 1:00:09.2
7 Ryland Brian 1:00:46.5
8 Robbe Dilissen 1:01:01.3
9 Connor Xu 1:01:16.2
10 Ryan Gowty 1:01:17.1

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Stage Swimming Along The Sands Of Morocco

Courtesy of Sigma, Morocco.

The Morocco Swim Sahara Edition is a 6-day, 4-stage swim of 6.5 km, 8.5 km, 10 km and 5 km in the Sahara Desert between November 29th and December 4th 2016.

The Sahara Edition took place in the lagoon of the city of Dakhla in Morocco. Each day, participants swam a different distance over a different stretch of water from a different start.

Swim Day 1 was a 6.5 km swim from the Ocean Vagabond camp to Dragon Island. Swim Day 2 (The Pearl of Dakhla) was a 8.5 km swim from Dragon Island to an oyster farm in a lagoon. Swim Day 3 (The Pink Floyd Marathon) was a 10 km swim is along the coast from the oyster camp to Dakhla Attitude Camp. Swim Day 4 was the Nomad Swimmer 5 km open water swim at the Ocean Vagabond Camp.

Cumulative Top 10 Results
1 Hatim Lafkihi (Morocco) 1:34:14 + 2:25:18 + 1:52:54 + 1:01:24 = 6:53:50
2 Mohammed El-Mouttaqi (Morocco) 1:34:44 + 2:26:51 + 1:54:47 + 1:02:33 = 6:58:55
3 Alain Barrucand (France) 1:35:54 + 2:27:31 + 1:55:50 + 1:02:35 = 7:01:50
4 Elena Lionello (ITA) 1:41:30 + 2:29:10 + 1:55:53 + 1:03:49 = 7:10:22
5 Jonay Perez-Garcia (Spain) 1:35:47 + 2:30:22 + 2:00:52 + 1:03:53 = 7:10:54
6 Nicolas Knap (Canada)1:35:52 + 2:30:21 + 2:01:09 + 1:03:50 = 7:11:12
7 Orlando Delgado Rodriguez (Spain) 1:38:55 + 2:37:08 + 1:58:39 + 1:05:34 = 7:20:16
8 Giacomo Spiazzi (Italy) 1:43:31 + 2:36:57 + 2:01:04 + 1:05:37 = 7:27:09
9 Thais Santana (Brazil) 1:44:05 + 2:37:10 + 2:09:57 + 1:07:43 = 7:38:55
10 Damien Tusis 1:43:48 + 2:44:10 + 2:04:53 + 1:07:33 = 7:40:24

The participating Comfort Swim Trekkers includes Simone Massimiliano (ITA), Benmoussa Omar (MAR), Myriam Nasri (FRA), Isabelle Gerente (FRA), Pierre Weisbein (FRA), Marmey Pascale (FRA), Birgit Spitznagel (SUI), Jose Maria Piñaga (ESP), Angel Puchol Garcia (ESP), Filippo Covili Faggioli (ITA), Nicolas Knap (CAN), Dino Sebti (MAR), Alain Barrucand (FRA), Maria Piñaga Jose (ESP), Lozano Lopez Francisco Alejandro (ESP), Markus Stöcklin (SUI), Esperance Jean-Bernard (FRA), Cerdan Ariza Alberto (ESP), Fernandez Démétrio (FRA), Costa Nicolas (FRA), Sonia Cervia Peracaula (ESP), Katia Patrier, Aurelia Teixidor Legoux (ESP), Oriol Gil Sole (ESP), Antonio Salomone (ITA), Lars Fiedler (GER), Bruno Stutz (SUI), Rahel Mueller (SUI), Rahhel Mueller (SUI), Renate Müller (GER), Florian Rassel (FRA), Margalida Genovart (ESP), Rudi Schulz (ESP), Omar Naciri (MAR), Lucie Allemand, Alice Franco (ITA), Jacques Tuset (FRA), Eric Closset (FRA), Birgit Steiger (SUI), Jerome Soulard (FRA), Julien Dubois (FRA), Julie Funnell (GBR), Toni Perez Guillen (ESP), Miguel Ramos Garcia (ESP), Philippe Schenkel (SUI), Estibaliz Amatriain (ESP), Philippe Gravelle (FRA), Robert Frost (FRA), Katrin Breskewitz (GER), Hans Kroes Hans (NED), Jonay Perez García (ESP), Orlando Delgado Rodriguez (ESP), Sara Beneyto Satorres (ESP), Francisco Pupyuelo Sansisteve, Cristina Bahamonde Garcia (ESP), Benhammani Kaoutar, and David Bravo Hernandez (ESP).

The participating Vagabond Swim Trekkers include Richarté Olivier (FRA), Kabbaj Driss (MAR), Portmann Joana (SUI), Vicente Casterá Brugada (ESP), Destruhaut Benoit (FRA), Debelic Gagne (ESP), Isabel Garcia Thierfeldt, Sandra Molnar (GER), Rubini Puig Boro (ESP), Meister Marlise (SUI), Meister Marlise (SUI), Tursis Damien, Victor Mellerin, David Hinnen (SUI), Oscar Rubinat Miquel (ESP), Jesus Valladares Gomez (ESP), Estelle Pitard (FRA), Maria Mendoza Aparicio (ESP), Damin Francois (FRA), Jalil Belcaid (MAR), Giuliana Braga (BRA), Celine Sugier (FRA), Thais Santana (BRA), Xavier Reichhart (FRA), Olivier Penin (FRA), Juan Jose Lecumberri (ESP), Arnau Rueda, Giacomo Spiazzi (ITA), Michaela Mrazakova, and Ahmed Haddi (MAR).

The next event between November 28th and December 3th 2017. For more information, visit here.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Ajman City Swim To Culminate UAE City Swim Series

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The Ajman City Swim will culminate the 2016-2017 UAE City Swim Series that offers open water swims in races in Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Ajman in the United Arab Emirates.

The races are 250m, 500m, 1 km, and 2 km in distance and take place in the winter season in the UAE between October and March. The events are charity swims to benefit the Charitable Al Jalila Foundation fund-raising for Road to Awareness.

* Dubai City Swim in October in Le Méridien Abu Dhabi in Abu Dhabi

* Sharjah City Swim in November in Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort & Spa in Sharjah

* Abu Dhabi City Swim in January in Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort in Dubai

* Ajman City Swim on March 4th in Ajman Saray, a Luxury Collection Resort in Ajman

The Road to Awareness is the fundraising campaign of Starwood Hotels & Resorts that has been making a positive difference in the lives of children since its launch in 2008. Employees throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East have raised over $5 million for children in need through this campaign. Raising awareness and donations for the Omniyat Dania project which invests the funds into medical treatment and research of childhood cancer in the UAE is the goal of the event.

For more information, visit here.

Abu Dhabi City Swim Top 10 Results
1 Paul Clement (France) 34:16
2 Nic Roselt (Australia) 34:21
3 Candice Saxod (France) 38:36
4 Anne Palmans (Netherlands) 38:48
5 Joanne Norman (Australia) 42:54
6 Nichola Cooper (UK) 45:34
7 Ivan Njuki (Uganda) 48:59
8 Alex King (UK) 49:33
9 Tim Merryweather (South Africa) 49:54
10 Matthew Kenny (UAE) 50:38

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Jacqueline Kempfer Steps Up Her Training

Courtesy of Robert Heiduk, KAATSU Germany.

German swimmer Jacqueline Kempfer crossed the Fehmarnbelt, a 18 km strait in the western part of the Baltic Sea between the German island of Fehmarn and the Danish island of Lolland last year in 9 hours 9 minutes.

Kempfer and her coach Volker Kleinert wanted to step up her training this winter season. She did so with KAATSU.

This is her story (click here).

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

The Longest Swim Is Getting Closer

Courtesy of Paul Lecomte, The Longest Swim, Pacific Ocean.

The Longest Swim will definitely live up to its billings.

The Longest Swim is Benoît Lecomte's stage swim from Tokyo across the Pacific Ocean to San Francisco, California. His crew estimates that it will take 5-6 months to cross over 5,419 miles (8,721 km) across the world's largest body of water.

Lecomte will be supported by a operational and scientific team aboard a 50-foot catamaran that is equipped with computers and communications to send and receive data, enabling fans and followers direct interaction with Lecomte and his crew. Audio and video information will be uploaded in real-time to his website. His website will relay his position, the weather condition, his physical health and that of his team, his mental status, and marine life.

It is quite possibly the greatest adventure in mankind’s history.

"Everything is going fine with the delivery," reported Paul Lecomte, the Project Manager and brother of Benoît. "The boat and crew arrived in Panama last Sunday and should be in San Diego by mid-March."

Photo above shows crew members Anna Szutenberg, Landon Glover, Ruffels Scott, Tyral Dal, Jonathan Payman and Alex Dowling.

For more information, visit thelongestswim.com or on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

H2OMAN Marathon Swim In Lakawon Island Resort

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The H2OMAN Marathon Swim in Lakawon Island Resort is a multi-race open water swimming competition on Lakawon Island, Negros Occidental in the Philippines on May 6th and 7th.

Organized by the Swim Academy and Pinoy Fitness, the distances include races of 500m, 1.5 km, 2.5 km, 5 km, a 10 km 4-person relay, and a 10 km marathon swim.

Lakawon is an island off the coast of Cadiz in the Negros Occidental, a province in Negros Island of the Philippines. It is a white sand beach resort on the island that is a popular destination for both local and foreign tourists.

Founder Moi Yamoyam says, "The H2OMAN Openwater Swim Series promotes the enchanting Philippine archipelago and encouraging the growing community of both local and international open water swimming enthusiasts. Come and swim our beautiful islands."

For additional information on the H2OMAN Openwater Swim Series, visit here.

Other upcoming races in the Philippine include:

* Open Water Challenge: The Blue Miler on April 29th
* Swim Junkie: VIP Lobo in Lobo, Batangas on May 21st
* Swim Junkie: El Nido in El Nido, Palawan on June 18th
* Open Water Challenge Leg 2 in Terrazas de Punta Fuego on July 23rd
* Swim Junkie: Caramoan in Caramoan, Camarines Sur on August 13th
* H2O Swim Series on August 13th

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Deciding On The 2024 Olympics: Seine Or Santa Monica?

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

After years of planning and politicking, the selection of the location of the 2024 Summer Olympics is turning out to be between two large global cities.

Several candidate cities expressed interest in hosting the 2024 Olympics including Rome (Italy), Nairobi (Kenya), Casablanca (Morocco), Durban (South Africa), Johannesburg (South Africa), Doha (Qatar), Brisbane (Australia), Paris (France), Berlin (Germany), Hamburg (Germany), Copenhagen (Denmark), Saint Petersburg (Russia), Kiev (Ukraine), Budapest (Hungary), Istanbul (Turkey), Baku (Azerbaijan), and Los Angeles (USA).

As the bids were announced, city by city fell by the wayside, leaving the lead pack of Rome, Paris, Budapest, and Los Angeles.

But Rome pulled out last year and Budapest reportedly just dropped out. This leaves only Paris and Los Angeles as the two possibilities to host the world's Olympic athletes and the 2024 Olympic 10K Marathon Swim.

Hungarian politician Zoltan Kovacs confirmed that the Hungarian bid will be officially withdrawn after a meeting between Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Budapest mayor Istvan Tarlos and the Hungarian Olympic Committee. According to the Associated Press, the local population prefers to spend public funds on improvements in hospitals and education rather than on its Olympic efforts.

Throughout the history of the Olympic Games, swimming events have been held in the following open bodies of water:

* 1896 Athens Olympics (Games of the I Olympiad): Bay of Zea off the Piraeus coast in the Aegean Sea of Greece
* 1900 Paris Olympics (Games of the III Olympiad): Seine River in Paris, France
* 1904 St. Louis Olympics (Games of the III Olympiad): Man-made pond near Skinker and Wydown Boulevards in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
* 1906 Athens Intercalated Games: Neo Phaliron Bay off the coast of Athens, Greece
* 2008 Beijing Olympics (Games of the XXIX Olympiad): Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park (顺义奥林匹克水上公园 or 順義奧林匹克水上公園 in Chinese), outside Beijing, China
* 2012 London Olympics (Games of the XXX Olympiad): Serpentine in London, UK * 2016 Rio Olympics (Games of the XXXI Olympiad): Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
* 2020 Tokyo Olympics (Games of the XXXII Olympiad): Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo Bay, Japan

If the city of Paris wins the right to bring back the 2024 Olympic Games, then it will be interesting to see where they will stage the 10 km marathon swim.

One possibility is the urban beach that stretches one mile along the Seine in the heart of Paris, just steps from the Louvre.

During the 1900 Olympic Games, the muddied waters of the Seine hosted the swimming events. With the river current pushing them along, the swimming times were fast. John Arthur Jarvis, a renowned swimmer from Great Britain [shown on left] won the longest events, the 1 km and 4 km river swims.

Frederick Lane of Australia won the 200m freestyle and the 200m obstacle race. Ernst Hoppenberg of Germany won the 200m backstroke and 200m team race.

If Los Angeles wins the 2024 Olympic Games bid, then there are several good possibilities along the Southern California coast:

* Manhattan Beach
* Santa Monica Beach
* Huntington Beach
* Long Beach
* Castaic Lake

Manhattan Beach is where the beach volleyball events will be held and is a wide white sand beach with a long history of holding professional beach volleyball tournaments and ocean swims between its piers.

Santa Monica Beach is close to the anticipated Olympic Villages of USC and UCLA with a wide white sand beach and a history of holding mass ocean events near its massive pier.

Huntington Beach is where the Olympic surfing events may be held and is a wide white sand beach with a long history of holding ocean swims and innumerable professional surfing contests near its massive pier.

* Long Beach is where the 1932 Olympics rowing events were held and has a long history of holding competitive triathlons and open water swims.

* Castaic Lake is where USA Swimming has held its open water swimming national championships on several occasions.

France or America, Paris or Los Angeles...where will the 2024 Summer Olympic Games be held? Stay tuned to find out from the IOC this September.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Amur Bay International Swim Hits Russian Shores

Courtesy of Dmitry Anashkin (Дмитрий Анашкин), Vladivostok, Russia.

Dmitry Anashkin is a Russian race director who organizes an annual 1 km open water swim and a 12 km marathon swim called the Amur Bay International Swim (Марафонский заплыв Амурский Залив во Владивостоке), held in Vladivostok, Russia that started in 2013 and has been growing ever since.

For more information, contact Anashkin at fpspk@mail.ru and visit Sharkfin.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Halo Goes From Irrigation Ditch To Hall Of Fame

Photo of the members of the Maui Swim Club, L-R: Jose Balmores, Takashi 'Halo' Hirose, William Neunzig, and Keo Nakama courtesy of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Imagine growing up and swimming in an irrigation ditch. And then becoming one of the best swimmers in the world.

The island of Maui was the setting for this remarkable development of Takashi 'Halo' Hirose who was recently inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

Under the development of Coach Soichi Sakamoto, Halo was recognized by the Hall of Fame in the Pioneer category. The Pioneer category was created to honor great achievements that have been overlooked by the fog of time or special circumstances that interfered with their careers, such as accidents, war or politics.

It’s about time,” says Richard 'Sonny' Tanabe, a member of the 1956 United States Olympic team and past president of the Hawaii Swimming Hall of Fame. “Halo made a tremendous contribution not only to Hawaiian swimming, but international swimming as well.”

[It is] a fitting and deserving tribute,” says Olympic gold medalist Steve Clark. “In his day, Halo was one of the fastest swimmers in the world. Thanks to Julie Checkoway, author of the book, ‘The Three Year Swim Club: The Untold Story of Maui’s Sugar Ditch Kids and Their Quest for Olympic Glory’, and now this. his amazing story is being remembered.”

Checkoway writes in The Three Year Swim Club, "In 1937, a schoolteacher on the island of Maui challenged a group of poverty-stricken sugar plantation kids to swim upstream against the current of their circumstance. The goal? To become Olympians.

They faced seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The children were Japanese-American, were malnourished and barefoot and had no pool; they trained in the filthy irrigation ditches that snaked down from the mountains into the sugarcane fields. Their future was in those same fields, working alongside their parents in virtual slavery, known not by their names but by numbered tags that hung around their necks. Their teacher, Soichi Sakamoto, was an ordinary man whose swimming ability didn't extend much beyond treading water.

In spite of everything, including the virulent anti-Japanese sentiment of the late 1930s, in their first year the children outraced Olympic athletes twice their size; in their second year, they were national and international champs, shattering American and world records and making headlines from L.A. to Nazi Germany. In their third year, they'd be declared the greatest swimmers in the world, but they'd also face their greatest obstacle: the dawning of a world war and the cancellation of the Games. Still, on the battlefield, they'd become the 20th century's most celebrated heroes, and in 1948, they'd have one last chance for Olympic glory

Like many poor, Japanese-Americans kids whose parents worked as laborers on Hawaiian island of Maui’s Pu’unene’s sugar plantation, Halo began by swimming in irrigation ditches for fun, before joining Coach Sakamoto’s famed “Three Year Swim Club” in 1937. It was Sakamoto’s dream to have some of his swimmers represent the United States, in the home of their ancestors, at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, in 1940.

One year after joining the club, at the age 15, Halo placed second in the 200-meter freestyle, just inches behind future Hall of Famer and 1936 Olympic Champion Adolph Kiefer, and fourth in the 100 free at the US National AAU meet. His performance earned him a spot on a United States team that toured Europe and he was a member of the United States’ 400-meter freestyle relay team that set a world record in Germany.

In 1939 he was selected for the United States team that toured South America. He was a shoe-in for the 1940 Olympic team, but his and Sakamoto’s dreams were dashed by cancellation of the Games. It was a small consolation that he, along with his Maui teammates Keo Nakama and Fujiko Katsutani were selected for the USA’s Olympic Swimming Teams that never got to compete in 1940.

After winning the United States National 100m title in 1941 came Pearl Harbor. Once Japanese Americans were permitted, he volunteered to fight in Europe as a member of the 442nd 'Nisei' Regimental Combat Team. On the battlefield he gained almost as many honors as he had in swimming events in Hawaii, the USA, South America, Germany, Austria and Hungary. A member of a machine gun platoon through some of the heaviest fighting in France and Italy, Hirose received five battle stars, the combat infantry badge and a Presidential Unit Citation. In November 1944, he contracted trench foot during deployment in France and was paralyzed from the hips down. It was feared that he might lose his feet.

Although he recovered the use of his legs after six months in rehabilitation, he would feel the effects of trench foot for the remainder of his life. After the war, Halo followed his Maui teammate, Keo Nakama to the Ohio State University where he became a three-time All-American swimmer. Although he was an NCAA champion in the 100 free and helped Ohio State win Big Ten, NCAA and AAU team titles, Halo was denied his opportunity to swim in the Olympic Games in 1944. His war injuries also affected his chances to make the Olympic team in 1948.

The story of Halo and the The Three-Year Swim Club has been optioned for possible film development by the famed Director, Clint Eastwood. Along with Keo Nakama, Bill Smith, Jose Balmores, James Tanaka, Charlie Oda, Fujiko Katsutani and others who trained under Sakamoto, and used swimming to “get away from the plantations,” Halo brought national and international acclaim to Hawaii swimming before he passed away at the age of 79, in 2002.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

The New Golden Gate Frogman Swim

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Among the highest grossing charity swims in the world is the Tampa Bay Frogman Swim in Florida that exceeded over US$500,000 in donations* for the Navy SEAL Foundation last year.

Race director Rory O'Connor and Kurt Ott have now established a sister swim on the other side of America, the new Golden Gate Frogman Swim.

The event date is August 6th. "Registration for our inaugural event in San Francisco is May 1st. Registration is US$250 per swimmer with a US$2,500 per swimmer fundraising goal. All raised money will go to the Navy SEAL Foundation as is done in Tampa Bay."

Photo shows start of the first Tampa Bay Frogman Swim.

* The world's 15 highest grossing open water charity swims:

1. 2015 Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge - US$2,010,000
2. 2011 Swim Across America Long Island Sound - US$1,245,000
3. 2013 Nighttrain228 - US$1,200,000
4. 2012 Swim Across America Long Island Sound - US$1,118,000
5. 2014 Swim Across America Long Island Sound - US$1,105,000
6. 2005 Swim Across America Long Island Sound - US$1,067,000
7. 2006 Swim Across America Long Island Sound - US$1,065,000
8. 2010 Swim Across America Long Island Sound - US$1,038,000
9. 2007 Swim Across America Long Island Sound - US$1,032,000
10. 2013 Swim Across America Long Island Sound - US$986,000
11. 2004 Swim Across America Long Island Sound - US$936,000
12. 2008 Swim Across America Long Island Sound - US$917,000
13. 2015 Tampa Bay Frogman Swim - US$600,000+
14. 2015 Mighty Mac Swim - US$432,000
15. 2016 A Long Swim - US$320,000+

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Triple Corona Illas Atlánticas, Spain's Stage 3

Courtesy of Beatriz Alvariño Díaz del Río, Atlantic Extrem Sports.

The Atlantic Islands Triple Crown (Triple Corona Illas Atlánticas) is a 3-stage, 3-year, 57 km marathon swim between the Island of Sálvora and Vilagarcía de Arousa in Galicia, Spain.

Held on September 2nd, nearly 100 swimmers will compete in one of the longest and most demanding swims on the European continent that is overseen by Carlos Agra of the Sanxenxo Royal Nautical Club.

The Triple Corona Illas Atlánticas includes three swims of 13 km, 16 km and 28 km in the estuaries of Pontevedra, Vigo and Arousa, each held between 2015 and 2017. Each of the three swims depart from an island in the Atlantic Islands National Park in Galicia: Ons, Cíes and Sálvora, respectively.

The first events, 13 km in September 2015, was between the Island of Ons and Sanxenxo with 135 swimmers. The second race, 16 km in 2016, departed from Rodas Beach on the Cíes Islands and ended on Ribeira Beach in Baiona with 125 swimmers. The last and the longest course will start from the Island of Sálvora and will finish in Vilagarcía de Arousa on September 2nd 2017.

Beatriz Alvariño Díaz del Río explains, "The objectives of this challenge are to highlight the natural wealth of these islands that make up the Atlantic Islands National Park in Galicia, promote the Rías Baixas, and turn this sporting challenge into one of the signature swimming events in Spain and Europe.

The average profile of our participants is an experienced sportsman or woman who is used to swimming long distances, more than 10 km, in excellent physical shape and mental strength to face challenge of these types. Headwinds, currents, waves, low water temperatures, and the turbulence of the open ocean are the adverse elements that participants will face

The Triple Corona Illas Atlánticas is organised by Atlantic Extrem Sports and the Tumetapersonal Club, organizers of the Costa Serena Swim in Nigran.

For more information and registration until July 15th, visit www.triplecoronaillasatlanticas.com.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Audi Gives A Little Moore

Courtesy of Audi Q7 e-tron 3.0 TDI Quattro with Nuala Moore in Dingle in Co Kerry, Ireland.

Last year's Audi Q7 e-tron 3.0 TDI Quattro advertisement featuring Irish ice swimmer Nuala Moore won a gold medal at the Accenture Digital Irish Media Awards over last weekend.

"Thanks to the Irish Times for asking me and all the team at Streamabout media for this gorgeous piece of footage...it really shows our beautiful water where we grew up swimming and it's filled with emotion," said Moore. "I am so honoured to have been asked to share my story. I am so proud of this wonderful piece of work after the Irish Times Newspaper contacted me and asked me to partake in an Audi advertising campaign. [The ad] shows my home and mostly where I grew up swimming."

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

1978, The Year That Was

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

"When I was swimming in college, the thought of drowning never crossed my mind," said Olympic champion John Kinsella. "Now, I'm aware there's a danger."

Kinsella said that after his 13 hour 49 minute victory at the 1978 Lake Ontario professional marathon race.

"When the thunderstorm hit 90 minutes from the finish, I was disappearing under those 9-foot waves. Competitive swimming and marathon swimming are two completely different sports. The only thing they have in common is the fact that you're swimming. Everything else is different."

Kinsella should know. He not only won a silver medal at the 1968 Olympics and a gold medal at the 1972 Olympics, but he also had a stellar career in Hinsdale Central High School and Indiana University.

But in the summer of 1978, Kinsella was on a tear, winning 7 races around the world. His races were not the only major marathon swims completed in 1978. There were lots of incredible swims and races held around the world, including the English Channel. The 1978 race was won by Alawi Makki of Saudi Arabia in 9 hours 54 minutes.

But there are few swims in the English Channel that were as dominant as Penny Dean's record-breaking swim in 1978. The future professor and coach broke Nasser el Shazly's England-to-France record of 8 hours 45 minutes with a 7 hour 40 minute crossing.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Walter Poenisch created his legacy with the first recorded Speedo Diplomacy, his Swim for Peace, a swim of 128.8 miles (207.2 km) in 34 hours 15 minutes. The 65-year-old's achievement was the reason why he was announced yesterday as an Honor Swimmer in the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

Meanwhile, 16-year-old John York was completing a 16 hours 42 minute double crossing of the Catalina Channel in the summer.

It was quite a year, 1978.

Photo shows Dan Slosberg swimming towards the California coast on his 19 hour 32 minute double crossing of the Catalina Channel.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Monday, February 20, 2017

Daina Bouquin Wins Four At Winter Swimming Champs

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

28-year-old Daina Bouquin [addressing media in photo on left] swept four events at the United States Winter Swimming Association's 2017 Winter Swimming National Championships at the New York Aquarium in Coney Island: in the 50m butterfly, 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, and 200m freestyle.

50m Breaststroke Women's Results
1. Jaimie Monahan, USA 53.03
2. Kellie Latimer, USA 58.69
3. Caroline Block, USA 1:00.59
4. Elaine Howley, USA 1:00.69
5. Marine Bekisz, Belgium 1:01.82
6. Morgane Coumont, Belgium 1:02.32
7. Jane Mason, USA 1:03.75
8. Ozlen Luznar, USA 1:08.62
9. Nicole Gernay, Belgium 1:08.83
10. Mariia Yrjö-Koskinen, Finland 1:10.69
11. Sabine Buche, Belgium 1:16.94
12. Noëlle Joiris, Belgium 1:18.89
13. Jocelyne Darimont, Belgium 1:29.25
14. Nora De Kempeneer, Belgium 2:03.16

50m Breaststroke Men's Results
1. John Hughes, USA 48.81
2. Jean-Marc Gilkin, Belgium 52.00
3. Josef Stolin, Belgium 58.79
4. Richard Born, USA 58.88
5. James Schall, USA 1:00.08
6. Ed Gabriels, USA 1:00.40
7. Naum Barash, USA 1:02.01
8. Elliot Reed, Elliot, USA 1:05.33
9. Silverio Bracaglia, USA 1:08.89
10. Claude Coumont, Belgium 1:11.90
11. Richard Buche, Belgium 1:20.96

100m Freestyle Women's Results
1. Daina Bouquin, USA 1:13.28
2. Jaimie Monahan, USA 1:21.25
3. Martha Wood, USA 1:21.64
4. Devon Clifford, USA 1:22.58
5. Kellie Latimer, USA 1:28.77
6. Jane Mason, USA 1:32.51
7. Ozlen Luznar, USA 1:34.03
8. Elaine Howley, USA 1:35.26
9. Talya Tibbon, USA 1:36.53
10. Caroline Block, USA 1:37.41
11. Ranie Pearce, USA 1:53.56
12. Marina Bekisz, Belgium 1:57.95
13. Laura Nattress, USA 2:00.57
14. Morgane Coumont, Belgium 2:20.69
15. Zuzana Patkova, Belgium 2:26.28

100m Freestyle Men's Results
1. Matt Judge, USA 1:02.09
2. Conor Turner, Ireland 1:07.57
3. Edward Riley, USA 1:14.69
4. Ed Gabriels, USA 1:14.69
5. Yuta Tsuboi, USA 1:15.90
6. Elias Falcon, USA 1:17.32
7. Kenn Lichtenwalter, USA 1:24.95
8. Richard Born, USA 1:25.25
9. Thomas Hale, USA 1:28.65
10. John Gale, USA 1:39.12
11. Silverio Bracaglia, USA 1:43.69
12. Peter Risi, USA 1:50.93
13. Jean-Marc Gilkin, Belgium 1:58.84
14. Elliot Reed, USA 2:13.46
15. Michel Barzin, Belgium 2:25.31
16. Bernard Nizet, Belgium 2:38.78
17. Claude Coumont, Belgium 2:44.38
18. Richard Buche, Belgium 2:52.03
19. Seth Bornstein, USA 3:44.45

25m Freestyle Women's Results
1. Meaghan Kwarcinski, USA 19.39
2. Elaine Howley, USA 19.94
3. Jaimie Monahan, USA 20.00
4. Tauni Lanier, USA 20.53
5. Martha Wood, USA 21.75
6. Mary Isakson, USA 23.51
7. Patty Hermann, USA 24.16
8. Ozlen Luznar, USA 24.38
9. Jane Mason, USA 24.52
10. Caroline Block, USA 24.96
11. Morgane Coumont, Belgium 25.00
12. Olivia Bradley, USA 25.04
13. Capri Djatiasmoro, USA 25.80
14. Devon Clifford, USA 25.84
15. Mariia Yrjö-Koskinen, Finland 26.64
16. Mary Stabinsky, USA 26.65
17. Carolina Perez, USA 28.60
18. Joelle Petit, Belgium 35.20
19. Mindy Bowens, USA 35.22

25m Freestyle Men's Results
1. Yuta Tsuboi, USA 16.06
2. Richard Born, USA 16.85
3. Edward Riley, USA 17.19
4. Conor Turner, Ireland 17.65
5. Ed Gabriels, USA 20.59
6. James Schall, USA 21.31
7. Tom De Kesel, USA 23.94
8. Kenn Lichtenwalter, USA 24.94
9. Bernard Nizet, Belgium 27.50
10. Paul Martin, USA 29.91
11. John Gale, USA 29.93
12. Thomas McGann, USA 31.69
13. Silverio Bracaglia, USA 40.13
14. Barnabas Zeng, USA 1:15.01
15. Josef Stolin, Belgium 2:22.06

25m Butterfly Women's Results
1. Daina Bouquin, USA 16.97
2. Kellie Latimer, USA 19.70
3. Jaimie Monahan, USA 20.50
4. Martha Wood, USA 22.10
5. Elaine Howley, USA 26.71
6. Ranie Pearce, USA 28.82
7. Ozlen Luznar, USA 29.45
8. Mary Isakson, USA 34.33
9. Mary Stabinsky, USA 36.15
10. Capri Djatiasmoro, USA 44.26

25m Butterfly Men's Results
1. Conor Turner, Ireland 15.81
2. Richard Born, USA 17.59
3. John Hughes, USA 19.66
4. Ed Gabriels, USA 22.32
5. Silverio Bracaglia, USA 29.19
6. John Gale, USA 30.29
7. James Schall, USA 31.02
8. Barnabas Zeng, USA 52.15

Additional race results are posted here.

Copyright © 2008-2017 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.


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