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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Chip On The Shoulder Of Two Germans

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

He's baaaaackkkk. Well, almost.

It has been many years since American Charles 'Chip' Peterson has been the alpha dog of the open water swimming world. With illnesses that have plagued him since winning 10 km at the 2005 FINA World Championships, his potential has always been clipped short.

But now he is getting back into shape and able to train as he wishes. Peterson has truly shown the patience and commitment of a marathon swimmer.

In today's FINA 10 km Marathon Swimming World Cup event during the Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean week, Peterson joined winner Andreas Waschburger and Christian Reichert on the podium with Canadian Richard Weinberger taking fourth place will be held today with 28 men from 12 countries.

Preliminary results:

1. Andreas Waschburger (GER)
2. Charles Peterson (USA)
3. Christian Reichert (GER)
4. Richard Weinberger (CAN)

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Do You Have A Blue Mind?

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Wallace J. Nichols, Ph.D. wrote Blue Mind, a fascinating book that explains the "surprising science that shows how being near, in, on, or under water can make you happier, healthier, more connected, and better at what you do."

While open water swimmers intrinsically know this, it is a revelation to people who remain on terra firma.

Dr. Nichols presents the reasoning and emergence of neuroconservation as well as describes practical examples of people who enjoy the water in various forms. He talks about athletes like Bruckner Chase and those who coaches from America Samoa to the New Jersey shore.

He writes, "...the ways we use our bodies in water - having to time our breaths consciously, reaching up and over and puling the water toward us, moving the legs independently of the pace that the arms are setting - is nothing like the way we move on land.

We must learn to swim and this combination of cognitive effort and aerobic exercise has actually been proven to provide the greatest amount of what is called "cognitive reserve" - that is, the mind's resilience to damage to the brain

For more information, visit here.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Simon Domiguez Storming Through The Open Water

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

He has some kind of reputation.

"Simon Dominguez exemplifies the spirit of marathon swimming," says fellow swimmer Kimberley Chambers. "He is a joy to train alongside, always inclusive and willing to share his swims and training with others."

Reg Brickell, Jr. reportedly said after Dominguez completed a 13-hour English Channel crossing, "It was the worse storm a swimmer has had to endure in 45 years of taking swimmers across with winds gusted to 60 knots."

"Simon just did a Channel solo in 13 hours; Simon is a Night Train stud," says Vito Bialla [shown above] with Dominguez.

The bi-coastal Aussie swims with North Bay Aquatics Masters, the South End Rowing Club and the Night Train Swimmers in California and the Bondi Icebergs and North Bondi Surf Lifesaving Club in Australia.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

The Sounds Of The Marine Jungle

Courtesy of Evan Morrison who captured the sounds of the marine environment anchored near the Farallon Islands, west of the Californian coast before Joseph Locke's latest triumph from the Farallon Islands to the Golden Gate Bridge.

The Success Of Failure In The Open Water

Courtesy of Katie Benoit, recently emerged from the North Channel.

The sport of open water swimming is inherently risky. There is always a possibility that one's goals will not be achieved due to the tempestuous Mother Nature in the form of winds and tides or marine life in the form of gelatinous invertebrates.

While the social media enables successes to be widely and immediately distributed among the open water swimming community, family and friends, failures - or rather non-finishes - are not a commonly shared.

But there is no shame in a non-finish in the dynamic venues of channels, lakes, rivers, seas and oceans. Some swimmers get lucky with smooth, tolerable conditions and others get the short end of the stick with impassible, intolerable conditions.

Even success in one channel - even the Molokai Channel or English Channel - does not guarantee success in another location.

But learning from and accepting a non-finish is an important part of the sport. For some, it spells the end of a career. But for many more, it is just part of the challenge and process in maturing in the sport.

Katie Benoit, a police officer from Colorado with a track record of heroism on terra firma, is en route to the Oceans Seven. But like Stephen Redmond, Michelle Macy and Anna-Carin Nordin before her, the road to the Oceans Seven is not always smooth with success.

She talks frankly about her recent bout in the North Channel:

"This is a side of open water swimming I have not experienced yet. Of course, in our sport there are no guarantees. We don't control the tides, the storms, the lighting. I know that every time I leave on a swim trip I may not get to swim or I may get pulled from the water if conditions get unsafe. But I always held the firm belief that mentally, if just given good enough conditions, I can suffer through anything.

As we set out into the North Channel this past Sunday conditions were good. The water unusually warm at 15ºC (59ºF), and the air temperature a cloudy and foggy 60ºF. The plan was to start strong to catch a favorable tide. I had a strong first two hours. The size of the dreaded Lion's mane jellyfish underneath me was impressive, most of them about 8-10 ft. Lucky for me they remained low enough. We also had a humpback whale pay as a visit and swim within a few feet behind the boat. Thank heaven I didn't see it. The crew got some great pictures.

Everything seemed to be going ideal. It seemed to me the temperature dropped as we reached the middle of the channel, even though the measurements from the boat indicated steady 15ºC. My pace dropped a little and I began experiencing cramps in my hip flexors and neck. With the pace slowly dwindling the cold began setting in more. Attempts to stretch lead to more cramps and had to be abandoned. So I just kept on swimming.

One thing the mind can't control is how hypothermia will take your mind. About 4 hours into the swim things got hazy. I recall trying to sing a song, any song in my mind, but could not recall any. I recall feeling stiff and not able to move well. My husband tells me he had to yell at me to communicate and it seemed like I didn't understand what he was telling me. About 6 hours in I first said the words, the words I never said in my element before - "I want out". Of course, any good crew won't let you.

Attempts to deliver hot feeds more often (every 20 instead of 30 minutes) were made. I had difficulty holding my cup. I was told I dropped the cup into the salt water (don't remember). I do remember drinking something very salty. I yelled at my crew why they had put salt in my drink? Yelled at them what they put in my drink…I recall thinking how did I take something I loved as much as swimming and turned it into this hell. And at some point I knew. I looked up at the coast of Scotland in sight and I knew I didn't have that much time left. 4 hours away while I was fighting for minutes. I did not want to be in that much pain anymore

So her swim was over.

But then a renewed mindset overcame her.

"Once on the boat an hour of very painful hip flexor cramps followed, then slowly got better. The days after were hard and I have been struggling to come to peace with my decision. I have many swimming goals left. The Oceans Seven only one of them. I will likely return to Ireland, but don't know when yet. I want to do some really long swims, in climates that suit my leaner body type better. I love Hawaii and Florida, and will pick my next challenge somewhere warmer. The next goal is the 42-mile course length wise crossing of the German lake Bodensee in early September. I could really need a success now, but all I can do is take it one day at a time."

Onwards to the next swim, the next success.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Crowded Field At the FINA 10K World Cup In Roberval

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

4e étape de la Coupe du monde des marathons en eau libre FINA – or the FINA 10 km Marathon Swimming World Cup at the Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean week will be held today with 28 men from 12 countries and 18 women from 8 countries (see start list below).

Defending champions Alexander Studzinski of Germany and Emily Brunemann of the USA, who both comfortably won last year's race, will have a much more difficult time this year due to the tough, fast, experienced field:

Men's start list:
*Christian Reichert (GER)
*Alexander Studzinski (GER)
*Andreas Waschburger (GER)
*Luis Rogerio Arapiraca (BRA)
*Victor Colonese (BRA)
*Samuel De Bona (BRA)
*Allan Do Carmo (BRA)
*Diogo Villarinho (BRA)
*Christopher Grimmet‐Norris (USA)
*Juan Martin Pereyra (ARG)
Davy Billiau (BEL)
*David Heron (USA))
*Yoelvis Pedraza (USA)
*Charles Peterson (USA)
*Joanes Hedel (FRA)
*Vitaliy Khudyakov (KAZ)
*Aleksandar Ilievski (MKD)
*Evgenij Pop Acev (MKD)
*Troy Balvert (NZL)
*Kane Radford (NZL)
*Jan Posmourny (CZE)
*Saleh Mohammad (SYR)
*Xavier Desharnais (CAN)
*Eric Hedlin (CAN))
*Nicolas Masse‐Savard (CAN)
*Gabriel Pouliot (CAN)
*Richard Weinberger (CAN)
*Samer Yaghmour (CAN)

Women's start list:
*Angela Maurer (GER)
*Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA)
*Gabriela Ferreira (BRA)
*Betina Lorscheitter (BRA)
*Poliana Okimoto (BRA)
*Kristel Kobrich (CHI)
*Karla Sitic (CRO)
*Emily Brunemann (USA)
*Eva Fabian (USA)
*Heidi George (USA)
*Christine Jennings (USA)
*Charlotte Webby (NZL)
*Silvie Rybarova (CZE)
*Jade Dusablon (CAN)
*Heather Maitland (CAN)
*Caitlin Nolan (CAN)
*Léonie Pamerleau (CAN))
*Justine Rhéaume (CAN)
Upper photo shows podium winners from the 2013Jade Dusablon (left), Emily Brunemann (middle), and Béatrice Pineau (right). Lower photo shows Nicolas Masse-Savard (left), Alexander Studzinski (middle), and Joanes Hedel (right)

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Two For Tomi?

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Will Tomi Stefanovski pull off another major upset at the 60th Traversée internationale du lac St‐Jean this weekend?

Last year, the oldest man in the field was also the fastest. Stefanovski showed the grit and stamina of men half his age.

25 athletes (16 men and 9 women) from 15 countries are taking part in the 60th Traversée internationale du lac St‐Jean this weekend:

*Simon Pistor (GER)
*Damian Blaum (ARG)
*Fernando Ciaramella (ARG)
*Rita Vanesa Garcia (ARG)
*Pilar Geijo (ARG)
*Samir Barel (BRA)
*Matheus Evangelista (BRA)
*Tiago Sato (BRA)
*Tsvetan Yordanov (BUL)
*Dina Levacic (CRO)
*Esther Nunez Morera (ESP)
*Lexie Kelly (USA)
*Joanes Hedel (FRA)
*Bertrand Venturi (FRA)
*Vitaliy Khudyakov (KAZ)
*Aleksandar Ilievski (MKD)
*Evgenij Pop Acev (MKD)
*Tomi Stefanovski (MKD)
*Silvie Rybarova (CZE)
*Anna Mankevich (RUS)
*Saleh Mohammad (SYR)
*Vicenia Navarro (VEN)
*Xavier Desharnais (CAN)
*Philippe Guertin (CAN)
*Sabryna Lavoie (CAN)

Photo shows athletes including Lexie Kelly signing autographs for the fans of Traversée internationale du lac St‐Jean.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Upper Merion Open Water Swim Series - Tuesday Night #4

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

It was another hot summer day and another beautiful day to cool off in the river. Air temperatures were sizzling, near 90ºF while the water was 81ºF. But the heat also coincided with a much more competitive field at the French Creek Racing's Tuesday Night Series #4 race in Bridgeport, Pennsylvania. The Upper Merion Open Water Swim Series is achieving its goal as most of the swimmers dropped substantial time from their swims 3 weeks ago.

"The series is a perfect weekday opportunity to hone your racing skills, work on your pacing, positioning, and drafting, and increase your navigational IQ," says Kenny, a former USA Swimming national open water swimming team member. "These races are a perfect way to gain open water swim experience before the big triathlons of the season.

It was another exciting finish as Laurie Hug edged Alex Carpenter for the overall win. Carpenter was on Hug's feet at the bridge with 100 meters to go, but Hug managed to pull away with a strong finishing kick. Carleen Caldwell was the third overall finisher and second female. Jesse Kelly and Federico Andino rounded out the top 3 for the men, and Alyson Freeman was the third female," explained race director John Kenny.

Our series standings for men after 4 races, Hunter Proctor has shown that consistency is key with 64 total points. Dan Feeney and Alex Carpenter round out the top 3 with 58 and 57 points, respectively. In the women's series, Laura Kenny holds a 12-point lead over Laurie Hug with Alyson Freeman in 3rd place (51-39-30).

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Imagine These Kayakers Were Escorting Swimmers

Courtesy of 2013 Kayak Session Short Film of the Year Awards - Winners Reel.

What kind of protection and equipment would the swimmers need?

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

17-Year-Old To Do 17...Again

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The Rose Pitonof Swim, a 17-mile swim from Manhattan to Coney Island in New York, is entering its fifth year. The event is named after Rose Pitonof who was the first person ever to successfully complete this swim at the young age of 17.

In 1911, Rose swam from East 26th Street to Steeplechase Pier, in the Coney Island area of Brooklyn, earning the woman’s title of Long Distance Swimming Champion of the World. She swam mostly breaststroke, occasionally passing underneath piers. Her nutrition for the day was a chicken sandwich and a cup of coffee before she started her swim.

Like the namesake, New Yorker Simona Dwass will attempt to complete the swim at the age of 17. Her participation marks the first attempt at the swim by anyone of her age, male or female, since Rose's inaugural swim in 1911.

Jumping into the water before an open water competition, I am still always impressed about having the opportunity to take part in raising awareness about our waters and swim in bodies of water that are considered toxic by most New Yorkers,” said Dwass, echoing the views of Urban Swim, the event host.

This year's race will be on August 9th with a make-up date of August 23rd if needed. Registration is still open and can be found here. For more information, contact Deanne Draeger at deanne@urbanswim.org.

"Urban Swim is an organization dedicated to providing people with safe access to clean water," explains founder Draeger. "We stage open water swim events in urban areas as a means of fostering a relationship between people and water. Our events introduce people to the recreational possibilities of their local waterways, and in so doing, raise their awareness of water quality issues. Our activities in support of safe access to clean water are not limited to our open water swim events. We are also actively involved in other initiatives including dock sharing, water testing, free kayaking programs, support of other open water swim events, partnerships, and political advocacy."

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Swimming Among The Lights Of Boston

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The Granddaddy of American Open Water Swims - commonly known at the Boston Light Swim - began in 1908 and is the oldest open water competition in America.

"The race is considered one of the most difficult open water swimming races in the world because of the chilly 58ºF (14ºF) water temperature typically found at the start, variable conditions, and strong tidal flows.

Swimmers and their crews must carefully train for and navigate these challenges accordingly, and completion is not guaranteed
," says race director Greg O'Connor.

Competitors will start in the water at 7 am just off of Little Brewster Island in the shadow of America’s first lighthouse, the Boston Light. The marathon swim runs for eight miles amid the Boston Harbor Islands National Park and finishes at the famed L-Street Bathhouse in South Boston. Spectators are encouraged to arrive at the L-Street Beach to cheer in the finishers beginning at 9 am.

Elaine Howley, one of America's most accomplished open water swimmers, describes the event. "Most swimmers manage to complete the swim within 3-5 hours. There is a 5-hour time limit on the course. Lower-than-typical water temperatures in the harbor this year, possibly the result of ocean churn stirred up by Hurricane Arthur earlier in the month, will make for an especially challenging race."

We have put a lot of time, energy, thought, and effort into making this race as safe as it possibly can be,” O’Connor says. The safety plan includes a motorized support boat assigned to each swimmer, Coast Guard and Environmental Police coverage, as well as dedicated Boston EMS personnel on standby should any swimmers experience difficulty during or after the race. “We’ve had an excellent safety record over the past several years, and we take great pains to ensure that continues for every single participant."

23 solo swimmers were selected by lottery to participate. The field consists of 8 women and 15 men. Nathaniel Dean of New York, New York, and Martin McMahon of Simsbury, Connecticut, are expected to battle for first place among the men, while International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame inductee Elizabeth Fry of Westport, Connecticut [shown above], and Susan Knight of Kennebunk, Maine, are anticipated to lead the women and may be in the hunt for the win.

For more information, visit www.bostonlightswim.org.

Solo Entrants
1. Jason Glass, Brookline, Massachusetts
2. Helen Lin, Quincy, Massachusetts
3. Alison Meehan, Elkton, Maryland
4. Susan Knight, Kennebunk, Maine
5. Loren King, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
6. Rebecca Burns, New York, New York
7. Solly Weiler, Newton, Massachusetts
8. Nathaniel Dean, New York, New York
9. David Conners, San Francisco, California
10. Bill Shipp, Mitchellville, Maryland
11. Martin McMahon, Simsbury, Connecticut
12. Mo Siegel, Piermont, New York
13. David Cook, New York, New York
14. Kim Garbarino, Winthrop, Massachusetts
15. David Kilroy, Marblehead, Massachusetts
16. Melissa Hoffman, Sugar Land, Texas
17. Elizabeth Fry, Westport, Connecticut
18. John Shumadine, Portland, Maine
19. Courtney Paulk, Richmond, Virginia
20. Francis O’Loughlin, South Boston, Massachusetts
21. Jerome Leslie, Dorchester, Massachusetts
22. Kellie Joyce, Norwood, Massachusetts
23. Bryce Croll, Boston, Massachusetts

Two-Person Teams
Tuff Competitor II: Stephen Gillis and Kari Kastango

Three-Person Teams
A Fin & A Prayer: Lynne Mulkerrin, Douglas Dolan, and Richard Sweeney
Maine Masters: John Gale, Cheryl Daly, and Simon Wignall.

Four-Person Teams
Sachuset Ocean Swimmers: Paul Talewsky, James Burden, Mary Phelan, and Franklin Johnson
swim4fun: Lisa Kromer, Christina Lin, Jennifer Downing, and Wendy Gulley
Frozen Nipples: Jen Olsen, Cynthia Baker, Steve Belletete, and Bennett McCarthy

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Meeting People And Doing Swims

Courtesy of 4 News, Turks & Caicos.

A 4 News report showcases Japan's Yuko Matsuzaki's 21 km Swim Marathon Turks & Caicos in Turks & Caicos. She was escorted by pilots Greg Doolittle of Surfside Ocean Academy and Collin Gray of Shoreline Adventures in a swim organized by Ben Stubenberg.

This swim was a direct result of a meeting between Matsuzaki and Stubenberg at the 2012 Global Open Water Swimming Conference on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California.

These types of meetings occur all the time at the Global Open Water Swimming Conference. Facebook and virtual friends meet for the first time. Swimmers meet race directors. Vendors meet swimmers. Friendships are quickly made and plans for swims around the world quickly develop.

Do not miss out on meeting and making new friends at the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference on the Isle of Bute in Scotland - like Matsuzaki in Turks & Caicos, you never know what may result.

For more information, visit www.vigourevents.com.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Historical Revolution: The Feminine Code Of Achievement

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

What would have happened to Larisa Ilchenko, Keri-Anne Payne, Haley Anderson, Éva Risztov, Martina Grimaldi, and Angela Maurer if Shelley Taylor-Smith had not come around in 1991?

In the era of Gertrude Ederle or Greta Andersen or Judith van Berkel de Nijs, Sandra Bucha and Shelley Taylor-Smith, women had to compete directly against men at the professional marathon swimming events. There was only one heat, one division, one awards podium.

Women were given a bit of extra cash - sometimes - if they were the first women, but it was expected that women prior to the 1990's competed against men head-to-head. There was not a distinct women's division and men's division; there were just races from point-to-point or from shore-to-shore. Mano-a-mano. Men versus women in one inter-gender competition.

If the one-division competitions were still held today, would Olympic and world champions like Larisa Ilchenko, Keri-Anne Payne, Haley Anderson, Éva Risztov, Martina Grimaldi or Angela Maurer have become so widely known or respected? Would they have realistically stood a chance competing against the likes of the top men like Ous Mellouli, Thomas Lurz, Richard Weinberger, Maarten van der Weijden or David Davies at any distance?

How times have changed. Radically and rightly so.

One of the speakers at the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference will be Shelley Taylor-Smith who helped bring along this radical change to the marathon swimming world. The renowned Australian swimmer will present, "The Feminine Code of Achievement - How a Lady from Down Under Revolutionised Professional Marathon Swimming Globally for Men and Women."

"Shelley will offer a fascinating, historical perspective of the late 20th century marathon swimming world, a time that may be incomprehensible to contemporary swimmers" explains Steven Munatones. "With all the changes in the sport over the last 20 years - from GPS to incorporation of the 10K marathon swim in the Olympic Games - one of the most profound and long-lasting changes to the sport were brought about when Shelley was competing head-to-head with the top men of her era. She will explain those times when women finally were rightfully recognized and rewarded for their athletic talents while competing amongst themselves and not directly against the men."

For more information on the Global Open Water Swimming Conference on the Isle of Bute in Scotland, visit Vigour Events.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Looking Forward To An Even Brighter Future

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference will be held on September 19th - 21st at the famous Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute in Scotland.

The programme will include a swim in Loch Lomond on the 18th, a Scottish banquet and dinner dance on the 19th, speakers from around the world on the 20th and 21st, the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and the WOWSA Awards on the 20th, and will culminate in a swim on Sunday, September 21st on the Isle of Bute on the 21st.

"At the Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute, an architectural masterpiece, the WOWSA Awards will give honor to several swimmers who were recognized for their hard-earned swim successes in 2013," said Steven Munatones of the World Open Water Swimming Association.

"The 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year was the successful ice swimmer, channel swimmer, and open water swimming event organiser Pádraig Mallon of Ireland. The 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year was professional marathon swimmer Olga Kozydub of Russia. The 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year was by the incomparable Bering Strait Swim, an international relay with 121 participants (swimmers + officials + crew). The 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year was the International Ice Swimming Association, founded by Ram Barkai of South Africa. We cannot speak highly enough of these individuals."

Olga Kozydub was voted as the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year after training like few have in terms of distance and racing a total of 307 km (192 miles) throughout the year against the world's fastest ultra-marathon swimmers.

Her spectacular sophomore year on the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit was something to remember. Kozydub went from a young 19-year-old newcomer on the world’s longest professional marathon swimming circuit last year to the world champion this year.

Her transformation from a newbie to world champion was multi-faceted. Seen initially as a quiet and serious soul by her fellow competitors, she blossomed to a friendly colleague with wide smiles and a bubbly personality this year. She was gracious with the crowds at the 8 FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix races in Argentina, Mexico, Canada, Macedonia and Italy, enjoying herself as she weaved her way through packs in the water and airports on land.

Supported by two Olympians as her coaches, Kozydub was focused on her goals in her 2.0 edition during 2013. If she wanted to make a move, she did so forcefully. If she wanted to cut across the pack, she did it with speed. If she wanted a seat on the bus, she got it. She went for it on all levels and in all realms in 2013 and she achieved her goal as she completed race of 15 km, 57 km, 88 km, 15 km, 32 km, 34 km, 30 km and 36 km in distance in rivers, lakes and seas under all kinds of conditions.

The FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix champion is young and hungry, small and daring. Consistently in the lead at all Grand Prix events she has visited, the 20-year-old won 3 races on the professional marathon swimming circuit while finishing 8 long races this year against the veteran pro swimmers. Very focused and strategic in her races and with her coaches, she did not let wind or waves, stings or sunburn get her down. When the pace picked up, she stayed up. When the waves came up, she rose to the occasion. The 20-year-old Russian looks like she has forged a promising long career ahead of her.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

7 Swims 7 Years In The Making

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Adam WalkerOceans Seven on August 29th at David Lloyd Lincoln.

Walker is going to share his experiences in his quest to complete the hardest seven ocean swims in the world.

To follow and learn more, visit here.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Roger Finch, Soon To Break Out Like Superman

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

When Mother Nature acts normally in the Tsugaru Channel, tempestuous, turbulent, temperamental, it is best to throw mankind's best at her.

In a heavyweight bout, send in a proven battler. Offer up someone with plenty of guts and full of grit. An individual with the daring and the mindset to give it their all. Swimmers from South Africa, Ireland and Australia are made of this DNA. Their genetic makeup gives them an edge. Tough, hardened, courageous.

Which is why this week in the Tsugaru Channel, it is best that Roger Finch is next up.

With predictions of 15 to 20 knot (28-37 km) winds, Finch is in for the rough water swim of his life. "I have looked hard at what I could possibly do and feel I just may have the tiniest chance if I can get everything to line up as per currents forecast and get out into the channel at the right time and place. It is really is going to be an all or nothing attempt. One thing is for sure I'll know before 8 hours into the swim if I'm going to wash up in Hawaii or not."

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

300,000 And More Reasons To Continue A Long Swim

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Douglas McConnell, Managing Director of Vissant Capital Corporation, has very good reasons to keep swimming.

McConnell is swimming to benefit the Les Turner ALS Foundation.

"We are closing in in US$300,000 with all of the A Long Swim [that include his Tampa Bay Marathon Swim and English Channel crossing in 2011, Catalina Channel crossing in 2012, and the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in 2014].

We have had probably 900 separate donors. Medtronic has been huge as a corporate donor bell cow, but virtually all the rest of the donors have been individuals between US$5 and US$5,000. Very gratifying stuff

He explains where the funds are going.

"The money goes to ALS research, where the pace of discovery accelerates all the time. I had lunch with a woman named Dr. Hande Ozdinler, one of the lead researchers at Northwestern, who happens to be one of the most passionate and enthusiastic people I have ever met. At the lunch, Hande said, 'If it hadn't been for the money that A Long Swim raised, our lab couldn't have made some of the early discoveries we had. Those discoveries led to our recent NIH grant of US$3 million which is the largest grant that NIH provides. A Long Swim really put us in that path.' In the greater scheme of medical research, US$300,000 from some silly swims doesn't seem like much, but if it led Dr. Hande's lab to US$3 million, then we made a difference. I couldn't be more pleased."

So what is his solution? He keeps swimming.

"We are looking at [attemping] the Strait Gibraltar or the Molokai Channel for next year, and will plan to keep the fundraising going. Once people are accustomed to writing checks, they never ask you to back off, only 'So, what's next?'"

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Guy Moar Sets Aussie Precedence In North Channel

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Today, word out of Scotland leaked out that Guy Moar of Melbourne, Australia completed a North Channel crossing in an unconfirmed time of 11 hours after landing in Galloway, Scotland.

The conditions were good while Moar maintained a constant pace despite swimming through a sea fog that offered nothing but little visibility. Brian Meharg commented, "They didn't see Scotland for the entire day until they reached the coast."

Moar is the first Australian and the first Southern Hemisphere swimmer to complete a North Channel crossing between the notorious waters between Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Photo courtesy of Brian Meharg off the Scottish coast.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Elliot Spaeder Makes His Family, Friends And Team Proud

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Elliot Spaeder did not let down his team, family or friends today.

"After months of preparing physically and after mentally preparing myself since high school, I was ready to attempt this great feat. Of course, I couldn't have done this without some really important people in my life, Molly McCracken, my wife, and all my friends and family who have had my back 100%. I've realized recently how laid back I am because it seems that everyone else is super pumped for this even more than me or it could be the fact that I am extremely confident in my capabilities as well as my teams.

Thank you to Josh Heynes and Lake Erie Open Water Swimming Association for guiding us

His feat?

A 24.3-mile crossing from Canada to America in Lake Erie.

With a calm demeanor and quite confidence, Spaeder completed the third fastest time in history across Lake Erie in 11 hours 28 minutes.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Monday, July 21, 2014

Ben Hooper To Swim Across The Atlantic

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Ben Hooper is a British open water swimmer who served with the military and police. A multi-faceted swimmer, he also writes fiction and is a free diver, PADI scuba diver, charity swim participant, middle-distance running and triathlete.

But he has huge dreams.

He plans to swim across the Atlantic Ocean, 2,000 miles from Africa to Brazil.

He will attempt Swim The Big Blue solo event that will be broadcast on SmackDab and Ridgeline Entertainment. He plans to depart in November 2015 from Dakar Harbour, Senegal and arrive in January 2016 in Natal in northeast Brazil. Hooper will swim twice a day and up to 12 hours per day where he will face sharks, jellyfish, flying fish, equatorial sun, the Doldrums, humidity, storms, squalls, and lightning.

Doug Stanley will be headlining the broadcast of this swim where Hooper will purposefully, explicitly and transparently detail his entire swim. He may use a stinger suit and at least one Shark Shield and shark-safe chemical repellants if he encounters a smack of jellyfish be encountered.

According to his website (www.swimthebigblue.com), "the boat and crew will note the GPS position of each swim entry and exit, and will account for drift in order to add any vacant distances back into the swim or to the end of the swim, by altering course to a point further than the intended port of arrival, thereby ensuring the whole distance of the originally intended route is completed. As a further measure, use of a sea anchor will reduce the drift ensuring that the total mileage spent out of the water is minimized, recorded and still swum before the end of the expedition: a total of up to 2,000 miles in approximately 90 days.

Every detail will be logged, and with filming and video diary by Ridgeline and SmackDab will give full and transparent accounts of the expedition and its support team

For more information on Swim The Big Blue, visit here.

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