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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Rhys Mainstone Prevents A French Sweep In New Caledonia

Courtesy of Stéphane Lecat reporting on the top finishers in today's FINA/HOSA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup in New Caledonia.

1. Aurélie Muller (France) 2:09:18
2. Anna Olasz (Hungary) 2:09:45
3. Coralie Codevelle (France) 2:10:27

1. Rhys Mainstone (Australia) 1:56:53
2. Marc-Antoine Olivier (France) 1:56:56
3. Axel Reymond (France) 1:57:24
4. Romain Beraud (France) 1:57:24

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Emma Robinson, Charlotte Webby Come Out Winners

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Emma Robinson [in orange cap above] got the upper hand against rival Charlotte Webby at today’s State King of the Bays, but Charlotte Webby won the overall New Zealand Ocean Swim Series season title by capturing second in the season-ending race.

It was fitting for a fine week by Robinson who had earlier qualified for the 2015 FINA World Swimming Championships in Kazan, Russia. “It’s fantastic to win the King of the Bays,” said Robinson. “It’s only the second event I’ve swum this season so I had no chance of winning the overall title, but it’s just great to cap off the week with a victory.”

Webby cruised to second but picked up a $5,000 payday in the process. “Most of the money will probably go on travel for swimming, but hopefully I can spare a bit for a spend-up on myself as well.”

Stefannie Gillespie finished third in today’s race, to grab second in the overall series standings, while a sixth place finish was enough for Abi Chapman to claim third.

2015 State King of the Bays Results:
1. Emma Robinson (Wellington) 31:59
2. Charlotte Webby (New Plymouth) 31:59
3. Stefannie Gillespie (Dunedin) 33:09
4. Lauren Boyle (Auckland) 33:18
5. Josie Kozyniak (Wellington) 34:24

2014/2015 Final Series Standings:
1. Charlotte Webby 399.96
2. Stefannie Gillespie 387.61
3. Abi Chapman 383.38
4. Alessandra Colombini 377.14
5. Aimee Moss 373.65

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Nathan Capps Off The Season In First

Photo of Nathan Capp courtesy Simon Watts/BW Media.

The week has been a great one for 22-year-old Nathan Capp from Auckland. He first won the New Zealand Open Swimming Championships and then captured the New Zealand Ocean Swim Series title, after a thrilling finish in the season-ending State King of the Bays race at Takapuna.

With $5,000 up for grabs and one of four swimmers with a chance to claim the overall title, Capp took it out hard in the driving rain and choppy conditions. Despite the most challenging conditions this season, Capp was focused on his goal and remained unfazed with the conditions. He built up a massive four-body length lead at the first mark in the 2.8 km race.

But his rivals did not make it easy. Capp was caught and enveloped by a five pack that gradually separated itself from the field.

By the halfway mark, Japanese Olympian Yasunari Hirai worked his way into the lead and retained an edge until the final mark. But Capp kept his cool. “He got a bit of a lead on us, but then the distance stayed pretty static and I wasn’t sure if it was because he’d slowed down or we had sped up. There were a few swells that you could use to close the gap heading towards the last buoy and I had pretty much caught him up when we turned towards home.

As the lead pack rounded the last buoy, Hirai and Capp were swimming shoulder to shoulder with New Zealand Open Water Champion Kane Radford and series leader Philip Ryan right behind. The quartet hit the beach together, but it was Capp who was quick to his feet, sprinting across the sand to claim victory by a comfortable 5 seconds. Hirai edged Radford for second place in the race and the series.

It’s a bit of a dream really,” said Capp. “It’s been an amazing week. It is one that will stay in my memory for a very long time.”

2015 State King of the Bays Results:
1. Nathan Capp (Auckland) 29:54
2. Yasunari Hirai (Japan) 29:59
3. Kane Radford (Rotorua) 30:00
4. Phillip Ryan (Auckland) 30:00
5. Troy Balvert (Waikato) 30:21

2014/2015 Final Series Standings:
1. Nathan Capp 400.00
2. Yasunari Hirai 399.60
3 Kane Radford 399.27
4 Phillip Ryan 399.06
5. Troy Balvert 395.28

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Study And Swim In Miami

Photo and video courtesy of Jonathan Strauss.

The Swim Miami weekend kicks off with a FINIS Open Water Swim Clinic with Luane Rowe followed by a KAATSU Aqua Clinic with Steven Munatones held at the Miami Yacht Club on Watson Island in Miami, Florida.

Rowe has won numerous races from Australia to Hawaii to Florida to the Cayman Islands and will talk about how to swim faster, navigate better, move more efficiently in the open water. Munatones will talk about how blood flow moderation training, known as KAATSU, can enhance training for competitive pool swimmers, open water swimmers and triathletes.

A pasta dinner follows with the nearly 200 people entered in Sunday's 10 km marathon swim and hundreds of others participating in the 800m, Miami Mile, and 5 km swim offshore to Watson Island.

For more information, visit here).

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Finishing A Long Swim: Like Father-in-law, Like Son

Evans - Chase Generations in the Water from Bruckner Chase on Vimeo.

Original footage of Colonel Stuart Evans' 1967 Farallon Islands Swim and Bruckner Chase's 2005 Tahoe Swim with wife and daughter of Colonel Evans, Michelle. Colonel Evans is the father-in-law of Chase.

2015 Jax Shek-O Challenge In Hong Kong

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The Jax Shek-O Challenge is celebrating its 10th anniversary year with its July 11th edition at Big Wave Bay in Hong Kong.

The different categories for the start at Big Wave Bay and finish at Sheko Back Beach include:

1) Solo: 2.2 km swim or 8.5 run or 9 km paddle
2) Duo Team (2 persons, one person per race): Swim + Run or Swim + Paddle or Run + Paddle
3) Trisolothon (3 persons, one person per race): Swim + Run + Paddle

The post-race party includes beach sprints, volleyball, music and food back at the Back Beach.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Left Coast, Right Coast, Third Coast Swimming In The U.S.

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

With hundreds of open water swims along both America’s West Coast (aka Left Coast) and its East Coast, the next great area of open water explosion is forecasted to be its Third Coast.

A growing number of formal and informal open water swims and swimmers are emerging along America’s Gulf Coast. Ranging from Texas in the west to Florida in the east with the seashore Gulf states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama in-between, the population base and thousands of miles of coastline bordering warm waters are prime for the Third Coast development of open water swimming.

With plenty of established triathlons and colorful open water swimming event names like Gator Bait Swim, Aqualung Open Water Swim and Daiquiri Deck Tropical Splash, open water swimmers and triathletes can look forwards to the establishment of even more events, races, solo swims, relays and pods in the future.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Friday, April 17, 2015

Open Water Swim Channel

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The current issue of the Swim Channel [see above] is an open water swimmer's delight.

Published by Patrick Winkler and recipient of the 2012 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year, the best-selling Brazilian swimming magazine is filled with its usual monthly. plethora of adventurous open water swimming competitions throughout Brazil.

The cover article is about the Xterra Swim Challenge with the title Challenges and Adventures in the Open Water. The Xterra Swim Challenge events are in Paraty (Zigue-Zague), in Ilhabela (Salto do Pier), in Mangaratiba (Natacap Noturna), in Jui de Fora (Obstaculo), and in Fernando de Noronha.

The magazine also includes information on the Rei e Rainha do Mar in Arpoador / Leblon, the Rei e Rainha do Mar in Copacabana Beach, the 1.85 km Arraial Swim Travessia no Mar, the 30 km Rio Negro Challenge Amazonia from Iranduba to Manaus, Circuito Mares in Ubatuba and Sao Sebastiao, the Deaafi Ostras Travessias no Mar, Oceanman in Lago D'Orta (Italy), Cala Montgo (Spain), Palamos (Spain), Altea (Spain) and Benidorm (Spain), and the Aloha Spirit Festival.

Its calendar of events include the Campeonato Brasileiro e Copa Brasil de Aguas Abertas, Circuito Mares Ubatuba, Desafio Rio das Ostras, Travessia Lagoa do Peri, Volta de Barra Velha, Circuito Aloha Spirit, Campeonato Baiano de Aguas Abertas, Circuito Paulista de Maratonas, Desafio Rei e Rainha do Mar, Travessia da Enseada, Volta do Parcel, Travessia de Fernando de Noranha, Fuga da Ilha Fortaleza de Anhatamirin, Circuito Netuno de Travessias Aquaticas, and many more.

World champions Allan do Carmo (shown above) and Poliana Okimoto (shown below) have also graced recent covers of the Swim Channel Magazine.

For more information on the Swim Channel, visit here.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Triathletes Challenged To Sub-32 Marathon

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The Sub-32 Marathon Club (also Sub-3 Squared Club) is a select group of endurance athletes who have swum a full 10 km marathon swim without a wetsuit, fins or paddles under 3 hours and who have also run a full 42 km marathon run under 3 hours.

Fran Crippen has done it. Chris Palrey has also done it over the course of his career.

The 10 km marathon swim can be done in fresh or salt water, but must be correctly measured by GPS and not done downstream in a flowing river. The marathon swim can be done solo or as part of a race. The marathon run can be done in any marathon running event or a solo run documented with GPS by an independent observer.

After posting this challenge in the triathlon community, many endurance athletes claimed that many triathletes can do both sub-3 running and swimming marathons over the course of their career and most professional triathletes can do so back-to-back.

While that Sub-3² dual feat may be the case, it has yet to be documented in a competitive setting.

So endurance athlete and famed marathon swimmer Darren Miller issued an invitation to his fellow endurance athletes: Do the Sub-3² with me.

Miller explains his challenge here. "I issue this challenge to the professional triathlon community because a charity race between two endurance athletes, mono-a-mono, would be an amazing way to not only push ourselves to the breaking point, but most importantly, create a media buzz by doing it in the name of charity! I picked the triathlon community out of respect, as I have seen first-hand the grueling training involved in preparation for an Ironman race. Personally, I want to see what some of their finest can bring to the table."

The difficulty of the Sub-3² Challenge is vastly under appreciated by top endurance athletes. Swimmers can easily do a sub-3 swim marathon. Good runners can easily do a sub-3 marathon run. But a back-to-back run-swim at a sub-3 marathon pace is more difficult than meets the eye," explains Steven Munatones who came up with the concept. "Therefore, I sincerely hope that top triathletes will be willing to race against Darren to prove that the Sub-3² Challenge is a doable achievement. The race will be something that I greatly look forward to watching.”

Miller outlines the invitation, "I am flexible with an early/mid-summer date off the coast of southern California. At this point, I am pushing for Memorial Day weekend [around May 25th]. A 26.2-mile marathon running course will be GPS mapped by veteran marathon and ultra-marathon runners, beginning in the Oceanside/Carlsbad region, and running south toward La Jolla Cove. The 6.2-mile swim course will be a last minute decision, as I have local marathon swimmers keeping an eye on the tides. It could be a direct shot down the coast, or follow and ‘out-and-back’ pattern from the starting location. My challenger will be provided with everything they need, but is more than welcome to bring their own support vehicles and crew; both on land and water."

Perhaps wearing Nike gear, they will Just Do It.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Swim Over, Eat, Ferry Back In King Wolf Swim

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The King Wolf Swim is a 5.5 km open water swim across the St. Lawrence River from Kingston to Wolfe Island in Ontario, Canada organized by Deborah Durbin.

The race takes place on July 4th where the participants swim across the river, enjoy lunch on Wolfe Island, and then take the ferry back to the start on Kingston in one of Canada's Top Open Water Swims.

For more information, visit here.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Bridge Over Untroubled Waters, Hopefully In 2015

Photo courtesy of Randy L. Rasmussen/The Oregonian. Article courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

After the 2014 Portland Bridge Swim was cancelled due to deteriorating weather, race director Marisa Frieder is excited for the 17.2-mile edition in 2015. "This year's Portland Bridge Swim will take place on July 12th. Registration opens on April 24th and will close on July 3rd. Registration as always is limited, so don't miss out."

The winners over the years:

2011, article here
Female: Emily Melina, 4:19:10 [shown on left]
Male: Ben Weston, 4:39:10

2012, article here
Male: Ryan Bullock, 3:49:14
Female: Alyson O'Brien, 4:12:29

2013, article here
Male: Johnny van Velthuyzen, 4:11
Female: Laurie Cyr, 4:34

For more information, visit here.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Melodee Nugent, Swimming For Miles And Miles

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Melodee Nugent has done a lot of open water swimming - and plans on a whole lot more.

"My passion for open water and marathon swimming has been a gradual process; one that I would never have imagined when I started more than 20 years ago."

Swimming has always been a part of her life. "I was born with hip dysplasia which was first noticed at a routine check-up soon after I was born. I was admitted into Children's Hospital and immediately placed in a half body cast."

As a result of multiple surgeries as a young child, she was never able to participate in impact sports because of a one-inch difference in her legs which caused a limp. "I vividly remember one of my last appointments with my pediatric orthopedic surgeon when I was 18 years old. He told me two things: watch your weight and you will probably need hip replacement by the time you are 40. Like most teenagers, I thought I was invincible at that age, but his words have always stayed with me over the years. Swimming has helped keep me in shape and maintain my weight."

As for her expected hip replacement, it has fortunately not happened yet. "I tire easily from walking a lot, but if you put me in the water, I could swim for miles."

She saw the doctor who first admitted her to the Children's Hospital 8 years ago. "He wanted to observe my walking. Then he was curious as to how my hip looked after all these years. He was very pleased with my hip x-ray and said everything looked great. I credit swimming 100% to my overall health. Swimming is a low-impact sport, making it a perfect sport for me and others with similar joint issues.

There are many swimmers over the age of 40 because swimming is very easy on the joints. Unlike other endurance sports, specifically including running and cycling where athletes are subjected to rigorous pounding of their joints, swimmers can continue to get better as they age

Although she had always been on a swim meet since the 8th grade and throughout high school, she thought the 500-yard freestyle event was 'crazy'. "I thought, how boring was that to swim 20 lengths of the pool in a race. But in college, I recognized that I loved to train and I stayed active by training on my own in the pool."

After a layoff from swimming due to work, she decided to dive back into the pool in 1994. "It was not easy at first. The first day, I swam 200 yards and thought, 'This is boring, what did I get myself into?'" But she slowly started to increase her yardage and she soon felt like she had never left the pool. When she heard about United States Masters Swimming, her curiosity was piqued. "I have been a member of USMS since 1995. The first six months of swim meets, I swam the 100 yard butterfly and 100 yard backstroke because that was all I knew."

But her goals were larger and longer. "I tried the 200 freestyle and realized that it was not too bad. I continued to push myself by increasing my distances, first to 500 yards, then 1000, and then the 1650. The more distance I would swim, the more in the groove I felt."

It wasn't too much longer before she tried her first open water swim. Despite being pregnant in 1996, she took the plunge in Wisconsin's Lake Amy Belle swim. "It was a one-mile swim. That is when I officially fell in love with open water events. Between 1996 and 2002, I had three children and continued to swim throughout all of my pregnancies. When I was four days overdue with my second child, I swam two miles, including flip turns, before the contractions started. My son, Kyler, was born 2 hours later. I quickly bounced back from all three pregnancies; my doctors and I both believe that swimming should be credited for my quick recoveries."

She continued to swim one to three miles, but had not ventured to any longer swims until her tenth year in the open water. "I decided to try a 5-mile swim in Minnetonka, Minnesota. I finished 27th out of 99 swimmers with a time of 2:17:51 - not too bad for my first long swim. In 2009, I swam the 8+ miles Swim for Freedom in Lake Geneva."

By 2011, she was ready to really crank up the distance when she completed a 25 km marathon swim in Noblesville, Indiana. "That was a tough swim and I was very sore afterwards. But I finished even though the time limit was reduced to 8 hours because of storms. I finished 26th of the 27 who were able to squeeze under the time limit [39 swimmers did not finish in time or were a DNF]."

Now it was apparent that distance and time were on her side. "A friend convinced me to compete in the 27-mile END-WET in the Red River in North Dakota. This was a huge undertaking for me. In preparation, I spoke with a marathon swimmer and a marathon runner for advice. The advice was to spend more time in the pool training, straighten out my nutrition needs, and peak at the right times prior to the event. Knowing there was a river current was helpful, and I felt very good throughout the swim."

Her Red River venture was a roaring success. She finished a close third in 9 hours 23 minutes out of the 12 experienced swimmers. "I felt great after the swim, just a little sore as expected, but good enough to find a bar where we could all enjoy a nice cold beer and share our experiences. I found my passion for marathon swimming. I enjoy the swims because I learned how to prepare for them."

Since 2011, she has ventured far and wide to tackle different swims: the 10-mile Swim The Suck in the Tennessee River Gorge in 2012, the 12.5-mile Swim Around Key West in 2013, a Swim Across America relay across Lake Michigan from Chicago to Michiana, Michigan in 2013, the S.C.A.R. Challenge in Arizona in 2014 where she completed 3 of the lake swims covering 30 miles in 4 days, the 10-mile USMS Championship Swim in Minnetonka, Minnesota in 2014, and one of three swimmers to test the 18+ mile course for the Three Rivers Marathon Swim in Pittsburgh.

When she described her future, she remained characteristically optimistic and visionary. "I am always looking for a new challenge, and the world has no shortage of lakes, oceans, rivers, bays and channels to swim."

Nugget Professional Open Water Swimming Career
•United States Masters Swimming Wisconsin Fitness Chair/Coordinator
•Open Water on Lee Non-profit Group, raising money for the Evanston Y, Evanston Swims and the Alliance for the Great Lakes
•Data Analyst for Swim Surveys for SCAR Arizona, Big Shoulders, Alligator Lighthouse Swim, US Winter Swimming Championship, Flowers Sea Swim, Kingdom Swims, A Long Swim
•Infinit Sponsored Athlete - Custom-Blended Nutrition Solutions
•Elite Ambassador for FINIS
•United States Master’s Swimming All-American for Long Distance Swimming

Open Water Swimming Achievements
•1-mile Lake Amy Belle Swim
•5 km Big Shoulders
•1.2- and 3-mile Racine Quarry Swim
•2.4-mile Madison Open Water Swim
•2-mile Splish Splash Dash
•2-mile Point to Lapointe Open Water Swim
GLOWS – Great Lake Open Water Series
•10 km Diamond Lake Open Water Challenge
•USMS 25 km National Championship, Noblesville Indiana
•8.2-mile Swim for Freedom
•5-mile St. Croix Coral Reef Swim
•2.4-mile Central Illinois Open Water Swim
•27-mile Extreme North Dakota Watersports Endurance Test (END-WET), Grand Forks North Dakota
•10-mile Swim the Suck, Tennessee River Gorge
•12.5-mile Swim Around Key West, Key West Florida
•3 km Pan American Masters Championship, Sarasota Florida
•42-mile Swim Across Lake Michigan Relay (6 swimmers)
•12-mile Swim Around Charleston, South Carolina
•SCAR Swim Challenge (3 of 4 marathon swims in 4 days)
•USMS 10-mile Open Water Championship, Minnetonka, Minnesota
•Swim for ALS, benefitting the Les Turner ALS Foundation; Lake Michigan, Illinois
•30 km Three Rivers Marathon Swim
•Nike Go the Distance

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Marcus Schall Is CEO, Clean Eating Officer

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Marcus Schall is the CEO (Clean Eating Officer) of SuperGoodFood.

His mindset and attitude reminds us very much of the natural activities of open water swimmers. Instead of consuming processed foods, Schall reminds us of the importance of eating natural, healthful foods.

Instead of training in manmade structures in filtered, chlorinated, heated waters of pools, open water swimmers interact with nature in its most raw form.

For photos of the kinds of foots Schall recommends, see here.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Ripley Davenport, Totally Alone Along The Kenmare River

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Ripley Davenport completed his 42.8 km Kenmare River Adventure Swim, a solo self-sufficient adventure swim without escorts or boat support in the Kenmare River in 11 hours 47 minutes on April 10th.

Fully geared up, Davenport had to negotiate across a tidal range in the Kenmare River with 1.5 to 3 knots of tidal speed. Kenmare River is a very tidal inlet of the Atlantic Ocean where Davenport encountered many large seals.

"The seals are native to Ireland and huge populations are present along Ireland's coast," describes Davenport. "It was very scary as they are very curious and tend to swim awfully close, under and around. The conditions were good at the start, but got worse with high winds and a constant rather messy swell of 6 to 10 feet. I was totally alone.

The 10 foot waves were over shallow ground which I avoided and next to cliff faces. Kenmare River is lined with cliffs and rock. The swell is strong. Average wave height for my swim was 5 to 6 feet that made the towing of a kayak very challenging

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Colorful Prospects For Australia

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Although Australia is only the 53rd largest country in the world based on its population of 20 million people, when it comes to sports, especially the aquatic kind, the Aussie yellow and goal are frequently finishing at or near the top.

Relatively speaking, how small is the total population of Australia? The cities of Tokyo (Japan), Guangzhou (China), Jakarta (Indonesia), Seoul (Korea), Shanghai (China ), Mexico City, Delhi (India), New York, São Paulo (Brazil), Mumbai (India) and Manila (Philippines) are larger in terms of population.

But at the 2000 Sydney Olympics (4th), the 2004 Athens Olympics (4th), the 2008 Beijing Olympics (6th), and the 2012 London Olympics (10th) Australia finished near the top of the medal count among all the countries in the world.

However, one sport where Australia uncharacteristically got shut out of the medals was marathon swimming. For a country that has developed many great distance freestyle swimmers in the pool over the decades and for a society that has created has the greatest number of mass participation surf lifesaving festivals, surf carnivals and ocean swims along its gorgeous coasts, marathon swimming is a missing piece to its collective and historical Olympic success.

At the upcoming FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup race in Cozumel, 4 Australians will earn the right to carry the Australian mantle at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia this July. The World Championships in Kazan will be the first opportunity for the Australians and their competitors to become an Olympic marathon swimmer. The top 10 athletes in Kazan will qualify for the first 10 slots available in the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim.

The Australian representatives will be determined by the results in the FINA race in Cozumel. Six Australians were chosen from the BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series 10 km held in January. There are 3 men and 3 women competing with the first 2 of each gender earning the right to compete in Kuzan.

The final slots for the 2016 Rio Olympic 10K Marathon Swim will be filled by the top finishers at the secondary Olympic qualifier in Setúbal Bay, Portugal in June 2016 where the water temperatures are expected to be 16-18°C. So the first qualifier will be in a very warm-water, predictably flat course in Russia. The second qualifier will be in a cool-water course with steady currents in Portugal, and the Olympic final will be in an unpredictably wavy, windy course in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Given the assumed prospects for unpredictability and physicality on a wavy, windy course, the chances of the Aussies to finally climb upon the medal stands in the marathon swimming race are higher than ever before.

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi! Oi! Oi!

Two-time Olympian Melissa Gorman is shown above.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Audit Analyzes Aquatic Achievements

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

In the post-2012 Olympic performance review conducted to 5-time Olympic coach Bill Sweetenham, he conducted a comprehensive analyses of the Australian swimmers' results in London down to the individual events.

This independent post-competition review is an important tool and methodology to understand how best to support the athletes and their coaching with the aim to achieve the best possible international results.

Sweetenham writes, "This system [requires] the initial audit (checklist) to be completed by external and well qualified expertise. Chance results in today's performance world are rare and infrequent in repeatable excellence. It can be the reason why a careful examination of global sporting performances in individual sports will show variation of results in specific events (i.e., strong in men's events at one Olympics and weak in women's events, and then followed by the opposite at the next Olympics).

The same thing occurs in events in countries that were once strong in endurance or form strokes at one Olympics going on to be strong in sprints at the next Olympics and becoming weak in the other, etc. In today's world, there is no such thing or the complacency for "building phases". These should be continuous and ongoing

Sweentenham's findings enabled Swimming Australia to have a checklist for its administrators to ensure its funding is applied to the priority areas requiring attention - an essential element that can lead to the improvement of each stroke and race at the Olympics...including the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim. It can also serve as a model for other organizations and associations to analyze their own investment in aquatics, including their own emerging open water swimming communities.

In a country that has had so many Olympic and world champions in distance freestyle over the last century and in a seaside-oriented nation that celebrates ocean swimming while hosting the world's most competitive and popular surf lifesaving festivals, the lack of Australians standing on the podium at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic 10K Marathon Swim has been among the most surprising results from the first two editions of marathon swimming at the modern Olympics.

With the upcoming Olympic 10K Marathon Swim in the rough waters of Copacabana Beach - a venue that seemingly favors the ocean-savvy Australian men and women, the return to competitive swimming by Olympic great Grant Hackett [shown above], and the increased competitiveness of the top Aussies, the chances of Australia being shut out of Olympic medals in Rio de Janiero seems to be less unlikely than in 2008 and 2012.

At the 2016 Rio Olympics, this cheer will be heard by Olympic fans:

"Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!"
"Oi! Oi! Oi!"
"Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!"
"Oi! Oi! Oi!"
"Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!"
"Oi! Oi! Oi!"

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Get Wet, Stay Wet

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

It is enlightening to see a surf shop in Lausanne, France: 631 kilometers from the ocean, 392 from the nearest ocean swells, Lausanne's Get Wet Surf Shop seems to be an unlikely place to have a surf shop.

With all the well-known surf brands on sale like Quiksilver, Rip Curl, Billabong, Napapijri, Da Kine, Hurley, Reef, Altitude 8848, Burton and Driza Bone, we could not understand the attraction of having a successful surf shop so far from the ocean.

But the attraction of the ocean remains strong, especially when only a short walk away is the majestic Lac Léman (Lac de Genève or Genfersee), a beautiful lake of Switzerland and France surrounded by picturesque snow-covered mountains.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Simon Says In The Open Water

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Simon Dominguez, a member of the Night Train Swimmers, honestly stated about his reasons for swimming in the open water, "I swim a lot because I eat and drink a lot and try and live a balanced lifestyle."

We asked him about his experiences from his home base of Aquatic Park in San Francisco, California.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What interests you in the open water?
Simon Dominguez: There is no better feeling than the third or fourth minute in the water when the water temperature is around 50°F (10°C). I love it. I love the open water swimming community and how much it has welcomed me into its arms. I love the way I can now share my experiences with others to help them become marathon swimmers and was able to mentor 12 swimmers last year to do their first marathon swim across Lake Tahoe. There does not seem to be the same egos in open water swimming as there are in other sports or even in pool swimming.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Does anything surprise you in the open water?
Simon Dominguez: I am continually surprised by how different every open water swim is, even if you have done it hundreds of times. I get nervous before every organized swim, never knowing how hard it is going to be or if I am going to be successful. I even get nervous when I am not nervous before big swims. Swimming is a very important part of my life and it is very easy to fall out of balance with it by [spending] too much time in the water. However, I now need it in my life and have made a number of lifelong friends through this sport. While I miss the surf swimming that I grew up doing in Australia as part of the North Bondi Surf Lifesaving Club, I feel very lucky to live in the San Francisco Bay area and to have fallen in with Vito Bialla and the Night Train Swimmers. To be able to do something you love and raise funds for worthy causes at the same time is a special thing to do.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How do you improve?
Simon Dominguez: I swim in the pool half of the week to work on my stroke and do not particularly like pool swimming but, like paying taxes, it is necessary. My latest improvement is to get my head down, which is difficult for an open water swimmer. I get great instruction from the coaches at North Bay Aquatics in Marin county where I coach on weekends as well. I swim early in the day to try and help the balance between work and family and this is not always easy.
I will be attempting some longer swims this summer. A solo Farallon swim is being considered

Dominguez will be part of the first two-way Farallon relay attempt, a 6-person 60-mile double crossing relay from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Farallon Islands together with Emily Kreger, Patti Bauernfeind, Kim Chambers, Ashley Horne and Dave Holscher with back-up swimmers Kate Webber and Vito Bialla later this month.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

2015 Russian Ice Swimming Championship 450m Results

Courtesy of Ella Antibetova of Murmansk; results courtesy of Dmitry Blokhin.

The Russian Ice Swimming Championships were held concurrently with the inaugural Ice Swimming World Championship. The event was held in Lake Semenovskoe in Murmansk, Russia in March.

Russia's Albert Sobirov was as impressive in the short distances as he was in the longer distances, winning the 450m endurance event. Rory Fitzgerald was also impressive as the fifth fastest swimmer despite competing against men much younger.

Elina Makinen won the 450m freestyle on the women's side. The overall results and age-group results of the 450m freestyle event are below:

Overall Results:
Overall Women – 450m Freestyle
1. Elina Makinen (Finland) 6:20.49
2. Iveta Novakova (Czech Republic) 7:01.28
3. Anna-Carin Nordin (Sweden) 7:03.21
4. Irina Purtova (Russia) 7:21.82
5. Jaimie Monahan (USA) 7:34.46
6. Katherine Fryatt (England) 7:42.75
7. Natalia Usacheva (Russia) 8:18.72
8. Zani Muller (South Africa) 8:22.98
9. Elena Guseva (Russia) 8:28.42
10. Outi Makinen (Finland) 8:52.66
11. Annette Heather Daly (Zimbabwe) 9:05.29
12. Nuala Anne Moore (Ireland) 9:08.07
13. Tatiana Alexandrova (Russia) 9:32.00
14. Nadezhda Dudina (Russia) 9:58.84
15. Alina Tsyplenkova (Russia) 10:00.60
16. Elena Galiulina (Russia) 10:11.60
17. Nina Sveshnikova (Russia) 10:46.95
18. Larisa Kharitonova (Russia) 10:48.71
19. Natalia Nesterova (Russia) 11:11.38
20. Natalia Seray (Russia) 11:38.57
21. Olga Golubeva (Russia) 11:49.76
22. Osman Vinokurova (Russia) 13:56.36
23. Tatiana Khomutova (Russia) 16:04.04
24. Galina Takchinakova (Russia) 17:50.66

Overall Men – 450m Freestyle
1. Albert Sobirov (Альберт Cобиров) (Russia) 5:40.91
2. Grigory Ermola (Russia) 5:43.80
3. Henri Kaarma (Estonia) 5:46.62
4. Alexey Kovrigin (Russia) 5:48.23
5. Rory Fitzgerald (England) 6:01.70
6. Eduard Khodakovsky (Russia) 6:21.69
7. Evgeny Rabinovich (Russia) 6:22.69
8. Anatoly Lebedev (Russia) 6:28.92
9. Vladimir Danchenkov (Russia) 6:51.62
10. Patrick Corcoran (Ireland) 6:55.67
11. Jakub Valnicek (Czech Republic) 6:57.66
12. Evgeny Latyshev (Russia) 7:10.24
13. Andrey Zamyslov (Russia) 7:22.1
14. Pavel Rudzinski (Poland) 7:22.40
15. Igor Filatov (Russia) 7:22.62
16. Alexandr Zelenetsky (Russia) 7:34.54
17. Evgeny Malaykin (Russia) 7:44.01
18. Yury Neupokoev (Russia) 7:45.16
19. Wyatt Song (Australia) 7:54.17
20. Grigory Prokopchuk (Russia) 8:14.9
21. Alexandr Brylin (Russia) 8:38.68
22. Gerard Kennedy (Ireland) 8:43.04
23. Dmitry Semenov (Russia) 8:44.05
24. Erik Legua (Russia) 8:46.60
25. Mikhail Andronov (Russia) 8:53.72
26. Andrey Agarkov (Russia) 8:57.69
27. Dmitry Valkrushev (Russia) 8:58.19
28. Rafail Yakupov (Russia) 9:14.05
29. Zhou Hamming (China) 9:15.19
30. Alexandre Fuzeau (France) 9:18.53
31. Nickolay Petshak (Russia) 9:28.49
32. Andrey Sychev (Russia) 9:31.50
33. Roman Solodovnik (Russia) 9:53.84
34. Victor Olkhovatsky (Russia) 10:01.76
35. Vyacheslav Zonon (Russia) 10:06.84
36. Valery Grigorevsky (Russia) 10:08.26
37. Igor Gusarov (Russia) 10:31.88
38. Artem Khomenko (Russia) 10:36.65
39. Allen Evans (Ireland) 10:42.24
40. Sergey Meland (Russia) 10:50.40
41. Jiri Kurina (Czech Republic) 11:00.26
42. Alexandr Cherkasov (Russia) 11:04.36
43. David Andrew Taitz (South Africa) 11:25.71
44. Andrey Martynov (Russia) 11:40.76
45. Victor Fokin (Russia) 12:07.91
46. Alexandr Maykov (Russia) 12:54.56
47. Barry O’Connor (Ireland) DNF
48. Mikhail Nazarov (Russia) DNF
49. Sergey Sidorov (Russia) DNF
50. Alexandr Skokov (Russia) DNF
Age-group Results
Women – ages 18-29 – 450m Freestyle
1. Elina Makinen (Finland) 6:20.49
2. Iveta Novakova (Czech Republic) 7:01.28
3. Irina Purtova (Russia) 7:21.82
4. Zani Muller (South Africa) 8:22.98
5. Alina Tsyplenkova (Russia) 10:00.60
6. Osman Vinokurova (Russia) 13:56.36
Women – ages 30-39 – 450m Freestyle
1. Jaimie Monahan (USA) 7:34.46
2. Natalia Usacheva (Russia) 8:18.72
Women – ages 40-44 – 450m Freestyle
1. Anna-Carin Nordin (Sweden) 7:03.21
2. Elena Guseva (Russia) 8:28.42
3. Annette Heather Daly (Zimbabwe) 9:05.29
4. Natalia Nesterova (Russia) 11:11.38
Women – ages 45-49 – 450m Freestyle
1. Katherine Fryatt (England) 7:42.75
2. Nuala Anne Moore (Ireland) 9:08.07
3. Elena Galiulina (Russia) 10:11.60
4. Natalia Seray (Russia) 11:38.57
Women – ages 50-54 – 450m Freestyle
1. Outi Makinen (Finland) 8:52.66
2. Tatiana Alexandrova (Russia) 9:32.00
3. Nina Sveshnikova (Russia) 10:46.95
4. Larisa Kharitonova (Russia) 10:48.71
5. Olga Golubeva (Russia) 11:49.76
Women – ages 55-59 – 450m Freestyle
1. Galina Takchinakova (Russia) 17:50.66
Women – ages 60-64 – 450m Freestyle
1. Tatiana Khomutova (Russia) 16:04.04
Women – ages 65-69 – 450m Freestyle
1. Nadezhda Dudina (Russia) 9:58.84
Men – ages 18-29 – 450m Freestyle
1. Grigory Ermola (Russia) 5:43.80
2. Eduard Khodakovsky (Russia) 6:21.69
3. Evgeny Rabinovich (Russia) 6:22.69
4. Evgeny Latyshev (Russia) 7:10.24
Men – ages 30-39 – 450m Freestyle
1. Albert Sobirov (Russia) 5:40.91
2. Alexey Kovrigin (Russia) 5:48.23
3. Anatoly Lebedev (Russia) 6:28.92
4. Patrick Corcoran (Ireland) 6:55.67
5. Pavel Rudzinski (Poland) 7:22.40
6. Evgeny Malaykin (Russia) 7:44.01
7. Wyatt Song (Australia) 7:54.17
8. Alexandr Brylin (Russia) 8:38.68
9. Roman Solodovnik (Russia) 9:53.84
10. Artem Khomenko (Russia) 10:36.65
11. Sergey Meland (Russia) 10:50.40
12. Andrey Martynov (Russia) 11:40.76
Men – ages 40-44 – 450m Freestyle
1. Henri Kaarma (Estonia) 5:46.62
2. Jakub Valnicek (Czech Republic) 6:57.66
3. Andrey Zamyslov (Russia) 7:22.1
4. Igor Filatov (Russia) 7:22.62
5. Dmitry Semenov (Russia) 8:44.05
6. Dmitry Valkrushev (Russia) 8:58.19
7. David Andrew Taitz (South Africa) 11:25.71
Men – ages 45-49 – 450m Freestyle
1. Grigory Prokopchuk (Russia) 8:14.9
2. Gerard Kennedy (Ireland) 8:43.04
3. Erik Legua (Russia) 8:46.60
4. Alexandre Fuzeau (France) 9:18.53
5. Andrey Sychev (Russia) 9:31.50
6. Victor Olkhovatsky (Russia) 10:01.76
7. Allen Evans (Ireland) 10:42.24
Men – ages 50-54 – 450m Freestyle
1. Vladimir Danchenkov (Russia) 6:51.62
2. Yury Neupokoev (Russia) 7:45.16
3. Andrey Agarkov (Russia) 8:57.69
4. Jiri Kurina (Czech Republic) 11:00.26
5. Alexandr Cherkasov (Russia) 11:04.36
6. Barry O’Connor (Ireland) DNA
Men – ages 55-59 – 450m Freestyle
1. Rory Fitzgerald (England) 6:01.70
2. Mikhail Andronov (Russia) 8:53.72
3. Zhou Hamming (China) 9:15.19
4. Nickolay Petshak (Russia) 9:28.49
5. Vyacheslav Zonon (Russia) 10:06.84
6. Igor Gusarov (Russia) 10:31.88
7. Mikhail Nazarov (Russia) DNF
8. Sergey Sidorov (Russia) DNF
9. Alexandr Skokov (Russia) DNF
Men – ages 60-64 – 450m Freestyle
1. Alexandr Zelenetsky (Russia) 7:34.54
2. Valery Grigorevsky (Russia) 10:08.26
3. Alexandr Maykov (Russia) 12:54.56
Men – ages 65-69 – 450m Freestyle
1. Rafail Yakupov (Russia) 9:14.05
2. Victor Fokin (Russia) 12:07.91

The 1000m results from the Ice Swimming World Championship are posted here.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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