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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Swim To The End Of The Rainbow

Courtesy of Jacqueline McClelland at the Bumble Bee Dip at Front Shore, Warrenpoint, Co. Down, Ireland.

Jacqueline McClelland reports from Ireland with a rainbow off in the distance, "Despite the rain and and a gusty wind, the sea was calm for a great turnout at the first swim of the season on the Camlough Lake Water Festival 2015 calendar.

The Bumble Bee Dip enables its participants to swim as far as they like with thanks going to race director Gary McCourt, the event supporters, the water safety team, registration team and the swimmers themselves.

The Camlough Lake Water Festival's new club boat was on the water watching over all, thanks to sponsors Malcolm Hollis, Feile Camlocha and Watersafety Camlough Carlingford for its purchase.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

David Yudovin, Ocean Pioneer Extraordinaire, Passes Away

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Dale Petranech reported that International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer David Yudovin unexpectedly passed away from a heart attack.

As a major benefactor of the sport, a quiet inspirational icon among channel swimmers, and the head and visionary of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, Yudovin will missed by many around the world. "He is unreplaceable," writes Petranech. "But as a tribute to David, the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame board of directors will keep as many of his plans for the IMSHOF in place."

English Channel and Catalina Channel record holder Penny Dean recalls her fellow Hall of Fame dual inductee, "The open water swimming community just lost the man with the most gentle heart and soul who had just committed himself and his wife Beth to improve the recognition of marathon swimming and its athletes and organizations worldwide, especially the Hall of Fame."

Scott Zornig who worked with Yudovin at the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association, "Dave was not only one of the greatest marathon swimmers ever who quietly conquered over 40 channels, but he was a coach, mentor and friend. Dave's heart was even bigger than his swims as he continually gave of himself to the sick and less fortunate. I will never forget his kindness nor his love of our sport. Dave showed us that speed is irrelevant. Rather, it is far more important to overcome obstacles and complete the journey."

Yudovin was one of the most prolific ocean marathon swimmers in history, known for pioneering dozens of channel swimming firsts that literally span the globe. A successful entrepreneur in the seafood industry in California, Yudovin began channel swimming in 1976 and remained extraordinarily active in the sport for nearly 40 years.

From lending his experience and expertise to the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation and Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association to giving motivational speeches to various groups, he opened the eyes of many locally, regionally and internationally with his open water swimming exploits, but also because of his humble and passionate nature.

Over the course of his career, Yudovin completed over 35 solo marathon channel swims that include over 15 unprecedented swims. "He was the first to cross the Tsugaru Channel in northern Japan on July 7th, a day with a special meaning in Japan," says Steven Munatones who wrote many articles about his exploits. "That is who David was - someone special, very special. Every time, David sent the Daily News of Open Water Swimming an email, it always contained a pleasant surprise. He was somewhere in the world, far away from home either planning or completing an unprecedented swim, usually in very tough conditions. He was a pioneer extraordinaire." Together with his wife Beth, Yudovin raised funds for the City of Hope Cancer Center, Senior Nutrition, Cambria Community Bus, and North Coast Ocean Rescue, Cambria Fire Department and was right in the middle of

His marathon and channel swims included the following:

*1976 - Catalina Channel (20.2 miles) 11 hours 51 minutes
*1982 - Anacapa Island Channel (11nm) 8 hours 27 minutes
*1983 - Santa Cruz Island Channel (16 nm) 15 hours 15 minutes - 1st
*1984 - North Coronado Island to Mexico (11 nm) 6 hours 22 minutes - 1st
*1985 - Morocco to Gibraltar (11 nm) 9 hours 27 minutes
*1986 - California Channel (20.2 miles) 13 hours 45 minutes
*1990 - Tsugaru Channel (Honchu-Hokkaido) (17 nm) 11 hours 54 minutes - 1st
*1991 - South Coronado Island to Mexico (8.5 nm) 4 hours 6 minutes
*1991 - North Coronado Island to Mexico (11 nm) 7 hours 45 minutes - 1st
*1992 - South Coronado Island to Mexico (8.5 nm) 4 hours 20 minutes
*1992 - South Coronado Island to Mexico (8.5 nm) 4 hours 25 minutes
*1993 - South Coronado Island to Mexico (8.5 nm) 4 hours 15 minutes
*1993 - Catalina Channel (20.2 miles) 11 hours 49 minutes
*1995 - Catalina Channel (20.2 miles) 10 hours 46 minutes
*1996 - English Channel (18 nm) 13 hours 37 minutes
*1996 - Bali to Java (6 nm) 1 hours 36 minutes - 1st
1997 - Nusa Penida to Bali (9 nm) 2 hours 48 minutes - 1st
2000 - Indonesia's Sunda Strait, Java to Sumatra (15 nm) 10 hours 34 minutes - 1st
2002 - Maui Channel (Lanai-Maui) (10 nm) 4 hours 47 minutes
2002 - Molokini to Maui (5 nm) 2 hours 6 minutes
2003 - Molokini to Maui (5 nm) 2 hours 16 minutes
2003 - Maui to Molokai (10 nm) 4 hours 14 minutes
2003 - Maui to Kahoolawe (8 nm) 4 hours 18 minutes
2003 - Molokai to Lanai (10 nm) 5 hours 11 minutes
2003 - Cape Wiwiki to Cape Brett, Bay of Islands, New Zealand (10 nm) 5 hours 23 minutes - 1st
2004 - Cook Strait (North Island-South Island) (16 nm) 9 hours 38 minutes
2008 - Moorea Channel, French Polynesia from Tahiti Island to Moorea Island (10 nm) 6 hours 20 minutes
2008 - Faial Pico Channel, Azores from Faial Island to Pico Island, Portugal (5 nm) 2 hours 20 minutes - 1st
2008 - Pico S. Jorge Channel, Azores from Pico Island to S. Jorge Island, Portugal (10 nm) 7 hours 26 minutes - 1st
2008 - Corvo Floress Channel, Azores from Corvo Island to Flores Island, Portugal (10 nm) 7 hours 10 minutes - 1st
2010 - Ihla Madeira Ihla Desertas Grande Channel, Madeira Islands from Ihla Madeira to Ihla Desertas Grande, Portugal (11 nm) 7 hours 3 minutes - 1st
2011 - Sipika Island to Simaleko Island, North Sumatra, Indonesia (8 nm) 3 hours 59 minutes - 1st
2011 - Telo Island to Sigata Island, North Sumatra, Indonesia (5 nm) 3 hours 36 minutes - 1st
2011 - Tanah Masa Island to Pini Island. North Sumatra, Indonesia (11.5 nm) 7 hours 52 minutes - 1st
2012 - Santo Antonio Island to San Vincente Island, Cape Verde, Africa (10.5 nm) 5 hours 44 minutes - 1st
2012 - Fogo Island to Brava Island, Cape Verde, Africa (12.6 nm) 6 hours 38 minutes - 1st
2013 - Maio Island to Santiago Island, Cape Verde, Africa (16 nm) 11 hours 37 minutes - 1st
2013 - Simeleko Island to Tanahmasa Island, Baluta Beach, North Sumatra, Indonesia (4.85 nm) 3 hours 34 minutes - 1st
2013 - Tanahmasa Island, Rangas Beach to Simeleko Island, North Sumatra, Indonesia (5.5 nm) 3 hours 33 minutes - 1st
2013 - Telo Island to Sigata Island, North Sumatra, Indonesia (5.5 nm) 3 hours 40 minutes - 1st
2013 - Pini Island to Laga Island, North Sumatra, Indonesia (7.5 nm) 5 hours 46 minutes - 1st
2014 - Principe Island/Around Gale Rock Island/Principe Island Sao Tome, Africa (6 nm) 3 hours 55 minutes - 1st
2014 - Isla Tinhosa Pequena/Principe Island, Sao Tome, Africa (5 nm) 6 hours 11 minutes

Among his legacies will be the Yudovin Award awarded by the Marathon Swimmers Federation as part of its MSF Global Marathon Swimming Awards. The Yudovin Award honors the single most adventurous swim of the year as voted upon by the MSF membership and is meant to recognize the spirit of adventure, the most interesting swim, or the most unusual swim - as was Yudovin's speciality.

The Daily News of Open Water Swimming covered Yudovin's exploits with the following articles:

* David Yudovin Goes 3 For 3 In Cape Verde
* David Yudovin, Swimming Between Wild And Fire in Africa
* Marathon Swimming Along The Equator
* Swimming Strait - Tackling The Tsugaru
* International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Class of 2013
* Tackling The Tsugaru
* David Yudovin Crosses Canal de São Vicente
* David Yudovin Becomes Namesake For MSF Award
* David Yudovin Inspires The Yudovin Award
* The Perfect Male Open Water Swimmer
* Dreamers Are Driven
* Water Transforms David Yudovin
* Successful Swimming Strategies In The Far East
* The Ties That Bind In The Open Water
* Swimming In The World's Greatest Wind Tunnel
* WOWSA, IMSHOF Heads To Cork, Ireland
* What Makes Great Swimmers?
* David Yudovin Voted In International Swimming Hall Of Fame
* International Swimming Hall Of Fame Open Water Greats
* Bali To Java, An American Favorite
* Yudovin Concludes 6-Year Journey In São Tomé, Príncipe
* 9 Accomplish Canal Faial Pico Crossing
* Crème de la Crème Of The Open Water World
* Go West To Swim North
* 9 Succeed In Nadar Açores Project Between Pico And Faial
* California Channel Island Swimming History 1926 to 1978
* Antecedent Attempts At Anacapa
* Negative Splitting Life In The Open Water
* So What Do You Do?
* 5,000 Reasons To Give Hope
* Open Water Swimming Heroes

For more information, visit his website here at davidyudovinchannelswimmer.com.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Yasunari Hirai Get Gold In Coolangatta

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

When Yasunari Hirai was a young 10-year-old age group swimmer in Japan, he watched Michael Klim of Australia win Olympic gold medals and set world records. "He was a hero of mine, especially while watching the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Today I was able to meet him and talk with him. What a motivation and an opportunity, meeting someone like Michael who I felt that I knew from so long ago

Hirai handily won today's Cooly Classic 2.0 Ocean Swim in 20:55 as part of the Milk & Co. Queensland Ocean Swim Series.

Cooly Classic 2.0 Top 25 Results:
1. Yasunari Hirai 20:55.2
2. Bailey Armstrong 21:12.6
3. Troy Balvert 21:17.3
4. Dylan Mason 21:37.1
5. Hayden Cotter 21:46.1
6. Marcus Hall 21:52.1
7. Ben Jimmieson 22:51.0
8. Matthew Avery 23:05.4
9. Duane Cannell 23:11.9
10. Sarah Thompson 23:15.0 [first woman]
11. Jackson Van Der Zant 23:15.4
12. Jackson Chapman 23:24.8
13. Frazer Carsley 23:44.1
14. Campbell Oram 23:49.3
15. Codie Grimsey 23:53.2
16. Casey Flouch 23:56.4
17. Courtney Atkinson 24:03.9
18. Taylor Ceeil 24:18.1
19. Ian Spence 24:26.4
20. Ryan Duell 25:09.4
21. Hudson Frigo 25:16.8
22. Chloe Butt 25:26.5 [second woman]
23. Sarah Windsor 25:27.5 [third woman]
24. Madiysn Armstrong 25:36.1 [fourth woman]
25. Michael Miller 25:48.5

On Facebook, Hirai said in Japanese in detail: 今日は優勝できました!めちゃくちゃ嬉しいです。ゴールドコーストで名前をしっかり売れました。ヤスナリヒライを20回くらいマイクで言ってもらえて気持ちかったです!この試合のメインスポンサーはイアンソープ選手らと2000年代にオーストラリア代表の黄金時代を築いた1人、オリンピック金メダリスト•マイケルクリム氏が経営する会社で、初めて会って話せて、しかも僕を覚えてもらえて、友達にもなれました^^ 小学生4、5年生の頃、テレビで見ていた選手。遠い遠い人だった存在とこうして会えるって、すげえ良いなって思えました。憧れを憧れで終わらせちゃだめですね。追いついて超そうっていう気持ちにならないと。やっぱり、自分を評価してくれる国で活躍する事で本当チャンスと未知なる可能性を掴めそうです。僕も彼のように選手として結果を残して起業家になれるようにします。

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

When Conditions Get Dangerous In The Pacific

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Jeff Kozolvich and Steve Haumschild frequently escort people across the Molokai Channel between the Hawaiian islands of Molokai and Oahu including Poland's Boguslaw Ogrodnik today.

The local pair knows extraordinarily well through experience about the inherent risk of being in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, especially when things get windy, swollen and turbulent in this channel.

Kozolvich recalls one incident back in August 2014 in his characteristically low-key manner:

"Little extra excitement today. Steve Haumschild and I were heading to Molokai on a boat with someone who wanted to paddle from Molokai to Oahu, no big deal, we do this stuff all the time.

Conditions went from bad to disastrous really fast, waves washing over the bow, 30-35 mph winds, you get the picture. We got out life jackets, I grabbed my fins, and we jumped. Once the boat flipped on it side, we were able to cut the three kayaks off and tie them together, but no paddles. 8 of us in the water miles from land, thank goodness for technology and water proof phones.

U.S. Coast Guard helicopter took us all to Sandy Beach. Shout out to US Coast Guard Hawaii, Honolulu Fire Dept, HPD and C & C Honolulu EMS for their assistance. All are a little dazed but all are perfectly OK

A local news report by Hawaii News Now on the incident and rescue is here.

Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Communicating From The Channel

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Open water swimmers, coaches and crews have found many ways to communicate with others on terra firma (dryland) while out doing a channel swim or other open water swim in remote locations.

Many of the options include sending photos, text, SMS, or pings via their mobile devices to their social networks.

During Boguslaw Ogrodnik's attempt to cross the Molokai Channel between the Hawaiian islands of Molokai and Oahu, his support crew led by Steve Haumschild and Jeff Kozolvich used DeLorme's inReach Messaging, a two-way text messaging and SOS alerting service that is capable of sending and receiving messages anywhere in the world via the inReach satellite communicator.

Before Ogrodnik was halted by a tough current in the middle of the Pacific Ocean far distant from mobile phone coverage, Haumschild was able to communicate with inReach Messaging about Ogrodnik's progress and visuals (e.g., 6-8 foot shark that passed by) in real-time and colorful ways (see above).

inReach offers reliable coverage of the Iridium network and helps keeps open water swimmers and their crews safely and conveniently connected even when they venture out beyond the coverage of shore cellular networks and VHF marine band radio.

Ogrodnik knows adventure. The lawyer and mountaineer from Wrocław, Poland has not only completed the Seven Summits, but he has also completed a crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar and the English Channel as well as crossed the Bulf of Gdańsk, Lake Balaton and will attempt the Catalina Channel in July and the Tsugaru Channel in September.

And he obviously knows the highs and lows of adventures.

He is the world record holder for denivelation at 9,011 meters; he has scaled Mount Everest to 8,848 meters and dove to 163 meters in the Blue Hole in Sinai, Egypt.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Add A Peacock To The Mix

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Stephanie Peacock got her first international taste of competitive open water swimming in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at the King and Queen of the Sea.

While she just missed out on a victory together with Chip Peterson, she was the queen of Miramar Lake in Florida today after winning her first international competition over American Tristin Baxter and Japanese Olympian Yumi Kida.

With the first step in qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympics next month for the Americans, it is very convenient timing for Peacock to step into the mix in the highly competitive American women's lead pack. She will have to deal with experienced stars such as Haley Anderson, Eva Fabian, Becca Mann, Christine Jennings, Ashley Twichell, and Tristin Baxter among others.

But it was the same as usual on the men's side as the dominant American of this quadrennial, Alex Meyer, winning a close race over Sean Ryan and Chip Peterson. Like Peacock, Meyer hopes to finish in the top two at next month's USA Swimming World Championship qualification race and then finish in the top 10 at the 2015 FINA World Swimming Championships 10 km marathon swim in order to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Women's Results:
1 Stephanie Peacock (USA) 1:43:23.64 (winning US$4,500)
2 Tristin Baxter (USA) 1:43:30.80 (winning US$3,500)
3 Yumi Kida (Japan) 1:43:32.49 (winning US$1,500)
4 Christine Jennings (USA) 1:43:34.33 (winning US$1,000)
5 Emily Brunemann (USA) 1:43:37.37 (winning US$500)
6 Zsofi Balazs (Canada) 1:45:44.33
7 Heather Maitland (Canada) 1:47:16.11
8 Kylie Mitchell (USA) 1:48:51.61
9 Melissa Reyes (Mexico) 1:49:20.67
10 Casey Francis (USA) 1:49:31.21
11 Gillian Caverly (USA) 1:52:07.11 12 Caitin Nolan (Canada) 1:54:22.84

Men's Results:
1 Alex Meyer (USA) 1:33:20.90 (winning US$4,500)
2 Sean Ryan (USA) 1:33:24.77 (winning US$3,500)
3 Chip Peterson (USA) 1:33:27.46 (winning US$1,500)
4 Taylor Abbott (USA) 1:34:15.96 (winning US$1,000)
5 Rob Muffels (Germany) 1:34:22.68 (winning US$500)
6 Ivan Ochoa (Ecuador) 1:34:25.58
7 Yosuke Miyamoto (Japan) 1:34:32.00
8 Richard Weinberger (Canada) 1:34:32.71
9 Shahar Resman (Israel) 1:34:39.86
10 Blake Manganiello (USA) 1:36:22.24
11 Jan Urbaniak (Poland) 1:37:02.37
12 Yoelvis Pedraza (USA) 1:37:12.58
13 Robert Finke (USA) 1:38:44.02
14 Nicholas Sweetser (USA) 1:38:44.99
15 Xavier Desharnais (Canada) 1:41:18.83
16 Christopher Deegan (Australia) 1:41:48.27
17 Christian Marsden (USA) 1:42:36.56
18 Andrew Gyenis (USA) 1:43:52.84
19 Ryan Feeley (USA) 1:43:53.18
20 Brian Ryckeman (Belgium) 1:44:05.24

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Freestyling In Finland

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

After Tuomas Kaario was helped by Päivi Pälvimäki in his 58 km crossing between Tallinn in Estonia to Porkkala in Finland in July 2014, the pair took their passion for the open water to another level.

Kaario and Pälvimäki operate Swimming Holidays in Finland that provides open water swimming, winter swimming and wild swimming tours, camps, events, and swim guides in Finland.

For more information, visit here.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Ready For The Raleigh Round?

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The Perhentian Islands (or Pulau Perhentian in Malay) are islands 19 km off the northeastern coast of West Malaysia. The main island is Perhentian Besar is a growing base to international tourists.

It is site of the Raleigh Round Island Challenge, an 18 km circumnavigation swim around Perhentian Besar.

Twenty four-person teams of open water swimmers and kayakers compete in the 18 km non-competitive circumnavigation with two athletes in the water swimming while the other two athletes kayak simultaneously.

Event director Intan Jailani invites swimmers, kayakers, and outdoor enthusiasts who crave to challenge themselves to the Raleigh Round Island Challenge. "The RIC is back and will be held on May 22nd - 24th.

The ultimate sense of adventure is mixed with a rush of pure adrenaline and a common goal to give back to society with 4 teammates - 2 swimming and 2 kayaking at one time over a distance of 18 km around the island of Perhentian Besar

For more information, visit here.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

SOS, Rescues And Saves In Ice Swimming Competitions

Photos courtesy of Nuala Moore, above the Arctic Circle in Murmansk, Russia.

"Ram Barkai made the World Ice Swimming Championships in Murmansk possible," said American ice swimmer Mo O'Reilly. "It has been incredible journey. We are still swimming and the team keeps getting larger and more magnificent."

A clear evolution apparent in the ice swimming world are the safety protocols and procedures.

While planning safety protocols on paper is one thing, another completely different aspect of safety is execution.

That is, what happens in the ice swimming world when there is an emergency? How quickly is a competitor saved? What happens if someone goes under or needs to be saved while swimming in water under 5°C? Who dives in the water to rescue a swimmer in need, especially when the water is close to 0°C and the air temperature is under 0°C? What happens under such condition? Are there lifeguards?

While O'Reilly was competing in the 1000m swim at the 2015 World Ice Swimming Championships in Murmansk, there was a rescue that was caught on film. The rescue personnel were seen executing a safe on Russian swimmer Olga Andryunina.

Irish ice swimmer Nuala Moore recalled the rescue, "It was very quick, the diver was in a flash. Her recovery was quick. Divers act as lifeguards and are at both ends of the pool and also positioned at the sides of the [25m] pool."

O'Reilly said, "It was scary, but Olga was OK."

Moore further explains, "Rescues are mostly visual, quick and tight to the swimmer. So we all have a second (a knowledgeable teammate) named before the start."

In the case above, a diver was alerted to the swimmer who raised her hand after the 200m mark in the 1000m race. He jumped in to help. There was a period of time before they removed her from the pool as the lifeguards had to take her down to the end of the lane because the sides of the ice pool were too rough to slide her out.

"They didn't have a smooth exit," observes Moore. "But it was effective and she was not challenged. She was placed on a stretcher and taken to a full medical tent within 100 meters with an ambulance standing by."

Whether the rescue is made in an ice swim or a tropical swim, the toughest part of a rescue is often getting the athlete out of the water. This is especially true if the swimmer has lanolin or sunscreen on or there is a kayaker far away from the shoreline. Paddle boards, RIBs or JetSkis with sleds are often easier to bring a distressed or limp swimmer to shore or to a larger rescue vessel.

Ultimately, her recovery was swift, but if her rescue was in the middle lanes, the efforts would have been a greater challenge.

However, the organizers in Murmansk with the assistance of the International Ice Swimming Association have implemented a number of additional safety measures. "Safety divers were all over the pool area in order to quickly get to swimmers," said Ram Barkai.

"The pool had 2 divers [shown below] on each lane," confirmed Moore.

But even with plenty of divers around, the organizers had disallowed some entrants due to insufficient qualifying times. "I disqualified some entries in the beginning based on their time," Barkai said about the pre-race vetting procedures.

"Because swimmers only sinks when they stop moving, it is easy to identify when the moment is coming. The swimmer's stroke rate needs to be managed by their seconds [shown above]. Each swimmers had to assign a second to be at their poolside lane. This second - who can only be another experienced swimmer - must be the eyes and ears for the referee. It's about responsibility; the second is someone who can inform the referee if they feel the swimmer's behaviour is normal or erratic. Some swimmers look ragged, but this is an expectation [given the conditions].

Additionally, for the 1000m event, entrants need to show that they have at least competed at a 450m distance in other competitions
," said Moore.

Barkai added, "In addition, every swimmer had a nylon strap or belt around their waist [shown above] so they can be grabbed from above or in the water."

"In the German Ice Swim in January, we all had to swim with a RestTube," said O'Reilly. "We also had two men for each swimmer on exiting the water to support us. They were all from the 'MChS' which is Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations. That's just poolside. What happens in the sauna is another aspect of the sport."

"Swimmers can see groups of people at the end of each lane," explains Moore. "We set up lists in advance so each swimmers has their own team. The expectation is not that you come and put pressure on the event organizers. Rather, the expectation is that your team is present for the swim and the [post-race] recovery to help with your shoes, to move and support you to the recovery area and also know your [specific] recovery. The swim is over when the swimmer's recovery is complete so the expectation is that the team is aware of the recovery."

"Plus having the first medical tent at poolside was great," recalls O'Reilly. "As soon as we were out of the water, we went into a medical tent. A doctor took our pulse to check for any extreme situations and then we were marched to the saunas."

"There were a few swimmers who experienced drops in blood pressure and several ladies were transferred to the sauna by stretcher," observed Moore. "But this is best option. There are no benefits to making the body work harder than it does. At the sauna, there were also pulse checks taken before releasing the swimmers."

O'Reilly explained, "Before racing, during our medical checks they look for elevated heart rates and blood pressure. Just because when you jump into ice, everything skyrockets."

Barkai described his own condition. "I was fine at my 16 minutes [in the 1000m event]. I sprinted the last 25 meters. It was a slow sprint. My blood pressure was the same on my exit. But it gets messed up later in recovery."

"But in a rescue situation, all rescue protocols dictate that individuals exit the water horizontal position. So when the swimmer stands up to climb the [poolside] ladder, their blood pressure can drop quickly from the hydrostatic pressure. This is why all rescues are now from the water in the horizontal position," added Moore [shown below with her support team]. "So when a swimmer stands up too quickly and starts to move their blood pressure can drop and the blood drains. They can pass out. The adrenaline can help them, but in a few minutes they can go down with the cold as well.

It's the shift from hozizontal to vertical and the loss of the water from the body that causes this. People have to train for that. The legs do not have any blood because of the cold so when you stand up, the circulation is the same as when you have a dead leg. So standing up is a problem. You can't put your body weight on 2 dead legs, so you go down. But we a lot of us despite the cold to steady ourselves."

The full video of the rescue and race is here.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Swellunication Happens

Photo courtesy of Dirk Erasmus, Huntington Beach, South Africa.

California ocean swimmer Penelope Nagel coined another open water swimming term - a blend of swell + hallucination - while on an ocean swim outside of La Jolla Cove, California:

Swellunication is the state or condition of becoming disoriented in the ocean among swells, believing that one has swum further than the actual distance swum.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Cool Cats Create Cold Club

Courtesy of Nuala Moore, inside the Arctic Circle.

International marathon swimming superstar Petar Stoychev [shown below] joined forces with the International Ice Swimming Association team of Kieron Palframan, Ryan Stramrood and Ram Barkai to create a formidable relay at the World Ice Swimming Championships in Murmansk, Russia.

When the charismatic quartet walk dramatically from the ready room the poolside with goggles affixed and intensity personified, heads turned, music blared and it was more like a movie scene with celebrities coming onto a set.

After the start, the foursome performed as expected in the 0.8°C water and -7°C air.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

A Champion's Mindset In Murmansk

Courtesy of Nuala Moore from inside the Arctic Circle.

7-time world marathon swimming champion Shelley Taylor-Smith has trained for many things during her career: world championship races, circumnavigations around Manhattan Islands, solo marathon swims in Australia, World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation races (in the pre-FINA era), relays and races from Oceania to the Mediterranean.

She has encountered jellyfish and sharks, been injured and had surgeries, and had the ups and downs of competitive racing.

But nothing prepared her for the shock of ice swimming except for her own mindset and the camaraderie of the cheerful and supportive colleagues at the World Ice Swimming Championships in Murmansk, Russia. From her perch in Perth, the famed Australian marathoner, official and announcer "was a pure trooper...she took in all the atmosphere," recalls Nuala Moore.

She did her first swim in St Petersburg, Russia at 1.8°C, and remarkably did not require any recovery. It was clear to those around her that she has the mental capacity and physical talents so swims at 0°C were not going to be challenge. "All of these supreme athletes like Shelley have the capacity far beyond ours to shut out all the demons [of ice swimming]." observed Moore. "As a true athlete with a champion mindset, Shelley attacked [the swim in Murmansk] and had a phenomenal time."

"You are soooo present [while swimming in near 0°C water] that you don't have time to think past or future," recalls Taylor-Smith. "If that makes any sense. I have never ever been more present than I was my maiden swim in St Petersburg and then the same in Murmansk."

It is hard to describe what swimming in near 0°C feels like. I didn't shiver or shake even. My head does not even get that ice cold headache. I thisnk it is the adrenaline rushing through your body; well it did for me anyway. I was nervous [before the race] not because I did not want to fail, but because I did not want to let down relay teammates. You cannot wipe the smile off my face. I guess the human body can withstand a lot within 30 seconds

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Swimming When The Seas Are Swollen

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

"That's 35 km swim from Saudi Arabai to the Kingdom of Bahrain, he didn't have to do it in such trying conditions," recalled Chloë McCardel about His Highness Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

McCardel certainly knows about grit and guts, having pushed herself around some of the world's seas, oceans and islands. "He could have just say before the swim that look the conditions do not look perfect today and let's do it another day. He would have been within his right. He could have called it He would have been within his rights he could have called it , Paul and I who are quite experienced in the English Channel said it looks pretty dangerous. We are not sure he should keep going. So he had so many opportunities to pull the plug, but he had so much determination. He could have come back another day. He really put himself on the line. He was just going to keep going no matter what the conditions."

The 31.5 km Khalid Bin Hamad Swim Challenge between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain is show below:

For more information on the event and His Highness Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, visit here.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Friday, March 27, 2015

Iseo Lake Sarnico-Pisogne, Traversata A Nuoto

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

When FINA first added open water swimming to its schedule, it only had the 25 km marathon swim to its schedule at the 1991 FINA World Championships.

Gradually, the 5 km, 10 km and 5 km team trial races were added...as the rest of the aquatic world has started to add more marathon swims.

There are at least 300 official marathon swimming competitions around the world and probably more like 400-500 events.

One of the newest marathon swims is the Iseo Lake Sarnico-Pisogne, a 23 km solo marathon swim organized by Team Federico Troletti.

For more information, contact info@federicotroletti.it.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Re-invention Through Butterfly, Making Up For Lost Time

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Word has it that Dan Provjansky is going to have a second bout with the Red River of the North in Andy Magness' annual Extreme North Dakota Watersports Endurance Test (END-WET), a 36-mile (57.9 km) marathon swim from rural North Dakota to East Grand Forks, Minnesota.

Projansky finished the entire 57.9 km swim butterfly in 12 hours 2 minutes last year in 68-70ºF (20ºC+) conditions with the mandatory International Swimming Hall of Fame SafeSwimmer™ Float bobbing behind him.

Darren Miller, the winner of the inaugural END-WET in 2012, recalls the experience. "It is a very unique race due to its remoteness in North Dakota and Minnesota. I loved hearing stories of the locals who thought it was very dangerous to swim down a river dividing the states. The reality was Andy and his team at ENDracing put on one amazing event and took every safety precaution necessary to insure our safety and success."

As the river winds through two states, Projanksy is able to take advantage of the natural landscape by navigating easily due to his breathe-forward butterfly stroke. "The ability to sight and swim in water that is fast-moving with low visibility is necessary as well," says Miller.

Picture a bright, sunny day, river water, 'plains' landscape, occasional downed trees a few railroad trestles. Everyone was great, and I could not be more happy with how the event turned out. The Mayor even gave me the key to Grand Forks, North Dakota. It was a wonderful memory."

We spoke with Projansky as he trains out of his native state of Illinois:

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How do you train for a butterfly END-WET? How many days of the week do you train? What distances do you swim? All butterfly?

Dan Projansky: I swim three days a week usually. During the late spring and summer months I might swim four days a week. Once in a while, I may do a back-to-back workout. For example, I may swim both Saturday and Sunday.

I have a routine in the gym that I do on my swimming off-days. I have to keep in mind that I am no youngster anymore. So, from time to time, especially in the winter, I may take off two days in a row from working out.

When I hit the pool, I just swim butterfly. The only freestyle that I do is about 100 yards for a cool-down. From March on, I usually pack on the long workouts. Yesterday I swam for three hours straight. I have to admit, about half of the time I use a underwater music player.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Do you ever cramp up? If so, where? How do you swim through it?

Dan Projansky: During my swims, I seldom cramp up. I have been using a protein drink, but it really helps me that I drink the mix every 100 lengths. I also carry a few 16 ounce bottles with me in my inflatable buoys when training outside. I swim with two inflatable buoys. I also take Advil before my swim; it seems to help with muscle swelling and my recovery is less painful.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Would you ever like to compete against the other butterflying open water swimmers around the world like Brenton Williams?

Dan Projansky: I have a ton of respect for Brenton Williams and Sylvain Estadieu. Brenton swims in really cold water and Sylvain completed the English Channel. Those guys are really terrific. What makes me so different is that I am old. I will be 57 this April.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Why is it that butterflyer open water swimmers are primarily older swimmers? You would think butterfly is a young person's stroke?

Dan Projansky: I'm not really sure why open water butterfly is mostly done by us old geezers. It may have something to do with the fact that we need to slow things down, and butterfly is a slower stroke.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Any tips you think you can give to Michael Phelps? Any tips you would like to learn from Michael Phelps?

Dan Projansky: Michael Phelps is one of my favorite athletes. When he is ready to become a masters swimmer and wants to swim fly for 27 or 36 miles, I would love to have a go at it with him. I have no tips for him now. I'm a puny grain of sand compared to what he has accomplished.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Why butterfly?

Dan Projansky: The reason I swim all butterfly is a bit personal. I don't mind sharing a little though. I am a competitive guy by nature. When I was doing triathlons, I never finished above the halfway mark in rankings in my age bracket. I got tired of being average. My sprint times got slower because of all the cross training. I was doing Ironman triathlons.

I felt like I needed to re-invent myself and have fun again and forget about being average and losing in masters meets. There is this guy in Chicago who does the butterfrog in a wetsuit each September during the Big Shoulders 5K Swim. I decided to try it all butterfly without a wetsuit. I did it. I did it again the following year. I then went to the upper peninsula of Michigan in 2009 to try a 10 km marathon swim. I did it, but I wore a shorty wetsuit. I felt like I should of tried it without a wetsuit, and I was mad at myself.

Two weeks later I swam across Lake Geneva Wisconsin for SwimForFreedom, a charity for Special Operation Warrior Foundation. I did that freestyle. It was then that I knew I wanted to swim across Lake Geneva all butterfly. In 2010, I did it. I did it in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. 8.2 miles [butterfly].

The END-WET river swim in North Dakota was a big test for me. The race directors were very supportive and went out of their way to make me succeed. Last year it was upped from 27 miles to 36 miles. I nailed it.

I want to try a 50-mile swim one day if I could only find the right venue. I'm game for it. [Editor's Note: we suggest Lake Powell in Utah.]

Another reason why I do all butterfly is because I want to make up for past failures and bad choices I made when I was a youth. First off, my mother was not supportive. I wanted to attend a private school in downstate Illinois and swim on the team, but my parents were divorced and my mother would not give me the guarantee that she would not marry her boyfriend. By not having that guarantee, I couldn't in my mind be comfortable with getting Illinois state financial assistance and then have to leave the private school for a state school. So she forced me in a decision to attend a school I really didn't want to attend.

I made the swim team as a walk-on but quickly got caught up in partying and I developed a negative attitude that affected me in really bad ways. I quit the team. I got depressed and partied too much. My grades went in the tank. I transferred after my sophomore year and turned my college experience into more of a positive one by attending Northern Illinois University.

But I never swam competitively in college. And dang it, I never broke the 1:00 mark in the 100 fly.

I guess I lived with these disappointments for too long.

So as I neared 50 years of age, I decided to recapture the opportunity I had, but didn't have the forethought or guidance to carry out what was available to me as a youth. Anger and competitive juices steered me towards to my re-invention. I just decided to go for it.

I didn't want age to be an excuse for me in not attaining my obsession with the butterfly stroke and swimming in general. Look, I know I am in the rear of the field in each race; but, instead of being a average freestyler, I am the first in the butterfly division.

Photo courtesy of Patty Hermann shows Dan Projansky wore a rash guard by Rip Curl.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Five Swims In Antarctica Opens Exhibition In Moscow

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Lewis Pugh's exhibition on his Five Swims in Antarctica for 1 Reason opened up in Moscow on March 20th featuring the remarkable photography of Kelvin Trautman.

For more visual delights by Kelvin Trautman, visit here.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Where The Twain Will Meet In The Open Water

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

"Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet," so wrote Rudyard Kipling in 1892.

What was true in 1892 is increasingly being turned around in the 21st century. No one in the previous centuries could imagine swimming at the top or bottom of the world. If someone fell into the freezing waters around the North or South Poles, death was nearly a certainty.

But as the Antarctic ice shelf continues to fall into warming ocean waters and the human species continues to venture in colder and colder waters, where will the twain ultimately meet?

After Lynne Cox pioneered swimming in the Antarctic, others have followed:

2002: Lynne Cox (U.S.A.) was the first human to swim in Neko Harbor and in Antarctica without a wetsuit when she swam 1.2 miles in 2°C (35°F) waters in 25 minutes
2005: Lewis Pugh (U.K.) has swum 1 km in 0°C waters off Petermann Island and 1 mile in 2°C (35°F) waters near Deception Island in 30 minutes 30 seconds
2008: Ram Barkai (South Africa) swam 1 km at 70º south latitude, near Maitri, the Indian scientific research station in Antarctica, in Long Lake in 1°C (33.8°F) waters
2014: Ryan Stramrood, Ram Barkai and Kieron Palframan (South Africa) attempted an Ice mile in Neko Harbor in Antarctica in -1ºC (30.2ºF) waters
2014: Andrew Chin (South Africa) completed a 1 km swim while Toks Viviers and Gavin Pike completed an ice mile in Paradise Harbour in Antarctica in -1ºC (30.2ºF) water
2015: Bhakti Sharma (India) swam 1.4 miles in 41.14 minutes in 1ºC water in the Southern Ocean
2015: Lewis Pugh (U.K.) did The Five Swims in Antarctica for 1 Reason, a series of swims in waters between 0ºC and -1.7ºC in Campbell Island at 52º South, Cape Adare at 71º South, Cape Evans at 77.6º South, Bay of Whales at 78.5º South, and Peter 1 Island at 69º South

How many more will venture in the Southern Ocean over the next 100 years? How many will join Cox, Pugh, Barkai, Stramwood, Palframan, Chin and Sharma in the pantheon of cold water swimming during the next century?

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Rei E Rainha Do Mar Kicks Off In 2015

Photos courtesy of Soraya Siviero at the Rei e Rainha do Mar in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Text courtesy of Vanessa Siviero.

Sunday opens the first stage of the Circuito Rei e Rainha do Mar (King and Queen of the Sea) 2015 on Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The largest festival of beach sports in Brazil, the series is part of the World Open Water Swimming Series.

Betina Lorscheitter [left above], the 2014 series champion of the second stage 2014, Samuel de Bono [second from left above], and Allan Do Carmo [third from left above] are among the Brazilian stars who participate.

Francismar Siviero and Raul Buarque are among the many masters swimmers from Grêmio Náutico União who compete in the 4 km Challenge course, the 1 km Sprint course, and the 2 km Classic course.

In addition to the pure open water swimming races, the event includes 2 km, 6 km and 12 km stand up paddle races, a 5 km beach run, and a 1 km swim + 2.5 km beach run biathlon.

For more information, visit here.

Circuito Light Rei e Rainha do Mar - Etapa Final + Desafio Elite 2014 from Rei e Rainha do Mar on Vimeo.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Intense Competition Among World's Best Ice Swimmers

Courtesy of Nuala Moore from inside the Polar Circle.

With the air temperature around Lake Semenovskoe in Murmansk at -7°C and the water temperature at 0.8°C, the biggest city in the world inside the Arctic Circle, showcased history's greatest ice swimming competition.

In the men's 1 km race, the showdown featured Germany's Christof Wandratsch, Russia's Albert Sobirov, and Estonia's Henri Kaarma.

The level of competition could not get any better. "It was an amazing race with stunning performances," describes Nuala Moore. "It is hard to believe the speed and the brilliance of these guys."

The first, second and third best in the world swimming head-to-head was an ice swimming fan's dream come true to witness.

The final results:
1. Christof Wandratsch of Germany - 13:00
2. Albert Sobirov of Russia - 13:41
3. Henri Kaarma of Estonia - 14:17

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Powerful People At The Polar Pool

Courtesy of Nuala Moore from inside the Polar Circle.

Petar Stoychev [left] of Bulgaria, a FINA representative, and Ram Barkai [right] of South Africa, co-founder of the International Ice Swimming Association, are shown discussing the recent World Ice Swimming Championships next to the 25m competition pool in Murmansk, Russia.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

A Thank You Gift from WOWSA

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

Open Water Swimming Magazine Anniversary Issue
File Size: 13MB


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

CLICK HERE to download your free copy now.

Open Water Swimming Magazine

Open Water Swimming Magazine

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

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

The Other Shore

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

2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac

An Almanac for Open Water Swimming

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

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

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

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

Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:

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


Open Water Swimming Event Sanctioning

World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation

Open Water Race Calendar

Coaches Education Program