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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Triple Dip, Another Stop On The Stephen Rouch Tour

Courtesy of Triple Dip, Coney Island, New York.

The 2017 Triple Dip in Coney Island in New York was held on September 16th, organized by the Coney Island Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers.

In addition to CIBBOWS' annual Breezy Point 5K, Grimaldo's Mile, 10-mile Verrazano Bridge to Marine Parkway Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge test swims, and Veteran's Day Swim, the Triple Dip event offered swimmers a choice of three distances: 3 miles, 2 miles or 1 mile, either swimming in bioprene or neoprene.

Top 10 1-Mile Results
1 Thayer Thompson (43) 21:07
2 Rodolfo Nunez (47) 25:39
3 Parker Chea (17) 25:42
4 Rory Chea (15) 25:44 [first woman)
5 Laura Pauwels (29) 31:30 [second woman]
6 Alexandra Lee (42) 33:54 [third woman]
7 Peter Mannino (28) 34:00
8 Jenny Lamb (36) 34:27
9 Roger Herr (53) 35:13
10 Douglas Vitarelli (51) 35:35

Top 10 2-Mile Bioprene Results
1 Elia Frid (29) 1:01:11
2 Vanessa Valdes (59) 1:01:17 [first woman]
3 Monica Robles (36) 1:11:34 [second woman]
4 Karen Berckmann (43) 1:12:45 [third woman]
5 George Babiak (61) 1:15:41
6 Caroline Mcneill (45) 1:18:57
7 Lisa Roiter (49) 1:19:40
8 Gary Ojeda (42) 1:20:17
9 Alison Rogers (47) 1:20:50
10 Katarzyna Falkowska (35) 1:32:05

Top 10 3-Mile Bioprene Results
1 Stephen Rouch (37) 1:09:39
2 John Chambers (61) 1:14:30
3 Bethamy Aronow (52) 1:21:29 [first female]
4 Mark Spratt (62) 1:21:29
5 Catherine Hartford (30) 1:21:54 [second female]
6 Martha Wood (54) 1:21:55 [third female]
7 Anna Armentrout (45) 1:23:59
8 Abigail Fairman (40) 1:26:26
9 Louise Twining-Ward (48) 1:30:08
10 Courtney Paulk (47) 1:34:42

The 3-mile winner, Stephen Rouch, had quite a year in 2017 and was one of the people nominated for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year among an impressive and courageous group of individuals with exceptional exploits, histories and lifestyles.

The nominees are as follows:

1. Barbados Open Water Swimming Festival with Kristina Evelyn & Zary Evelyn (Barbados)
2. Khitindra Chandra Baishya (Bangladesh)
3. Sven Eckardt (Germany)
4. India National Open Long Distance Swimming Championship Escort Rowers (India)
5. Margarita Llorens Bagur (Spain)
6. Igor Lukin (Russia)
7. Madswimmer by Jean Craven (South Africa)
8. Marc-Antoine Olivier (France)
9. Stephen Rouch (USA)
10. Jason Snell (UK)
11. Christof Wandratsch (Germany)
12. Wild Swimming Brothers (Great Britain)

Rouch started his 2017 season extremely strong, finishing first overall in the S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge in Arizona completing the 13.3 km, 14.1 km, 22.8 km and 9 km lake crossings in 16 hours 48 minutes in defending his 2016 title at the four-day stage swim in Arizona.

The 37-year-old software developer who swam at Vassar College then became the fastest man in history to complete all 7 stages of the 193 km 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim in a cumulative time of 35 hours 28 minutes. He then tied for second overall at the Swim The Suck in Tennessee in 3 hours 30 minutes, completed the 14.8 Chattanooga Swim Fest in Tennessee, won the men’s division at the 25 km Border Buster cross-border swim across Canadian province of Quebec and the American state of Vermont, finished sixth in the 10 km Swim to the Moon in Michigan, won the 3-mile Triple Dip in Coney Island in New York, and finally culminated his season by setting a course record in the 30 km Three Rivers Marathon Swim in Pennsylvania, tying with John Humenik.

His year-round focus on training, traveling and competing in open water competitions and marathon swims around the United States while being among the most humble and kindly collegial swimmers in the United States.

To register and vote for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year here.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Bob's Legacy In The West

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

"Bob West is a wonderful man and a true inspiration," says friend and fellow ocean swimmer Barbara Held. "He gives unselfishly of himself to help any and all who express an interest in swimming long or short."

West's development as a swimmer was delayed to say the least. "When I showed up at La Jolla Cove when I was 50, I had no swimming background.

Instead, I was an avid free diver spear fisherman. The group I swam with at the Cove were more into biking than swimming so we would ride about 200 miles a week and swim 7-10 miles. After a couple years of this, Dave Clark formed a triple relay from Catalina to the mainland and, I ended up swimming on two teams. From there, I stretched distances to Del Mar, then Seal Beach getting ready for the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim. My Manhattan Island Marathon Swim was done in 9 hours 46 minutes on August 9th 1989

With one leg of the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming under his cap, he then proceeded to complete the Catalina Channel on August 3rd 1991 in 16 hours 15 minutes at the age of 55. He recalls, "Mickey Pittman was the boat captain. People who supported me on the boat said was it was a nightmare of a sea. All eight people vomited all night long as did I. YUCK."

West's next major swim was the English Channel swim was August 9th 1996 in 15 hours 35 minutes at the age of 60. "Reg Brickell was the boat captain. After about 11 hours, I could see people on the beach south of the cape. Yet the tide changed and took me north and back out to sea. So after five and a half hours, I landed."

West is always humble about his accomplishments around the world. "I've never been a fast swimmer, but I could swim about a 30-minute mile in my 50's and 60's. I have won four national championships in long distance: Seal Beach, 12-mile around Coronado Island, the 8.5-mile Catalina Swim, and the Capitola to Santa Cruz 6-mile swim. Six of us were the first Americans to cross the North Channel from Scotland to Northern Ireland in around 13 hours. I also formed the first circumnavigation swim around Catalina Island with three teams in little over 26 hours. I also put together three teams that swam from the Blue Grotto on Capri to Eschia Island, across the bay of Naples. Another fun relay was a total of 34 swimmers from La Jolla Cove going from the Point Loma Lighthouse to the Mexican Coronado Islands. This was the first time done.

I also set up a swim for 18 swimmers, three teams of six, to do the Strait of Juan de Fuca, but it was foggy and we had to do the Strait of Haro near Vancouver British Columbia in 49ºF (9.5ºC) water. I have also soloed the Maui Channel twice. First with Carol Sing and the second time with Janet Lamott and Kaeti Bailie

Bob West is shown above with his wife Marva.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Friday, November 17, 2017

Chris Thompson Defends His Swim To The Moon Title

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Swim to the Moon is a 0.5-mile 1.2-mile, 5 km and 10 km race on August 19th 2018.

The 2017 races start at Halfmoon Lake Beach where Olympic 1500m bronze medalist Christopher Thompson from Dexter, Michigan won his second consecutive 10 km marathon swim.

Eva Solomon describes the event, "It’s an extraordinary open water swimming adventure through the picturesque Hiland Chain of Lakes near Hell, Michigan. Participants have the time of their lives swimming through southeast Michigan’s most sublime waterways, all the while showing support for a very worthy cause, North Star Reach, a camp for children with life-threatening, serious, and chronic medical conditions."

For more information, visit here.

2017 10 km Marathon Swim Top 10 Results
1. Christopher Thompson (39) 2:11:16
2. Krissy Harmon (21) 2:11:19
3. Christian Vanderkaay (35) 2:18:38
4. Paul Reader (42) 2:19:58
5. Matt Keller (48) 2:20:34
6. Stephen Rouch (37) 2:23:51
7. Zoe Hopkins (23) 2:26:53
8. Matt West (42) 2:28:17
9. David Achtemeier (57) 2:28:22
10. Britta English (44) 2:28:30

2016 10 km Marathon Swim Top 10 Results
1. Christopher Thompson (37) 2:06:14
2. Krissy Harmon (19) 2:06:34
3. Kelsey Gilbert (16) 2:13:28
4. Stephen Rouch (36) 2:13:43
5. Paul Reader (41) 2:15:41
6. Victoria Rian (49) 2:16:13
7. Matt Keller (46) 2:17:16
8. David Achtemeier (56) 2:18:36
9. Stephen Fetyko (42) 2:18:53
10. Daniel Lenhart (24) 2:22:21

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Tonic of the Sea With Katie Maggs By Jonathan Scott

Courtesy of Jonathan J Scott.

Katie Maggs was featured in Tonic of the Sea, a mini-film by Jonathan Scott.

Maggs explains, "Last year I became very unexpectedly unwell - caused by something as simple as physical and mental burnout. We all neglect our own self care sometimes with the demands of everyday life and so we forget to engage in quiet time, time with nature, 'me' time.

I have been so fortunate to have a wonderful Film director Jon Scott make a short documentary about my story - my break down, my struggle and my journey back to finding me through friendship and the sea. Scary to share - but in the hope that it could help others who at some point in this wonderful life may too feel temporarily lost

Copyright © 2017 by Jonathan J Scott Films

Man O' Man, What Tentacles

Courtesy of BBC One

Many ocean swimmers around the world have encountered the man o' war during their channel swims.

Swimming Is Kyle's Main Thing

Courtesy of WOWSA, Andaman Sea, Thailand.

Kyle Main has been winning in the open water for a long time.

From winning four straight SPAR Redhouse River Miles between 1998 and 2001 to pioneering a number of swims in Mauritius, the South African coach from Port Elizabeth has been making waves for a long time.

In December 2017, Main will attempt a 22 km swim from Ko Yao Yai, one of the largest islands off the Thailand coast, to Phi Phi Island in the Andaman Sea.

Main estimates that his crossing between Ko Yao Yai and Phi Phi, two of Thailand's famous islands, will take between four and five hours. "From what I hear one can take a one and half hour longtail boat ride between the islands - but it is not nearly as scenic," Main jokes.

In addition to completing a Rottnest Channel Swim and Strait of Gibraltar crossing, Main pioneered a 21 km crossing from Flat Island to Grand Baie in 4+ hours and then completed a 20 km swim from Serpent Island to Flat Island a few days after.

Ko Yao Yai (population 8,000) is the largest island in the Ko Yao Archipelago that is positioned north of the Straits of Malacca where 25% of the world's traded goods are carried in the waters between the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Main understand that he will be swimming in one of the most congested shipping lanes in the world. "Ko Yao Yai is on the northern most tip of the Strait, so I don't expect too much big shipping. The big issue is going to be dealing with strong currents and chop that surround these islands."

Main will depart from his Port Elizabeth training base. His swim will be determined by the conditions and tides.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Underwater Pavilions Off Catalina Island

Courtesy of Parley, Santa Catalina Island.

Cliff Kapono, a surfing biochemist who runs the Surfer Biome Project, is sharing his talents and vision with Parley.

While Kapono is creating content to avoid, intercept and redesign the scientific, film and surfing communities to which he belongs [see here], Doug Aitken is another talented individual who has joined with Parley for the Oceans. Aitken designed Underwater Pavilions, a large-scale installation of three temporary sculptures submerged beneath the water's surface near Santa Catalina Island.

As a symbol and catalyst for the Parley Deep Space Program, the sculptures provide a portal into the marine realm that ocean swimmers, snorkelers, and scuba divers can swim through and experience.

Parley describes the artwork, "Merging the language of contemporary architecture, land art, and ocean awareness, the Underwater Pavilions are a living artwork with a vibrant ecosystem — one that invites the viewer to author a personal narrative in the exploration and protection of the oceans.

Geometric in design, the sculptures created underwater spaces that were moored to the ocean floor. Part of each structure is mirrored to reflect the underwater seascape and create a kaleidoscopic observatory for the viewer, while other surfaces are rough and rock-like. The environments created by the sculptures constantly changed with the currents and the time of day, focusing the attention of the viewer on the rhythm of the ocean and its life cycles

Underwater Pavilions was open to the public as a cultural destination in Avalon on Santa Catalina Island off the coast of Southern California between December 2016 and January 2017.

For more information, visit here and here.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Travessia Do Leme Ao Pontal's Week To Remember

Courtesy of Adherbal de Oliveira, Leme Beach, Brazil.

Adherbal de Oliveira reported from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, "The week of November 10th to 17th was very special for the Leme to Pontal Swimming Association (LPSA). During this week, we had two relays successfully complete the Travessia do Leme ao Pontal and we held our annual Event to honor successful swimmers."

All Caps Relay

On November 10, the All Caps Relay including Marilia Leme Ohta, Marcio Santos de Lacerda Soares, João Vidal da Cunha, Danyela Xavier da Silva and Paulo Vinícius Abbade de Oliveira began their crossing from Leme to Pontal near midnight at 11:20 pm November 9th. "9 hours 10 minutes later, the All Caps Relay completed the longest and most beautiful crossing in Brazil," reported Adherbal de Oliveira.

Soares said, "I cannot stop thinking about what we did. What madness...in the best sense. What we did today united us today. And you're going to call us forever. For the rest of our lives."

Naultilus 60 Mais Relay

The Naultilus 60 Mais was a team of sexagenarian including Brazilians Humberto Cesar Sampaio (age 66), Paulo Cesar Pereira (65), and Paulo Riepe (61) who were joined by American Bill Grant (68). Captain Humberto explained, "When we were thinking about the first crossing with athletes exclusively over 60 years old, we decided to call athletes who are rivals in open water races in Rio de Janeiro.

Have you ever thought of swimming 35 kilometers? Now imagine the mission for four men over 60 years old. This is the challenge of the Nautilus 60 Mais relay, which began at 1:30 am on November 15th swimming from Leme to Pontal, passing through various tourist attractions in the city of Rio de Janeiro including the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, Christ The Redeemer, and Cagarras Archipelago.

The captain continued, "I did a relay last year. I had the idea to making the first crossing with more experienced people. I joined these four friends, who are my opponents in various events. We had a good, strong group

When he proposed his idea, no one hesitated. "After a certain age, everyone has become a child. Everybody has met, no one has complained, and we are training together to have a good time in this relay."

Grant has visited Rio de Janeiro three times a year since 2012 and participated in various open water swims and this challenge. Born in New London, Connecticut, the American businessman is retired and had been in Rio for a month in order to train for the relay.

"I swim three, four days a week in the week at sea and twice in the pool. I'm very excited. They told us that we will have a good temperature and a calm sea, so this is very good."

Grant also gives the recipe for sports: it is never too late. "Do it today, start it. It will make you younger right away. It's like regaining the years."

The crossing of the Naultilus 60 Mais team began at 1:40 am on November 15th and finished 8 hours 49 minutes later. "We demonstrated that with determination and training, regardless of age and obstacles to be overcome, want is power."

LPSA 2017 Event

Adherbal de Oliveira held the LPSA 2017 event to celebrate and honor those who participated in the crossing. "It was held at a hotel facing the beach of Leme, near the starting point of the Travessia do Leme ao Pontal on November 16th. In addition to the LPSA swimmers, several representatives participated in the event aquatic marathon teams and championship leaders.

LPSA, in addition to giving certificates to the All Caps and Nautilus 60 Mais relays for successfully completing the Travessia do Leme ao Pontal, the Association also honored Marcos Arzua (Honorary LPSA #01), Samir Barel (Honorary LPSA #2), Ítaca Esportes Company (Honorary LPSA #3) and Swim Channel Company (LPSA Honorary #4) for the outstanding services they provided to their local society and to the sport of open water swimming

LPSA was nominated for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year among a variety of unique products, services, events and organizations:

1. 48 Braçades by Miquel Suñer (Spain)
2. Blue Journey Dangerous Waves Project with Bruckner Chase (USA)
3. Global Swim Series by Rob Kent & Dylan Kent (Canada)
4. LongSwimsDB by Evan Morrison (USA)
5. New York Open Water by David Barra, Rondi Davies & Alex Arévalo (USA)
6. Open Water Swim Academy by Dan Simonelli (USA)
7. Outdoor Swimmer by Simon Griffiths (Great Britain)
8. Sea Donkey with Adrian Sarchet (Guernsey)
9. Shark Bait by Dr. Seán O’Connell (Bermuda)
10. Swim Argentina by Matías Ola (Argentina)
11. The Channel of Bones with Toni Enderli (South Africa)
12. Travessia do Leme ao Pontal by Adherbal de Oliveira & Renato Ribeiro Barbosa (Brazil)

The nomination for the Travessia do Leme ao Pontal was The Travessia do Leme ao Pontal is a scenic 35 km coastal swim in Brazil that ends in Pontal and was inspired by a famous song in Brazil called Do Leme ao Pontal. The ocean challenge offers great natural beauty where the swimmer can admire from a privileged perspective the wonders of Rio de Janeiro including Sugar Loaf, Copacabana Beach, Christ the Redeemer, Cagarras Archipelago, Ipanema Beach, São Conrado Beach, Barra da Tijuca Beach and the Pontal Stone. Adherbal de Oliveira and Renato Ribeiro Barbosa created a governing body (Leme to Pontal Swimming Association) that enables solo and relay attempts for neoprene and bioprene swimmers along the gorgeous course. For creating a professional infrastructure complete with escort pilots, crew, guidance and record-keeping to support marathon swims and relays, for encouraging marathon swimming among people who are inspired to repeat the lyrics of a popular song, for offering opportunities throughout the year in temperatures that can range from 15°C to 26°C, the Travessia do Leme ao Pontal is a worthy nominee for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

To register and vote on the WOWSA Awards and the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year, visit here.

For more information on Travessia do Leme ao Pontal, visit here or here.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Maratona Aquática da Lagoa Dourada

Courtesy of Maratona Aquática da Lagoa Dourada, Lagoa Dourada, Paranaguá, Brazil.

Maratona Aquática da Lagoa Dourada, a five-race event held in Paranaguá, Brazil, offers 600 meter, 1.5 km, 2.5 km, 5 km and 10 km distances in Lagoa Dourada.

The event will be held on November 25th. To register, visit here.

There is also a seven-event Circuito Summit held in various open bodies of water in Brazil, each that offers 600m - 800m, 1.5 km, 2.5 km, 5 km and 10 km races.

The Circuito Summit, organized by Edgard França of Correr e Nadar Eventos Esportivos, includes Volta do Capivari, Maratona Aquática Kanaha Quebra Gelo, Long Distance Vossoroca, Desafio da Cachoeira, Long Distance Alagados on November 25th, Volta de Alagados on November 26th, and Volta da Laje Oceânica on December 17th.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Channel Swimming Association Awards For 2017

Courtesy of Chris Astill-Smith and the Channel Swimming Association.

* Ned Wieland (Australia) 9 hours 45 minutes: C.S.A. Gold Medal for Fastest Swim of the Year

* Rebecca Lewis (England) 9 hours 48 minutes: C.S.A. Centenary Trophy for Fastest Swim by a British Person

* Rebecca Lewis (England) 9 hours 48 minutes: Sotiraki Trophy for the Fastest Swim by a Lady

* Michael Read (England) 33 crossings: King of the Channel Trophy for the Most Successful Swims by a Man

* Kristian Phillips (Wales) 20 hours 48 minutes: Van Audenaerde Trophy for the Greatest Feat of Endurance

* Michael Powell (Australia) 12 hours 45 minutes: Van Audenaerde Special Award, a Special Award to a Disabled Swimmer

* Ned Wieland (Australia) 9 hours 45 minutes: John Unicume Wood Cup for Fastest Swim by a Man

* Pat Gallant-Charette (USA) 17 hours 55 minutes at 66 years 135 days: O'Clee Jubilee Trophy for the Oldest Successful Swimmer

* Alison Streeter (England) 39 crossings: Ray and Audrey Scott Trophy for the Most Successful Swims by a Woman

* Ned Wieland (Australia) 9 hours 45 minutes at 16 years 10 days: The Graeme Thompson Trophy for the Youngest Successful Swimmer

* Rebecca Lewis (England) 9 hours 48 minutes: Sunny Lowry Trophy for Fastest British Lady

* Tony Lanni: Observer of the Year Shield for the Best Observer

* Paul Robson (England) 15 hours 33 minutes: Oldman Memorial Trophy for the Most Meritorious B.L.D.S.A. Swimmer

* Sameer Dinkar Patil (India) 15 hours 19 minutes: Rosemary George Trophy for the Most Meritorious Swim of the Year

* Team Brasil 2017 (6 males from Brazil) 9 hours 38 minutes: Mrs. Garnet Martin Trophy for the Fastest Relay 6 Persons

* East Coast Icicles (4 males + 2 females) 10 hours 16 minutes: The Ray Scott Trophy for the Fastest Mixed Relay 6 Persons

* Andy's Ladies (England-France) 9 hours 47 minutes: John and Gwen Jacques Shield for the Fastest Ladies Relay 6 Person

* Team Brasil 2017 (6 males from Brazil) 9 hours 38 minutes: Stan Maycock Shield for the Fastest Men's Relay 6 Persons

* East Coast Icicles (15 years 97 days): The John Bullet Trophy for the Youngest Relay Team 6 Persons

* Bob Burrow (USA) 10 hours 51 minutes: Robert Lyle Memorial Trophy for the Fastest American Swimmer

* Paule Kremer (Luxembourg) 13 hours 54 minutes + Dina Levačić (Croatia) 11 hours 42 minutes: Miss Montserrat Tresserras Trophy for A Swimmer from a New Country

* Andy's Ladies (England-France-England) 20 hours 21 minutes: Teresa Zarzeczanska Trophy for the Fastest Ladies 2 Way Relay

* Enrique Flores: Audrey Scott Award for the Greatest Contribution to the CSA

* Maxence Paindavoine (France) 14 hours 12 minutes Pierre Van Vooren Memorial Trophy for the Best Swimmer in Arduous Conditions

* Everyone Loves Raymond (2 females) 12 hours 18 minutes: Julie Bradshaw Award for the Greatest Feat of Endurance Ladies Relay

* Red Top Bulls (3 males) International 10 hours 42 minutes: Montserrat Tresserras Shield for the Fastest Men's Relay, Not 6 Swimmers

* Red Top Swim Grimsey Adult SwimFit (4 males + 1 female) International 8 hours 47 minutes: Ray Cossum Shield for the Fastest Mixed Relay, Not 6 Swimmers

* The Chapman Chicks (2 females, British) 10 hours 59 minutes: The Bill Pickering Shield for the Fastest Ladies Relay, Not 6 Swimmers

* Chloë McCardel (Australia) 20 hours 36 minutes: Mark Rickhuss Memorial Trophy for the Fastest Solo 2 Way Swim of the Year

* Wesley Nolan, Mike Dawson, Mohamed El Huseiny, The Brave Turks: CSA Special Award

* Chris Astill-Smith (England) 11 hours 43 minutes [see above] and John Zemaitis (USA) 11 hours 11 minutes: Belhedi Trophy for the Swim on the Highest Tide

* Maxence Paindavoine (France) 14 hours 12 minutes: Derek Turner Trophy for the Earliest/Latest Swim on June 13th

* Pat Gallant-Charette (USA) 17 hours 55 minutes at 66 years 135 days: Mercedes Gleitze Trophy for the Female Pioneer Swim

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Navigating Open Water In Nigeria

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Sani Mohammed, the 67-year-old Senator who also serves as the General Secretary of the Nigeria Aquatics Federation [shown on left], is arranging the logistics and preparation for the Nigerian national open water swimming team to compete in the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

The Nigeria Aquatics Federation describes the history of swimming in its country, "Swimming has been in existence in riverine communities all over Nigeria even before Nigeria became the country that it is today. People living in various fishing communities learnt how to swim for survival purposes to prevent them from drowning whenever they went out in their boats to fish.

Swimming activities were also often part of various traditional festivals in many parts of the country.

In 1958, Nigeria which was still a British colony at the time sent a team of two swimmers (the late Job Ofongo and Horace Kantu) to the British Commonwealth & Empire Games in Cardiff, Wales

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Tides, Teams And Transactions With Doug McConnell

Courtesy of A Long Swim at TEDxBarringtonAreaLibrary.

Doug McConnell recently joined a number of luminaries in the open water swimming community who have spoken at TED or TEDx conferences around the world: Lewis Pugh, Diana Nyad, Maarten van der Weijden, Ori Sela, Vicki Keith, Peter Attia M.D., Tim Ferriss, Angel Yanagihara Ph.D., Maria Conceicao, Tim Noakes Ph.D., Wallace J. Nichols Ph.D., Lynne Cox, Guillaume Néry, Dana Vollmer, Craig Dietz, Kimberley Chambers, Catherine Sheridan, and Patrick Fellows.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Where's Ned?

Courtesy of Karratha Water Polo Association, Karratha, Western Australia.

Before he served as the nexus of the open water swimming world, Ned Denison played water polo at the center of American water polo at the New York Athletic Club and the University of California Berkeley.

Other water polo players-turned-open water swimmers include Miquel Suñer (Spain), Adam Walker (Great Britain), Tom Burgess (Great Britain), Duke Kahanamoku (Hawaii) Johnny Weissmuller (USA), Tomi Stefanovski (Macedonia), Toshio Tominaga (Japan), Mickey Helps (Great Britain), Jim Boucher (Great Britain), Niko Nestor (Macedonia), Bill Ireland (USA), Joseph Locke (USA), John Chung (USA), Doug Woodring (USA), Tracy Grilli (USA), Jim Anderson (USA), Samantha Sears (USA), Klaus Barth (Germany/USA), Ellery McGowan (Australia), Clark Bird (USA), Owen Hughes (Ireland), Ciaran Farrelly (Ireland), Tadhg Murphy (Ireland), Aindriu McGuigan (Ireland), Ronan Flood (Ireland), George Dunne (Ireland), John Reagan (USA), Vicko Šoljan (Yugoslavia & Croatia), Eilís Burns (Ireland), John Mix (USA), Tim Fitzpatrick (USA), Jay Peluso (USA), Dave Holscher (USA), Kerby Lewis (USA), Matt Judge (USA), Emre Erdogan (Turkey), Bill Leach (USA), Kevin Joyce (USA), Mark Bayliss (Great Britain), Ryan McDonald (USA), Nick Sullivan (USA), Melissa Karjala (USA), Kathleen Le (USA), Nick Burton (USA), Ryan Ballance (USA), Vicky Miller (Great Britain), Finbarr Hedderman (Ireland), Dave Scott (USA), Steven Munatones (USA), Éva Risztov (Hungary), and Ricardo Ratto (Brazil).

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Sea Donkey Delivers

Courtesy of James Harrison, Guernsey.

Sea Donkey, a film that followed Adrian Sarchet's attempt in 2015 to cross the North Channel between Northern Ireland and Scotland, launched to a sell-out premiere in Guernsey’s main cinema on November 8th.

Protagonist Adrian Sarchet described the premiere, "The public’s reaction to the film was beyond our wildest expectations. Laughter, tears, enraptured silence and roaring approbation at different points in the film - and a standing ovation at the end."

Fans started to purchase DVDs/Blu-Rays and downloaded the film via the Sean Donkey website [here].

"We opened a second night at the same cinema in Guernsey. There are only 17 seats left. We have total strangers, both swimmers and non-swimmers, coming back a second time."

The response to the film has been overwhelmingly positive: “[The film is] totally absorbing, funny, shocking, emotional and inspiring...some of those final scenes will stay with me for a long while."

ITV Channel presented the film here.

Sea Donkey was also nominated for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year among the following offerings:

1. 48 Braçades by Miquel Suñer (Spain)
2. Blue Journey Dangerous Waves Project with Bruckner Chase (USA)
3. Global Swim Series by Rob Kent & Dylan Kent (Canada)
4. LongSwimsDB by Evan Morrison (USA)
5. New York Open Water by David Barra, Rondi Davies & Alex Arévalo (USA)
6. Open Water Swim Academy by Dan Simonelli (USA)
7. Outdoor Swimmer by Simon Griffiths (Great Britain)
8. Sea Donkey with Adrian Sarchet (Guernsey)
9. Shark Bait by Dr. Seán O’Connell (Bermuda)
10. Swim Argentina by Matías Ola (Argentina)
11. The Channel of Bones with Toni Enderli (South Africa)
12. Travessia do Leme ao Pontal by Adherbal de Oliveira & Renato Ribeiro Barbosa (Brazil)

The film was nominated as follows: Sea Donkey tells the story of Adrian Sarchet and his adventure across the North Channel. The documentary, directed by James Harrison, celebrates the depth of the human spirit of an ordinary man, an advocate from Guernsey, who took to the open water with a passionate desire after more than a decade of lawyering. As he closing in on becoming one of the few people who have completed the Oceans Seven, Sarchet is now far beyond the poor health he had previously existed with. Sarchet transformed himself from a law-obsessed professional to a broad-minded adventurer. Through riveting interviews with the protagonist, pilot and crew amid beautiful imagery between Northern Ireland and Scotland, Sarchet’s personal journey is an improbable, mind-bending and astonishing path to becoming one of the world's most adventurous extreme athletes. For its inspirational message that the documentary delivers, for showcasing the unlikely transformation of an advocate to a risk-taking channel swimmer, for sharing the challenges and joy so prevalent in the sport of open water swimming, Sea Donkey is a worthy nominee for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

To register and vote on the WOWSA Awards and the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year, visit here.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Pat Gallant-Charette Continues To Rack Up The Honors

Courtesy of Channel Swimming Association, Huntington Beach, California.

The Channel Swimming Association honored Pat Gallant-Charette with its Mercedes Gleitze Trophy a for a Pioneer swim by a Female.

"On November 4th 2017, I was presented the award by Mercedes' daughter Doloranda Pember at the annual CSA Awards Banquet. Mercedes’ 12-year-old great-granddaughter Saskia Pember who has a striking resemblance of her great-grandmother, is shown on left."

Gallant-Charette was also presented with her second career O’Clee Jubilee Trophy for her 17 hour 55 minute crossing (awarded to the Oldest Successful Swimmer across the English Channel).

The 66-year-old retired nurse was also nominated for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.

The award is meant to honor the women who:

* best embody the spirit of open water swimming,
* possess the sense of adventure, tenacity and perseverance that open water swimmers are known for, and
* have most positively influenced the world of open water swimming in calendar year 2017.

These nominees for the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year include the following inspirational individuals:

1. Katherine Batts (Great Britain)
2. Dr. Caroline Block (USA)
3. Arianna Bridi (Italy)
4. Chloë McCardel (Australia)
5. Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil)
6. Pat Gallant-Charette (USA)
7. Ludmila Maller (Russia)
8. Jaimie Monahan (USA)
9. Aurélie Muller (France)
10. Barbara Pozzobón (Italy)
11. Sarah Thomas (USA)
12. Julia Wittig(Germany)

Gallant-Charette's nomination was as follows: Pat Gallant-Charette continues to amaze year after year. In 2017, the 66-year-old retired nurse become the oldest woman to cross the 42 km Molokai Channel in Hawaii in 23 hours 54 minutes, to complete a 52 km crossing of Lake Ontario in Canada in 24 hours 28 minutes, and to cross the 34 km English Channel in 17 hours 55 minutes. The hard-working, consistently cheerful grandmother has never enjoyed an easy road to her successes as she faces waves, current, marine life and winds, but she always passes Mother Nature’s challenging conditions with an otherworldly determination. For her deeply felt appreciation for all those who support and cheer for her swims, for her visible joy in crossing channels and lakes, for establishing herself as one of the most humble luminaries in the marathon swimming world, Pat Gallant-Charette is a worthy nominee for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.

To register and vote on the WOWSA Awards and the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year here.

But the honors continue for the Maine resident. Jean Murdoch-Gallant filmed the video below where Gallant-Charette was honored.

On November 12th Solo Swims of Ontario held their unveiling ceremony located at Queen's Royal Park on the shore of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada. Elizabeth Fry was also honored with their names engraved on a plaque. This award recognizes swimmers who successfully swam 32 miles (51 km) from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Toronto's Marilyn Bell Park. Dr. Marilyn Korzekwa, President of the Solo Swims of Ontario, was the keynote speaker for this event with 80-year-old Marilyn Bell DiLascio assisting.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Rafael Gutiérrez Mesa Leaves A Legacy Of Greatness

Courtesy of Asociación de Cruce A Nado Del Estrecho De Gibraltar.

On September 12th, Rafael Gutiérrez Mesa passed away at the age of 59 years.

The founder and president of the Asociación de Cruce A Nado Del Estrecho De Gibraltar (Strait of Gibraltar Swimming Association) envisioned, developed and promoted solo and relay, both with and without wetsuits for able-bodied and disabled swimmers one-way, two-way and three-way crossings of the Strait of Gibraltar, 14.4 km between Spain and Morocco.

The Asociación de Cruce A Nado Del Estrecho De Gibraltar writes, "We say goodbye to one of the most difficult seasons for ACNEG, the loss of our president, leaving a big gap not only in the hearts of all swimmers who got a dream under their indications, [but also] those swimmers who [will attempt] it thanks to him. Also it leaves a great void in a team that has continued the activity on very hard days, as well as in his family.

He formed the foundations of the current Association of Crossing the Strait of Gibraltar back in 1999, after several years helping and advising those swimmers who arrived to the Tarifa coast from different parts of the world, with the intention to get what only a few swimmers achieved. The demand was growing as well as the need to create, with the competent authorities, regulatory bases and security measures, the same ones that today allow the crossing of the waters of the Strait. We will continue in a close relationship with the maritime authorities with the mission of promoting, organizing, controlling and carrying out the crossings unifying the criteria and ensuring their smooth running.

But we must be eternally grateful to our forever president

Gutiérrez explained the history of swimming across the Strait of Gibraltar to Revista Open Swim in March 2016. "Two English ladies Mercedes Gleitze and Miss Hudson made the attempt to cross from the city of Tangier with the intention of reaching the city of Gibraltar. They did not succeed because the route selected was not the most appropriate. A year later, Mercedes Gleitze tried again, this time from the city of Tarifa arriving at the neighboring coast of Morocco in 12 hours 50 minutes. It was a 5th of April, Holy Thursday."

Until 1999, locals had been helping swimmers attempt and cross the Strait together with the Red Cross. "This made us reflect and reach the conclusion that there was a need for an organization that will provide the swimmers with the procedures involved in a crossing, as well as technical and material advice to make the crossing. Following the model of the Channel Swimming Association, we started and founded the ACNEG."

As of 2016, Gutiérrez and his colleagues had helped and overseen 455 solo crossings, 519 crossings with a wetsuit, 20 crossing for relays and 11 two-way crossings. "We can make an average of 50 crosses per year with a maximum of 4 swimmers per crossing. Although everything depends on the weather accompanying from April until the end of October,."

He remained realistic and reasonable in managing expectations from swimmers around the world. "We have requests from all over the world. There are hundreds of requests of which we can only answer some accounts every year. Keep in mind that there are many repetitions of crosses that can not be done by the weather, as well as requests that have been waiting for several years."

His work and organization was recognized this year by the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame [see photo above], a tribute to his work over the last two decades.

He is missed greatly, but his legacy will live on.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Record-setting Swims Across The Strait Of Gibraltar

Courtesy of Asociación Cruce A Nado Del Estrecho De Gibraltar, Strait of Gibraltar 14.4 km between Spain and Morocco.

The Asociación Cruce A Nado Del Estrecho De Gibraltar announced that they organized and ratified 53 crossings between Spain and Morocco that included a total of 109 swimmers.

42 swimmers (13 women + 29 men) swam without wetsuits and 58 swimmers (7 women + 51 men) swam with wetsuits with 6 swimmers ended were unsuccessful. Some of the outstanding swims, including record-setting swimmers and their accomplishments are below:

Fastest Male Swimmer without Neoprene:
Grzergorz Jakub Radomski (Poland) 3 hours 29 minutes on September 4th

Fastest Female Swimmer with Neoprene:
María Carbonell Seguer (Spain) 3 hours 29 minutes on September 4th

Fastest Male Swimmers with Neoprene:
Alberto Compte Marqués, Francisco Carriere Jordana , Guillermo Sagnier Guimon, and Youssef Ismael Aguirre (Spain) 2 hours 53 minutes on July 24th

Fastest Female Swimmer with Neoprene & First Female Swimmer with Neoprene from South Africa:
Janine Marié Viljoen (South Africa) 4 hours 28 minutes on October 6th

Oldest Male Swimmer without Neoprene:
Edwin Charles Horne (UK) on June 26th at the age of 62 years

Oldest Female Swimmer without Neoprene & First Female Swimmer from Uruguay:
Angela Elda Marchetti (Uruguay/Argentina) 5 hours 31 minutes on July 23rd

Oldest Male Swimmer with Neoprene
Josep Farre Ganduxe (Spain) in 3 hours 38 minutes on June 15th at the age of 71 years

Oldest Female Swimmer with Neoprene
Lesley Anne Fanning (USA) 4 hours 57 minutes on March 31st at the age of 48 years

Youngest Male Swimmer without Neoprene
Roel van Beek (Netherlands) 4 hours 11 minutes on June 9th at the age of 27 years

Youngest Female Swimmer without Neoprene
Chloe Jessica Brokenshire (UK) 3 hours 47 minutes on April 13th at the age of 28 years

Youngest Male Swimmer with Neoprene
Victor Alain Mellerin (France) 4 hours 27 minutes on September 9th at the age of 25 years

Youngest Female Swimmer with Neoprene
Elisenda Calonge Recasens (Spain) 5 hours 35 minutes on July 1st at the age of 27 years [shown above at her training facility Club Natació Prat]

First Blind Swimmer with Neoprene
Daniel Llambrich (Spain) 3 hours 43 minutes on June 14th

First Female Swimmer with Neoprene from Brazil
Giuliana Pacon Vianna Braga (Brazil) 5 hours 8 minutes on October 20th

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Monday, November 13, 2017

Artur Pedroza, Catarina Ganzeli Win 22 km Aquática 14 Bis

Courtesy of Guilherme Freitas, Swim Channel, Brazil.

Artur Pedroza and Catarina Ganzeli won the 50th edition of the Maratona Aquática 14 Bis, one of the most competitive open water races in Brazil.

The 24 km race is held in the Bertioga Channel between the island of Santo Amaro (Guaruja) and the Brazilian mainland near São Paulo.

Ganzeli had race previously in 2008 and won the event for the first time while Pedroza won as he had in 2015.

300 swimmers came from all over Brazil, facing cloudy, rainy conditions.

Pedroza told Swim Channel of his 5 hour 9 minute victory, "I was able to execute my plan and everything went well to plan. We caught a current that was more constant and resulted in higher tempo for all swimmers. I am also very happy that four other members of Resende Águas Abertas who completed the race, which has made me very accomplished as a coach and an athlete."

Luiz Felipe Lebeis and his disabled-but-prolific open water swimming teammate Carlos Rosa, both of Team Navegantes, finished second and third respectively.

Ganzeli outsprinted Rosa down the final stretch to culminate an outstanding 2017 season with a 5 hour 22 minute time. "I had the best race of my life. I was very conscious of my strategy, since I knew that I would swim much of the race together with the men. I was able to follow Artur and Luiz for a while, but I ended up getting tired and dropping a bit behind. In the end, I managed to get in the draft of Carlos and had a sprint at the end to finish in third which was a very important accomplishment for me."

Beatriz Pucciarelli, another swimmer from Team Navegantes, finished second with Ana Lícia Maki Sudo in third.

Top 10 Male Results:
1. Artur Afonso Pereira Pedroza 5:09:57
2. Luiz Felipe Freire Lebeis Pires 5:10:25
3. Carlos Henrique de Oliveira Rosa 5:22:27
4. Marcos Campos de Sá Rodrigues 5:29:40
5. Guilherme Zampieri 5:30:44
6. Marcos Fraccaro 5:35:10
7. Alan Augusto Vieira Barbosa 5:35:14
8. Adherbal Treidler de Oliveira 5:35:25
9. Humberto Mamede Gabriel 5:35:29
10. Ulisses Carvalho dos Santos 5:44:08

Top 10 Female Results:
1. Catarina Ganzeli 5:22:23
2. Beatriz Pucciarelli 6:03:55
3. Ana Lícia Maki Sudo 6:07:14
4. Patricia Farias de França 6:12:32
5. Sophie Monginet 6:19:06
6. Sabine Bolonhini 6:20:50
7. Liana Lomba Lopes Lemos Lyra 6:28:21
8. Raquel Lury Goto 6:29:48
9. Priscila Lira Klaes 6:30:27
10. Izabela Oliveira Rodrigues 6:42:18

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

A Thank You Gift from WOWSA

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

Open Water Swimming Magazine Anniversary Issue
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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.

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