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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Who Qualifies For The 2016 Rio Olympics Marathon Swim?

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

On June 11th and 12th in Setúbal Bay, Portugal, the second and final qualification race to select the finalists for the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games will be held.

The first qualification race was held in Kazan, Russia where the top 10 finishers qualified for the Rio Olympics [see below].

In the second qualification race, the first ten male and female swimmers in addition to the fastest five swimmers from each continent (Asia, Americas, Europe, Africa, Oceania) will qualify for a total of 25 finalists in the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim.

First Qualification Race Men's 10 km marathon swim qualifiers:
1 Jordan Wilimovsky (USA) 1:49:48.2
2 Ferry Weertman (NED) 1:50:00.3
3 Spyridon Gianniotis (GRE) 1:50:00.7
4 Sean Ryan (USA) 1:50:03.3
5 Jack Burnell (GBR) 1:50:05.8
6 Marc-Antoine Daniel Frede Olivier (FRA) 1:50:06.4
7 Simone Ruffini (ITA) 1:50:09.1
8 Richard Weinberger (CAN) 1:50:19.9
9 Allan Do Carmo (BRA) 1:50:23.1
10 Federico Vanelli (ITA) 1:50:23.1

First Qualification Race Women's 10 km marathon swim qualifiers:
1 Aurélie Muller (FRA) 1:58:04.3
2 Sharon Van Rouwendaal (NED) 1:58:06.7
3 Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA) 1:58:26.5
4 Rachele Bruni (ITA) 1:58:27.9
5 Anastasiia Krapivina (RUS) 1:58:28.6
6 Poliana Okimoto Cintra (BRA) 1:58:28.8
7 Isabelle Härle (GER) 1:58:30.0
8 Kaliopi Araouzou (GRE) 1:58:30.6
9 Haley Anderson (USA) 1:58:35.9
10 Éva Risztov (HUN) 1:58:36.4

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

FINA Changes In The Open Water

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

FINA’s Technical Open Water Swimming Committee approved several changes at its last meeting:

* The FINA World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships will have three different age groups: 14-15 years, 16-17 years, and 18-19 years
* the 14-15 year age group will compete in a 5 km race
* the 16-17 year age group will compete in a 7.5 km race
* the 18-19 year age group will compete in a 10 km race
* the Team Event will be a 5 km relay of 4 swimmers (2 males + 2 females) including one athlete of 19 years and one athlete 16 years or less. The 4 swimmers each individually swim 1.25 km and then touch their teammate at the transition zone
* Swimmers in the Team Event should wear the same colored swim cap
* There will be a 30-second time difference between teams during the Team Event, instead of the customary 1-minute difference
* The three-letter country code on the swimmers’ swim caps will be increased in size from 4 cm to 8 cm in order to increase visibility
* Two transponders must be worn by the swimmers throughout the race; one transponder must not be placed inside the swimsuit

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

The Global Nature Of Open Water Swimming

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

There is no better representation of the global nature of open water swimming than the composition of the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee.

There is a representative from Asia: Hong Kong (Ronnie Wong)

There are representatives from South America: Ecuador (Jorge Delgado), Argentina (Fernando Terrilli), and Brazil (Christiane Fanzeres)

There are representatives from Europe: Italy (Andrea Prayer), Faroe Islands (Jon Hestoy), France (Jean Paul Narce), Great Britain (Samuel Greetham), Bulgaria (Petar Stoychev), and Germany (Britta Kamrau)

There are representatives from Africa: Angola (Joaquim Pestana CostaAyman Saad), and Kenya (David Ngugi)

There is a representative from the Caribbean: Cuba (Tomas Haces)

There are representatives from the Middle East: Israel (Noam Zwi), Oman (Abdulmonem Al Alawi), and United Arab Emirates (Mubarek Abdulla Al Zahmi)

There are representatives from Oceania: New Zealand (John West), Australia (William Ford), and Fiji (Dennis Miller)

There is a representative from North America: USA (Sid Cassidy)

Photo shows FINA Delegate and FINA TOWSC member Jean Paul Narce of France together with Joanes Hedel at the 2013 Traversée Internationale du lac Memphrémagog.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Emily Brunemann, Moving To The Next Stage

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Emily Brunemann has been at the top of the American distance swimming community, pool or open water, for nearly a decade. After winning the NCAA title for her alma mater, the University of Michigan, she entered the open water swimming arena and became the first American woman to win the FINA 10 km Marathon Swimming World Cup circuit.

But her career is winding down and this summer and fall will be her last competitive season. She discussed her impending retirement and last season in the open water world:

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Why did you decide to retire?

Emily Brunemann: I have decided this year will be my last year of competitive swimming after finding a passion outside of the sport of swimming. I moved back to Ann Arbor, Michigan in the fall of 2012 after training for two years in Southern California with FAST and [coach] Jon Urbanchek.

With this move I knew I needed to do something with my life other than just training. I started working for the college team, as a program assistant – helping mainly with recruiting and travel needs. Through my entire career and life outside of swimming, I have always had a love for helping others. I knew I needed to get my master’s or Ph.D. in order to pursue a career after swimming. I did a lot of research and talked to those I trusted. They guided me in the direction of Social Work. With this advice and being in Michigan, I jumped with both feet in applying to the University of Michigan MSW program. I was accepted and have been overwhelmed with passion, love, commitment, and excitement for how much my life has changed since being in this program.

My career goal is to work clinically with athletes on mental health and well-being. I believe everyone can benefit from working on their mental health. We all fall on the continuum of well-being and can fluctuate along that continuum throughout life. Understanding and owning your own mental well-being can help when times are bad or even maintaining stability.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Was it a difficult decision?

Emily Brunemann: I had a very difficult time back in the fall of 2014. I had just gotten married and started school again (in the same week) after taking four years away from academics. Through my first semester, I felt like my world was turned upside down.

I did not expect my passion for my academics to hit me as hard as it did. With my program I have maintained a 4.0 [grade point average], worked 20 hours a week through an internship, taken full-time course load, been one of the directors of the Wolverine support network [where] a core team member of athletes connected and helped with conducting research and writing the paper to be published, as well as full-time training.

Many times over this past year, I was overwhelmed with so much going on. Quite honestly the hardest part was that I wanted to be involved with more.

However, even with everything going on with school, I was not ready to stop swimming. It was a constant pull between school and swimming. It wasn’t until one of my awesome professors told me that I was going through the emotions of death, loss, and grief.

When she mentioned this to me it was like a light bulb, I finally had a name for the emotions that I was going through. I knew my swimming career was coming to an end and did not know how to cope with it.

This realization, with the help of my professor, actually gave me so much relief. I knew no matter what happened at 2015 USA Swimming Open Water National Championships, I had so much to look forward to. This took the pressure off and allowed me to just have fun with everything.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What are you giving up with your retirement?

Emily Brunemann: I do not believe I am giving up anything. I have gotten more from my swimming career than I ever thought possible.

I have made invaluable friendships, met my husband, traveled the world, learned about whom I am, and the qualities it takes to be great. These lessons will carry me the rest of my life.

Will I miss the travel and seeing friends across the country at meets? Yes, absolutely, but I am ready for the next phase of life. I am ready to support my husband as he goes through medical school, ready for new adventures, and new experiences.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What are you gaining with your retirement?

Emily Brunemann: With retirement, I will have the flexibility to pursue other passions that I have not been able to do because of training. I will be able to spend more time with family, I will be able to have children, obtain a job with a stable income, and quite honestly not be so tired from training all the time.

I am excited to get involved with other endeavors as well as see my nieces and family more often.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What is the formal process to retire?

Emily Brunemann: So I am competing through the year, taking part in US Olympic Swimming Trials and competing on the FINA 10 km Marathon Swimming World Cup circuit; the last race is mid-October.

My final race, however, will be the Cayman Islands Pirate’s Festival 5 km held in November. My family and friends are coming down for it and I am so excited.

The formal process actually has to do with drug testing. If you officially retire with USADA [US Anti-Drug Association] and decide to come back to the sport with USA Swimming, you have to wait 6-9 months to be back in the testing pool. This does not apply to masters swimming.

Other than that, some make a [public] statement and some do not. It is up to the individual person how they want to retire.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Can you come out of retirement? If so, is there a certain bureaucratic process involved with un-retirement?

Emily Brunemann: This again only has to do with USADA. If you retire with USADA and then want to come back you have to sit out 6-9 months before being able to compete again, with USA Swimming.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: After training so hard for so many years, how is your lifestyle going to change? How does your diet and nutrition have to change? What will you do to stay physically fit?

Emily Brunemann: My lifestyle will definitely change. I am so excited to start trying different types of exercise. This year I added into my training Orangetheory Fitness, which has replaced two of my swimming workouts a week because the workouts are so intense.

However, I needed to add something different, to keep me on my toes. I have been training for so long the same way, I needed something that gave my week more excitement and Orangetheory has done that so far.

I fully intend on continuing with Orangetheory and I would love to run a marathon as well as trying some triathlons.

I fully believe exercise will always be a part of my life. I believe in a healthy, balanced lifestyle. I will also need to look at my nutrition and change things a little. Luckily [my husband] Michael loves to workout and eat healthy so having a partner with this is so important.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Wild Swimming In Ireland To Be Launched

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Collins Press has published Wild Swimming In Ireland, a description of 50 places to swim in rivers, lakes and the sea by ILDSA observer Maureen McCoy and renowned photographer Paul McCambridge.

They are celebrating their launch on May 17th at the Cardan Bar and Grill in Lisburn, Northern Ireland on the River Lagan, the boundary between County Antrim and County Down.

For more information about the 128-page paperback book, visit Collins Press here.

Collis Press summarizes the new book.

"Two wild swimmers inspire you to get off the beaten track and find amazing locations for swimming, diving and snorkelling.Take a dip under the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge off the rugged coast of Ulster; circumnavigate Devenish Island in the freshwater Lough Erne; explore the rockpool at Hook Head Lighthouse; drop from high diving boards into Galway Bay; or slip along the Wild Atlantic Way’s hidden beaches and isolated coves.

Expert tips, spectacular photos and practical information make wild swimming safe and invigorating for everyone, whatever your swimming ability. Takethe plungein some of the most awe-inspiring corners of Ireland’s landscape

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

10 Go 4 For 4 In 5th Year

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Kristin Jones from Arizona and Stephen Rouch from Indiana earned the famed S.C.A.R. Buckles for the fastest cumulative times over the 4-day, 4-lake, 4-stage S.C.A.R. Challenge in Arizona.

The Saguaro Lake (9.5 miles or 15.2 km), Canyon Lake (9 miles or 14.4 km), Apache Lake (17 miles or 27.3 km), and Roosevelt Lake (10 km) were the four locations in the rugged desert wild in rough conditions.

Top 10 / Only 10 Finishers of all 4 Stages

1 Stephen Rouch 15 hours 45 minutes 31.11 seconds
2 Jamie Proffitt 16:11:24.57
3 Kristin Jones 16:54:01.49
4 Ernie Hoftyzer 17:09:07.68
5 Asha Allen 21:04:55.65
6 Karen Charney 21:29:59.98
7 Palaka Sauer 21:43:22.09
8 Katrina Price 2:12:53.46
9 Stephen Key 22:18:01.83
10 Devon Clifford 23:23:06.94

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Sisu In Swimming

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Joanna Zeiger, M.S., Ph.D., a triathlete Olympian and world champion with a formidable athletic history in swimming, running and cycling, is conducting a research study about mental toughness in endurance athletes (The Sisu Study).

If you are over the age of 18 and an endurance athlete, you can participate in a 51-question mental toughness research study.

Sisu is a Finnish word that means grit.

The purpose of this research study is to develop a mental toughness personality profile in endurance athletes, The Sisu Profile. Participants will be asked to answer a survey that will take about 6 minutes to complete. While there are no direct benefits to participants, you will be helping to increase knowledge about mental toughness in endurance athletes which can be used to provide education for mental skills training.

For more information and to participate in the study, visit The Sisu Study.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Tattoos Are Cool, But Not For All

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Olympic swimmer Casey Barrett wrote a commentary in Swimming World Magazine on the International Olympic Committee's recent position regarding tattoos among athletes competing in international competitions [read here].

Barrett, who himself got a tattoo before he competed in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, observed, "The Olympic rings tattoo – that’s one you’ll never regret. And over the last thirty years, it’s become more and more de rigueur among newly minted body proud Olympians. Except now apparently it’s illegal.

On Monday, May 2nd, British Paralympic champion Josef Criag was disqualified at the IPC European Swimming Championships because the 19-year-old has a tattoo of the rings emblazoned over his heart. He was DQ’ed after his prelims swim in the 100 freestyle - because the tattoo of those rings “breached advertising regulations.” Said the utterly out of touch spokesman for the Paralympic International Committee: “Body advertising is not allowed in any way whatsoever and that includes the Olympic rings. The athlete did not wear a cover and was therefore disqualified

Barrett took offense to the Paralympic International Committee's decision. "There are so many things wrong with this that one sputters trying to put the outraged thoughts in order. A tattoo of the Olympic rings is advertising?"

Tattoos are increasingly common among many open water swimmers - arguably emblazoned on swimmers' skin about the same percentage as is common among the younger generations from California to Copenhagen. While Barrett makes several points about the IOC's decision and calls for swimmers to show their tattoos in an online protest, tattoos are still seen negatively by certain circle among some national governing bodies.

In fact, there are at least a few national governing bodies that do not allow any tattoos of any sort on the athletes who represent their country in domestic and international competitions. Japan is one example.

With a history of tattoos primarily (and almost exclusively) by the Japanese yakuza [mafia], there remains a strong social stigma to having tattoos at least among the general Japan population. And this stigma is mirrored among decision-makers at organizations that govern the selection of their athletic representatives.

Other articles on tattoos on open water swimmers:

* My Trident Is A Permanent Good Luck Charm
* Some Skin Shark Scene
* Trident Tattoos Becoming Quite The Splash
* Asian Tattoos For Swimmers
* Beavers And Octupi
* When Skin Is In The Game, Swimming Country By Country
* Creating Lightning In The Ocean
* Husband And Wife Share Common Goals
* Gábor Molnár Completes Swim In The Körös River
* Thomas Lurz, German Consistency At The Top In Open Water
* Tattoos Of The Open Water Swimming World
* Poseidon Adventure In The Serpentine
* Open Water Swimming Making Their Marks With Tattoos

Italian Olympic marathon swimmer Rachele Bruni is shown above with her selection of tattoos.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

The Price Is Right In And Out Of The Open Water

Courtesy of Tara Diversi, Queensland, Australia.

Karlie Price, a mother of four, has fostered a dream to swim across the English Channel for a decade.

"Life is too short to put things off," said the Australian who made her first attempt at swimming the Channel in 2014 [see video below]. "I am very privileged to be able to attempt to fulfill a dream.

The weather got so bad, blowing 30 knots, that after 11 hours and 16 minutes of swimming, the boat captain made the decision to abort the swim. I was only three miles from France.

It was important for me to pick myself up and show my children that failure doesn’t stop you reaching a goal. Resilience is as important as determination and hard work. As soon as I returned from my first attempt, I booked my spot in August 2016

She explains how she makes swimming a priority in her day. "I function better as a Mum and a wife after I have swum and have had my daily dose of endorphins. A lot of Mums say to me ‘Where do you find time to swim 30 km a week as a working mother of four?’ Everyone has the same number of hours in the day, it's up to us how we spend them.

My house is not perfect and often I am living in ‘controlled chaos’, but my kids and husband are happy, my work gets done (often late at night), and I get my time in the water to test my body, clear my mind, and relax. I don’t often have coffee dates or watch a lot of TV, and at the moment, my social life is limited. But, I always watch my kids play Saturday sports, I help with homework, I still make time to read to them and tuck them in every night. At the end of the day, it's about what we prioritise.

When the housework was getting on top of me, I outsourced a cleaner. I’d rather spend my time enjoying my family, and being able to do what I love than scrubbing bathrooms. I am blessed to have also fostered a love of swimming in my four children, and given them all the life skill of swimming.

Along with her training partner Jane Gordon, Price prepares for the colder waters of the English Channel by traveling to Victoria [Australia] where water is cold and the air temperatures are even colder. She muses, "If you want something bad enough, you find a way to get cold, even in our beautiful warm climate."

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Monday, May 2, 2016

Jane Gordon, Falling In Love Again

Courtesy of Tara Diversi, Queensland, Australia.

Jane Gordon is a mother of 3 children (8-year-old Hugo, 6-year-old Archie, and 3-year-old Rupert 3). She and her family live in Brisbane, Australia.

Coached by English Channel world record holder and fellow Aussie Trent Grimsey, her window to attempt a crossing of the English Channel is July 19th-26th.

Gordon explains her goal. "Twelve months ago my life changed.

I had always been a pool swimmer, but I decided to enter in a 2 km ocean swim to get fit after having 3 children. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with open water swimming. As a goal-orientated person I started looking for a big ocean swim to train for.

It really doesn’t get much bigger than a solo swim across the English Channel.

Around the same time, we received some devastating news that my friend Jess was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer while she was pregnant with her second baby. I desperately wanted to help in some way. After much research about swimming the English Channel and lengthy discussions with my husband and local coach Trent Grimsey, I decided I would take the plunge and use the magnitude of the swim to raise much needed awareness and funds for Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.

Training for an ultra-marathon swim is a team effort. I could not do it without the unwavering support of my husband, family and friends.

Trying to fit in the required training around a busy household and work is a juggle, but it is possible. Set yourself a goal and find a coach who is sensitive to the fact you have work and family commitments that must be given priority.

Mother’s guilt is always a factor when I have to spend time away from my family for training, but by reminding myself of the invaluable life lessons I am teaching my children by undertaking this swim, will make it all worthwhile

Shown above with Channel training partner Karlie Price

For more information about her charity crossing, visit here.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Smiling In The Bay

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

"It is a beautiful day out in Aquatic Park [in San Francisco, California] with Kim [Chambers]," wrote Darren Miller.

It is not often that two Oceans Seven swimmers train together.

"The water temperature dropped down to 53ºF (11.6ºC) so basically we were swimming in the North Channel.

But it also amazes me how so many older swimmers just like cruising around in Aquatic Park and get out with smiles on their faces

The Old Goats are a self-proclaimed group of veteran open water swimmers from the Dolphin Swimming and Boating Club of San Francisco who swim daily in Aquatic Park.

They are clearly focused and appear pleasantly satisfied with their aquatic lifestyle as they often sun themselves on the deck of the Dolphin Club after their daily dip in San Francisco Bay. They range in age from 65 to 90 years old and swim without neoprene year-round in the often chilly Bay.

Photo was taken by Vance Jacobs of San Francisco and posted at the Wonderful Machine.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Studying At George Williams College

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

When your campus resides on the shores of a lake, the ambiance of the university would seem likely to have a marine spin to it.

George Williams College of Aurora University is located on the shores of Williams Bay in Wisconsin's Geneva Lake and has such a marine ambiance and mindset. George Williams is a living learning lab where students are provided a number of unique opportunities.

Located two hours from downtown Chicago, George Williams works to advance global awareness among its students and will host a Lake Study Day where they will invite Ocean Advocate Bruckner Chase to present a number of emerging issues about the world's ocean, ocean sports, and the growing menace of marine debris.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Why Open Water Swimming Will Continue To Explode

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

We believe and forecast that the sport of open water swimming and all its various niche areas (channel swimming, professional marathon swimming, ice swimming, relays, ocean racing, biathlons, triathlons, extreme adventure racing, excursion swimming, expedition swimming, sea trekking, swim trekking, wild swimming, high-altitude swimming, yacht swimming, lifeguard competitions, obstacle course open water swimming, and swim holidays) will continue to grow globally in terms of participants, events and offerings.

The reasons why are as follows:

* Everyone in the world knows about the open bodies of water nearest them, although they may not have a pool or know of the closest swimming pool to them.

* It is estimated that fewer than 2.5% of humans can swim 500 meters in an open body of water. The potential for growth in the sport is tremendous.

* In 1999, there were fewer than 1,000 established open water swims in the world. In 2016, there are over 12,500 open water swims including over an estimated 400 marathon swims (10 km+) in the world

* The average woman is faster than the average man in open water swims at least 5 km in distance, whether in freshwater or saltwater, warm water or cold water in a survey conducted at 5 open water swimming events in 5 continents

* 23 different countries qualify specialists in the Olympic 10 km Marathon Swim - a much broader global scope of the most elite swimmers relative to pool swimming

* New open water swims are being added to the swimming calendars at a pace faster than one new event per day

* The addition of neoprene has led to significant increase in the number of people joining the open water swimming and triathlon communities

* Benefits of swimming for the entire body (strength, stamina, range of motion, emotional well-being) are well-known and well-documented, which is especially important as the Baby Boomer generation continues to age and the ravages of running and extreme resistance platforms like CrossFit take their toll on participants

* Open water swims are conducted in 187 nations around the world and, increasingly, in more and more exotic and extreme locations

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Charity Charms By Planet Love Life

Courtesy of Planet Love Life, An Ocean Near You.

The global issue of marine debris cannot be solved overnight or by one individual. Planet Love Life recognized that it will take the efforts of many people and organizations to change the tide on plastic pollution in our oceans and beaches.

In an effort to connect our causes and unify our message, Planet Love Life has launched a charity charm program. This program is aimed at featuring non-profit organizations who are committed to the fight against marine debris. Each organization is carefully selected and embodies the Planet Love Life lifestyle.

Swimmers can help support these organizations by purchasing a bracelet with their charm added. Planet Love Life donates US$5 from the sale of each charity charm bracelet to the selected non-profit organization.

"Together with Rob and Brittany Website, we are really excited about this partnership between Ocean Positive and Planet Love life that is and signifies both Awareness and Action," commented Ocean Advocate Bruckner Chase.

For information on Marine Debris Awareness Keychains, Bracelets, Necklaces, and Charity Charms, visit here.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Observing Channel Swims Up North

Courtesy of Brian Meharg, Bangor Boat, .

The North Channel schedule is becoming crowded as the 21-mile channel between Scotland and Northern Ireland is becoming more and more popular.

The Irish Long Distance Swimming Association held its first one-day course on April 30th for volunteers who will serve as observers. "The ILDSA asked via Facebook if anyone would like to attend the course," explains Brian Meharg. "They were delighted to have 20 people from all walks of life turn up.

As a pilot, I took this opportunity to thank the group for their time and willingness to witness a swimmer gain an outstanding achievement. I appreciate their help and involvement

The course delved into all manors and situations that may happen on the day led by Honorary Secretary Pippa Campbell and Gary Knox. Also one of Ireland's most well-known channel swimmers Fergal Somerville attended to answer questions from a swimmer's point of view.

The day was such a success the ILDSA plan to hold another course on the May 28th

For more information, visit www.ildsa.info.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

2016 Oceanman International Open Water Circuit

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Oceanman is a series of open water swims organized by Aida Molina of Culture Sport 365 that culminates at the Oceanman World Championship in Beniform, Spain.

The 2016 Oceanman International Open Water Circuit features five races in Mexico, Spain and Italy with 3 different distances:

*6 - 14 km Oceanman
*3.5 - 5 km Oceanman Half
*1 - 2 km non-competitive Oceanman Popular

The Oceanman International Open Water Circuit includes the following events:

Oceanman Palamós, Spain on May 22nd
Oceanman Lago d’Orta, Italy on June 25th
Oceanman Cozumel, México on August 7th
Oceanman Isle of Tabarca, Spain on September 11th
Oceanman Benidorm, Spain on October 16th

✓ The top ten finishers in the Oceanman events in Palamós, Isle of Tabarca, Lago d’Orta, and Cozumel qualify for the Oceanman World Championship in Benidorm in six different categories: Elite and Age Group (20 - 29, 30 - 39, 40 - 49, 50 - 59, and 60 - 69 years old).

José Luis Larrosa has been added to the Oceanman technical team as its new Concept Manager focused on international growth. “Oceanman is a reality within the world of open water. Although in its infancy, we know that soon it will capture the eyes of the best specialists, worldwide", said Larrosa, who believes that the success of the circuit is due to its classification system and the attractiveness of the host venues. "I am proud to be part of this adventure and new personal and sports challenge."

For more information, visit Oceanman here.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Ice Sevens, A New Paradigm In Ice Swimming

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

While the Oceans Seven is a goal of channel swimmers, the Ice Sevens is another massively difficult swimming concept.

Ice swimming's equivalent of the Oceans Seven requires that a swimmer must complete seven different Ice Miles in seven different locations under standard ice swimming rules (i.e., no wetsuit and no neoprene hat) as defined by the International Ice Swimming Association.

According to Ram Barkai of the International Ice Swimming Association that is responsible for ratifying Ice Miles. "There have been 235 Ice Miles successfully completed and ratified to date. This includes 164 Ice Miles in Europe, 4 Ice Miles in Asia, 6 Ice Miles in the Polar regions, 32 Ice Miles in Africa, 27 Ice Miles in North America, 1 in South America, and 1 Ice Mile in Ocean."

"The challenge of a single Ice Mile is formidable enough," commented Steven Munatones. "The athlete must find a location, arrange a safety team including a knowledgeable Second and a medical team and escort crew, and sufficiently prepare physiologically and psychologically as well as time it right so the water temperature is under 5ºC. Now add the fact that the swimmer must do that in seven different locations around the world, including going to the Polar region, and topping it off with a Zero Ice Mile (defined as a solo mile swim performed at below 1ºC).

The fact that this Ice Sevens achievement is within the capabilities of hundreds of people around the world is mind-boggling and indicative of a new paradigm in ice swimming

To date, there have been 8 swimmers who have achieved the Zero Ice Mile:

1. Ram Barkai at 0.00°C in Cape Town, South Africa
2. Kieron Palframan at 0.00°C in Cape Town, South Africa
3. Ryan Stramrood at -1.00°C in Cape Town, South Africa [shown above in Antarctica]
4. Toks Viviers at 0.50°C in South Africa
5. Henri Kaarma at 0.00°C in Tallinn, Estonia
6. Aleksandr Brylin at 0.30°C in Russia
7. Andrey Sychyovv at 0.30°C in Russia
8. Gavin Pike at 0.50°C in Cape Town, South Africa

Ice Seven Requirements:

o An Ice Mile performed in any location in Europe below 5ºC (41ºF)
o An Ice Mile performed in any location in Oceania below 5ºC (41ºF)
o An Ice Mile performed in any location in Asia below 5ºC (41ºF)
o An Ice Mile performed in any location in North America below 5ºC (41ºF)
o An Ice Mile performed in any location in Africa below 5ºC (41ºF)
o An Ice Mile performed in any location in South America below 5ºC (41ºF)
o An Ice Mile performed in any Polar location at 60º south or below or 70º north or above below 5ºC (41ºF)

o One of the seven Ice Miles must be a documented Zero Ice Mile performed at below 1ºC

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Swelling, Swimming Swole

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

"My stomach is swollen."

"My face looks fat."

"I look pudgy, don't take a picture!"

These are examples of comments made by open water swimmers after long training or solo swims.


It could be because of third spacing, a temporary condition where an open water swimmer’s body appears to be waterlogged or swollen. This is caused because either fluid is trapped in the interstitial spaces in the abdomen and extremities or there is a loss of electrolytes that results in extracellular fluids going out of the blood vessels and into the skin tissue that normally is not perfused with fluids.

It can also be caused by swallowing an abnormal amount of water during the swim which usually goes down by the next day.

Photo shows Guy Cohen looking swole during his 40 km training swim today in preparation for his upcoming 24-hour memorial Swim from the Heart in Israel.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Hollymax Bell Win The Cross-Channel Swim in Malaysia

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

One of the highlights of the annual Malaysia Water Festival is the Labuan International Sea Challenge, a 5.4 km island-to-island International Cross-Channel Swim in Malaysia.

Sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia, the event is held at the Labuan International Sea Sport Complex and established the Largest Participation in Island to Island Swimming Challenge in the Malaysian Sports Book of Record.

157 swimmers, some from as far as France, the Netherlands, Japan, Australia, Spain, South Africa and Brunei, competed with Hollymax Bell won the men's category, finishing ahead of Spain's Jose Luis Larrosa Chorro and Melvin Chua Bao Quan of Sarawak in third.

On the women's side, Freda Awang Pan Chang Ru was first, Marellyn Lammert Liew Yiien Yee finished second with Lo Meng Lai finishing in third.

In the junior division, Cheng Lin An was first, Franklin Clement second and Ian Chin Li Yan third. Among the veterans, Tsuyoshi Sawada of Japan won the men's category with Serge Mathew Dominichini of France second and Gaap Erik van Krimpen of the Netherlands third.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Swimmers Deserve Much, Much Better In The Open Water

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Images produced by Chris Lundie of Take It Live Productions.

Officiating in open water swimming is crucial to who ultimately stands on the podium. FINA selects the referees who officiate at its World Championships and at the Olympic Games.

Unlike pool swimming and similar to water polo, physicality is an accepted, inevitable and inherent part of the sport. There are two primary rules that have an essential impact on who receives the gold, silver and bronze medals: the unsportsmanlike conduct rule and the impeding rule.

The unsportsmanlike conduct rule is easier for a referee to call. A yellow or red card is given when a punch is thrown or an elbow or kick is given to the body or face of a competitor. At FINA races, ribs have been broken, teeth have been chipped, corneas have been torn, and lacerations are not uncommon as a result of unsportsmanlike conduct by swimmers.

The impeding rule is more difficult for a referee to call. This is when a swimmer locks arms with another swimmer, pulls on the ankles of a competitor (ziplining), or pushes a competitor off their intended line or in towards a turn buoy.

But there are two more important concepts that makes these rules difficult for referees to call: intention and consequences.

A vast majority of referees believe that intention is an essential element in calling a rule infraction. That is, if an athlete INTENDS to punch, kick, elbow, pull or impede another competitor, then and only then is the athlete guilty of a rule infraction. These referees believe that if an athlete does NOT intend to punch, kick, elbow, pull or impede another competitor, and only do so unintentionally, then these athletes are not guilty of a rule infraction - and no warning whistle, yellow card or red card is given.

There are two fundamental problems with the ruling of intention:

(1) how does a referee know the actual intention of an athlete?

(2) the consequences are the same to a victim of an intentional or unintentional kick, elbow, pulling or impeding. That is, races are lost and medal positions can change when the victim is kicked, elbowed, pulled back or impeded whether or not the instigator purposefully intended to do so - or unintentionally did so.

As the sport exists today, it is the referee's authority to decide whether the actions of the instigator are intentional or not. This is arguably an extremely difficult call to make. How realistically can a referee know that an athlete has a certain intention or not?

But the second problem is even greater: the consequences. The victim bears the entire brunt of the infraction. The victims are the ones who lose valuable seconds when they are pulled back. The victims are the ones who have to swim with the pain of a kick or an elbow.

Because these infractions - intentional or not - occur instantaneously while the swimmers are racing in large packs or swimming around a turn buoy, they are not always seen by the referee. And sometimes, these acts of physicality are simply ignored - purposefully - by the referees.

Like water polo, diving and synchronized swimming, open water swimming referees can have a direct impact on who stands on the medal podium by the calls they make and do not make. Essentially, the gold, silver and bronze medals can be traced back to whether or not a referee makes a call - or not - in the critical seconds after acts of physicality occur in national and international competitions.

But, with the exception of the emerging use of drone cameras, there are no perspectives or replays of these acts of physicality. FINA does not allow videos of specific acts of physicality or controversial calls or non-calls to be posted publicly.

Spectators and coaches are not usually not witnesses to these acts of physicality except for the end of races. Only the referees are witnesses to these acts. They have a unique vantage point that is not available to spectators, fans or coaches. There is no oversight whether or not referees make "good" calls or simply ignore these acts of physicality. And, most importantly, the victims have no opportunity to appeal acts of physicality where they are pulled back, impeded, elbowed or kicked. These athletes simply have to live with the consequences of being a victim.

The officiating uproar in the diving, synchronized swimming and water polo communities ultimately and rightly led to rules being more well-defined and tightened up and referee conduct reviews established and made objectively fair - at least as much as humanly possible. But the open water swimming community has not followed - and we believe it is high time that FINA and other governing bodies immediately do so. Why put off a complete review of officiating? If nothing is wrong, then the rules can stay the same. If something is wrong, as we believe, then the sport can be improved.

We strongly believe that the athletes deserve their sport to be officiated in a fair and objective manner - and the ruling elites have an obligation to institute these long-overdue changes.

We told Alex Meyer and Fran Crippen of these fundamental issues with FINA officiating years ago. It was and remains an unresolved - and never publicly discussed - issue among the FINA family. How and why referees are selected to officiate at FINA open water swimming events is up to the FINA Commission, a select group of inside TOWSC (Technical Open Water Swimming Committee) members.

Some referees simply do not make calls that other third-party referees would immediately call. Some referees simply "swallow their whistle" when a foul is committed by a swimmer from a friendly country. This gives distinct disadvantages to athletes from certain countries. We have witnessed referees who will not make calls or even give warning whistles to swimmers from their region of the world. Similar to diving or synchronized referees who gave high scores to athletes from favored nations, or made questionable calls or non-calls in water polo games, there are some open water swimming referees who will not call rule infractions.

These officials unfairly hurt the victims of rule infractions and cause great angst among the athletes, especially those athletes whose personalities dictate that they play fair and by the rules.

Why does this situation exist? There are three reasons:

(1) open water swimming rules remain vague and undefined
(2) open water swimming referees have the authority to decide the intention of athletes in the heat of the battle
(3) open water swimming referees are not reviewed or judged by an independent group of experienced peers
(4) there are no consequences to referees who do NOT make the correct calls during the race.

Essentially, if a referee makes a controversial call, then the referee may be called to the table behind closed doors - or simply not asked to referee a major competition again. His or her actions can have a direct impact on whether they are offered additional officiating assignments at World Championships and Olympics.

The athletes have always known about this uniquely unregulated part of officiating in the open water swimming world. FINA and TOWSC members may disagree, but the athletes know.

The art, rules and oversight of officiating should be elevated professionally in order to improve the sport of open water swimming. The timing is right. The sport deserves this. The athletes deserve this.

Images produced by Chris Lundie of Take It Live Productions.

Copyright © 2016 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