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2016 WOWSA AWARD WINNERS
2016 WOWSA Man of the Year – Nejib Belhedi
2016 WOWSA Woman of the Year – Jaimie Monahan
2016 WOWSA Performance of the Year – Sarah Thomas’ Lake Powell Swim
2016 WOWSA Offering of the Year – Samsung Bosphorus Cross Continental Swim
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
4°C Extreme Swim Against The Dreaded Williwaw
A swim not lightly attempted with life-threatening danger possible with every arm stroke given the ever-changing conditions, the fearless group is trained well for a sequel to their 2009 swim across the Strait of Magellan (photo on left at start).
With support provided by the Chilean Armada and Claudia Molkenbuhr of Chiledeportes, Cristian, Rachel, Scott and Patricia plan to be swimming against currents in 4°C waters for at least one hour during their crossing from Puerto Williams, Cabo de Hornos, Chile -the southernmost town in the world - to Ushuaia, Argentina, on the Big Island of Tierra del Fuego.
But, despite the obstacles, Cristian exudes confidence. "Having swum for nearly two hours in those conditions on our Strait of Magellan crossing (passage between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans), but it is considered a difficult route to navigate because of the unpredictable , we're confident that we'll be able to succeed in the Beagle Channel, though it certainly won't be any less physically or mentally challenging."
Sadly, the reach of man will be experienced even in this remote swim. Raquel observed, "We are really hoping to find clean waters there, but pollution taints even the most remote wilderness these days, and the Beagle Channel sees plenty of shipping traffic. I think I speak for all of us when I say that this swim is about re-asserting our connection with our environment, albeit in a rather extreme manner."
Frigid water, strong currents, unpredictable weather and complicated logistics are some of the extreme obstacles to overcome, but it is the uniquely ferocious Williwaw gusts (up to 200 knots) can truly make things dangerous for the intrepid group.
Patricia commented on the training - both physical and mental - that she has done in preparation for the challenge. "Cristian and I been training cold water for about ten years, gradually increasing cold exposure. So our bodies have had a long time to figure out how to acclimate. Rachel is very different. She is relatively new to our group, but has an innate ability to tolerate cold water extremely well."
"All this ties in with the mental. As I become more comfortable with extreme cold, the easier it is to use visualization techniques. Every day, I tell myself I am a warrior. I can do this. I envision myself during the swim, but more importantly, I visualize myself FINISHING the swim."
"I will be the slowest swimmer, and therefore in the water the longest, so I have also taken extra precautions in terms of researching and bringing the proper warm-up gear in to prepare for extreme hypothermia scenario. Having trained in the Straits of Magellan last year, I have a sense of what the Beagle will be like, so I feel pretty confident that I know exactly what I'll be facing."
Photo of Rachel Golub by Leopoldo Espinoza Vera.
Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source
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Open Water Swimming Magazine
Open Water Swimming MagazineThe 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 SwimmingAn 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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