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Monday, February 1, 2010

Oldies But Goodies In The English Channel

Julian Critchlow's database of successful English Channel swimmers showed an interesting statistic: there have been dozens of individuals over the age of 50 who have completed the English Channel.

These adventurers prove that some things do get better with age.

The oldest of the group is the venerable George Brunstad, the youthful-minded 70-year-old who crossed in 2004 in 15 hours and 39 minutes. A former pilot and one of the numerous residents of Connecticut who seem to be draw to the Channel, he remarked upon his finish, "I am tired, but this is it. I've got the world record and I feel wonderful. When I arrived I just said 'Praise the Lord', stood on the beach and raised my arms in a V sign."

The Great 50 List includes the following swimmers:

1. George Brunstad (USA), 70, England-to-France in 15:59 in 2004
2. Clifford Batts (Australia), 67, France-to-English in 18:37 in 1987
3. Ashby Harper (USA), 65, E/F in 13:52 in 1982
4. Roger Allsopp (England), 65, E/F in 15:30 in 2006
5. Sue (Australia), 65, E/F in 17:11 in 2010
6. Michael Read (England), 63, E/F in 15:29 in 2004
7. Veljko Rogosic (Croatia), 63, E/F in 11:27 in 2004
8. Robert West (USA), 61, E/F in 15:35 in 1996
9. Jean-Paul Madelenat (France), 60, E/F in 14:46 in 2002
10. Linda Ashmore (England), 60, E/F in 15:11 in 2007
11. Vijaya Claxton (USA), 59, E/F in 22:27 in 2007
12. James (Doc) Counsilman (USA), 58, E/F in 13:07
13. Carol Sing (USA), 57, E/F in 12:32 in 1999
14. Kevin Murphy (England), 57, E/F in 15:14 in 2006
15. Alan Macleay (England), 57, E/F in 22:14 in 2006
16. Peter Urrea (USA), 56, E/F in 14:38 in 1996
17. Kevin Murphy (England), 56, E/F in 13:35 in 2005
18. Duke Dahlin (USA), 55, E/F in 14:37 in 2003
19. Christopher Blakeslee (USA), 54, E/F in 14:44 in 2004
20. Michael Miller (USA), 54, E/F in 16:10 in 2008
21. Otto Thaning (South Africa), 53, E/F in 10:29 in 1994
22. Klaus Stutzer (Germany), 53, E/F in 14:09 in 1997
23. Morris Finkelstein (USA), 53, E/F in 15:21 in 2003
24. Peter Jurzynski (USA), 53, E/F in 17:18 in 2004
25. Bill Hoehn (USA), 53, E/F in 15:53 in 2004
26. Hugh Tucker (South Africa), 53, E/F in 13:37 in 2004
27. Tom Hecker (USA), 53, E/F in 15:21 in 2005
28. Steven Smith (England), 53, E/F in 14:28 in 2005
29. Henry Eckstein (USA), 52, E/F in 14:24 in 2000
30. Peter Jurzynski (USA), 52, E/F in 14:57 in 2003
31. Dennis Dressel (USA), 52, E/F in 12:08 in 2003
32. Jorge Rikarday (Mexico), 52, E/F in 20:24 in 2003
33. Tim Cheesman (England), 52, E/F in 15:07 in 2007
34. Kevin Murphy (England), 51, E/F in 14:29 in 2000
35. Peter Jurzynski (USA), 51, E/F in 17:08 in 2002
36. Anne Cleveland (USA), 51, E/F in 11:33 in 2007
37. Nancy Steadman-Martin (USA), 50, E/F in 11:20 in 2004
38. James Fitzpatrick (USA), 50, E/F in 14:32 in 2005
39. Frank Chalmers (Scotland), 50, E/F in 16:48 in 2005
40. Timothy Cheesman (England), 50, E/F in 16:14 in 2005
41. Terry O'Brien (Australia), 50, E/F in 15:50 in 2006
42. Antonio Argüelles (Mexico), 50, E/F in 12:54 in 2009

We were initially struck how few women (Linda Ashmore, Vijaya Claxton, Carol Sing, Anne Cleveland and Nancy Steadman-Martin) were included in this list given that women outnumber men in all population groups in nearly every country in the world.

But like the significant increase in women in the sport of marathon running, as the opportunities for older women to participate in endurance sports increases, we imagine that this list will swing to include many more females over the next 20-30 years.

In a sign of this future, we note that 51% of the 14,000+ individuals who participate in the Great Swims in England are female - and we suspect some of these individuals will be cracking this list over time.

Photo of George Brunstad by Gareth Fuller.

Copyright © 2010 by Open Water Source

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The Staff of the World Open Water Swimming Association

2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference

Learn more...
Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE

The Global Open Water Swimming Conference is a conference on the sport of open water swimming, marathon swimming and swimming during triathlons and multi-sport endurance events.

The conference which has been attended by enthusiasts and luminaries from 6 continents, is devoted to providing information about the latest trends, race tactics, training techniques, equipment, psychological preparation, race organization and safety practices used in the sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons.

The conference's mission is to provide opportunities to listen and meet many of the world's most foremost experts in open water swimming, and to meet and discuss the sport among swimmers, coaches, administrators, event organizers, sponsors, vendors, officials, escort pilots, and volunteers from kayakers to safety personnel.

Dozens of presentations at the 2014 Conference at the Mount Stuart House cover numerous aspects of the vast and growing world of open water swimming where attendees can learn and share the latest trends, race tactics, training modalities, swimming techniques, equipment, race organization, logistics, operations, and safety practices for open water swimming as a solo swimmer, competitive athlete, fitness swimmer, masters swimmer, triathlete, multi-sport athlete, administrator, race promoter, sponsor or referee.

The conference was first held in Long Beach, California as part of the 2010 USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships. It has since been held on the Queen Mary in California, at Columbia University and the United Nations in New York City, and in Cork, Ireland. This year in September, it comes to another iconic location, the Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute in Scotland.

"The Global Open Water Swimming Conference was started due to the desire and need for athletes, coaches, referees, administrators, race directors, promoters and sponsors from around the world to share, collect and learn information about the growing sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons," said founder Steven Munatones. "Other swimming conferences usually offering nothing on open water swimming or perhaps a speech or two, but we thought open water swimming deserves its own global conference. It is great that the community shares its information via the online social network, but there is nothing like meeting other open water swimming enthusiasts face-to-face and talking about the sport from morning to night."

Speakers at the conference include English Channel swimmers, ice swimmers, record holders, renowned coaches, world champions, professional marathon swimmers, renowned race directors, officials and administrators from the Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.

"Because the audience is passionate and educated about the sport and its finest practitioners, the Global Open Water Swimming Conference is also the location of the induction ceremonies for the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and the annual WOWSA Awards that recognize the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year, and the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year. Special Lifetime Achievement Awards are also occasionally presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport over their career."

The 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference Programme

Wednesday, September 17th
Leave Glasgow to commence 2-day tour of Scotland [closest international airport is Glasgow]

Thursday, September 18th
Stay Mainland, North of Scotland

Friday, September 19th
14:00 - Swim Loch Lomond
17:00 - Head to Isle of Bute
19:30 - Scottish Banquet
21:30 - Dinner Dance

Saturday, September 20th
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
12:20 - Lunch and WOWSA Awards
13:40 – Speeches
15:40 - Round Table
19:00 - International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony

Sunday, September 21st
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
14:30 - Swim in St Ninian's Bay on the Isle of Bute

The luminaries of the open water swimming world who will be honored in Scotland will include:

* Sandra Bucha (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Jon Erikson (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Claudio Plit (Argentina), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Judith van Berkel-de Njis (Netherlands), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* David Yudovin (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Mercedes Gleitze (Great Britain), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* George Young (Canada), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Dale Petranech (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Contributor
* Melissa Cunningham (Australia), 2013 Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award winner
* Vojislav Mijić (Serbia), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* James Anderson (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Dr. Jane Katz (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Indonesian Swimming Federation, , International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Organisation
* Elizabeth Fry (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Pádraig Mallon (Ireland), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year
* Olga Kozydub (Russia), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year
* Bering Strait Swim (international team), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year
* International Ice Swimming Association (Ram Barkai, founder, South Africa), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year

For additional articles on the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference, visit:

* Olga Kozydub To Be Honored In Scotland
* Pádraig Mallon To Be Honored In Mount Stuart Castle
* Mount Stuart House, Splendid Setting For Swimming
* Colleen Blair To Kick-off Global Open Water Swimming Conference
* The Man Who Swims Better Than He Walks
* Joining In The Sea Goddess At The Hall Of Fame
* Mercedes Gleitze To Be Honored In Scotland
* The Incredible Career Of Merceded Gleitze
* Jon Erikson To Be Honoured In Florida
* The Incredible Career Of Mercedes Gleitze
* St Ninian's Bay To Host International Swim Conference

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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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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