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Friday, September 10, 2010

What Other Dream Swims Are There?

Diana Nyad has her dream swim from Cuba to Florida. What other dreams swims or adventure swims are out there? Hundreds of others? Thousands of others? Millions of others?

The Ventura Deep Six Relay are going to start their dream swim from Santa Barbara to San Diego next week. The Mexican American Unity Swim will begin later this month. Swim22's unique Contiguous Solo Crossing Relay will start their dream swim in October (see map on left).

Hundreds of others have accomplished their dream swims in the English Channel, Cook Strait, Catalina Channel and Strait of Gibraltar this year. Thousands of others have done other dream swims of various distances and under various conditions.

What was it like in our marathon swimming world 100 years ago.

Well, 100 years ago ago, society and expectations were vastly different.

The average life expectancy of an American was only 47 years and only 14% of the homes in the U.S. had a bathtub. Traffic was not a problem as there were only 8,000 cars in America and certainly not in Las Vegas which only had a population of 30 people. Only one person had crossed the English Channel (Captain Matthew Webb in 1875), very few people had even seen the Catalina Channel, freestyle had just been introduced to England (in 1902) and the Olympics just had its first swimming competition in a pool.

Up until then, all the swimming events at the Olympics (1896 in the Mediterranean Sean, 1900 in the Seine River, 1904 in a lake and 1906 in a bay) were held in the open water.

With the last 100 years having brought significant change to society, we know that 100 years from now, there will be even greater changes. We tried to imagine the social changes that will occur over the next 100 years as well as imagine future marathon swims take may occur by individuals who dream big and challenge the upper boundaries of their physical and mental strengths.

Here is a short futuristic bucket list:

1. A 110K swim across Lake Titicaca from Copacabana in Bolivia to San Carlos de Puno in Peru at an altitude of 3,812 meters (12,506 feet).

2. A stage swim or stage relay along the entire 1,240K (770-mile) coastline of the state of California.

3. A stage swim or stage relay from Key West to Miami in the state of Florida, 154 miles swimming a cool 2.5 knots outside the reef along the Gulf Stream.

4. A stage swim or stage relay around the island of Oahu in the state of Hawaii, an approximate 375-mile journey around a tropical paradise starting and finishing in the famous Waikiki Beach.

5. A circumnavigation around the Big Island of Hawaii would have to take into consideration the lava flows that continue to make the island bigger.

6. Because the pristine waters of Crater Lake in the state of Oregon is a special geological wonder of North America, swimming the 9.7K (6 mile) length of the lake will probably be done with a carbon-neutral manner, if at all due to federal restrictions.

7. Montauk in Long Island, New York to Block Island in the state of Rhode Island.

8. Block Island to Point Judith in the state of Rhode Island.

9. 23 miles from Plymouth to Provincetown in the state of Massachusetts.

10. Swimming underneath eight bridges in the state of New York in seven days in a stage swim or stage relay between 1. Rip Van Winkle to Kingston/Rhinecliff, 2. Kingston/Rhinecliff to mid-Hudson, 3. Mid-Hudson to Newburgh-Beacon, 4. Newburgh-Beacon to Bear Mountain, 5. Bear Mountain to Tappan Zee, 6. Tappan Zee to George Washington, and 7. George Washington to Verazzano-Narrows.

11. There will undoubtedly continue to be all kinds of solo swims across the various waterways of the Great Lakes of North America.

12. The 4,800K (3,000-mile) Intercoastal Waterway along the East Coast of the U.S. would take a swimmer or a relay through natural inlets, salt-water rivers, bays, sounds and man-made canals.

13. 162K (100 miles) from Harwich, England to The Hook of Holland is a tough swim that currently takes about four hours on a fast speed ferry.

14. As we were informed by Lewis Pugh, if a swim around Greenland, the second biggest island in the world, were possible, it would also be a very sad day for mankind for the sea at the top of Greenland is currently frozen over with multi-year ice.

15. In Asia, Kunashiri Island or one of the Habomai Islands to the Nemuro Peninsula in Hokkaido to Hokkaido in Japan in the north Pacific Ocean.

16. 108K (67 miles) from Japan (Yonaguni Island) to the east coast of Taiwan in the East China Sea would be an extremely tough, but doable swim for the right person guided by an expert pilot, supported by an experienced crew, under the ideal conditions.

17. Italy to Albania seems like another good, difficult and remarkable swim for a solo swimmer or relay.

18. The Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) to Argentina is 212 miles that would absolutely stretch the imagination of physical and mental strength.

19. A swim between Sicily and Africa.

20. Any number of circumnavigations around the as-yet-unconquered Channel Islands of California, where swimmers would face a rough, wild and physically demanding challenge, but in relatively mild water temperatures in August and September.

21. A stage swim or stage relay crossing of the Sea of Cortez (Cortés or Mar Bermejo or Golfo de California) at any point would be another remarkable accomplishment. This channel separates the Baja California Peninsula from the Mexican mainland.

22. An approximately 260-mile stage swim or stage relay circumnavigation around Long Island in the state of New York where numerous lighthouses would constantly serve as landmarks.

23. 361 miles from San Diego to Scammon's Lagoon in Baja California, Mexico that is currently done every by the La Jolla Cove Swim Club as a virtual swim.

24. A nearly 162K (100-mile) swim between the shortest points across the middle of Lake Superior.

25. 3.8K down the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy.

26. 1,776K (1,115 miles) down the Grand Canal of China, starting in Beijing and ending in Hangzhou in a canal that was built between the 5th century BC to 618 AD.

27. A canal/river swim from Lake Mead in Nevada to Yuma, the southernmost point in the state of Arizona, assuming the waterways are contiguous.

28. 55-mile swim from Key West to the Dry Tortugas in the state of Florida.

29. An approximately 180-200 mile swim across Florida using rivers, lakes and canals from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean.

30. 500K (310 miles) up the St. Johns River as it is the only river in the state of Florida that flows north. Swim the entire river.

31. 160K (99 miles) from the west coast of Taiwan to the east coast of China across the Taiwan Strait would be a swim of monumental proportions, both athletically and politically.

Akin to Lynne Cox's epic swim across the Bering Strait between Little Diomede Island in Alaska and Big Diomede Island in Russia which caught the attention of President Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, a relay swim across the warm-water, relatively shallow (55-meter) channel would certainly capture the close attention of at least 20% of the world's population and the world's media.

32. A staged swim or relay between San Francisco and Los Angeles or between Washington D.C. and New York City or between Rome and Barcelona or between Tokyo and Osaka.

33. A swim along the Great Barrier Reef.

34. A swim between any of the islands in the Caribbean Sea which would potentially number in the hundreds.

35. Lengthwise swims across the high-altitude lakes of Southern California including Lake Arrowhead, Big Bear Lake, Lake Castaic and Pyramid Lake.

36. 93-mile (150K) Torres Strait between Australia and the Melanesian island of New Guinea in Papua New Guinea.

37. Swim across Lake Powell in Arizona.

Of course, a four-way solo crossing of the English Channel and other such really long-distance solo swims at established waterways may also be in our open water swimming future.

But, theoretically, as told to us by Skip Storch, a solo swim around the world would be possible if the problem with gravity could be found. In the case that the Mir Space Station were equipped with an Endless Pool, a round-the-world swim would only take 90 minutes to complete, but it would most probably be considered an assisted swim.

As time marches on, there will be some incredible swims in the sport’s future. Stay tuned for more.

Copyright © 2010 by Open Water Source

1 comment:

  1. You can cross off #6 now. ;-) I read this article 2 years ago in my research about the Crater Lake swim and it cemented my decision to undertake it. Now who is going to take on the other 36?! :-)



Thank you very much for your interest in the world of open water swimming.

The Staff of the World Open Water Swimming Association

2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference

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


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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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.

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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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