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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Oh Canada! In The World Of Open Water Swimming

Canada has a very rich history of open water swimming throughout modern times. Its professional marathon swims and solo races are renowned in the open water swimming world.

Its swimmers who have been inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame include Christine Cossette, Robert Cossette, Jacques Amyot, Lynn Blouin, Marilyn Bell, Helge Jensen, Vicki Keith Munro, Cliff Lumsdon, Cynthia 8icholas, Gilles Potvin, Gus Ryder, Greg Steppel, Patty Thompson and Margaret Park Wisniski.

The efforts and exploits of these outstanding individuals are noted below.

Jacques Amyot, Canada, 1995
Jacques was the first person to swim across lac St-Jean in Quebec, Canada in 1955. His efforts lead to the formation of la Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean, one of the world’s longest and best organized professional marathon swimming races. On July 23rd, 1955, seven swimmers signed up for the first crossing of la Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean, but only Jacques finished the 26K (16-mile) swim in 11 hours and 32 minutes.

Marilyn Bell, Canada, 1967
16-year-old Marilyn was the first person to swim 51.4K (32 miles) across Lake Ontario in 1953. As a 17-year-old, she became the youngest English Channel swimmer for a period of eight years. She swam from Cap Gris Nez, France to East Wear Bay, England in July 1955.

Lynn Blouin, Canada, 2004
Lynn has been in marathon swimming administration for nearly 20 years. She began as a staff person for the professional 42K (26-mile) Traversée Internationale du Lac Memphrémagog in Quebec, Canada and rose to the position of President and Race Director from 1993-1995.

Lynn also helped form the International Marathon Swimming Federation which later became the International Marathon Swimming Association. She was active in conducting many world events from 1997 to 2002 as General Secretary of the International Marathon Swimming Association. She is also serves as the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Vice President.

Christine Cossette, Canada, 1982
In 1984, Christine, a 22-year old Canadian swimmer, became the first person to complete a 64K (39.7-mile) double-crossing of lac St-Jean in Quebec, Canada in 18 hours and 27 minutes, leading to an annual double-crossing race from 1985 to 1989. After completing the first leg in 9 hours and 29 minutes, she swam the second leg in 8 hours and 59 minutes.

Robert Cossette, Canada, 2004
Despite being crippled in one leg by polio, Robert participated in the 32K (19.8-mile) Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean from 1955 to 1965, the 32K (19.8-mile) Traversée de la Manche from Angleterre – France, the 51K (32-mile) Traversée du Lac Ontario (Marathon de Brading), the Ste-Anne de Beaupré, the 70K (44-mile) Montréal swim, the 35K (22-mile) Around Atlantic City Swim, the 16K (10-mile) Trois-Rivières Swim, the Marathon de l’Expo de Toronto, the Lac Simon Swim, the Détroit de Juan de Fuca and La Gilman Chibougamau Swim. He was the first person to swim 37K (23 miles) from Chicoutimi to Bagotville in the Saguenay River in Canada that resulted in the annual la Descente ou remontée du Saguenay numerous times. He was president from 1973 to 1988 of the Marathon du Saguenay and trained several swimmers for la Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean and 37K (23-mile) la Descente du Saguenay.

George Duthie, Canada, 1966
George organized the famous professional Canadian National Exhibition swims from 1933 to 1968 as the Canadian National Exhibition Manager of Sports Department and was later inducted in the Amateur Athletic Union of Canada’s Hall of Fame.

Vicki Keith Munro, Canada, 2003
Vicki completed an incredible number of record swims including swimming 69K (43 miles) in a pool in 24 hours in 1990. During 1989, she swam butterfly across the 35K (22-mile) Catalina Channel in 14 hours and 53 minutes, 51.5K (32 miles) of butterfly in 31 hours across Lake Ontario, 28.9K (18 miles) of butterfly in 13 hours in Lake Winnipeg, 32K (20 miles) of butterfly in 14 hours in Juan de Fuca, 23 hours and 33 minutes of butterfly across the English Channel, and 22.5K (14 miles) of butterfly in 13 hours and 30 minutes in a circumnavigation of Sydney Harbour.

During 1988, Vicki first and only person to swim across all five of the North American Great Lakes – all within an astounding 61-day period. She swam 51.5K (32 miles) in Lake Ontario in 23 hours and 30 minutes, 38.6K (24 miles) of butterfly in Lake Ontario, 32K (20 miles) in 17 hours in Lake Superior, 72.4K (45 miles) in 53 hours in Lake Michigan, 77K (48 miles) in 46 hours and 55 minutes in Lake Huron, and 32K (20 miles) in 20 hours in Lake Erie.

During 1987, Vicki did the first double-crossing (64 miles) of Lake Ontario in 56 hours and 10 minutes. In 1986, she did a 129 hour and 45 minute continuous pool swim in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. In 1985, she did a 100-hour continuous pool swim in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. In 1985, she did 12 miles of butterfly in 11 hours and 30 minutes in Lake Ontario.

Vicki has won numerous awards and honors from dozens of government agencies in Canada. She coaches children with disabilities, Carlos Costa, a double leg amputee who became the first disabled athlete to swim across Lake Ontario, and Ashley Cowan, a quadruple amputee who swam across Lake Erie. Herpositive spirit and tireless dedication has changed attitudes towards total inclusion for children with disabilities in the sports of swimming and marathon swimming.

Cliff Lumsdon, Canada, 1969
Cliff was one of the world's great marathon swimmers and a five-time world champion between 1949 and 1954. He was known for his ability to swim in cold water, once going 51.5K (32 miles) in 18-plus hours in water temperatures ranging between 8.8° - 11.1°C (48°F - 52°F)

Cliff's most famous swim was the 51.5K (32-mile) Canadian National Exhibition swim in 1955. The 35 starters dropped out with Cliff the only one left in the water; however, after 26 miles, he had also started to tire. The remaining 9.6K (6 miles) involved lots of media involvement - leading local businessmen to add numerous extra items to the $15,000 first prize. One offer, involving $1 for every stroke used on the last 8K (5 miles), added another $15,000 to the prize. Other offers involved a hunting lodge and a house. The result was that Cliff was the only finisher, with prizes, gifts (hunting lodge and house) and consumer endorsements that totalled US$84,000.

His cold-water abilities were reflected in his 1956 11 hour and 35 minute crossing of the Straits of Juan de Fuca between the state of Washington and Vancouver Island in 8.8°C (48°F) water.

In the 35K (22-mile) professional Around-the-Island Marathon Swim in Atlantic City, USA, he finished second in 1954 in 9 hours and 25 minutes, a close second in 9 hours and 56 minutes in 1955, finished first in 9 hours and 51 minutes in 1956, second in 12 hours and 9 minutes in 1958, first in 10 hours and 54 minutes in 1959, second in 10 hours and 40 minutes in 1960, third in 11 hours and 36 minutes in 1961, second in 12 hours and 1 minutes in 1962, fourth in 12 hours and 13 minutes in 1963 and fourth in 10 hours and 32 minutes in 1964. He finished third in 7 hours and 22 minutes in the 37K (23-mile) la Descente ou remontée du Saguenay in Canada in 1965 and tied for third in 6 hours and 39 minutes in 1966.

In the Canadian National Exhibition professional marathon swims in Toronto, he finished fifth in the 16K (10-mile) 1948 race in 4 hours and 47 minutes, first in the 24K (15-mile) 1949 race in 7 hours and 54 minutes, first in the 24K (15-mile) 1950 race in 7 hours and 18 minutes, third in the 16K (10-mile) 1951 race in 4 hours and 32 minutes, first in the 16K (10-mile) 1952 race in 4 hours and 24 minutes, first in the 16K (10-mile) 1953 race in 4 hours and 26 minutes, first in the 51.5K (32-mile) 1955 race in 19 hours and 48 minutes, fourth in the 15-mile 1961 race in 7 hours and 36 minutes, second in the 24K (15-mile) 1962 race in 7 hours and 26 minutes, and sixth in the 24K (15-mile) 1963 race in 7 hours and 58 minutes.

In 1949, he won the Lou Marsh Trophy for the outstanding Canadian Athlete of the Year. The Cliff Lumsdon Award is presented for outstanding achievement in marathon swimming in association Ontario.

In 1972, Cliff was elected president of the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation.

Cynthia Nicholas, Canada, 1978
At age 16, Cindy Nicholas became the fastest swimmer to cross Lake Ontario with a time of 15 hours and 10 minutes. Cindy’s career includes 19 crossings of the English Channel and the first woman to complete a double-crossing of the English Channel. Of her 19 crossings, 10 involved two-way swims, including a double-crossing record of 18 hours and 51 minutes in 1982 and an England-France record of 8 hours and 21 minutes on the first leg of her in 1981 double-crossing.

Cindy competed in the 32K (20-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean races in 1976, 1977 and 1978. Her other achievements include her appointment to the Order of Canada in 1979 and the Canadian Women Athlete of the Year.

Gilles Potvin, Canada, 2006
Gilles participated in many of the Quebec, Canada professional marathon swims: 34K (21-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean, the 45K (28-mile) Saguenay River swim, the 24-hour Lac La Tuque relay, and the Trois-Rivières swim.

He also coached several swimmers to victory in the 34K (21-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean including Carlos Larriera, Herman Willemse of the Netherlands in 1961, 1962, 1963 and 1964, Horacio Iglesias of Argentina in 1967, 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1973, John Kinsella of the USA from 1974 to 1979, Robert Lachance, Paul Asmuth of the USA, Obert Lachance of Canada in 1982 and 1983, his daughter Christine Cossette of Canada in 1987, 1988 and 1990, and Vicky Keith in 1990.

He also coached Canada’s national long distance teams for the World Swimming Championships in Australia in 1991 and Rome in 1994 and presided over Swim Canada’s long distance swimming committee.

Gus Ryder, Canada, 1981
Gus Ryder was an innovative coach whose athletes achieved national and international success as marathon swimmers including Marilyn Bell and Cliff Lumsdon. He founded Lakeshore Swimming Club in 1930 and was named Canada’s Man of the Year in 1955 and was named to the Order of Canada in 1975 for his work teaching disabled children.

Gus swam in a number of Toronto's across-the-bay long distance races. In 1917, while playing hockey in Toronto, he rescued two players who had fallen through the ice before himself being trapped under the ice. He recalled that this was when he dedicated his life to swimming. Later, he was credited with 47 lifesaving rescues.

Greg Steppel, Canada, 1996
Greg placed second in the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation rankings. He has won the professional marathon races, the 1995 Pan Pacific 25K Championships, the FINA World Championship Preliminary and the 1994 World Swimming Championships 25K in Italy.

Patty Thompson, Canada, 1969
Patty, a Canadian Olympic swimmer at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, was the 1969 women’s World Professional Marathon Swimming Association champion. She won all her professional marathon swims: 16K (10-mile) Hamilton Marathon Swim, 27K (17-mile) Rhode Island Marathon Swim from Narragansett Rhode Island to Block Island, 19K (12-mile) Man and His World Marathon Swim and a 24-hour swim in Santa Fe, Argentina. At age 45 in 1991, Patty became the oldest female to cross Lake Ontario with her time of 19 hours and 18 minutes.

Margaret Park Wisniski, Canada, 2000

George Young, Canada, 1963
17-year-old George was the sole finisher of the 1927 Wrigley Ocean Marathon across the Catalina Channel in 15 hours and 44 minutes, winning the $25,000 first prize.

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

Swim Across the English Channel...

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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...
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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.
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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.

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:
https://www.worldopenwaterswimmingassociation.com/preview-open-water-swimming-almanac


The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.

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