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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Tattersalls Take Maui Channel Swim Again

Shark, Portuguese man-o-war, swells, ongoing currents and rough water conditions ... exactly the conditions that Captain and the Australian Tattersalls team wanted for the 28th annual 9.6-mile Maui Channel Swim.

From Down Under, the Aussies went up and above the surface chop and waves to come out on top for the fourth consecutive year over 55 teams.

The Maui Channel Swim was founded by Ian and Coco Emberson. Ian, one of the original 18 triathletes from the 1978 first Ironman on Oahu, has continued to nurture one of the world's most beautiful and enjoyable races.

But victory required some intuition, navigational skills, strategy and a few fast closing legs to seal the deal against the tough RCP Tiburon Milers who had boasted by two world open water champions on their team.

Capturing the best tangent from the island of Lanai to Maui with local legend Randy Kinores, the Australian team of David Brown, Codie Grimsey, Cameron Smith, Travis Nederpelt, Peter Theil and Andrew Beato finished in 3:21:57, a slim 15 seconds ahead of the American team of world 25K champion Alex Meyer, world 10K champion Chip Peterson, Kane Radford, J.K. Kohler, John Flanagan and Bob Placak.

Even when being stung on the face and arms by the gruesome Portuguese man-o-war, the Aussies never let up. Not that they had any choice with captain Peter Theil in charge. After seeing his teammate's goggles intertwined with the stinging tentacles of the man-o-war, Peter reminded the troops, "We weren't letting him back on the boat. Just keep swimming. That's the rule."

Bob Placak told the Maui News, "I think the conditions were as challenging as they've been over the last 25 years that I've done this race. Especially toward the latter half the winds were really whipping it up and the waves were extra choppy out there. But we all went through the same thing."

The results:
Men's Relay (150-239 years cumulative)
1. Tattersalls 3:21:57
2. RCP Tiburon Milers 3:22:12
3. Dream Team 3:52:06,
4. SCAQ Maui Channel Swimmers 3:55:16
5. Palmer - Olympic Club 4:13:36
6. Shore Break 4:50:09
7. Slo Po Boyz 5:04:59
8. Valhalla Turtles 5:32:10
9. Planetsun: Go Long, Strong, And Protected 6:07:28
10. Maui Aloha 6:28:19
11. Palu Polu 7:35:00.

Women's Relay
1. RCP Tiburon Mile Wahines 4:02:28
2. TOC Wahines 4:41:58
3. Dam Fast Girls 5:31:04
4. Six Sirens 7:07:02
5. TMMC/Monk Seals 7:30:09.

Mixed Relay
1. Hawaiian Punch 4:11:15
2. Another Dam Mixed Team 4:17:17
3. Generation Six Pack 4:27:32
4. Dam Mixed 4:45:14
5. If It Isn't Rough, It Isn't Fun! 4:47:29
6. The Oceanic 6 5:33:39
7. The Olympic Club - Mixed 5:41:42
8. Wai Ohana 6:00:27
9. Team Show Up And Blow Up 6:01:00
10. Hell Or High Water 6:33:27
11. Shark Bait 6:59:38
12. Motley Crew 7:13:19
13. Team Four Seasons 7:29:51.

Makule Relay (240-299 years cumulative)
1. Aussie Ticker 3:59:41
2. Bakersfield Gold Wave 4:04:59
3. Arden Hills 4:16:25
4. Scaq Aquaholics Mark Vii 4:19:35
5. TOC Lally 4:32:40
6. B Team 5:35:42
7. Dam Dudes 5:37:13
8. Five Old Dudes And A Hot Chick 5:45:32
9. Kelley's Dam Heroes 6:55:52
10. Sociales Tattersals 7:12:15
11. On A Bender 7:20:02.

Senior Makule Relay (300-359 years cumulative)
1. TOC Senior Makule 4:22:27
2. Magic Isle Swimmers 4:59:17
3. Dam Old Style 5:06:14
4. Los Mojaves 5:39:08
5. Gramps And The Dam Kids 6:17:04
6. South End Rowing Club 6:31:32
7. Team Katzen 6:34:22
8. Waikiki Swim Club 7:12:53.

Grand Makule Relay (360 years and over cumulative)
1. TOC Grand Makule 4:51:15
2. Southern California Grand Makule 5:04:39
3. 3 Old Kent, Twins, And A Dam Barbie 6:17:13

First-hand account courtesy of correspondent Ellen Shockro.

Copyright © 2010 by Steven Munatones

They Are The BEST

When Alexander Chantler touched the French shore in the dark at 2:35 am yesterday, the BEST (Bristol English Channel Swim Team) not only completed their English Channel relay in 13 hours and 25 minutes, an excellent time, but they also became the youngest group of athletes in history to do so.

After a responsible selection process, the young swimmers underwent a special open water training program developed by the Bristol North A.S.C. and the BEST head coach Penny Porter. The BEST swimmers included Angus Rowley, Danny Pirret, Lewis Clarke, Drummond McMillan, James Elmer and Alexander Chantler.

The mighty mights broke the record set 42 years ago by the Monson Swim Club - now all 54 years old. But kids being kids, according to their tweets, they took power naps during their night crossing when they were not giving it their all in the Channel.

Copyright © 2010 by Steven Munatones

From Santa Barbara To San Diego

For those familiar with the California coast, the course map overlaid on Google Earth for the Ventura Deep Six Relay team's world record attempt is mighty impressive.

Staring out to the Pacific Ocean from any point along the coast and imaging a 3-day non-stop relay across the huge expanse of cold ocean water is mind-boggling.

Six men, all dependent upon each other and their support crew, have their truly set their goals high.

Copyright © 2010 by Steven Munatones

Danger Always Lurks In The Ocean

As the number of swimmers increases in the world of open water swimming, especially in marathon swimming, we are always reminded how risky and dangerous the sport can be - and how wonderfully valuable is a competent support team.

Marathon swimmers can never be too safe.

English Channel, Manhattan Island Marathon Swim and Tampa Bay Marathon Swim pioneer Ron Collins and his experienced team proved that important point once again during Ron's recent Catalina Channel attempt.

Trying to become the 41st person on the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming club, Ron barely remembers the events that unfolded during the last part of his swim from Catalina Island to the California mainland.

"I'd love to share my story, but truth is, I wasn't there. I barely remember Captain Greg playing the bagpipes about 30 minutes before I was pulled. The only thing I remember is about two hours later at the dock when the paramedics were attending to me. They were speaking to me, but I couldn't understand them. I looked down at my arm and it looked white and doughy. And I was cold."

Ron, one of the most fit 48-year-olds you will ever meet, a fearless competitor with decades of experience in rough seas, was as surprised as everyone else with the historically cold Pacific Ocean temperatures. "My pace dropped from 58 to 48 [strokes per minute]. Then to 41. That is when they decided to jump in the water and tell me that my swim was over. The fireboat came along side and one of the paramedics boarded and attended to me on the trip back to the dock. I asked for a warm shower, but they didn't because that may have put me into cardiac arrest."

Ron didn't describe his crew as merely professional or simply competent. "They were heroic."

"This was a very close call. It was several hours before I returned to this world fully. That water temperature was well under 60°F (15.5°C) by the end and I was not able to prepare for that type of condition. I owe my life to Beth Barnes, Lynn Kubasek, Don Van Cleve, Bruce Newell and Captain Greg Elliot."

The ubiquitous Forrest Nelson was with Ron's wife at the finish and later stayed with Ron and his wife in the hospital until Ron recovered. "I barely remember being put onto the ambulance and being taken to St. Mary's Trauma Center where they took my temperature: 91°F (32.7°C) about three hours after leaving the water. It took about 12 hours to get my body temperature back up to 98.6°F (37°C)."

As Ron told Terry Tomalin, he trained up to 30 miles a week, but had dropped 20 pounds in three months. "I thought that if I were a little leaner, I would go faster."

He did hold a nice steady pace throughout the night in the 59-61°F water, but a few miles from shore where the water temperature takes another dip downwards, Ron's stroke count similarly dropped - and he refused a feeding. First, he swam into his kayak on one side, then the support boat on the other. His support team then knew to pull the plug.

A paramedic confirmed Ron's severe case of hypothermia and his team rushed him to a nearby hospital.

But Ron's inner drive - even after just being released from the hospital - never ceases.

"Honestly, I'm not crushed that my swim ended two miles before the finish. The Triple Crown will just have to wait. I know I'll be back to do it again, and will finish it when the conditions permit."

But the overriding lesson in this was his crew who recognized problems and immediately jumped in to halt the swim and pull Ron to safety.

Everyone should have such excellent crew, good friends and emergency contingency plans.

For more photos, visit here.

Copyright © 2010 by Steven Munatones

The Big Blue

Catalina Channel swimmers this season are facing historically low water temperatures (sub-59°F or 15°C in many cases) and a growing number of shark sightings at various points, but they are also potentially treated to other unusual sights en route between Santa Catalina Island and the California mainland: the largest creatures on Earth, the blue whales.

An unusually large number of blue whales off the Southern California coastline is providing swimmers and crews with opportunities to see these magnificent mammals - up to 30 meters in length - as well as fin whales - up close.

"A year ago, we were lucky to see three or four blue whales per [whale-watching] trip," said Michelle Sousa, senior biologist at the Aquarium of the Pacific, to the Los Angeles Times. "Now we’re seeing up to 15 per trip, along with a few fin whales thrown in for good measure."

Photo by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration shows one blue whale off the Southern California coast.

Copyright © 2010 by Open Water Source

Elizabeth Schlicher Wins Solo Maui Channel Swim

On her first marathon swim, 28-year-old Elizabeth Schlicher of San Diego beat all the men to finish first in 4:43 in the solo division of the Maui Channel Swim held yesterday between the islands of Lanai and Maui in Hawaii.

Facing rough water, Elizabeth was also highly encouraged to swim fast and closer to the boat. "The channel was mean. My coach yelled hurry up and I gave her a death stare. Post-race I found out she said it because there was a 12-foot tiger shark spotted by a swimmer near me. I didn't know a shark was around me until after I was finished. It eventually went away, but with the rough conditions, it felt like I was not moving for an hour and a half in the channel."

With the conditions rougher than normal, even the fastest six-person relay teams had a slow go at the channel.

But that is exactly is when the tough get going. Tough as in Bill Goding. The 57-year-old veteran Hawaiian Island channel swimmer also finished the swim, less than one week after swimming 17 miles across the Kaulakahi Channel (Kauai to Niihau). Adding to his lore, Bill not only has several Maui Channel solo swims under his belt, but also the 17-mile Kealaikahiki Channel (Kahoolawe to Lanai), the 8.5-mile Palilolo Channel (Maui to Molokai) and the 26-mile Kaiwi Channel (Molokai to Oahu) under his belt.

Official Resuls
1. Elizabeth Schlicher 4:43:28
2. Bill Goding 5:01:25
3. Steve Lowe 5:28:15
4. Elizabeth Wood 5:31:48
5. John Becker 5:36:37
6. Dave Matthews 5:51:19
7. Brad Schindler 5:52:13
8. Billy Brown 6:08:13
9. James Barnman 6:27:30
10. Joanna Cain 6:29:47
11. Rebecca Neavitt 6:39:18
12. Barbara Held 6:40:11
13. Marcella MacDonald 6:44:56
14. Jennifer Stabrylla 7:10:40
15. Bret Barasch 7:14:40
16. John Gomersall 7:40:54
17. Martin Palfrey 7:53:02.

Copyright © 2010 by Steven Munatones

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


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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...

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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