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Sunday, November 13, 2011

American Samoa To Utilize Its 3000-Year History With The Ocean


Bruckner Chase
was formally given the title of Uila O Le Sami in American Samoa by the village Aunu'u.

His title was conveyed by Fuiava Avaloa, the High Talking Chief of Aunu'u, in May during a blessing and ceremony on the island before his 9-mile crossing from Aunu'u Island to Pago Pago, the main island of American Samoa. Although the swim was believed to be a first, the title was conveyed in recognition of Bruckner's connection to American Samoa and specifically with its youth.

From the momentum created by the swim, Bruckner and his wife Michelle are now launching an innovative ocean swimming and marine sciences credit course for high school students with support from the Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the American Samoa Department of Commerce, the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Education and the office of the Governor.

"At this time, even some of the marine science students at the American Samoa Community College do not have access to advanced swimming programs and therefore can not head out to the reefs just a few yards from shore. Unable to move much beyond waist-deep water, their experiential studies are limited. Both the Governor and the Congressman have expressed the belief that the addition of the ocean swimming and the early teaching of marine sciences is a game changer in American Samoa. This is a huge opportunity and a catalyst to move the next generation forward as the world's ocean heroes. There are too many drownings and near drownings right now.

Teaching people not only how to be calm and safe in the water while also learning to recognize dangerous situations in the water addresses the major causes of these incidents. Enabling the ability to swim along with a head start in the growing fields of conservation and marine sciences creates incredible career opportunities for the 34% of the population that is under the age of 18
."

Bruckner’s goals for his friends from American Samoa are lofty, but achievable.

While Independent Samoa 40 miles away has ties with the Australian lifeguards, he is setting up relationships for American Samoa with the United States Lifesaving Association. "I want this generation of young people in American Samoa to be able to compete in lifesaving competitions around the world. If we can tie together ocean swimming, lifeguarding and ocean conservation in American Samoa in a program that also recognizes the richness of a culture with a 3,000-year focus on family, community and the ocean, we can build a sustainable model that shows a better way for all of us to connect to the waters around us. In American Samoa, they have an intimate connection and understanding of the ocean that goes back 3 millenia.

Look at what American Samoans have done in the National Football League after being introduced to football just 50 years ago. If American Samoans can become some of the best football players with just 50 years of practice, imagine what they can do with modern aquatic techniques married to 3,000 years of ocean history to become some of the finest watermen of the world
."

Generations ago, American Samoans were swimming between islands. With their knowledge of currents, tides and the wind, they would tie coconuts together and swim between the closer islands. That core knowledge of the ocean, the environment and the wildlife has been somewhat dormant in the younger members of the community, but it is being re-invigorated by Bruckner's passion to first learn from the American Samoan culture while also sharing his knowledge on how to move through and become part of the ocean environment as a swimmer. His plans are further supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Ocean Service and specifically the Marine Sanctuary program which also includes Monterey Bay, Channel Islands in California and the Florida Keys where he has also done long distance with plans to hit the other 10 Sanctuaries and Monuments.

"I created an Ocean Swimming curriculum that is based on simple concepts and teaching basic necessities: swimming freestyle, paddle boarding, how to make a how to stay calm in the ocean. In American Samoa, there are three basic issues: people do not know how to swim, they do not know how to stay calm when they get in trouble in the ocean, and there are no eyes on land to help in emergency situations off the shores of remote villages."

The Community Services Block Grant from the Department of Commerce is providing many of the resources and the curriculum needs, from information on fisheries, coral reefs and marine sciences. The program is also getting education support from stateside organizations such as REEF. "I am interested in moving us all forward by encouraging others to recognize and embrace a personal, emotional connection to the environment that I already love. There are countless communities around the world that are looking for solutions, and I believe American Samoa can lead the way. I want to invite people to tap into their natural affinity for the ocean and see where the water can take them."

Spoken like a true open water swimmer making waves.

Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Swimming

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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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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 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.

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There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.

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The trends are very clear.
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