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Sunday, November 20, 2011

How Open Water Swimmers Can Learn From Nature

Biomimetrics is a term for taking product design ideas from nature. As scientists, researchers, doctors and engineers are exploring nature to gain an understanding of how novel materials, products and compounds can be designed and developed.

Velcro, waterproof glue and turbine blades are just a small sampling of what has been inspired by nature. The possibilities are also applicable to the open water swimming world.

While the triathlon community and its researchers have determined that drafting directly behind the feet is the optimal way to draft in the open water, Open Water Source and a few other open water swimming coaches are looking at nature for hints, specifically the flocking behavior of birds, the positioning of fish in a school and the way a dolphin swims alongside a boat, for inspiration on how humans can best draft and race in the open water. Based on their studies that admittedly need further research in (near) real-world conditions, they believe that drafting between the hips and feet is optimal during many competitive situations.

The aim of these coaches is to study the natural processes as a starting point, gain insights, adapt where possible with humans so their athletes' performance. Another possible application of biomimetrics for open water swimmers is sunscreen for skin protection.

The skin of hippopotamus secretes a natural sunscreen substance which is red-colored, sometimes referred to as blood sweat, but is neither blood nor sweat. This secretion is initially colorless and turns red-orange within minutes, eventually becoming brown.

Two distinct pigments have been identified in the secretions, one red (hipposudoric acid) and one orange (norhipposudoric acid). The two pigments are highly acidic compounds whose light absorption peaks in the ultraviolet range, creating a sunscreen effect.

Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source

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


Download the file to your computer, and then right-click to extract the magazine which is inside the zip folder. The magazine is in PDF format.

CLICK HERE to download your free copy now.

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.

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:

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


Open Water Swimming Event Sanctioning

World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation

Open Water Race Calendar

Coaches Education Program