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Monday, April 25, 2011

The World's Top Swimmers Are Heading To Cancún

The second leg of the FINA 10KM Marathon Swimming World Cup series will be held in Cancún, Mexico.

And the professional marathon swimming stars are coming out with 76 of the world's top swimmers going to battle in the gorgeous waters of the Caribbean Sea including world champions, Olympic medalists, World Cup champions, Grand Prix champions.

The men's start list includes Yuri Kudinov (Kazakhztan), Zachary Parkes, Richard Weinberger, Simon Tobin (Canada), Valerio Cleri (Italy), Ivan Enderica Ochoa (Ecuador), Gercsak Csaba (Hungary), Sergiy Fesenko (Azerbaijan), Petar Stoychev (Bulgaria), Joseph Kleindl, Thomas Lurz, Christian Reichert, Andreas Waschburger (Germany), Alex Meyer, Mark Warkentin (USA), Ivan Lopez, Humberto Yrepa, Luis Escobar (Mexico), Saleh Mohamed (Syria)

The women's start list includes Poliana Okimoto (Brazil), Eva Risztov (Hungary), Cindy Toscano Merida (Guatemala), Iris Matthey, Swann Oberson (Switzerland), Inha Kotsur (Azerbaijan), Isabell Donath, Nadine Reichert, Antje Mahn, Angela Maurer, Lena Stiefvatter (Germany), Teja Zupan (Slovenia), Haley Anderson, Christine Jennings, Heidi George (USA), Antonella Bogarin, Rita Vanessa Garcia, Marianella Mendoza (Argentina), Alejandra Gonzalez, Zaira Cardenas (Mexico).

A great race in a beautiful location in the build-up to the 2012 Olympic 10K Marathon Swim qualification race. The Daily News of Open Water Swimming will provide tweet updates and tweets from Cancún.

Copyright © 2011 by World Open Water Swimming Association

In An Emergency, Grab Your Swimsuit And Goggles

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Children are so adorable and incredibly precious.

They also always have an innocent view of the world. Their actions come sincerely and directly from their heart. They love parental support and adult approval, but they occasionally say or do things that cause adults shake their heads in amazement.

One heart-warming story about a 12-year-old age-group swimmer and her mother clearly illustrate this point. Stacey Kelly, the mother of four, provides the background:

"I am a surgical nurse at a medical center in [northern California]. We occasionally have some really bad fires in the summer. I can see our neighborhood from one of the top floors of the hospital where we live at the edge of the greenbelt. One time, they started to evacuate our neighborhood. I saw the fire coming up over the hill in the distance and started to freak out a bit with four children at home.

My supervisor allowed me to leave. My daughter Lexie was 12 years old at the time and her brothers and sisters were between 10 and 14. I called home and told the kids to get ready immediately and get the dogs and our valuables together. I was there to pick them up in five minutes. They were all standing on the driveway when I got there. The smoke and fire were so close by that time.

And there stood a Lexie with a huge bag of her racing suits, goggles and swim caps. She had arranged for all the other kids get their swimsuits and goggles too.

That was it: no pictures, no albums, no clothes, no money. Just their swimming gear. She was so adorable holding her little mesh bag that I couldn't get mad at her.

Swimsuits and goggles are pretty valuable when you love to swim. Lexie showed me on that day: your children, your dogs and swim stuff - what else do you need in life? After the evacuation, we went shopping for school clothes. In Lexie's case, it was at the local swim shop

Photo above shows a young Shelley Taylor-Smith similarly dreaming of her future.

Copyright © 2011 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Luke Makes A Splash And Beats The Rok

South African waterman Luke Nisbet proved his endurance and ocean swimming tactical acumen when he won the King of the Bay elimination swim for the second year in a row. The five-heat mano-a-mano challenge is a innovative and exciting spectacle that culminated the Nelson Mandela Bay Splash Festival on Easter Monday.

After four elimination rounds of 500 meters each in relatively flat surf off Hobie Beach in Port Elizabeth, the race came down to a four-man shootout in the fifth and final heat.

The 25-year-old lifesaver from Durban edged out Slovenian star Rok Kerin and Abdul Malick Railoun at the finish with local Chris van de Sande in fourth. Luke trailed Rok beyond the surf break and around the final turn, but Luke's speed and saavy in the surf on the way home was however too much even for the Rok to handle. "The surf lifesaving definitely helped me coming in and going out. I knew Rok would catch me around the cans – so the beach couldn’t come soon enough. The relatively small surf meant that a good start was imperative."

It was clear that the lifesaver was comfortable in the surf. He took full advantage of the swells in round one, porpoising through the waves to shoulder out Rok. But Rok took heat two before Luke laid down a challenge by winning rounds three and four. Ultimately, it was his beach smarts that helped him win the final.

Capetonian Dominique Dryding who had earlier won the Bell Buoy Challenge, Izani Siqubhe swim and Dash for Cash over the weekend, placed first in all five rounds in a complete show of domination among the women. Local swimmers Carmel Billson and Jessica Roux, both 18 like Dominique, finished second and third respectively.

"The plan was not to go out too hard and to get into a rhythm," said Dominique who was clearly in sync throughout the entire Easter weekend.

Photo of Luke Nisbet and Dominique Dryding by Richard Huggard, Snapz.

Copyright © 2011 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Age Restrictions On Young Marathon Swimmers

The issue arises year after year - solo marathon swims by children who are younger than 14 years old.

These children, supported by their parents and coaches, want to swim across lakes and channels around the world. But there are established rules regarding this issue that are strictly adhered to by numerous organizations and governing bodies.

FINA established rules (FINA OWS 1.2) that do not permit children under the age of 14 years to swim in its sanctioned races (5K and over). While the channel swimming organizations used to sanction swims by children in the past, both the Channel Swimming Association and the Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation now only permit swims by swimmers who are at least 16 years old. The Catalina Channel Swimming Federation not only does not observe attempts to swim the channel by children under the age of 14, it also does not allow children under 14 to be allowed on any boat to accompany any swimmer.

That being said, some races directors and organizations allow children to swim in their marathon races and sanction their solo marathon swims. While organizations are free to make their own decisions while parents and coaches usually see their child as the exception to the general rule, it is common practice among the global marathon swimming community to not encourage channel or solo marathon swims by children under the age of 14.

For certain, there are plenty of swims under 10 kilometers they can do around the world that they can enjoy and where they can push themselve. And, of course, after they turn 14, they are free to swim marathons for the rest of their lives.

Copyright © 2011 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Only In Pink For Breaststroking Open Water Swimmers

The British Long Distance Swimming Association reminded swimmers in its recent newsletter that pink swim caps must be worn for all swim over 2K by swimmers who swim breaststroke. Non-breaststroke swimmers wear any colour except pink of white. And in keeping with tradition, no body suits are allowed or neoprene or other insulating/buoyancy enhancing material may be used for any purpose, including caps.

Only one sleeveless and legless costume where sleeveless means the costume must not extend beyond the end of the shoulder onto the upper arm and legless means the costume must not extend lower than the crotch onto the upper leg.

Photo of Lynn Kubasek wearing one of her caps in the Pacific Ocean.

Copyright © 2011 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Eating Plastic In The Future

The Algalita Marine Research Foundation and the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project conducted a study that showed 35% of the fish collected during a research expedition had plastic of some sort in their stomachs.

Most of these plastic materials flow to the ocean from land and often get caught in large swirling ocean currents called gyres.

Sometime in the future will mankind be digesting plastic as it works its way through the global food chain?

Copyright © 2011 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Developing Environmental Awareness With The Next Generation

Doug Woodring continues to push. He continues to educate and explain. He wants our oceans to be healthy and is constantly coming up with ways to achieve his goal.

As the co-founder of Project Kaisei, the Plastic Disclosure Project and the Ocean Recovery Alliance, he travels the world to make a case for a a partner of Project Kaisei.

His latest speech was in an Imax theater in Guangzhou, China where he addressed an audience of 600 during Earth Day Celebrations at a creatively designed Science Museum.

He informed the young crowd, "You are lucky as the opportunities that will present themselves in the future, in any industry, are there for the taking as they relate to environmental technologies and improvements. Only, however, if you take them. Time is not really on our side.

Your generation is one that is already seeing swings in extreme environmental events. Yes, some of these might have happened anyway, without man on the planet to have pushed the ecosystem, weather patterns, and resilience of the planet to the limit. But many of them are from our doing, and the issues are only increasing, ranging from large changes in weather, arable land, water resources, food security, and many others

Doug later reflected on his speech, "The students of the world might not realize this yet, but they will be facing huge stresses as the earth wobbles, almost literally by being overweight. If not from being top-heavy, then at least from being heavily saturated with the many ways that we have been doing things that are wrong. They have a great opportunity to excel and make far reaching improvements, if we set them in motion. That means spending and making decisions on factors that will have a long-term impact."

Copyright © 2011 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Difficult Coogee To Bondi Swim Shortened

Greg Whitman, an American living in Australia, reports from the 5K Coogee to Bondi Beach Swim. "The conditions got the better of the 317 entrants. After an hour and fifteen minute delay and a course restructuring, 159 swimmers finally crossed the finish line.

Because of the conditions and concerns for safety, the course was shortened to a 3.2K two-loop, protected swim within Coogee Bay. While the addition of a third loop would have brought the distance closer to the original 5K distance, it was the safety of the swimmers that took priority. After consulting with the authorities and lifeguards, the original Coogee to Bondi course was abandoned in the torrid rainfall and strong winds.

Australian two-way English Channel swimmer Chloë McCardel, fresh off her record-setting 60-lap, 48K practice swim in Bondi, presented the awards. The top 5 men and women are below:

1. Bradley Horrey, 33:20
2. Tood Menzel, 34:48
3. Lochie Hinds, 35:45
4. Don Boland, 35:47
5. Iain Melhuish, 36:19

1. Luane Rowe, 35:49
2. Louise Stevenson, 36:02
3. Liliana Guiscardo, 39:29
4. Sabrina Warwar, 40:30
5. Kirsty Thomson, 40:32

Copyright © 2011 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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.


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