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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

101 Movers And Shakers In The Open Water Swimming World

HUNTINGTON BEACH. Open water swimmers who wield power and influence do so in a variety of ways and roles: as swimmers (both former and current), administrators, judges, coaches, officials, writers, producers or photo/videographers.

Some have impact in a subtle manner; others are aided by the media or their own marketing efforts. Some seek to be influential; others merely wield power by the force of their actions, events, achievements statements or prose.

However way these individuals are involved in the the sport, the following men can be considered to be among the movers and shakers in the world of open water swimming. It is, by far, an incomplete global list, but these men are open water ambassadors, spreading their enthusiasm and passion for the sport:

Listed in alphabetical order:

1. Alexander Brylin (Russia): Coordinator, Ice Swimmer and President of the AQUICE-sport Federation
2. Andy Caine (England): Elite Project Manager, Nova International Ltd for British Gas Great Swim Series
3. Andy Wright (England): Observer, Race Director and Honorary Secretary, British Long Distance Swimming Association
4. Arie and René Lemstra (Netherlands): Father-and-son team and Race Directors
5. Ben Lecomte (France): Adventure Swimmer who crossed the Atlantic Ocean and will do a stage solo swim across the Pacific Ocean
6. Ben Stubenberg (Turks & Caicos): Race Director and Coordinator, West Indies Bluewater Ocean Swim Series
7. Billy Wallace (Ireland): President, Ireland Long Distance Swimming Association
8. Bob Placak (USA): Race Director, RCP Tiburon Mile and Relay Team Captain
9. Bruckner Chase (USA/American Samoa): Ocean Advocate and Creator of 2Samoas/1Ocean
10. Buls Werner (Belgium): Race director, Belgium Marathon Swimming Championships and Wedstrijden Willebroek
11. Charlie Gravett (Jersey): Pilot and Vice President, Jersey Long Distance Swimming Club
12. Colin Hill (England): Marathon Swimming Technical Operations Manager for the 2012 London Olympics
13. Cor de Bruin (Netherlands): Race Director of the IJsselmeer swimmarathon, Brakenoer Trophy and Jan van Scheijndel Memorial
14. Cornel Marculescu (Austria): FINA Executive Director that sanctions FINA open water swims
15. Dale Petranech (USA): Honorary Secretary of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame
16. Dan Martin (England): Adventure Swimmer who will attempt the Global Triathlon
17. David Clark (USA): Board Director, Catalina Channel Swimming Federation and the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame
18. David Robinson (England): President of Speedo International
19. David Sparkes OBE (England): CEO, British Swimming and Amateur Swimming Association
20. Dennis Miller (Fiji): Liaison, FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee and FINA Bureau member
21. Dimitris Kakalikas (Greece): Race Director, Coach and FINA Open Water Swimming Official
22. Donal Buckley (Ireland): Blogger, Commentator, Swimmer
23. Doug Woodring (USA/Hong Kong): Race Director, Environmentalist & Founder of Ocean Recovery Alliance
24. Emanuele Sacchi (Italy): Elite and National Team Coach of Italy
25. Eric Juneau (Canada): General Manager, Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean (2 FINA pro races) (shown above)
26. Forrest Nelson (USA): Marathon Swimmer and President, Catalina Channel Swimming Federation
27. Frank Flowers (Cayman Islands): Namesake and Race Director, Flowers Sea Swim
28. Dr. Jim Miller (USA): FINA Sports Medicine Committee Member and FINA Medical Delegate
29. Gadi Katz (Israel): Coach, Swimmer and Race Director
30. Gary Emich (USA): Author, Lesson from Alcatraz, coach and San Francisco Bay aquapreneur
31. Gerry Rodrigues (USA): Triathlon, Swimming and Open Water Coach and Tower 26 Creator
32. Glen Christiansen (Sweden): Coach and Masters / Elite Swimmer Training Camp Director
33. Hans Beenker (Netherlands): Race Director, Open Dutch Championships and the LEN Cup in Hoorn, Netherlands
34. Henk Verbeke (Belgium): Race Director, Damme-Brugge Open Water Swim
35. Jack Bright (England): Documentary Filmmaker, Coordinator and Extreme Swimmer
36. Jamie Patrick (USA): Adventure Swimmer
37. John Mix (USA): Co-founder and President of FINIS
38. Jose Diaz (Spain): Blogger, Reporter and Coach
39. Juan Ignacio Martínez Fernández-Villamil (Spain): Race Director, Descenso a Nado de la Ría de Navia
40. Julian Critchlow (England): Vice Chairman, Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation and English Channel Statistician
41. Keith Bell (USA): Race Director, Author, Psychologist and Founder, American Swimming Association
42. Kester Edwards (USA): Board Member, Special Olympics International and Coordinator for Leadership Development and Education, Special Olympics International
43. Kevin Murphy (England): Prolific marathon swimmer, Honorary Secretary, Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation and President, International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame
44. Kiril Todorov (Mexico): President, Mexican Swimming Federation
45. Ky Hurst (Australia): 2-time Olympic Swimmer and Australian Surf Lifesaving Champion
46. Lewis Gordon Pugh, OIG (South Africa): Pioneer Swimmer, Motivational Speaker, Environmental Campaigner
47. Marcellus Wiley (USA): ESPN Commentator and Learn-to-swim Advocate
48. Marcos Diaz (Dominican Republic): Adventure Swimmer for United Nations and Motivational Speaker
49. Martin Cullen (Ireland): Observer, Race Organizer and Member, Irish Long Distance Swimming Association
50. Martin Strel (Slovenia): Big River Man
51. Martin Suzan (England): Swim Course Group Leader, Olympic Triathlon and the Water Safety Officer for the Olympic Marathon Swimming 10km
52. Mel Stewart (USA): Filmmaker, Swimming Authority and Gold Medal Mel creator
53. Michael Oram (England): English Channel Pilot and Chairman, Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation
54. Michael Read MBE (England): President, Channel Swimming Association
55. Mohamed Marouf (Canada/Egypt): Coach of Swimming Canada
56. Ned Denison (Ireland): Administrator, Cork Distance Week Organizer and Motivator
57. Nejib Belhedi (Tunisia): Event Director and Channel and Adventure Swimmer
58. Nelson Vargas (Mexico): Race Director, Swimming Benefactor and Owner, Acuática nelsonvargas
59. Nick Adams (England): Channel Swimmer and President, Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation
60. Niek Kloots (Netherlands): Race Official / Director and Webmaster and Co-founder, European Open Water Swimming
61. Nino Fazio (Italy): Historian, Coach, Administrator of Baiadigrotta in the Strait of Messina
62. Oswald Schmidt (Ireland): Organizer, Global Open Water Swimming Conference
63. Patrick Winkler (Brazil): Publisher, The Swim Channel Magazine
64. Paul Asmuth (USA): Coach, Advisor to USA Swimming National Team Head Coach, and Open Water Chief of the Mission
65. Paul Ellercamp (Australia): Owner and operator, OceanSwims.com
66. Paul Newsome (England): Founder and Head Coach, Swim Smooth
67. Pedro Rego Monteiro (Brazil): Founder, Effect Sports and Race Director, King and Queen of the Sea
68. Petar Stoychev (Bulgaria): 3-time Olympian and Member, FINA Athletic Commission and FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee
69. Peter Bales (South Africa): Organiser, Observer, and Co-founder and Chairman, Cape Long Distance Swimming Association
70. Peter van Vooren (Belgium): Chairman, Channel Swimming Association and Board Member, International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame
71. Phil White (USA): Race Director and Founder, Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association
72. Philip Rush (New Zealand): World Record Holder in English Channel, National Team Coach and Coach/manager for Cook Strait crossings
73. Pierre Lafontaine (Canada): CEO and National Coach, Swimming Canada
74. Radek Taborsky (Czech Republic): Coach and Administrator, Czech Republic Swimming Federation
75. Rafael Gutiérrez Mesa (Spain): President, Asociación de Cruce A Nado Del Estrecho De Gibraltar (Strait of Gibraltar Swimming Association)
76. Ram Barkai (South Africa): Extreme Swimmer, Race Director and Founder, International Ice Swimming Association
77. Richard Broer (Netherlands): Board Director, International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, Coach and Manager, European Open Water Swimming website
78. Richard Shoulberg (USA): Coach and Safety Advocate
79. Rob Dumouchel (USA): Swimmer, Documentarist and Blogger
80. Rob Kent (Canada): Founder of the L.O.S.T. Lake Ontario Swim Team
81. Ronnie Wong Man Chiu (Hong Kong): Honorary Secretary, Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association and Chairman, FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee
82. Salvatore Cimmino (Italy): Amputee Swimmer and Advocate for the Physically Disabled
83. Santosh Raut (India): Chairman, Long Distance Swimming Association of India
84. Scott Rice (New Zealand): Founder and President, Quantum Events that organizes the 6-race New Zealand Ocean Swim Series
85. Scott Zornig (USA): President, Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association
86. Simon Griffiths (England): Publisher, Founder and Editor, H2Open Magazine
87. Simon Murie (England): Founder and Head Coach, SwimTrek
88. Stephane Lecat (France): Board member, International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame
89. Stephen Millar (Ireland): Race Organiser and Chairman, Irish Long Distance Swimming Association
90. Stephen Redmond (Ireland): Marathon Swimmer
91. Steven Munatones (USA): Founder, World Open Water Swimming Association
92. Terry Laughlin (USA): Coach and Founder, Total Immersion
93. Thomas Lurz (Germany): Bronze Medalist and Olympic Marathon Swimming 10km gold medal favorite
94. Tim Moxey (England): CEO of blueseventy and Creator of nuun
95. Vicko Šoljan (Croatia): Founder, Croatian Long Distance Swimming Federation and Race Director, Faros Maratón
96. Vito Bialla (USA): Founder, Farallon Islands Swimming Federation, Escort Pilot and Swimmer
97. Vojislav Mijic (Serbia): Race Director, Sabac Swim Marathon
98. Wayne Riddin (South Africa): Race Director, aQuellé Midmar Mile, the world's largest race
99. William Schulz (Alaska): Founder and Race Director, Pennock Island Challenge
100. Yutaka Shinozaki (Japan): Founder, Japan International Open Water Swimming Association
101. Zacharias Alexandrakis (Greece): Coach, head of lifeguards and creator of Marathon Swimming Greece website

NOTE: The women's list of 101 Movers and Shakers in the Open Water Swimming World is here.

Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source


  1. Steven, you have left one very significant name off the list: your own.
    p.s. Happy New Year.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Muchas gracias ..
    Mi emoción es absoluta.
    Es para mí un gran honor encontrarme con vosotros, es para mí un honor participar en todas las actividades que se están organizando en el mundo, es un honor para mi poder haber entrevistado a algunos de los mejores nadadores del momento... es un honor para mi el poder conocer a personas maravillosas que están haciendo de este maravilloso deporte una autentica aventura en la vida..
    Me encanta estar en este maravilloso mundo de aguas abiertas, trabajar en la promoción y de porsupesto ser reconocido en esta fantastica lista, después de mucha dedicación y trabajo ..

    Gracias a todos los que haceis posible que este deporte se extienda con entusiasmo por todo el planeta.
    Estoy muy contento.

    Jose Diaz.

  4. Thank you very much ..
    My excitement is absolute.
    It is my great honor to meet you, it is my privilege to participate in all activities being organized in the world open water swimming is an honor for me to have interviewed some of the best swimmers moment ... It is an honor for me to meet wonderful people who are making this sport a real adventure and experience in my life ..
    I love being in this wonderful world of open water, work on the promotion and porsupesto be recognized in this fantastic list, after much dedication and hard work ..

    Thanks to all who make possible the sport with enthusiasm spread across the globe.
    I am very happy and proud to be near each one of you ..

    Jose Diaz.


Thank you very much for your interest in the world of open water swimming.

The Staff of the World Open Water Swimming Association

2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference

Learn more...
Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference Agenda

Friday, 19 September



Welcome Reception at Mount Stuart House, Isle of Bute, Scotland

Documentary films shown throughout the reception:

Blue Journey-Amerika Samoa – Stronger Together: The Waterman’s Way
(film by Bruckner Chase)

Dancing With The Water, Crossing of Lake Pontchartrain
(film by Wayne Ewing about Matthew Moseley's Lake Pontchartrain crossing)

Bering Strait Swim Chukotka - Alaska
(film by Admiral Konstantin Sidenko about the relay between Russia and Alaska)

The Clean Swim – Hong Kong to Macau
(film about Simon Holiday's Pearl River Delta crossing)

Saturday, 20 September



Registration and Coffee at Mount Stuart House, Isle of Bute, Scotland



Keynote Speech:
Colleen Blair (Scotland) on The History of Scottish Swimming



Christopher Guesdon (Australia) on Multidimensional Roles In The Sport



Colin Hill (England) on Recent Explosion in UK Open Water



Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia) on The Feminine Code of Achievement - How a Lady from Down Under Revolutionized Professional Marathon Swimming



Simon Murie (England) on Open Water Swimming Holidays: How A New Sector Was Created Within The Travel Industry



Swimming The Oceans Seven
A round table discussion moderated by:
Kevin Murphy (England), with Stephen Redmond (Ireland), Anna-Carin Nordin (Sweden),
Darren Miller (USA), Adam Walker (England), Kimberley Chambers (New Zealand)



Coffee and Break



World Open Water Swimming Awards Luncheon:
with co-hosts Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia) and Steven Munatones (USA)

Pádraig Mallon (Ireland), 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year

Olga Kozydub (Russia), 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year

Bering Strait Swim, 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year

Honoring: Vladimir Chegorin, Maria Chizhova, Elena Guseva, Ram Barkai, Jack Bright, Oksana Veklich, Aleksandr Jakovlevs, Matías Ola, Henri Kaarma, Toomas Haggi, Nuala Moore, Anne Marie Ward, Toks Viviers, Melissa O’Reilly, Ryan Stramrood, Cristian Vergara, Craig Lenning, Rafal Ziobro, Andrew Chin, Jackie Cobell, James Pittar, Paolo Chiarino, Mariia Yrjö-Koskinen, Ivan Papulshenko, Zdenek Tlamicha, Zhou Hanming, Oleg Adamov, Andrei Agarkov, Alekseev Semen, Tatiana Alexandrova, Roman Belan, Elena Semenova, Alexander Brylin, Afanasii Diackovskii, Vladimir Nefatov, Evgenii Dokuchaev, Oleg Docuckaev, Roman Efimov, Dmitrii Filitovich, Olga Filitovich, Victor Godlevskiy, Olga Golubeva, Alexei Golubkin, Alexander Golubkin, Alexandr Iurkov, Oleg Ivanov, Pavel Kabakov, Eduard Khodakovskiy, Aleksandr Komarov, Aleksandr Kuliapin, Andrey Kuzmin, Irina Lamkina, Vladimir Litvinov, Andrey Mikhalev, Victor Moskvin, Nikolay Petshak, Sergey Popov, Vladimir Poshivailov, Grigorii Prokopchuk, Dmitrii Zalka, Natalia Seraya, Viacheslav Shaposhnikov, Olga Sokolova, Andrei Sychev, Alexei Tabakov, and Nataliia Usachaeva [represented by Admiral Konstantin Sidenko and Nuala Moore]



Alexey Salmin Pavlovich (Russia) and Dmitry Dragozhilov (Russia)
on the 2016 Winter Swimming World Championships [film]



Sally Minty-Gravett (Jersey) on Motivating Swimmers



Dmitry Blokhin (Russia) and Aleksei Veller (Russia)
on the First World Ice Swimming Championships [film]



Matthew Moseley (USA)’s Dancing With The Water, Crossing of Lake Pontchartrain [film]



Simon Holliday (England) and Doug Woodring (Hong Kong)’s The Clean Swim – Hong Kong to Macau 2014 [film]



International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF)
and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF)

IMSHOF Induction Ceremonies and Dinner
with co-hosts Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia) and Steven Munatones (USA).

Recognition of International Swimming Hall of Fame honorees:

  • Elizabeth Fry (USA), IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

  • Vojislav Mijić (Serbia), IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

  • James Anderson (USA), IMSHOF Honour Administrator

  • Dr. Jane Katz (USA), IMSHOF Honour Administrator

  • Indonesian Swimming Federation Open Water Committee (Indonesia), IMSHOF Honour Organisation

  • Melissa Cunningham (Australia), Irving Davids – Captain Roger Wheeler Award by the International Swimming Hall of Fame and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

  • Sandra Bucha (USA), ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

  • Jon Erikson (USA), ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer [represented by Sandra Bucha]



International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) Introduction Video.
Welcome speech by host Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia)






International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF)
Induction Ceremonies and Dinner with host Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia)

Recognition of International Swimming Hall of Fame honorees:

  • Mercedes Gleitze (England)
    ISHOF Honor Pioneer Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer
    [represented by daughter Doloranda Pember]

  • Dale Petranech (USA)
    ISHOF Honor Contributer and IMSHOF Honour Administrator

  • Claudio Plit (Argentina)
    ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer
    [represented by Shelley Taylor-Smith]

  • Judith van Berkel-de Nijs (Netherlands)
    ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer
    [represented by Niek Kloots]

  • George Young (Canada)
    ISHOF Honor Pioneer Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer
    [represented by the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation]

  • David Yudovin (USA)
    ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

Sunday, 21 September



Registration and coffee at Mount Stuart House, Isle of Bute, Scotland



Nuala Moore (Ireland) on The Mindset of 1000m at 0ºC



Admiral Konstantin Sidenko (Russia)’s Bering Strait Swim Chukotka - Alaska in 2013 [film]



Ned Denison (Ireland) on Swimming The World



Bruckner Chase (USA)’s Blue Journey-Amerika Samoa
Stronger Together: The Waterman’s Way



Rok Kerin (Slovenia) on Lifestyle Benefits From Open Water Swimming



Survey distribution and group photo-taking



Swim at Stravvana Bay, Isle of Bute


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."

Copyright © 2014 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
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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.

Swim Across the English Channel...


Who else is looking for a qualified open water swimming coach to help them swim across the English Channel?

Chloë McCardel is a 6-time English Channel Swimmer who inspires and instructs. Access featured content by Chloë in this month's issue of the Open Water Swimming Magazine. Published monthly by WOWSA, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a digital, interactive publication made available exclusively to WOWSA members. See what you've been missing! Become a WOWSA member today!

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