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Friday, February 17, 2012
Cook Down, Molokai And Tsugaru Up Next
"This [Oceans Seven] is something that is driving me," said the famed Irish marathon swimmer who has already completed the English Channel (2009), the North Channel (2010), the Strait of Gibraltar (2011), the Catalina Channel (2011) and the Cook Strait (2012).
After his Cook Strait success yesterday, he is preparing for a second assault on the Molokai Channel this month and, if things go well in Hawaii, the final challenge in Japan's Tsugaru Channel in June.
The rock of a man is a humble champion with marathon swimming community rooting for him vicariously through his Spot tracker and Internet reports.
English Channel legend Philip Rush who organized Stephen's swim said, "He did a fantastic job with his Cook Strait conquest. It was a very gusty swim with 3 - 4 hrs under calm conditions and the rest of the day was absolutely rubbish. Stephen is a great guy; we worked well together and got the result."
Stephen was a bit more colorful in his description and perception of his swim. "...it was the hardest, most brutal widow maker I have ever swam. Wellington is such a great city, infectious positivity. The Irish community down here, with Irish from all over Ireland, have been incredible. We had an attempt on Valentines Day which Philip Rush did not allow go ahead. Once again, I have come around the world and met such wonderful people who will be etched into my memory.
Philip decided that Friday looked like the only possible chance. Friday dawned and we felt like I was swimming in Ireland with such support. It was a beautiful day while we steamed over to South Island to swim back. Every detail of the swim is taken care of, even down to properly greasing and sun-blocking. You sense is truly personal to [Philip] to get me across.
The swim started really well [but] I was surprised how cold the water was. My stroke rate stayed at 54 all day and dipped at the end. We screamed across the first four hours. Then once again, the sea gods decided to test me and the whole team.
We were in a storm. Philip admitted that he had never had someone over in such rough seas. We're battered. We did not seem to make much headway. I could have complained, but what was no point? I had come around the world to compete this. This was my only chance. [The storm continued] through the afternoon.
We come to far too fail. With darkness falling, chaos is getting covered by waves. The crew [in the rib] are soaking wet. Philip tells me, 'We have to get over the wind and tide to try and get into shore.' I really want to stop [but] Philip puts that idea out of my head, telling me I will complete the swim because he will not let me into the boat. Too close now [although] it had taken over an hour to swim 400 hundred meters.
After what seems like ages, I mashed into a rock to touch. [There was] no joy, just disbelief and utterly exhausted shoulders gone and in ribbons. I clambered on to rib, not pretty. I laid face down on the ground, dry retching with a body broken. The Cook Strait had as good as killed me. The steam home took hours due to the bad weather. I was left to warm up, but it was too rough so everyone just held on.
This swim was not mine but everyone who have been involved from home to my family, wife and kids. We have achieved it and would like to thank you all for keeping me afloat and being with me through out the swim."
While the Cook Strait severely challenged him with the cold, waves and tidal flows, his next channel between Molokai and Oahu will be another battle for the Irish record holder. Swimming at a steady pace with a steel-trap mind, Stephen is ideally suited to marathon swimming. But the turgid, fast-moving waters of the deep Pacific between Molokai and Tsugaru require an element of speed that presents another challenge for Stephen.
But when Stephen first started on his path towards the Oceans Seven, he was reminded by the omnipresent words of Captain Matthew Webb that "Nothing great is easy." And the Molokai and Tsugaru Channel will not be easy. But what he has the opportunity to achieve will be, truly, great.
Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source
2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference
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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