To educate, entertain, and enthuse all those who venture beyond the shoreline. Over 10,300 articles on solo swims, pro races, relays, charity events, eco-swims, stage swims, marathon swims, trends, products, services, personalities, coaches, governing bodies, rules, demographics, books, films, blogs, conferences, camps, clinics, exploits and happenings in oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, dams, canals, channels, fjords, estuaries, lochs, coves, firths, straits, bays, and harbors.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Entertaining, Engrossing, Encouraging, Enthusiastic - Martin Strel
At his breakfast speeches and over dinner meetings, he enthralled his guests, fans and friends with stories of his unprecedented experiences around the world.
He talked about his 4,003K (2,487-mile) stage swim down the Yangtze River in China. He explained how he started at 1,920m (6300 feet) at the beginning of the Yangtze River and arrived in the East China Sea in Shanghai 40 days later. With the volume of water flowing downstream from such altitude, Martin recalled how he was swimming at 27-28 km per hour at times and how he always had to be careful of the dangerous, life-threatening undercurrents. "You cannot imagine how fast Martin was swimming, but we had to be careful at all times," said his son and right-hand man Borut Strel.
In contrast, Martin battled his way down the 5,268K (3,273 miles) of the Amazon River, traversing along three countries. "The Amazon was murky and the dangers were everywhere. Pirates were watching us and we worked with local guides who helped us get out of difficult situations."
The dangers he described ranged from piranhas to bacteria. "The Yangtze was so polluted. It is pollution chemically and it really took a lot out of me. Every day, I had to take medicines and spent 5-6 hours in a hospital to recover. Every day. And the doctors would then call ahead to the next hospital who they get ready for me."
"Sometimes, we would touch him and he would cry out in pain because it hurt so much. It was incredible to see," said Borut who is his father's computer-savvy logistics expert. "Normal people cannot do that. He is able to separate his physical pain from his goal of swimming the big rivers.
And the logistics were difficult, but we had to be prepared for everything. We had Internet connection and satellite phone capabilities in the Amazon - deep in the heart of the jungle. This was not only to provide information on his swim on a daily basis, but also as a safety measure. If something happened to us, we had to be able to communicate."
And communicates he does. "In many places, people could not believe we were swimming. There are places in Peru along the Amazon River where the local people do not know where the Amazon ends. There are over 1000 tributaries flowing into the Amazon. Unlike the Yangtze River where we had to navigate down thousands of meters in altitude, there is only a 253-meter drop from the beginning to the end of the Amazon. So the water in the Amazon flows much slower at 4-6 kilometer per hour, but there are eddies and undercurrents that can suck you down and take you somewhere."
But Martin's approach is systematic and professional. "Swimming, I can do. But we also have much logistics and planning. We study everything. We study the currents, the marine life and all the logistics and communications. We have a great team, from 7 different countries. They are the best in the world. And I am not just saying that. We face so much on the swims. But people can get tired during the swims. So I always have to think how to keep everyone on my team focused and friendly with each other."
Focused and friendly, those are just two of the characteristics that Martin has in abundance. He has a way to put people at ease, while also entertaining them with his exploits and inspiring them how he goes about realizing his dreams.
"There are so many beautiful places in the world. Swimming is such a great lifestyle. Now many people are doing adventure swims like Martin," explains Borut. "We have people from all over the world with a goal of leading a healthy lifestyle and exploring the beautiful locations to swim. They don't have to swim fast; they just enjoy it."
As Martin has done all his life.
Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source
Open Water Swimming Magazine
Open Water Swimming MagazineThe 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 SwimmingAn 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.