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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Ten Grossest Parts Of Open Water Swimming

Open water swimming is a beautiful sport where athletes interact with nature in the most raw of situations.

But every sport can have its gross parts and open water swimming is no different. Here are some ideas of what to expect in the gross-out department of the sport of open water swimming.

Some things are just unavoidable at times:

1. Toilet Congestion (pre-race): Minutes before your swim and you just "have to go." You're holding it in and there is a long line in front of the toilets. Some toilets are permanent structures on the beach or simply portable potties brought in by the race organizer. Either way, as you stand patiently in line, you just can't wait to make a bowel movement. When you hear the flush of the toilet of the person in front of you, you give a little internal smile of relief. You can relieve yourself in moments. As the person in front of you comes out of the toilet stall or porta-potty with their eyes down and no smile, it is a precursor of your next thought: OH MY...WHAT A STENCH!!! You close your mouth, take a few gasps of air and try to get out of there as quickly as possible.

2. Toilet paper (pre-race): In the stall, besides the stench of intestinal rot and human excrement, it really sucks when there is no more toilet paper left. At least, you'll be getting in the water soon...

3. Bowel movement (in-race): Maybe you just didn't have time to go before the race or maybe you just had to go while you are in the water. Whatever the case, it is especially embarrassing if you are escorted or followed by a kayaker, paddler or official's boat. There is simply no place to hide. With all eyes on you, relieving yourself in the water is always a combination of hiding your actions and what comes out the other end.

4. Bowel movement (neoprene-clad): #3 above is bad enough, but imagine if you are strapped neck to ankle in neoprene. Some things are best left unsaid.

4. Vomit (in-race): Vomit is never pretty, but at least it becomes dispersed in the open water quickly...as long as you keep on moving...or it comes all the way out. The combination of regurgitated food and salt water is almost better than dry heaving. But a partial vomit may be the worst of all as it usually leads to subsequent vomiting of greater volume. Try as you might to get everything out of your mouth during an open water swim, but it usually takes some big swigs of fresh water or a cup of mouthwash to rid yourself of the taste. Nasty.

5. Vomit (post-race): Your friend has just completed a swim, but they are not in good shape. Happy they made it, but they are physically spent. You hug them in support, gently rubbing their back...and then they hurl (puke, spew, upchuck) all over you and your only set of dry clothes. Forgiveness is golden, but you still have to get back home.

6. Stings: Jellyfish stings hurt. Tentacles sent millions of tiny barbs into your sting. Stings are certainly is a badge of honor among the hardiest open water swimmers, but those scabs and scars are unwelcomed reminders of the most heartless denizens of the deep.

7. Chafing: Around the neck, under your arms, on your nipples, between your legs, underneath your swimsuit straps, open water swimmers frequently face the problems of skin-on-skin chafing, fabric-on-skin chafing and hair-on-skin chafing. Scars and scabs can remain for a long time.

8. Lanolin: The white gobs of greasy, fatty substance, extracted from sheep's wool, are used to coat and lubricate the skin of open water swimmers, especially at the friction points (e.g., underarms, inside thighs, chin and neck, nipples) to effectively prevent chafing. But trying to get the lanolin off at the end of a swim or trying getting it off your clothes is always a mess, especially when mixed with melted chocolate or unused drink powder.

9. Pollution: Trash, garbage, flotsam or jetsam can range from plastic bags and discarded fast-food containers to floating sanitary items and dead animals or diesel fuel and oil slicks. When you run into these items on the water's surface, you are not only startled, but also disappointed at the actions of the thoughtless individuals who indiscriminately dump their refuse.

10. Boat Waste: While flotsam is always a bummer to swim into, almost nothing can be as bad as swimming into a brown puddle of raw sewage dumped from the self-centered boater who does not follow marine law. As a result, bacteria sometimes enters your system and you spend the better part of the next few days giving homage to the porcelain god.

Disgusting, yes. Repulsive, certainly. Upsetting for sure. But there is one story that may take the top prize:

On the feeding station, a coach started to consume one of his swimmer's feeds during the race. Suddenly, he realized that the feed was the very last. So...he chewed it up and spit it back into the cup along with his athlete's fluid and fed it to his swimmer as they came by for the last feeding.

His swimmer never complained.

But these gross parts are few and far between the beauty and allure of the open water.

Photo above shows an open water hickey caused by chafing of a wetsuit.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source

1 comment:

  1. Chafing between the thigh's no one wants to talk about, but everyone experience's it. Athletes, maternity, plus size, all sizes. Truth is ThighGlide.us Anti-chafing body wrap's, is the only solution that is not a cream or roll on. I love them. I cut them into circle's for my ankles so I don't get blisters from my heel's. Some shoes I have put the wraps directly on the shoes. I wear one between my thigh's and it work's all day and night. No more chafing. No sucking in Spanx and no more bulky shorts under my skirts. They are on sale for the summer. You get 3 in a tube, but as I said I cut mine so I get at lease 6 uses. If you blog or create a Youtube video review for ThighGlide, you get 20% off your purchase for the entire year. Wear it where it hurt's. ThighGlide.us


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
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by giving you a free copy of the anniversary issue.

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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.

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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.

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Open Water Swimming Event Sanctioning

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Open Water Race Calendar

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