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Monday, June 4, 2012

Medleying In The Open Water

Some swimmers use butterfly the last few meters of their open water swims. Many swimmers roll over on their backs and do backstroke during their swims to relieve their shoulders and necks. Others switch over to breaststroke for a change of pace or to get a better view of what lies ahead.

While all open water swims are technically freestyle events, mixing in butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke is occasionally used by some open water swimmers.

But there are also formal breaststroke open water swimming races held in the Netherlands and elsewhere. And there are also a small subset of open water swimmers who use non-freestyle strokes during their solo marathon swims. Examples of these non-freestyle records in the Catalina Channel and the English Channel include:

Butterfly, Catalina Channel: Vicki Keith (Canada) 14:53
Butterfly, English Channel: Julie Bradshaw (UK) 14:18

Backstroke,Catalina Channel: Tina Neill (USA) 10:37
Backstroke,English Channel: Tina Neill (USA) 13:22

Breaststroke, Catalina Channel: Jason Lassen (USA) 15:59
Breaststroke, English Channel: Frederik Jaques (Belgium) 13:31

Freestyle has never been the only way to go in the open water - Captain Matthew Webb gave a boost to the non-freestyle approach when he crossed the English Channel during breaststroke in 1875. From Chicago to the Netherlands, individuals are doing butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke on their open water swims of all distances.

Even individual medley has taken form from San Francisco to Dover. Across the Golden Gate Bridge course, Tom Keller, Michael Chase and Jon Ennis from the Dolphin Club did the Golden Gate Medley Swim on August 2010. Later, the Julie Bradshaw International Medley Relay completed the first individual relay swim across the English Channel.

Dale Petranech of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, has proposed specific guidelines and document traditions and records in non-traditional marathon swims around the world.

"There is a small group of swimmers that use non-conventional, non-freestyle strokes - backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, sidestroke and trudgeon strokes to swim the entire distance in open water swimming competitions, relays or solo swims. From the historical point of view, breaststroke was recognized as an official stroke and records posted accordingly. Most of the very early swims were breaststroke."

Despite these special strokes being listed, we are unable to find any records of rules or regulations pertain to the special strokes used in open water. For our pool swimming colleagues, most of the technical rules for the other strokes apply to starts and turns and limit the distance a person could remain underwater.

The interpretation of what FINA considers a legal stokes are in a constant state of review. Also, in the FINA Masters Swimming Rules, a breaststroke kick is permitted in the butterfly. Being practical, the pool stroke rules have little application to open water
."

It may be difficult or impossible for the sport of open water swimming to establish and maintain the stroke requirements as so specifically outlined in pool swimming. Petranech outlines examples of items that the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame is considering in open water swimming events. Its board of directors will discuss and develop reasonable guidelines for the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Record a Swim Program on September 21st in Long Beach.*

1. Several organizations require that a swimmer start onshore, walk into the water, start swimming and finish after they clear the water on the opposite shore. Swimmers still need to conform to this requirement, but backstrokers need not walk in backwards and breaststrokers do not need to simultaneously touch the opposite shore with two hands.

2. It is impossible to maintain an acceptable stroke treading water while feeding or taking a short rest break. Swimmers need the latitude to stop using the stroke of choice during these periods. If a swimmer takes frequent feedings, the total number of stops may seem rather large. Feeding every half hour in a 10-hour swim means that swimmer would have up to twenty interruptions in the chosen specialty stroke. Breaks in the traditional specialty swim stroke would result in only brief periods when the swimmer was treading water. As long as no major distance (e.g., over 2 meters) is covered during these feeding stops, the swim can be considered a non-stop specialty stroke swim.

3. Because of surf conditions, the swimmer may be battered about and not be able to keep their precise stroke symmetry at all times or may be rolled over from his/her backstroke position. In these and similar situations, the swimmer cannot be held responsible for not maintaining a proper stroke according to traditional pool swimming rules.

4. If a swimmer has an encounter with marine life (e.g., sharks or jellyfish) or becomes entangled in seaweed, flotsam or jetsam, the swimmer may not be able to keep their precise stroke symmetry at all times or may be shocked from their normal specialty stroke position. In these and similar situations, the swimmer should be allowed a reasonable time and distance to free themselves from immediate danger or risk of injury.

5. If swimmers so designate their swim as following the acceptable masters pool swimming rule, swimmers may use the masters swimming rule permitting a breaststroke kick while swimming butterfly.

6. As fatigue sets in butterfly or the water conditions get very rough, swimmers may have problems getting their arms completely out of the water that could result in a sideward splash and technically an illegal stroke from the perspective of a pool swimming official. The proposal calls for acceptance of these situations until the swimmer is no longer able get their arms out of the water. In these cases, the swimmer and observer would acknowledge the situation and could declare the special stroke swim over with the option of continuing freestyle.

7. In the case of nighttime swimming during a backstroke swim, swimmers may temporarily lose sight of their escort boat. In these cases, an ability to overlook a rolling over on the stomach or side should be allowed for safety purposes.

8. If swimmers decide to abandon the special stroke swim for any reason (e.g., safety, lack of an ability to see), they can always continue swimming as a freestyle swimmer.

* The International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame board of directors meeting will be held at the Queen Mary Hotel in Long Beach, California on September 21st. Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source

1 comment:

  1. Steve,

    Thanks for publishing this article. I look forward to seeing what the board of directors decides to do with alternative stroke swims. As a long distance breaststroker it is nice to hear that this issue is on the radar of the open water community.

    Thanks again,
    Jason Lassen

    ReplyDelete

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

5:30

PM


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

9:00

AM


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

10:00

AM


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

10:20

AM


Christopher Guesdon (Australia) on Multidimensional Roles In The Sport

10:30

AM


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

10:50

AM


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

11:10

AM


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

11:30

AM


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)

12:30

PM


Coffee and Break

1:00

PM


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]


2:30

PM


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

2:50

PM


Sally Minty-Gravett (Jersey) on Motivating Swimmers

3:10

PM


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

3:30

PM


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

3:50

PM


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

5:00

PM


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]

6:30

PM


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

6:45

PM


Dinner

7:30

PM


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

9:00

AM


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

10:00

AM


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

10:20

AM


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

10:40

AM


Ned Denison (Ireland) on Swimming The World

11:00

AM


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

11:20

AM


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

12:00

PM


Survey distribution and group photo-taking

2:00

PM


Swim at Stravvana Bay, Isle of Bute






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."


Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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