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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Penny Palfrey Press Conference On Her Cuba Swim

Chris Palfrey hosted Penny Palfrey's press conference in Key West while his wife remained in a local hospital under observation.

Chris explained the drama that unfolded the past two days under beautiful conditions about his wife's attempt to cross the 103-mile Straits of Florida to the international media.

"Penny started in Havana, Cuba at 7:03 am on Friday morning.

She continued to swim continuously for 41 hours 3 minutes until she was given the news that she was facing insurmountable currents of the Gulf Stream

Chris confirmed that Penny swam 80.2 nautical miles (92.23 miles or 148.5 km) of the planned 103-mile course when her swim ended at 12:06 am on Sunday, July 1st morning just south of the Florida Keys.

Penny's team had planned for 5 different possible finish locations. The locations ranged from Key West to Marathon along the southern coast of Florida. Each location has their advantages, but it did require Penny to navigate diagonally across the Gulf Stream.

When she was informed that she was losing ground on every stroke, the Gulf Stream current was running an unusual 4.3 knots (or 4.94 mph or 7.96 km per hour). Penny has been swimming at 2 mph with a constant 71-72 stroke per minute pace for nearly two days. Her plans and pace were on schedule before Mother Nature shifted direction.

The Gulf Stream, which can range anywhere from 5 to 50 miles offshore from Florida, started to hit Penny head on late into her second night. Before then, she was swimming steadily with favorable currents under tranquil conditions. Spirits ran high on her escort boat and among her ground-based logistics crew. Then the currents started to run south southwest, right into Penny's path. At the time, Penny was making excellent headway in the north northeast direction towards Key West. She has previously encountered the Gulf Stream 22 miles off the coast of Cuba at the start, but it was flowing in the direction she wanted along her optimal course. As her team found out, predicting exactly where the currents will flow is exceedingly difficult. With the speed of the oncoming current at nearly 5 mph, Penny faced the impossible.

Even the fastest pool swimmers in the world for short distances do not swim at the speed in which the Gulf Stream was running into Penny. For every stroke she did, she was going backwards. But at night with her head down, she had no idea the true force of nature she was battling.

The mariners aboard, including Captain Bob Olin, his son Mitch, Captain Chris Holtslcaw and John Bollinger, conferred with her support team. They estimated she would need at least another 24 hours of swimming and face the possibility that the currents might not shift back to her favor. Her crew sadly broke the news to Penny that she was being pushed away from her goal. She processed the information for a few minutes, shaken emotionally and extremely disappointed. She had not been unaware of the situation and did not realize she was making negative progress in the pitch darkness of night. After taking in the news, she reluctantly touched the boat, then boarded it under her own power.

"She was heading towards Key West and actually losing ground when she was pulled. It would have been impossible to overcome the currents that were pushing her back. She made the decision herself when presented the news," explained Chris. "She has been training 40 hours per week and on her computer for 30 hours per week, planning this attempt, so she was upset"

Despite dehydration, muscle soreness, numerous stings and the distance, "Penny was mentally alert the whole way. But it was the Gulf Stream currents that ultimately did her in."

Nothing was easy about this swim. "She was hit many times by Portuguese man o war during the night on Friday and she saw a group of hammerhead sharks en route, but she never let up."

Dr. William Korey of the Holy Cross Hospital in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida was onboard and immediately treated her as the Sunluver charged back to shore. "What she did was incredible. But her blood pressure was low, her lips and tongue were swollen with sores, and she was dehydrated and sunburned. It is very difficult for her to speak, but she was thinking clearly and her stroke and pace remained strong right to the end. There are few people who could have done what she did and survived," explained the doctor who volunteered his time and equipment.

"She tolerated what others could not. It took her 4 days to recover from the same type of exposure last year in her Cayman Islands swim. Her mouth has sores due to salt water exposure and she also received several painful stings around her mouth, lips and face. When she got hit [with the Portuguese man o war], she screamed in pain but she kept on swimming."

Chris added, "She is recovering, taking pain relief medicine for her body is sore, but she wants to get out of the hospital as soon as possible. But tonight, she will remain there. She may be ready to leave for home on July 6th.

At the end, as Chris explained, "Mother Nature had the final say, but I am sure we will hear from Penny again. The swim will not break her spirit, but it is too early to talk about her future swims right now. We are in awe of what she has done. I think she will be pretty proud of her swim after she is given the data."

Photo shows Penny Palfrey on her Bridging The Cayman Islands swim of 2011.

Additional articles on this attempt are listed below:

* Tropical Storm Debbie
* In The Calm After The Storm
* Adiós From Cuba, Bon Voyage To Florida
* What Conditions Will Penny Palfrey Face?
* Penny Palfrey Is Blazing Fast Heading Into The First Night
* Penny Palfrey Continues Looking Strong In The Gulf Stream
* Is Penny Palfrey The Greatest Marathon Swimmer Ever?
* Dive In, Swim Across, Walk Out - Powerful Penny Palfrey
* Penny Palfrey - Swim, Rest, Repeat...Up North
* Expect The Unexpected - Penny Palfrey Pulled

Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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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

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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

World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation

Open Water Race Calendar

Coaches Education Program