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Monday, July 2, 2012

Rebecca Soni Pretty In Pink And Immersed In Blue

World record holder Rebecca Soni has been very impressive since her Olympic successes in 2008. The 3-time Olympic medalist from Beijing qualified again for the 2012 USA Olympic Team in Omaha and is looking very good for continued Olympic success in London.

While her fellow pool elite athletes were conserving energy and tapering for the high-pressure Olympic Trials, Soni was reportedly mellowing out near her home in Manhattan Beach, California, and casually swimming in the Pacific Ocean.

One of her fellow American gold medalists, Gary Hall Jr., also understood and appreciates the soothing feeling and renewed energy that can come with an immersion in the Big Blue.

Getting inspired by the shoreline and ocean ambiance is nothing new to open water swimmers or Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, a sea turtle biologist who connects neuroscience with the ocean and researches how the brain's emotional center is lit up by open water.

His BLUEMiND research takes him to meet fishermen and to coastal villages where he encounters people with a common appreciation for the ocean’s beauty, abundance and mysteries.

"We have the power of happiness on our side," is a comment that is easily understood by the open water swimming community and the clearly happy and optimistic Soni.

The empirical evidence to prove this point is overwhelming - across borders, cultures, ages, generations, genders and bodies of water. Check out the decibel level of an open water swimming event at the start of a race and the completion of a race. The amount of conversation, laughter and emotion, among both friends and those who have never met each other before, is vastly greater and louder after a race than before. Swimmers talk about their common experiences and the level of camaraderie and mutual respect are tremendously enhanced.

Soni pulled off arguably the greatest upset at the 2008 Olympics with a gold-medal victory in the 200-meter breaststroke. According to one of her USC coaches, Catherine Vogt, she is also awesome in the open water.

Soni wrote Ten Tips for a Great Swim for the Waikiki Roughwater Swim:

1) Preparation is everything. Elite level distance swimmers who are in reasonable shape may be able to get through the 2.384 mile Waikiki Roughwater Swim without months of race specific training. All others should find a qualified coach and training group to assure that they are in shape to finish the race regardless of the conditions (wind, waves, current). Stretching, cross training and strength training are all helpful tools but perhaps the most important thing is an efficient stroke and good conditioning. By race day you should be able to swim 4000 meters comfortably without stopping or touching the bottom.

2) If there is any doubt that you can finish the race stay on the beach and train for next year.

3) There are no lane lines in the ocean. Practice sighting buoys and landmarks (twin towers, Rainbow Hilton). Learn to read the ripples in the sand on the bottom. They can help you stay on track. You should be able to 'look stroke' while swimming freestyle every 20 strokes or so. Even an Olympic Gold Medalist in the breast stroke swims head down freestyle in the ocean.

4) Wear a comfortable (and stylish) swim suit with minimal drag, a brightly colored swim cap (lime green, and pink are my favorites) and goggles that fit you and will not fog up.

5) Vaseline and sunscreen are key. Vaseline areas that might chafe such as your neck and underarms. Use a high SPF sunscreen and find a friend to get your back. Reapply sunscreen after the race.

6) Honolulu tide charts can help give you an idea of what the currents will be like on race day but for the best indication, swim part of the course (with a friend) the day before the race at the same time that you will be swimming that section of the course. It helps to practice navigating both the start and the finish. The Roughwater Swim Committee offers free clinics and I advise you to take advantage of this great opportunity.

7) Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. On the day prior to the race avoid soda, caffeine and alcoholic beverages. Drink lots of water and/or sports drinks. Don't overdo it but keep sipping up until race time. Rehydrate as soon as possible after you finish the race. There are no aid stations out in the ocean.

8) Eat what you feel comfortable with the day before the race. Avoid foods that you are not used to or that may cause you discomfort. In the morning eat a light but balanced breakfast that you are used to eating. Don't skip breakfast but don't visit the all-you-can eat buffet either.

9) Arrive at the beach at least 45 minutes to an hour before the start. Prior to the start, line up where you expect to finish in your heat. If you know that you are among the fastest swimmers in your heat get right in front and at the gun take off in front to take advantage of the open water. If you are not going to lead the pack, or you are not sure, then take a few steps back, wait a few seconds after the gun and draft the pack out the channel. You will save energy and avoid faster swimmers pushing to get around you.

10) Enjoy the race. If you are in shape and have prepared properly you will have a blast, regardless of the conditions. If you are not prepared, it may not be so much fun. Stay on the beach. While you are on the course, look for turtles, fish and dolphins. It is usually more efficient to stay with a pack where you can draft and share navigation duties than to swim on your own but when you can outsprint or outsmart the competition go for it! Ocean swimming is all about enjoying the environment, getting in great shape and navigating and swimming your best.

Photo of Rebecca Soni in a pink Arena swimsuit at the 2012 USA Olympic Swimming Trials in Omaha, Nebraska by Mark J. Terrill of AP.

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

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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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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2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac



An Almanac for Open Water Swimming

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