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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Open Water, Intersection Of Talent, Practice & Courage

Since the 1970s, we have often received the honor to escort, paddle, kayak, observe, officiate and report on open water swims and marathon swimmers.

To witness up close another human pushing themselves to their physiological and psychological limits against a variety of elements geared up with nothing but a swimsuit, cap and goggles is always a celebration of achievement that becomes deeply etched in our memory banks.

The swim could be one's first open water workout or it could be a one-kilometer swim by a disabled individual. The attempt could be a channel swim or it could be a triathlete tackling her first ocean swim. No matter who the person is or what the circumstances are, we believe the act of open water swimming is an intersection between talent, practice and courage.

The swimmers who entered the Slam The Dam event in the desert oasis of Lake Mead yesterday were similarly inspirational yesterday. Top swimmers like Lexie Kelly and Mallory Mead had a great battle, one in which we have rarely had the opportunity to witness firsthand. The two women literally went back-and-forth, swapping leads by margins never more than the length of a pool. Each in their own zone, they sparked on and off at different times making the outcome unknown until the end. As we paddled among the top swimmers including Andy Dawkins, Deni Cullom, Andy Bray, Bill May, and Kurt Dickson, it was clear everyone was giving it their all as I heard labored breathing as they turned their heads towards their escorts.

We always appreciate how profoundly inspirational and moving it is to witness an athlete up close and see the physiological effects of their efforts and the elements on their countenance and body. Stroke after stroke what they do is stimulating on an emotional level that is difficult to describe in words, but we just FEEL movement deep within us. When we see marathon swimmers get punished by stinging creatures no bigger than their thumb, when we see the deeply embedded and reddened goggle marks around their eyes, when we hear the oxygenated exhaust that comes from deep within their lungs, it humbles us at the same time it is stimulating visually and psychologically.

Throughout every work day, we tire to be point of exhaustion. Our eyelids droop, our shoulders sag, and our metabolism slows. It as if our body's gas tank has been sucked dry of every last drop of fuel.

Similarly, in the pool and the ocean especially while swimming with fast and focused swimmers, our batteries often run dry and all movement becomes labored. We see these finely-tuned athletes continue on underwater in their streamlined positions, efficient like dolphins swimming along the bow of a boat. And like a content dolphin winking at the boat captain, their smiling countenance at the end of these workouts are a wonder to witness. It is also a harsh reminder that we sit on the opposite end of the athletic spectrum. While these elite swimmers come in kicking like a powerboat full throttle, our heart is racing at its maximum limit and our lungs feel like bursting squeezed between a rock and a hard place. When they are feeling good, our fuel in contrast is more like a tank full of lactic acid rather than adrenalin. As they rev up, we start to sputter, only hearing knocks in our engine.

But we always come back. We wake up from a work-induced slumber ready to go at it again, partly because we are so inspired by these athletes. We return to do another workout because we may not be as fast, but we certainly do not want to get slower as we age.

Jamie Patrick Lives The Adventure. Diana Nyad Lives Large. Craig Dietz does not let limitations define who he is. And there are thousands of open water swimmers just like them.

This is what drives us and many others in the sport, including the next generation of swimmers.

Like 11-year-old Anna Scott and her 12-year-old brother Jordan Scott of Boulder City Henderson Aquatics in Las Vegas (shown above). Yesterday, the duo from the Boulder City-Henderson Swim Team competed in the Slam The Dam event with the wide-eyed enthusiasm of their older colleagues. With mom alongside in a kayak and proud dad Kevin onshore, the Slam The Dam was a family affair for the Scotts of The Stream. "That was fun. There were so many people at the start, but my mom was right next to me.," said Anna. "I want to do it again."

Over and over and over again. The open water is a wonderful place for swimmers of all ages, abilities, and motivations. An intersection of talent, practice and courage.

Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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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.

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."

The 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference Programme

Wednesday, September 17th
Leave Glasgow to commence 2-day tour of Scotland [closest international airport is Glasgow]

Thursday, September 18th
Stay Mainland, North of Scotland

Friday, September 19th
14:00 - Swim Loch Lomond
17:00 - Head to Isle of Bute
19:30 - Scottish Banquet
21:30 - Dinner Dance

Saturday, September 20th
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
12:20 - Lunch and WOWSA Awards
13:40 – Speeches
15:40 - Round Table
19:00 - International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony

Sunday, September 21st
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
14:30 - Swim in St Ninian's Bay on the Isle of Bute

The luminaries of the open water swimming world who will be honored in Scotland will include:

* Sandra Bucha (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Jon Erikson (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Claudio Plit (Argentina), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Judith van Berkel-de Njis (Netherlands), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* David Yudovin (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Mercedes Gleitze (Great Britain), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* George Young (Canada), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Dale Petranech (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Contributor
* Melissa Cunningham (Australia), 2013 Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award winner
* Vojislav Mijić (Serbia), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* James Anderson (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Dr. Jane Katz (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Indonesian Swimming Federation, , International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Organisation
* Elizabeth Fry (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Pádraig Mallon (Ireland), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year
* Olga Kozydub (Russia), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year
* Bering Strait Swim (international team), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year
* International Ice Swimming Association (Ram Barkai, founder, South Africa), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year

For additional articles on the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference, visit:

* Olga Kozydub To Be Honored In Scotland
* Pádraig Mallon To Be Honored In Mount Stuart Castle
* Mount Stuart House, Splendid Setting For Swimming
* Colleen Blair To Kick-off Global Open Water Swimming Conference
* The Man Who Swims Better Than He Walks
* Joining In The Sea Goddess At The Hall Of Fame
* Mercedes Gleitze To Be Honored In Scotland
* The Incredible Career Of Merceded Gleitze
* Jon Erikson To Be Honoured In Florida
* The Incredible Career Of Mercedes Gleitze
* St Ninian's Bay To Host International Swim Conference

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Swim Across the English Channel...

OWSM-CM

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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.

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...
LEARN 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.
LEARN MORE...

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.

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:
https://www.worldopenwaterswimmingassociation.com/preview-open-water-swimming-almanac


The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.

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Open Water Race Calendar

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