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Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Without wetsuits, in the dead of night, three swimmers braved the cold open-ocean to realize a dream...this is how filmmaker Ben Pitterle of Element 8 Productions opens DRIVEN.

DRIVEN documents the experiences of three individuals as they attempted marathon swims across the Santa Barbara Channel. "Marathon swimming may not sound particularly glamorous. Its just swimming a long ways right? Wrong!," emphasizes Pitterle. "Marathon swimmers rank at an elite level in the chronicles of endurance sport and human achievement. These athletes must overcome physical and mental obstacles that are dissimilar to those in any other sport.

Producer Ben Pitterle describes marathon swimming as "the most incredible sport that no one has ever heard of", but he wants to change that.

Have you ever jumped into a cold lake or ocean and gotten the shivers or goose bumps? Imagine enduring the cold for up to 10 straight hours or more," he continues.

"Scared of what lies beneath the oceans depths? These guys swim through the night. Imagine beginning a 10-hour swim by plunging into pitch black water at 1 AM, offshore of islands where great white sharks are known to feed. Mental demons abound. Ever been tired on a run and stopped to walk or take a break? Resting is not an option. Touching a boat or flotation aid immediately disqualifies these swims. Each moment spent treading water only increases the risk of hypothermia. Add to the list - waves, sea-sickness, cross-currents, jellyfish infestations, and more and you’ve got the makings for an epic adventure story."

Pitterle and co-producer Brian Hall of Element 8 Productions are looking for financing from the global open water swimming community to complete DRIVEN.

They have created several levels of financial support that the swimming community can participate in their crowd funding.

US$10 - A Cold Wet Virtual Hug: If you were here in font of us we'd douse ourselves in salt water and lay one on you, but a virtual hug will have to suffice. Thanks so much and don't forget to share our project on Facebook and Twitter!

US$25 - Digital Download: Yes! Far out! Thanks! Once the project is completed you will receive a link to a digital download of the film. Not only that, but your contribution helped pave the way to make this film a reality. Expected delivery - Spring 2013.

US$50 - DVD: You will receive a DVD of the film upon completion - PLUS - all of the above benefits.

US$100 - Memorialized: Your name will appear in the credits for the film - PLUS - all of the above benefits.

US$200 - Karma Machine: Your real reward here is our eternal gratitude, but you'll also receive a Driven poster autographed by the swimmers and producers - PLUS - all of the above benefits.

US$500 - Skype with the Producers: You shine like a Garabaldi in a school full of sardines. And we mean that in the nicest way. You will receive one Skype session at a time of mutual convenience to chat with the producers about the making of this film or whatever floats your boat. PLUS - all of the above benefits.

US$800 - Private Home Screening: May Poseidon give you strength! You receive a private home screening with the producers (limited to Southern California, otherwise we will Skype with you). We'll bring the movie, popcorn, and candy to a residence of your choosing for a private screening. We'll regale you with stories of mid-channel filming bloopers... like that time both Ben's legs cramped at once and he almost drown while Evan just kept on swimming... PLUS Karma Machine level benefits.

US$1,000 - Associate Producer Credits: You will receive Associate Producer Credits in the film - PLUS - Home Screening level benefits.

US$1,500 - David Yudovin Boat Excursion: World renowned marathon swimmer, David Yudovin, will take up to two swimmers and two additional crew (4 total) out on his personal support boat, the Ocean Crystal (Newport Beach, California), for a half-day (approximately 3 hours) cruise and mentorship swim session. Must take place between late Spring - Fall 2013. PLUS - Associate Producer level benefits.

US$2,500 - Executive Producer Credits: You will receive Executive Producer credits in the film. We'll build a private shrine made of seashells in our backyards to honor you. You'll get the satisfaction of making our dream a reality and bringing much deserved attention to this sport - PLUS - Private Home Screening level benefits.

Pitterle and Hall provide a variety of levels that can enable many in the open water swimming world to help support promotion of their sport. Are you DRIVEN to help support the effort?

Visit the DRIVEN campaign here.

Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association

A Thank You Gift from WOWSA

WOWSA is celebrating the
1-Year Anniversary of the monthly Open Water Swimming Magazine
by giving you a free copy of the anniversary issue.

Open Water Swimming Magazine Anniversary Issue
File Size: 13MB


Download the file to your computer, and then right-click to extract the magazine which is inside the zip folder. The magazine is in PDF format.

CLICK HERE to download your free copy now.

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...

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.

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:

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


Open Water Swimming Event Sanctioning

World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation

Open Water Race Calendar

Coaches Education Program