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Thursday, January 31, 2013
Chilling With Chin
The Lake Zürich winter swim 2009 was a challenge of both mind and body for me. I was very nervous and scared as Ram wanted to swim further than I thought possible. Although I was keen on the challenge, I did not want to put myself at risk in any manner. I woke up hours before the swim and mulled things over and over in my head. I was not going to swim: hospital or worse was not an option for me. Then I calmed down a bit and thought, "You’ve done 10 minutes, so why not do 1 km? It's only 20 minutes at most."
If Ram had any fears, he was a lot better than me at hiding them. We had walked the course so I know the markers for 1 km, 1.5 km, etc. When Amanda arrived at about 11 am, I told her I was only doing 1 km as I knew I could do this without dying. At the start, we spent what seemed hours with TV, radio, the doctors and others. The safety briefing turned out to be my salvation as we discovered we had 4 boats on the water and they would allow one of us to continue if the other voluntarily decided to stop.
Just after 2 pm we entered the water. I splashed myself but Ram was already in and swimming, I followed with a shallow dive and a big yelp as the cold took the air out of me. It was hard to breathe properly at the start and my stroke is slightly altered with the left coming out the water more. We swam along the jetty. I had a half pause for a cruise boat which the Sea Polizie forced to beat a hasty retreat. We turned to towards the bridge, the end marker.
My hands were already numb as were my toes but it was actually quiet lekker. I was going to do it! I felt strong and was swimming faster than Ram. I purposely slowed down a little and we swam stroke for stroke, sometimes a little too close. I was aware of the boats after 5-7 minutes but they were slightly behind us and not the position I am used to making navigation a little harder. We were swimming strongly and I felt good, showing the thumbs up.
I knew I needed to keep my mind active to know how I was doing in terms of the cold so I repeat Andrew chin, Monica Spiro, Leila Chin, Rebecca Chin - my little family - over and over to myself. Near the 1 km mark, I notice Amanda on a boat waving a huge South African flag and I shout out 'Viva!'.
After this I let my mind go a bit and felt a few strokes go sloppy. I swallowed some water. I was now only saying Andrew, Monica, Leila and Rebecca. It was more difficult [to repeat]. Ram was now a meter or 2 ahead of me and the fun is not there. Normally I push myself through this moment. but my thoughts are that’s it...a few more strokes and I am out.
A minute later I stop and put my hand up the signal. I am finished. Ram stops and calls for me to continue. I can hear Amanda shouting he must swim. I tell Ram to go as I swim towards my boat. I half climb the ladder and they pull me up by my arms. I am OK is all that goes through my mind as I am covered with blankets, space blankets and clothing. The boat is going into the head wind and it's icy cold! I am so cold but I just lie still as instructed. I feel 100% safe.
Soon the boat stops.
With help, I manage to get up and climb off the boat. I feel a little dizzy and lie down on a stretcher; I am covered with blankets which I pull over my head and am stretchered inside. I have asked about Ram a few times. He has made it, I am very happy for him. They put the stretcher in a dark corner and for a short moment I think I have gone blind, I tear at the blankets and breathe a huge sigh of relief.
I tell them that I am cold and want to shower. I walk through the restaurant in my socks, boots, gloves, beanie and blanket. In the shower, things improve quiet quickly and I make the water hotter every few minutes, I am shaking violently and my feet are blue and purple, but I know from experience this will all pass. Finally I stop shivering after 20 minutes and manage to dress myself. Dressed I am greeted by quiet a few smiling faces all happy to see me functioning like normal. The only sign from the swim is a slightly numb pinky and ring finger. This will come right with time.
I was about 1.4 km in 4.3ºC (39.7ºF) fresh water for 23 minutes. Outside it was 0.5ºC with a wind chill of -7.5ºC. I am chuffed with thanks to Ram for talking me into this and his 2 km swim.
Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Source
2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference
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
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