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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Jon Erikson's Thoughts 3 Decades Later On The 3-Way

American Jon Erikson was the first person to complete a three-way crossing of the English Channel in 1981 with a historic 38 hour 27 minute effort. An Honour Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, Erikson swam the English Channel in 1969 and a two-way in 1979 with his first leg as the fastest crossing of the year.

The son of the legendary Ted Erikson, the only father-son pair in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, also did many pro marathon swims in Canada, Mexico and Argentina.

3 decades after his unprecedented swim, we caught up with the intrepid adventurer and asked him to take us back to that epic swim in 1981.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Was the three-way crossing of the English Channel your hardest marathon swim ever?
Erikson: Yes.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Why?
Erikson: Because the English Channel is the open water swimming’s Mount Everest proving grounds. It is rich in history [from] Captain Webb [on] for athletes who call themselves a marathon swimmer. Like life, there are no guarantees when swimming the English Channel because of the unstable British weather, the strong tides, the cold water, the ubiquitous jellyfish and the vast amount of shipping traffic. Success of failure can occur. The 21 miles of sea between England and France are, without a doubt, the impartial judge.

Throughout my swimming career, I competed in numerous marathon swims and the obstacles I encountered in the English Channel were the toughest of all. Multiple crossings just throw more variables into the equation and make it more difficult to solve. For example, on single crossing – which is the easiest form of a channel swim – one can set the swim to take advantage of the tides and the distance swum. If a tide is missed, which is enhanced with multiple crossings, it doesn't matter if you are Mark Spitz or Michael Phelps, you are not going to get to shore against that tide.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Had anyone ever considered a three-way before you did it?
Erikson: In 1965, at Dover's Hubert House, Greta Andersen and Ted Erikson were contemplating double-crossings. Greta's attempt preceded Ted’s and failed. Ted made the first double-crossing. In the following years, double crossings became common and the triple-crossing was presumably considered by some. However, I wanted to better the sixty-mile swims across Lake Michigan in 1963. This prompted me to tackle the 63-mile triple crossing of the English Channel.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What kind of pre-swim planning did you do especially before the age of GPS?
Erikson: Ted made two attempts using computer modeling of the tides at the IIT Research Institute, where he worked, and incorporated several start times and directions to take the most optimum course at his swim speeds. Their failure rested in the inability to accurately monitor in-situ channel currents and position. I believe it would be resolved with present-day technology as spring tides can aid one's course. My swim was based on the captain's knowledge.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How in the world do you train for a triple-crossing?
Erikson: That's easy. Simply swim a lot. My training was generally quality, interval training in contrast to Ted's strive for quantity: with the rigors of six miles kicking with a board for three days, ten miles of pulling with a leg float for five days, and twelve miles of swimming for four days, all non-stop, for his 60-mile swim from Chicago to Benton Harbor across Lake Michigan. My success was achieved at considerably less rigor.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Can you describe the first leg of your three-way crossing? How was the weather? How were the conditions? How long did it take? How did you feel?
Erikson: The recorded cumulative times were 10 hours 10 minutes at the end of the first England-France leg, 23 hours 24 minutes at the end of the second France-England leg and 38 hours 27 minutes at the end of the third England-France leg. Rosemary George was on of the official Channel Swimming Association observers.

The weather was wonderful for first and second crossings with a light wind and sunshine. At the first crossing, I hit Cape Gris Nez perfectly and, although there was some difficulty in finding a suitable rocky ledge to climb, I immediately began the return crossing. The second finish was near the Foreland Cliffs in early afternoon. Ted attempted to launch a windsurfer that was aboard to take me in, but wind was too light to maneuver. I was then accompanied in with the Zodiac. All seemed a ‘go’ for the third leg. But, the wind picked up a bit and darkness descended as we approached shore. And I just missed it. The spring tide carried us miles to the east. This was the most difficult part for the crew, but I thought, "After all this, I am not quitting now! I'm good to go."

The shore of France near Calais on a nice sandy beach was the final destination. On the journey back to England, attempts to warm me up were difficult. I shivered most of the way. Rosie George, the official Channel Swimming Association observer and my dad were happy, but concerned. The champagne at the Dover dock was a nice touch for the crew, but I wanted only a warm bed and broth.


Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How did you feel when it was over?
Erikson: When I finished, I felt tremendous. My dream of accomplishing a major athletic challenge, something that had never been done before by another human being, made the culmination of all my years of my swimming – since the age of 5 – worthwhile and uniquely meaningful.

To accomplish a goal of this scope, I believe that one must have a mentor. That is, someone who has inspired you to follow your dreams – to truly reach beyond your grasp. For me, that person was, and still is, my dad, Ted Erikson, one of the greatest marathon swimmers to ever pass through the water and an even greater dad!

I'm extremely proud of this first three-way crossing of the English Channel because it is a record that cannot ever, and will not ever, be broken because like Roger Bannister's [first] sub-4 minute mile run, there is only one first. [Roger] was the pioneer and inspired others by giving them the confidence that this goal is humanly achievable. I trust that as my Dad has inspired me, my three-way channel swim has done the same, inspiring other swimmers and instilling in them the self-assurance that their goals can be reached.


Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What did you eat right after you finished?
Erikson I didn't eat right after the swim. The most important aspect then is to get into a warm bath and thaw out. When I did eat, it was skinless roasted chicken, small portions because after feeding, every 45 minutes to 1 hour for the last 38 hours, on liquid foods (Nutrament, tea, coffee and soups all mixed with 400 calories of glucose), you don't want to shock your GI-tract.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What advice do you have for anyone who is doing a single-crossing of the English Channel?
Erikson: If you can swim ten miles non-stop at a steady pace, you will have a better than 50% chance of a single English channel crossing. Double this for a double crossing and triple this for a triple. It must always be understood that the remaining [percentage of success] is dependent on the weather, the start time, your captain and crew, your handlers and the other obstacles that you encounter: jellyfish, freighters, darkness, storms, etc. You have to be prepared to pay your nickel and take your chances.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming [to Ted Erikson who was on Jon’s escort boat]: Any other comments on the triple crossing?
Ted Erikson: Jon was very proud to receive a Rolex watch for the fastest single crossing on August 19th 1979 on his way to a double crossing. It bettered John Kinsella’s [crossing who was] in the water at the same time, going for a single. Needless to say, I have been impressed and humbled by my son's achievements.

Other articles about Jon Erikson are here:

* Jon Erikson's Thoughts 3 Decades Later On The 3-Way
* Jon Erikson's Remarkable 12-Year Career
* Jon Erikson, A Giant In The Sport, Passes Away
* Jon Erikson To Be Honoured In Florida And Scotland
* International Swimming Hall Of Fame Open Water Great
* 24-Hour Club … Swimming All Day And Night
* Progressing Quickly In The English Channel
* Swimming Across Lake Michigan And Watching History
* Open Water Swimming Until You Are Blue In The Face
* Survival Swimming In The Outer Limits
* ISHOF Honor Bestowed On Jon Erikson
* Honor Bestowed On Sandra Bucha
* The Erikson Memorial Fund
* Crème de la Crème Of The Open Water World
* Colin Hill Livens Up Global Open Water Swimming Conference
* Simon Murie To Speak At Global Open Water Swimming Conference
* 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference Speakers
* Jon Erikson Needs Good Cheer
* Sharp As A Swimmer, The Mervyn Marathon Magic
* The Heart Of Lions

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

1 comment:

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.

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

Swim Across the English Channel...

OWSM-CM

Who else is looking for a qualified open water swimming coach to help them swim across the English Channel?

Chloë McCardel is a 6-time English Channel Swimmer who inspires and instructs. Access featured content by Chloë in this month's issue of the Open Water Swimming Magazine. Published monthly by WOWSA, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a digital, interactive publication made available exclusively to WOWSA members. See what you've been missing! Become a WOWSA member today!

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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