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Tuesday, January 8, 2013
The Unpredictability Of The Olympic Open Water
It is one thing to be one official as part of a team of officials. It is a completey different thing altogether when Ratto is responsible for helping organize the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim in his native land at home.
"To officiate at the London Olympics was a dream come true," said the coach and administrator.
"But at the end of this Olympic cycle, the dream will become even bigger. I am going to organize the Marathon Swimming Olympic events at home."
Unlike the man-made rowing basin in Shanghai or the land-locked Serpentine in Hyde Park, Copacabana Beach is in the open sea, facing the Atlantic Ocean. The 10K race will be held in the most calm part of Copacabana due to a small sheltered area that is called Posto 6. "The course is protected by a peninsula that juts out from Copacabana. This means that the course is sheltered from the prevailing southwest swells which are the most common in winter in the Southern Hemisphere when we will have the Rio Olympics."
London was a landmark in the history of the sport and set a high bar in terms of organization. It was a globally broadcast, but there were pre-race rehearsals for everybody including the officials. "The venue [of the Serpentine] that was created to host the 10K in Hyde Park was perfect. There were thousands of spectators who watched the women's race due to the presence of Britain's Keri-Anne Payne, the largest audience in the history of our sport.
I felt like I was taken back in time, back to the 1970's to a packed Maracanã Stadium, Brazil's most important soccer stadium located in Rio and scheduled to host the opening and closing ceremony. At the time, there were no public limits at major events and 200,000 spectators could attend to a soccer game. In London, the open water event made me feel the same. It was amazing! Obviously that the conditions of a man-made lake made it easier on the Organizing Committee."
But the perfection of the London 10K Marathon Swim presented headaches and worries for Ratto.
"After the Olympic Games I felt myself in trouble. I remembered the Pan American Games in 2007. It was quite an experience, especially since we had rough seas. The ocean conditions throughout the week of the Pan American open water swims, especially on the actual day of the event, greatly hampered the work of the organization. Swiss Timing (Omega), could not set the finish gate in the water. At the last minute, we had to ask Luarsa, a local company that runs the open water events throughout Brazil, for help. We decided to use a inflatable finish gate. But the technology needed for the results of the event could not be set, so the results were administrated manually.
The Rio 2016 Organizing Committee will have to call upon a lot of creativity and the help of experts to deal with the potential adversities, especially those who have more experience at the Copacabana venue. Specialists from Travessia dos Fortes, King and Queen of the Sea, Rio de Janeiro Swimming Federation, Brazilian Swimming Federation and the Luarsa staff, who for years have been organizing events in the Olympic venue, will find the best solutions to put on a great show under potentially rough sea conditions with ocean swells, waves in a dynamic environment."
Copyright © 2012 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
Swim Across the English Channel...
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Open Water Swimming Magazine
Open Water Swimming MagazineThe 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 SwimmingAn 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.
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