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Sunday, February 3, 2013
Darren Jaundrill, An Unlikely Swimmer Setting The Bar
The stretch of water between Scotland and Ireland is notorious for laying waste to the best plans and preparations of dozens of the most capable cold-water open water swimmers for decades. Cold water, fickle currents, unpredictable winds and weather, jellyfish - the North Channel is difficulty defined.
From the 1920's to the early part of the 21st century, the number of successes across the North Channel have been few and far between - and vastly outnumbered by aborted swims:
1. Tom Blower, 28 July 1947, 15 hours 26 minutes (Ireland-to-Scotland)
2. Kevin Murphy, 11 September 1970, 11 hours 21 minutes (Ireland-to-Scotland)
3. Kevin Murphy, 29 August 1971, 14 hours 27 minutes (Ireland-to-Scotland)
4. Ted Keenan, 11 August 1973, 18 hours 27 minutes (Ireland-to-Scotland)
5. Alison Streeter, 22 August 1988, 9 hours 54 minutes (Ireland-to-Scotland)
6. Margaret (Maggie) Kidd, 23 August 1988, 15 hours 26 minutes (Ireland-to-Scotland)
7. Colleen Blair, 12 September 2008, 15 hours 23 minutes (Ireland-to-Scotland)
8. Anne Marie Ward, 1-2 September 2010, 18 hours 59 minutes (Ireland-to-Scotland)
9. Craig Lenning, 27 July 2011, 14 hours 44 minutes (Ireland-to-Scotland)
10. Howard Keech, 2 August 2011, 14 hours 47 minutes (Ireland-to-Scotland)
1. Alison Streeter, 25 August 1989, 10 hours 4 minutes (Scotland-to-Ireland)
2. Alison Streeter, 18 August 1997, 10 hours 2 minutes (Scotland-to-Ireland)
3. Kevin Murphy, 7 September 1989, 17 hours 17 minutes (Scotland-to-Ireland)
4. Paul Lewis, 27 July 1999, 14 hours 28 minutes (Scotland-to-Ireland)
5. Stephen Price, 21 July 2000, 16 hours 56 minutes (Scotland-to-Ireland)
6. Colm O Neill, 31 July 2004, 11 hours 25 minutes (Scotland-to-Ireland)
7. Stephen Redmond, 31 August 2010, 17 hours 17 minutes (Scotland-to-Ireland)
8. Wayne Soutter, 26 August 2012, 12 hours 11 minutes (17 km course)
Each of these swimmers trained hard and long. They had to prepare themselves for all kinds of obstacles: acclimatization to the cold was only part of the equation. So was acceptance of the pain of jellyfish stings, and the unpredictability of the currents. But one common thread among these successes was their timing. These swims happened in summer, between July and September.
However, one of the greatest swims in open water swimming history reportedly occurred this winter. Darren Jaundrill claimed a solo crossing of the North Channel on December 16th in 15 hours 16 minutes from Belfast, Ireland to Portpatrick, Scotland. His self-monitored swim was the second swim of his Three Channels Challenge, a series of charity swims on behalf of the British military (Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity, BFBS Big Salute and Help for Heroes).
"Three channels for three charities supporting three forces," explained Jaundrill. "The best things in life are in threes. That was borne from a night with some Royal Marines. The concept is simple, spread awareness of the charities by taking it across the major land masses in the British Isles."
But it was not land that attracted Jaundrill. "I have never been much a runner or cyclist. My swimming background is limited to swimming for personal recreation although I have done some search-and-rescue training in the past. I find swimming in the sea the closest I get to pure bliss, almost like liquid heaven to me." His first marathon swim was a 31 nautical mile swim from England to Wales, from Ilfracombe to Swansea. The May 2011 swim was not easy for the first-timer despite the warmish 14ºC (57ºF) waters. "The Bristol Channel was a swim of lessons with good visibility, a sea state of 2, and a gentle unimposing breeze pretty much throughout. [With a time of 21 hours 46 minutes], I came within minutes of beating Gethin Jones' record [of 21 hours 29 minutes] on the Ilfracombe to Swansea route. Personal ambition may dictate I give it another try someday."
The next year, Jaundrill stepped up to the highest alter of the marathon swimming world - the North Channel.
In temperatures that have never been attempted before, for over 15 hours.
"[My] plan was to swim from Belfast [Ireland] to Stranraer; however, it was clear from a weather system moving in that it wasn't going to happen. It was shortened in the mid-morning to have me swim into Portpatrick [Scotland]. That said the GPS track shows me firmly on course for Stranraer due to the water movement. It became quite frustrating constantly revising direction."
While the weather threw some obstacles at Jaundrill, the cold water didn't seem to bother him. "The water was much cooler averaging 9-10ºC (48-50ºF) and the sea state did get to a 3 during the course of the day. But otherwise, we were lucky in the weather conditions." 15 hours 16 minutes in the 10ºC conditions is not luck; it is an example of indomitable strength and cold-water acclimatization of the highest order.
His exploit, if true, is in order given his preparation in the North Sea. "People often ask how much swimming I do in a pool to prepare. Quite simply, the answer is very little. Though it certainly helps as cardio exercise and to build stamina, it does nothing to prepare you for the beast that is Mother Nature at sea. Tides, currents, wind, rain, hail, sea creatures, it's all there waiting for you. And the nice pool temperature is somewhat different to what Mother Nature gives you in the sea. I tend to therefore do a great deal of gym work on the chest, shoulders and legs with my preferred training location being the North Sea."
But he now plans to one-up his incredulous December crossing of the North Channel. "2013 will see me take on the St Georges Channel from Dublin to Anglesey to Liverpool. The estimated time to completed the [99-mile] St Georges swim will be between 44-46 hours though this could change considerably. There is plenty that could go wrong over that length of time. Nearly two days is a long time in terms of weather and conditions. Jellyfish are always a concern and I have been stung previously during the Bristol Channel swim. I am slightly anxious about being stung early on in the St Georges swim."
While his first two swims did not have observers or media representatives, and was not ratified by the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association or other third party, his pilot for his upcoming 99-mile St Georges attempt this year will allow observers and representatives of the media, his chosen charities (BFBS Big Salute, The Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity, and Help For Heroes), and the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association on board. With his claim at completing the North Channel in December, there will be no shortage of representatives ready to board his escort boat - as well as fellow marathon swimmers who may want to train with him.
Certainly with his mind-expanding winter swim across the North Channel, Jaundrill has substantially moved the bar for endurance athletes. By going outside the typical July-September time frame in the channel swimming community, Jaundrill demonstrated a completely different mindset for open water swimmers. No longer bound by the traditional swimming calendar, channel swims can be attempted outside the short summer season at different times of the year. It is this breakthrough mentality that is undoubtedly enabling Jaundrill to believe in his 99-mile sea swim later this year. With this kind of unprecedented thinking, Jaundrill can be an unlikely influence-maker in the sport. There will be at least a few hardened and adventurous athletes in the global open water swimming community who will wish to train with him as he prepares for his third channel challenge - and many more who will wish to study his courses across the Bristol Channel and North Channel.
But could these arduous swims be done in the Bristol Channel? What about the North Channel - in December - without the usual pedigree of completing the English Channel? Was it actually completed without video evidence, independent observers or with the aid of an experienced pilot and crew with no reports of even mild hypothermia? While his swims are not officially certified, Jaundrill is confident in his claims and abilities - and welcomes others to join his cause and his team as he trains for his 99-mile sea swim.
Jaundrill looks forward to others joining his cause. He has raised over £1000 from his first two swims, but feels "there is more I can be doing to publicise the [99 nautical mile swim connecting Ireland, Wales and England]. My challenges are going to be physically and mentally demanding and intense, but that is nothing compared with the work of our Forces. I can only hope that people will answer my call and support me supporting the charities supporting the forces."
For more information about his previous swims and charities, visit here.
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
Swim Across the English Channel...
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 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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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 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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