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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Gateway To India And Inspirational Smiles

The Gateway to India Challenge is a solo 21.97-mile (35.3 km) marathon swim in Mumbai Harbour.

The most recent person to complete this swim was Christian Jongeneel in December 2012. Jongeneel, who has completed 4 of the Oceans Seven waterways (English Channel, Catalina Channel, Strait of Gibraltar and Cook Strait), became the first non-Indian swimmer to complete the Gateway to India Challenge.

What made Jongeneel's 6 hour 49 minute swim so interesting was the amount of data that he captured using Garmin technology. From his average pace of 15:49 minutes per mile to the average temperature of 78°F (25°C), Jongeneel had plenty of data to do a post-swim analysis. He certainly caught the right tides as his pace hit a maximum of 8:29 minute per mile, and swam in the cool of the early morning (71.6°F or 22°C) to the heat of the day (91.4°F or 33°C). The data also showed that he is incredibly fit as he only averaged 79 beats per minute while hitting a maximum heart rate of 115 bpm. But what was curiously interesting was the fact that his Garmin GPS unit found him to swim at a minimum elevation of -22 feet (-6.7m) and hit a maximum elevation of 37 feet (11m). That is a swing of 18 meters.

This is his story:

Similarly to any other open water challenge, the adventure starts way before the moment to dive into the water. The process always includes the logistics of getting a suitable support team together as well as the logistics of the trip. This can be more or less complicated depending on the time of the year, and the remoteness and cultural gap with the location. Another barrier is getting the necessary permits to swim in waters that are often shared with commercial vessels of remarkable size.

During the past year, I have been struggling to put all the pieces in place in order to organize a fund-raising swimming event in India together with the NGO Vicente Ferrer Foundation. Arti Arun Pradhan, an open water coach and English Channel swimmer, proposed a Gateway of India (Mumbay) swim.

The Gateway to India (Mumbay) Challenge is a well-known swim goal for Indian long-distance swimmers, but it had never been attempted by a foreign athlete. Three organizations were involved in attaining those required permits including the Indian Swim Federation, the Maritime Authority and the Navy. Due to the fact that this was the first swim attempt by a non-Indian national, the three permits were not signed until the very last day even though my team and I had already been around a week in Mumbay.

Once the legal issues were finally resolved in the nick of time, and due to the fact that Mumbay has more than 20 million inhabitants, we had to start heading towards the meeting point five hours before the scheduled start for the swim. This added quite a bit of stress, especially when taking into account that the swim started at 3:00 am, in an industrial harbor for a steel mill. This year I also had to face an unfortunate and very persistent flu that translated in a heavy congestion that made the swim even more challenging.

Once the swim finally started, it took much longer than usual for me to find my comfortable and efficient pace. I decided to stop more frequently than before, stopping every 30 minutes instead that once per hour.

The waters were very turbid and not as clean as I would have wished for. That may have been a factor in reducing my intake as I mostly relied on gels and isotonic drinks. On the other hand, water temperature was less challenging than the norm in my marathon swims, and the progress was very positive after the first couple of hours.


The swim followed a river towards Mumbay bay after a start in an industrial harbor and first progressed through a military base and later through a petrochemical plant before arriving at the Mumbay bay 3-4 hours into the swim by sunrise. Once in Mumbay bay, the currents and waves increased which impacted my swimming pace, but not to worry. Shortly after swimming into the bay, the coast started to become visible: first just a blur, later the skyline, and finally the Gateway to India itself.

The swim took 6 hours 47 minutes. At my arrival, there were officials from Vicente Ferrer Foundation and many spectators, making the moment even more memorable.

Over the past year, I created a small NGO, Brazadas Solidarias in order to raise funds to collaborate with humanitarian projects through two types of events: popular open water swims that attracts up to 200 swimmers and the individual challenges that I organize. Brazadas Solidarias raised nearly half of the funds through the Gateway to India challenge necessary to build a school in rural India. We are confident that the total sum will be raised in a few weeks through a local swim we are finalizing now. More importantly, it gave me the opportunity to collaborate with some of the less fortunate kids who have some of the world’s most wonderful and inspiring smiles. Those smiles will accompany me during my swims from now on.

Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming

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The Staff of the World Open Water Swimming Association

2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference

Learn more...
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...

OWSM-CM

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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...
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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.
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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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