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2016 WOWSA AWARDS
Vote in All Four CategoriesThe World Open Water Swimming Association is pleased to present the 2016 WOWSA Award Nominees.
The nominees are presented in the following four categories:
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Tsugaru Channel – Where Distances Can Be Deceiving
Based on the various crossings to date, there are various choices of courses to take. While the pilots of the Tsugaru Channel Swimming Association prefer to start on the western peninsula, the pilots of the Tsugaru Strait Swimming Association prefer to start on the eastern peninsula. When a swimmer considers the contour of the coastline of both Honshu (the southern island where Tokyo is located) and Hokkaido (the northern island where Sapporo is located), it is no wonder that the times of the channel swimmers vary greatly.
The closest two points of land across the Tsugaru Channel are Tappi Misaki on the Honshu side and Shirakami Misaki (Cape) on the Hokkaido side. Approximately 19 km apart depending on the exact starting and finishing locations, it is a short channel crossing relative to the other channels of the Oceans Seven challenge (English Channel, North Channel, Catalina Channel, Molokai Channel, Strait of Gibraltar, Cook Strait and Tsugaru Channel). But as open water swimmer knows well, distances can be deceiving.
Because the current flow from west to east between the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean is so strong and so many eddies are created especially closer to each shore, it is very difficult to swim straight between the two closest points between Honshu and Hokkaido. While Steven Munatones (1990), Pat Gallant-Charette (2012) and Anna Carin Nordin (2012) have taken the risk to start at Tappi Misaki, most swimmers mitigate their risks and start at the starting point pioneered by David Yudovin (1990).
Yudovin started at Kodomari Benten Cape - about 30 km away from Hokkaido, but located where he could utilize the prevailing Tsugaru Current. He swam due northwest against the Tsugaru Current which eventually pushed him to Hokkaido in a course roughly shaped as a boomerang. Stephen Redmond and Darren Miller also used this starting point in 2012 and both bulldozed their way to Hokkaido in a zigzag fashion.
As a traditional fishing ground for the sizable local fishing community, there is plenty of marine life in the Tsugaru Channel from squid to sharks. But neither squids nor sharks present any significant hazards to channel swimmers in the area.
While many people believe radioactivity leaks are still affecting the population from Tokyo to Sendai, the water in the Tsugaru Channel flows from the unaffected Sea of Japan to the Pacific Ocean, completing bypassing the nuclear power plant meltdown in Fukushima. A previous article on the radioactivity in the Tsugaru Channel is posted here (Is Radioactivity Impacting The Oceans Seven?).
The water temperature can vary widely from 12°C in the early season in May to a high of 26°C in September. July tends to be in the 16-18°C range as the water temperature rapidly warms up in August (over 20°C) building to its maximum in September.
Captain Mizushima is the most successful and experienced pilot of the local piloting community as he has escorted numerous relays (both wetsuit and non-wetsuit) and individuals (both wetsuit and non-wetsuit) across the Tsugaru Channel, but other pilots are also available as the season is getting more and more crowded year after year.
Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Source
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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.
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...
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.
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.
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In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...
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The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.