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Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Relaying In The Open Water - Funky Freestyling
For example, even if a relay member in the Catalina Channel swimming under the rules of the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation becomes hurt and cannot swim any more, they must enter the water and float for the requisite hour rotation if their relay is to be judged successful. It is a tough situation to face, but those are the rules.
And many relays around the world, from the Round Ireland to the Night Train swimmers adventures from Mexico to California strictly follow these rules.
But there are relay rules in the sport that are more flexible and match the adventurous desires of fun-filled adult relay teams. These Freestyle relays are relays where each open water swimmer can swim any distance or for any amount of time and in any rotation that they wish. Unlike the traditional channel relays where each swimmer swims for one hour and stays in the same rotation, swimmers have much more freedom in deciding their own distance, time and rotation order under the flexible traditions of Freestyle relays.
Some Freestyle relays are quite unique. Six-member relays like the extraordinarily fast Queensland (Australia) relays that dominate the 18 km Fiji Swims have taken a sprinter's approach to the sport.
The 6 swimmers re-thought how to swim at maximum speed and take their rotations down to 1-2 minutes each. This allows the team members to swim as fast as they can for as little as 1 minute with a 5-minute break between each leg. These types of teams literally sprint across channels.
Other Freestyle relays allow swimmers to swim as long as they wish and then substitute out as desired. There was a classic 42 km crossing of the Santa Barbara Channel in 2008 where 55 relay members participated as a charity swim. The Big Swim crossing, organized by Emilio Casanueva, enabled each swimmer to get a taste of channel swimming. Some wanted to swim at night; others only wanted to swim in the daytime hours; others wanted to swim for 30 minutes; others wanted just to get in for a few minutes. The swimmers were participating not to follow the traditional rules of the sport, but rather for the camaraderie and adventure as well as to raise money for a good cause.
Photos above show the traditional Round Ireland Swim relay including Anne Marie Ward, Ryan Ward, Tom Watters, Ian Claxton and Nuala Moore, along with the Freestyle relay by The Big Swim.
Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming
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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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The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.