To educate, entertain, and enthuse those who venture beyond the shore. Over 10,900 articles on solo swims, pro races, relays, charity events, eco-swims, stage swims, marathon swims, trends, products, services, personalities, coaches, governing bodies, rules, demographics, books, films, blogs, conferences, camps, clinics, exploits and happenings in oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, dams, canals, channels, fjords, estuaries, lochs, coves, firths, straits, bays, and harbors. Sponsored by WOWSA.org.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
To Bubble Or Not To Bubble - That Is The Question
His comprehensive analyses are posted here.
It was very interesting snapshot of the community that is estimated to include at least 710 channel swimmers and 6,500 marathon swimmers in size. Morrison did an excellent job analyzing and presenting the information.
One of the controversial items found among the myriad survey results was the use of bubble caps in the sport of marathon swimming. Unlike the old-fashioned wool swimsuits that admittedly felt warmer than today's swimsuits made out of synthetic materials, bubble caps are still around and remain in use from swimming pools around the world to the English Channel, although some marathon swimming organizations like the NYC Swim and races like the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim have outlawed them.
As Morrison pointed out, "If an item is controversial, it is in some way approaching a line in the sand. In marathon swimming, if you’re flirting with this line – trying to find loopholes for some extra edge – quite simply, you’re doing it wrong."
When it comes to use of bubble caps, the survey found that 57% of the marathon swimmers were against the use of this type of swim cap. Perhaps many of these swimmers feel - and know - that use of a bubble cap makes the head feel warmer, especially with those styles that have chin strap and are held snugly against the head and covers the ears? From that perspective, these swimmers may feel bubble caps are a "loophole for some extra edge" - an unfair advantage at least compared to the standard swim cap.
But there are various ways to look at this controversy and 43% of the community is accepting of the use of bubble caps.
We wanted to check out the situation for ourselves, so we did a test in what that is cold by our own personal standards. In an ocean swim in the 55ºF (12ºC) Pacific Ocean in Huntington Beach, California, we felt the bubble cap feels warmer overall relative to other caps. This is an admittedly personal impression, and may not be true among every open water swimmer. Furthermore, we have no way of confirming if our head or core body temperature was actually elevated due to the bubble swim cap. Upon diving into the cooler-than-we-like Pacific Ocean, the water easily and quickly seeped into the bubble cap with the first impression that this bubble cap was no help at all. The head felt a bit cool, certainly cooler than a tight-fitting modern-day silicon cap. But then, like swimming through a much-appreciated warm patch of water, the water inside the cap seemed to warm up and act as a slight insulation against the colder water outside enveloping our body. Also, because the cap was held snugly to our head and around and over the ears with a strap, this gave the cap a "heat advantage" over the standard silicon, latex or Lycra swim cap.
But are bubble caps a loophole for some extra edge? That is difficult to answer in the affirmative in our opinion.
The reason why is because bubble caps have been long used in the English Channel - even among such channel stalwarts as Kevin Murphy, as ingrained as part of marathon swimming lore as anyone currently living, and others like Carol Sing and Linda McGill. Back in the 1930's when bubble caps first started to be manufactured and distributed around the world, there were no silicon or latex swim caps as we know them today. So, like the wool swimsuit, there are plenty of historical precedents of use of bubble caps in marathon swimming.
Unlike the neoprene caps of triathlon vintage, bubble caps have a long history of use in the English Channel and marathon swims around the world. If history is any guide, there were fewer alternatives to the bubble cap in the earlier generations. So from our perspective, use of a bubble cap is not a loophole in the rules; rather, they are part of marathon swimming heritage.
But the fact that controversy over the use of bubble caps reigns and the majority of marathon swimmers are against their use. While most sporting goods stores and online retailers sell the more popular latex, silicon and Lycra swim caps made popular by Olympic pool swimmers, old-school bubble caps are not as readily available...or even cool-looking from the perspective of the younger generations.
What is a bubble cap or a bubble crepe cap as they are more formally called? They are swim caps made of latex or thicker silicon that have a stretchy bubbly texture to them and often a chin strap to keep them in place. Their use has been discussed by the Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation and currently permitted as they are judged to not retain heat or aid buoyancy. The bubble caps are a part of the standard of swimwear that has been long allowed on English Channel swims and have been worn for record swims by swimmers such as English Channel swimmer Chris Blakeslee aka El Sharko of the South End Rowing Club in San Francisco California where he swims almost daily in the cold 62ºF or less waters of the bay. El Sharko recommends the bubble caps highly as they come in head sizes unlike most other caps and the strap helps keep them on in surf and rough water swims, he has a following of other bubble cap swimmers who agree that the bubble cap is great for open water swims. For working out or for those not yet acclimated to cold-water conditions, they provide an option for double capping over a silicon cap and are easy to put on over top of a neoprene cap for visibility and added warmth in other open and cold water swims.
While that represents one opinion, 57% of the 175 marathon swimmers surveyed believe bubble caps are not rightly acceptable for channel and marathon swims. It will remain interesting to see if the world's governing bodies - from the newer organizations like the Lake Tahoe Swimming Society, Farallon Islands Swimming Association, Menorca Channel Swimming Association, and the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association to the older organizations like the Channel Swimming Association - take into consideration the collective opinions of the contemporary marathon swimming community and make any changes in their rules based on the majority opinion.
Photo shows Chris Blakeslee in his blue bubble cap before his English Channel swim. He and his bubble cap colleagues favor orange or red colored caps while training in the San Francisco Bay.
Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming
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.
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.
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:
The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.