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Monday, April 8, 2013

Scarred For Life On A Starry, Starry Night In Arizona

It was a night none of the swimmers will ever forget.

Patrick Brundage recalls, "I could swing my eyes upward a bit and see the brilliant starry sky that we never get to see in light-polluted Phoenix. It was gorgeous. Add to that the neat effect of my orange glow stick wrist band and one of my pink glow sticks that was on a longer string flopping around and this was the closest I think I'll ever come to a swimming rave. I didn't even need club music to get totally lost in the zone of swimming. I was really digging [swimming in Roosevelt]."

But the daytime swims of the four-day, 66.9 km (41.7-mile) stage swim organized by Kent Nicholas were similarly unforgettable.

David Barra summed up the first reservoir swum, "The banks of the river and Saguaro Lake are lined with sage and saguaro cacti that alternate between open areas and tall canyon walls rising straight out of the water. The rugged beauty of this lake is breathtaking, and I was, at times, distracted, wanting to focus my attention on one feature or another."

Janet Harris was also impressed by the second reservoir swum, "Canyon Lake lived up to its name. The walls rose up dramatically on both sides of the lake all along the twisty route from dam to dam. We even saw a big-horn sheep along the way."

The brainchild of deep-thinker and criminal attorney Kent Nicholas was beautiful, but it was definitely not easy. He felt the effects after his 8 hour 25 minute swim against the oncoming wind for 27.3 km in third stage in Apache Lake, "Well that was a son of a b***h!"

Nicholas hosted the inaugural S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge in 4 reservoirs in Arizona as a means to prepare for his 2012 Manhattan Island Marathon Swim. His underground stage swim was so successful, he is now attracting swimmers from as far away geographically as Ireland. Ned Denison, always up for any challenge on any continent, will take a bit of a detour on his way from Cork, Ireland to Fort Lauderdale, Florida in order to participate in the S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge.

The S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge stands for 9.5-mile (15.2 km) Saguaro (Lake), 9-mile (14.4 km) Canyon (Lake), 17-mile (27.3 km) Apache (Lake), and 6.2-mile (10 km) Roosevelt (Lake). "In search of a unique open water swim challenge in Arizona, the four reservoirs on the Salt River provide that unique opportunity," explains Nicholas. "It's a bit of a rogue swim because there were no permits, licenses, insurance, coast guard support, law enforcement approval, or any other permission sought from anyone. We hiked, boated, swam, laughed and swam again without letting the obstacles and hurdles of modern life prevent us from swimming more than 40 miles in a beautiful environment."

And they are going to do it again. And again, and again, and again.

The Saguaro Lake stage is a 9.5-mile (15.2 km) swim at 1529-feet (466m) elevation which is rimmed with canyon walls. The lake is home to all kinds of fish including carp weighing as much as 30 pounds. The venue is within the Superstition Wilderness of the Tonto National Forest. The Canyon Lake 9-mile (14.4 km) stage is done at 1,660 feet (505m) altitude, formed by the Mormon Flat Dam. The Apache Lake is a 17-mile (27.3 km) stage in the beautifully isolated Apache Lake. The lake separates the Four Peaks Wilderness from the Superstition Wilderness and is considered fairly remote (dirt road access). The picturesque canyon is framed by the Mazatzal Mountains and Superstition Mountains. The Roosevelt Lake stage is a 10 km night swim that begins at a very small boat dock approximately 5 miles east of the marina and finishes under the stars and moon at the Roosevelt Dam.

For more information, visit here.

Arizona S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge 2012 created by Kent Nicholas on Vimeo.

Photo above from inaugural S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge shows some of the crew and a few competitors including Dave Barra, Janet Harris and Kent Nicholas.

Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming

1 comment:

  1. Great Post! But you might just want to try having the vacation in cork , it would be really fun!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you very much for your interest in the world of open water swimming.

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

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