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Friday, April 12, 2013

Seven Attempts Crossing Through Gate Of Grief From Djibouti To Yemen

Emre Seven, a marathon swimmer from Turkey, will attempt to be the first person to swim between Djibouti and Yemen. His window will extend from the end of April to the middle of May.

Seven completed a 31 km swim from Kalamata to Koroni in Greece in 13 hours across the Messiniakos Gulf (Swimming Marathon of the Messinian Gulf), so the distance across the Bab-el-Mandeb is not the major issue. But venomous and dangerous marine life, giant tankers, and extremely high salinity certainly will be.

Seven will attempt to swim the 29 km (18 miles) between the coasts of Djibouti and Yemen across the Bab-el-Mandeb (Mandab Strait), the strait between the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

In this part of the world, in the southern part of the Red Sea, Seven will face swimming in one of the most saline bodies of water in the world, but also tiger sharks, Grey reef sharks, Titan triggerfish, Yellowmargin triggerfish, giant moray eels, surgeonfish, stonefish, lionfish, scorpionfish, rabbitfish, stingrays, pufferfish, boxfish, soapfish, Portuguese man o war, cone shells, and crown-of-thorns starfish. There will be potential danger in every stroke from shore to shore.

What is the issue with boat traffic? The Bab-el-Mandeb (meaning Gate of Grief in Arabic) is a strait located between Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula, Djibouti and Eritrea, in the Horn of Africa where much of the world's oil is moved daily by tankers. Not only will he have to steer clear of the large tankers, but he will also face strong currents near the coast of Djibouti outside a group of smaller islands known as the Seven Brothers.

What might be some problems with the marine life? The tiger sharks is a relatively large apex predator, capable of attaining a length of over 5m (16 foot) that is a solitary, mostly nocturnal hunter and second on the list of number of recorded attacks on humans; Grey reef sharks are territorial, aggressive, and have been involved in non-fatal attacks on divers; Titan triggerfish aggressively guards its nest if eggs are present where attacks can be severe and leave wounds requiring stitches; Yellowmargin triggerfish, giant moray eels are occasionally aggressive but most bites result from divers putting a hand into the hole in which the eel lives; surgeonfish have sheathed blades at the base of the tail which can inflict deep wounds; extremely well-camouflaged stonefish have venomous spines on its back that can penetrate shoes and be fatal; lionfish have venomous fin rays that can cause systemic effects such as extreme pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, breathing difficulties, convulsions, dizziness, redness, headaches, and numbness, and sweating over a period of several days; , scorpionfish have venomous spines that produces venom that may prove fatal; rabbitfish have dorsal, pelvic and anal fins with venomous spines, capable of inflicting painful wounds; stingrays have sharp detachable spines at the base of the tail, capable of causing severe wounds; pufferfish accumulate neurotoxin in their skin and internal organs that is extremely potent and has led to many fatalities; boxfish accumulate tetrodotoxin and are poisonous to eat; soapfish produces a bitter toxin from their skin to deter predators that can cause illness in humans; Portuguese man o war has stinging venom-filled nematocysts in its tentacles that usually cause severe pain, leaving whip-like, red welts on the skin that normally last 2 or 3 days after the initial sting; cone shells house molluscs which use a venomous harpoon to kill prey as the venom causes paralysis which may lead to death; and the crown-of-thorns starfish are covered in spines which have a venomous sheath. The venom may cause highly painful wounds and even paralysis.

That is certainly enough to enter the Gates of Grief.

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

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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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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.

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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.

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