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Friday, May 10, 2013

Chip Carrigan Protects The Athletes' Interests At All Times

When a national championship event occurs, the athletes are in the spotlight.

With the swimmers at the center of the championship universe, coaches, parents, volunteers, and officials also play key roles in making sure everything goes according to plan so athletic dreams may be realized in a well-dressed venue under a sense of fair play.

And that is where volunteers like Chip Carrigan of Cincinnati are invaluable.

The passionate open water leader was deservedly selected to be men's and women's Championship Referee for the 2013 USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships to be held in Castaic Lake in Southern California next week.

He has served as an official in four national open water swimming championship events and the 2011 Pan American Games as well as coordinated and organized the Ohio Open Water Swimming Championships, Kentucky Open Water Swimming Championships, and West Virginia Open Water Swimming Championships. Carrigan provides a perspective from the position of a head official at a major championship event:

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How were you selected to be the Head Referee for this competition?
Chip Carrigan: Clark Hammond, Chairman of the USA Swimming Officials Committee, informed me. I was very excited. [And he is well-prepared.] My club, Cincinnati Aquatics Club, owns multiple sets of yellow flags and red flags since we organize open water swims in our area. We made an investment in having the correct equipment.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Do you feel any pressure?
Chip Carrigan: I think about it, but the answer is no. We are there to protect the swimmers. Disqualifications occur, but I view the role of officials to solve issues that occur before the race, during the race, or after the race.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: There are going to be times in the races where the field is bunched up very tightly. How do you maintain order in those situations?
Chip Carrigan: In United States at the national championhips, Americans are very polite swimmers and this helps. We whistle to get their attention in a pack and to signal to them separate. At this level, everything is resolved with whistles.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Do you try to see what goes in under the water, as well as what you can see above the water?
Chip Carrigan: At the national championships where I have served, I have never been able to see more than a few inches under the surface of the water, so I cannot recall that checking out what goes on under the water was an option.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: When an athlete yells out loud during a race, does this catch your attention?
Chip Carrigan: Yes. At the first level, we try to resolve the issue between the swimmers. We try to separate them by making hand signals and blowing our whistles. There are times of repeated offenses where we use our arms to indicate separation. Even when we blow a whistle, we write the number of the swimmer on a whiteboard so they know who we are watching. Of course, contact is part of the sport, whether it is unintentional or intentional. But mostly swimmers clear up any issues on their own.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: When a transponder falls off an athlete's wrist, what do the officials do?
Chip Carrigan: We carry spare transponders on the 2 referee's boats. These boats separate into the lead pack and trailing pack. If the swimmers lose their transponder, then we help them with the transponder. In my experience, it happens at every national championships. It is probably no different than it happens at our Ohio State Championships. We had used transponders with Velcro, and we would lose 6 sets out of every race.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Please explain the mechanics and protocols when an athlete is yellow carded?
Chip Carrigan: Yellow cards are issued due to a number of intentional interference with another athlete after we already tried to attempt to separate them. We also issue yellow cards when the athletes fail to be in compliance with the referee's instructions. When a yellow card is warranted, I blow the whistle and the assistant in the boat has the whiteboard and marker and list of swimmers. The assistant writes the number of the swimmer on the whiteboard and signals to the swimmer that they have received a yellow card. We then writes down the number of the swimmer on the list on the boat, and radio in that information to the other boats and the Clerk of Course as well as the administrative referee onshore. John Julian will serve as my administrative referee. The assistant holds up the whiteboard for 15 seconds or until the swimmers acknowledges the yellow card.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Please explain the mechanics and protocols when an athlete is red carded?
Chip Carrigan: At the time of the second yellow card, the swimmer is disqualified. They must immediately exit the competition course.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Do you explain yellow flags and red flags to athletes or coaches after the race is over?
Chip Carrigan: Yes, we make sure we are there for the athletes. I am happy to be explain what happened in precise detail and what infraction occurred to the athlete, coach, and parent.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Is there a process of appeal?
Chip Carrigan: Yes, there is a meet committee. If there is any controversy, I encourage everyone to appeal the disqualification. It is very important to resolve the issue at the venue. If we - the officials - did not follow the rules, there has to be balance out there because we must protect the swimmers' interests at all times.

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

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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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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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.
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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.

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:
https://www.worldopenwaterswimmingassociation.com/preview-open-water-swimming-almanac


The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.

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