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Monday, May 13, 2013

Feeds Across The Atlantic Ocean

For 32 days, Sara Hajdu served as the First Mate and Chef on Jennifer Figge's latest continuous stage swim from Cape Verde off the western coast of Africa to Antigua in the Caribbean. As Figge swam a total distance of 257.5 nautical miles (477 km) over the month-long traverse across the Atlantic Ocean, Hajdu keep busy helping out on the catamaran Pearl and cooking up a storm on deck. The logistics, operations and planning behind any crossing of an ocean is daunting, but doing so with a swimmer in the water for hours on end is mind-boggling to say the least.

[Figge's daily distance is posted here.]

But we wanted to go behind the scenes and check out what was happening in the galley where Hajdu worked her magic on a daily basis.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How many meals did you plan for over the course of the voyage?

Sara Hajdu: Usually I plan one meal per day - dinner. Jennifer always eats pasta or potato with parmesan cheese and olive oil for breakfast. Until she ends the swim for the day, she does not eat, only drinking every 45 minutes. I try to cook every dinner to have some leftovers for next day's lunch for the crew. But on this trip, nothing was usually left over so I prepared a light lunch, healthy-filling soup with homemade bread for the crew. For the whole trip, I put together a menu for 5 weeks in order to play it on the safe side. Each week, we had twice chicken, twice meat, twice pasta and one time fish.

As I am the chef also on board for our charters (www.xta-sea.com), it is not so hard for me to put a menu together. Although this swim is very different - to cook for 6 people for up to 5 weeks - what can I say? I have a big oceanic family. Also provisioning can be a problem in Cape Verde or other remote places. For this swim, I had to provision 99% of the food in Cape Town, South Africa for both the relocation part (31 days sailing from South Africa to Cape Verde) and the swim part from Cape Verde to Antigua too. Also provisioning a brand new boat means I had to buy really everything from spoons and plates to eggs, meat, toilette paper, etc. The hardest part is if I forget something there is no shop to go to, especially if the trip takes all together 60+ days because there is not much in Capo Verde to re-provision
.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Do you prepare certain meals in advance?
Sara Hajdu: I don't prepare meals in advance. I have time because she is usually finishing around 3 pm with dinner at 6 pm. Also, I get some help from the crew peeling potatoes and we take turns of cleaning up the kitchen before we go to sleep. Anyway it is constant cleaning for me on the boat, so it is not much to clean up at the evenings.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Do you prepare a certain rotation of special meals?
Sara Hajdu: My motto is 'never repeat a meal' so I was cooking different meals every day and we never repeated a single one. Not even on the Pacific swim which lasted 45 days. But also I like to try new recipes and I have a cooking blog in Hungarian with my sister (www.izextazis.blogspot.com). I post recipes and stories of all the places we sailed. My sister looks for the ingredients in my country (e.g chutney's or palm hearts) and cooks it herself to give advice of "how to do it and where to buy it". So I had some of those recipes to make on board and take nice pictures for the blog as I did not have time before to prepare them. We could enjoy even a nice ostrich steak as well as malva pudding with homemade banana ice cream (a South African recipe) together. Also I cook some Hungarian meals like gulash soup or chicken paprikas.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Can you give me an idea of a special meal that Jennifer really enjoys?
Sara Hajdu: I have to say her favorite meal was still the Hungarian bean soup, although she loved all meals. I know her by now very well, I know what she likes and dislikes, so it is not so hard to please her. But you should ask her about her favorite meal.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What are the key ingredients for your breakfast, lunch and dinner plans?
Sara Hajdu: The key ingredients of her breakfast is the pasta or potato and lots of parmesan cheese. On her previous swims, she had a nutrition bar also, but on this swim she switched the bar for two potatoes or more pasta instead. I don't blame her - nutrition bars are not so yummy for 30-some days, every day. When she finishes the swim, I always serve some snacks - popcorn, hummus dip, chips or crackers with some dip on it. It is weird, but after so many hours in the ocean she still craves salty snacks. For dinner, it is mostly meat with different sides and lots of it. Protein and carbs are very, very important for a person who burns that much calories each day, every day for more than a month. For us, the crew, we just simply gain a few pounds each swim because there are delicious desserts twice a week also.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Do you make any really special or unique?
Sara Hajdu: This trip was full with very special or unique meals as I was planning to try out a lot of recipes. But also I cooked the big-time favorites: breaded chicken with fries, gulash soup and the Hungarian pancakes. I would say the most unique was the ostrich kebab. I don't think I have ever heard about anyone who was having ostrich in the middle of the ocean. Also I had a nice "surprise" sauce for a freshly caught tuna made of coconut cream, curry, mango chutney, tomato and onion.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Please explain the importance of food and food preparation on such a long trip.
Sara Hajdu: As I mentioned before, food is very important to help to get back the "lost" calories, but we follow our crew motto: "we are not here to suffer"! So instead of having nutrition bars or prepacked food, you can have the same calories in a delicious meal. This needs a lot of preparation (meaning thinking) before each trip. I start to put together my shopping list months before, but still I always freak out one or two days before we start the swim. Do I have everything?!? Also, I have to be prepared for technical problems on the boat. What if my freezer breaks down with all the frozen stuff and we still have two weeks to go? So I have to have backup food plan: cans. My shopping list was 12 pages this time.

Also the dinner on the boat is our "together-time" when all of us are able to sit down at the table and chat, eat good and have some wine, every day, like a true family. It was a very long trip, but very successful. She beat her record and swam every day. We saw a humpback whale only a few meters away from the boat dancing for us and a marlin trying to catch the tunas hiding under the boat, so it was the most amazing crossing up to now.

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

Swim Across the English Channel...

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Open Water Swimming Magazine


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.

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...
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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.
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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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