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Friday, June 21, 2013
Leahi Camacho, Making Molokai Memorable
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: When did you start thinking about crossing the Molokai Channel?
Leahi Camacho: The channel itself I didn't know much about. But I do remember in 2009 watching the news with my dad, specifically because "the girl I went to zones with" was going to be on, Mackenzie Miller. I remember telling my dad that I wanted to to that. Even though I had no idea how far it was. After that it kinda died down until a few months ago when I was late-night web surfing and one link led to the next and I was looking at all the channels on the Hawaii swimming web page. I printed out the map and the rules, wrote "maybe one day?" below the picture and put it on my dad's desk, next thing I know I was outside of the pool telling my coach this was something I really wanted to do.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What does it mean to a local swimmer from the Big Island to cross the Molokai Channel?
Leahi Camacho: I've grown up watching Ironman, volunteering at different extreme sporting events and have always said I want to do something like that, just as most people do. But soon after the desire bows out because the hype is up. Now that I'm doing something that is pretty dang daunting to me and following through. Also that very few people even know about is so completely unreal to me. Every time I go out to practice people ask "How far today?", I tell them and then realize, "Holy heck, 26 miles is a long way". To be the youngest from the Big Island doesn't really register until people ask if I am. Age is merely a number, regardless of age it is still going to be the toughest physical and mental challenge I have ever faced and that anyone will face. I can't wait to touch down at Sandy's [Beach on Oahu], I know tears are going to be a factor, just because it will seem like a dream, it's a personal mountain for me to climb and when I get to the top I can't wait to take in the view.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What kind of training do you do to attempt the Molokai Channel?
Leahi Camacho: I train with Steve Borowski, who I have been with since I was 10-ish, I was a chunky little kid who had to be rescued from her first ocean swim. Now though me and two of my teammates Madison and Cara train doubles 3 times a week usually adding up to 9,000-10,000 yards and then the other two days just single workouts that are around 5,000-6,000 yards. I generally do strength training with cords, nothing too hard core, mostly a preventative measure to be sure my shoulders don't blow out. Then I sneak in 2 long ocean swims a week ranging from 8-15 miles.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Who will be on your escort crew?
Leahi Camacho: I might have the best escort crew around, my coach, who I was afraid was not going to make it. But I now cherish hearing his whistle during my breath just as a little reassurance. The assistant coach, Wendy, who I have gotten super close with over these last few years, especially in 7th grade when she was my math teacher and come to find out we both swam. My dad, who had raised me and has always been my support team in himself. I just really wanna make him proud.
Possibly another swimmer who may swim the night portion with me, Jonah Hu. We have been friends for a long time and he's pretty comfortable at night. Then of course my wondrous kayakers Steve Haumschild and Jeff Kozlovich, the dynamic duo of the [Hawaiian] channels. Of course, Captain Matt Buckman and possibly a doctor, Michael Traub, a family friend and also my support system.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What worries you about the crossing?
Leahi Camacho: My biggest worry are the cookiecutter sharks. Hearing the horror stories about some guy getting a chunk taken out of his chest is kind of unsettling. I've become aware that I will get stung, it will be deep, and I will be sore. Cookiecutters are my nightmare come true. Yeah I would definitely be scared if a tiger shark popped up. Who wouldn't? But as long as I don't go poking around at it, I hope it'll leave me alone. Secondly is getting hurt or stung to where I can't finish, that would be heart-breaking, not just to me but I feel like my crew and the team at home would be a little upset.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What do your parents think about your attempt?
Leahi Camacho: I told my mom at dinner when she came to visit me, she kinda looked at me and was like "okay...why?" I explained to her and I don't think she took me seriously until I called her after my first long swim in training. My dad, just wrote back on the note "we got the boat, go hoops" (which has been my name from him for I have no idea how long). I feel like it was a lot if disbelief among them, until we paid the deposit for the boat and my training was in full swing.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What other open water swims have you completed?
Leahi Camacho: Marathon swimming is rather new to me. I mean I've heard of it, but I have never competed in insane distances. The furthest before I started training was the Ali'i Challenge, back when 6 miles was insane to me. But I have swum the 1.2 course right in my own back yard hundreds of times. Last summer I was lucky enough to capture the Triple Crown title for the ocean swim series on the Big Island. I feel like our team has always been really strong in the ocean, pool distance; certain people can run us down, but plop them in the ocean and it's a whole new ball game with the umpire Mother Nature calling the shots.
Ka'iwi is going to be quite a journey but I really want to be an inspiration to someone, to show people that they just gotta get up, they can move mountains and inspire someone else to be great. I feel like there is no greater burden than great potential. We gotta go out there and fight for it.
The young lady from the Big Island of Hawaii is certainly wise beyond her years.
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.