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Tuesday, June 18, 2013
When Is A Relay A Record?
The tradition of six-person relays across channels was started by the Channel Swimming Association in the English Channel. The Association and other channel governing bodies have encouraged and ratified six-person relays where each member swims one-hour legs in successive order without a change in swimming order or swimming duration.
In fact, if there is a change in swimming order or swimming duration, the Observers note this deviation from the established rules and the swim is not ratified. For example, in the Catalina Channel where one relay member cannot proceed due to any reason, this swimmer must still remain in the established rotation and float (or swim slowly) for one hour in order for the relay to be ratified.
However, with growing interest in the sport and the camaraderie that comes with crossing a lake or a channel with friends, colleagues, and teammates, there are now many deviations from the established relays rules of the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation and Channel Swimming Association.
Open water swimming relays can now take on myriad forms based on:
1. Any number of swimmers with a minimum number of two swimmers and an unlimited maximum number of swimmers
2. Any time duration of swim legs
3. Any mix of gender
4. Any mix of ages
5. Any mix of equipment (i.e., some swimmers with wetsuits and some without neoprene)
6. Any mix of fixed or non-fixed rotating order
7. Any mix of swimming styles (e.g., butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle, individual medley)
8. Any mix of disabled and/or able-bodied swimmers
While the tradition of six swimmers has been long established, relays can vary according to the local rules, race regulations, new traditions, availability of swimmers, and many other factors (e.g., size of boat). 2-6 person relays comprise of the vast number of relays, but there are many other deviations.
While the tradition of six members swimming one-hour legs has been long established, the time duration of each swimmer can vary according to the local rules, race regulations, new traditions, availability of swimmers, and other factors (e.g., interest in speed). In the extreme cases, the time duration of record-setting relays has dropped down to 1-2 minutes each. This arrangement allows each swimmer to swim very quickly during each of their legs, but also taxes the swimmers because rest is so correspondingly short.
Relays can be set by all-male teams, all-female teams, teams with equal number per gender, unequal number per gender, senior teams (whatever the age definitions are), or junior teams or disabled teams.
Relays can be set swimming butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle, or in individual medley order.
If the relays are in a fixed rotation, then the members must swim in the same order from start to finish. Conversely, if the relays are determined to be able to swim in a non-fixed rotation, then the members can swim in any order from start to finish where each member swims at least one leg, and members can determine which swimmer enters the water at the appropriate time (e.g., if it is a beach finish in high surf, then the best body-surfing swimmer may elect to get in the water).
What is important and essential is that the rules of the relay are definitively set BEFORE the relay begins. Once the relay begins, it is traditional to follow those particular rules. So if the team determines that each leg will be 30 minutes in a fixed rotation, then the members must swim in the same rotation for 30-minute legs from start to finish. On the other hand, if the pre-set rules of the relay are not followed during the swim, then the relay is correctly defined as another type of relay.
Information about relay records around the world are ratified by the individual associations around the world that govern solo and relay swims in local waters. Records are exclusively determined by the local rules and regulations or race director. Increasingly, relay records are being attempted and set in bodies of water where there are no existing governing bodies. In both cases (i.e., existence of an established governing body and the lack of one), these records are maintained by the World Open Water Swimming Association and posted under Records on Openwaterpedia.
For example, with the first international relay crossing of the Molokai Channel (Ka'iwi Channel Swim) coming up in July, event directors Jeff Kozlovich and Steve Haumschild will be able to determine many different relay records established across the Kaiwi Channel from western shores of the island of Molokai to the eastern shores of the island of Oahu.
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
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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.
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