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Monday, July 8, 2013

A Champion's Reflections, Eric Nilsson On The Kingdom

Last Saturday, Northwestern University All-American swimmer Eric Nilsson won the World Open Water Swimming Association 10 Mile World Championship at the Kingdom Swim in Lake Memphremagog, Vermont.

After pushing himself to the limit and being pushed by teenager Feodor Orlov over the entire 16.2 km course, we asked the veteran about the Kingdom Swim.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How did you feel before the 10-mile Kingdom Swim?
Eric Nilsson: The morning of the race, upon waking up, I actually felt surprisingly good and alert which was a nice surprise. There's nothing worse than waking up feeling groggy and not up for a long race. Everything went smoothly before the race with checking in, finding my kayaker and getting to the start line. I am never good at eating much before a long morning race, but I managed to get a granola bar and some Gatorade in.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How did you feel in the first half of the race?
Eric Nilsson: I felt strong from the beginning of the race, taking it out pretty smooth but concentrating on a long efficient stroke and light kick that I thought I would be able to hold for the duration of the race. I found my kayaker with relative ease and I was able to see each of the buoys that I needed to without too much difficulty which was a relief because there was a good bit of distance between each buoy. I like knowing where I am going. I maintained the stroke and was in a good mental state for the entire first half of the race. I would say it went by pretty quickly. The only hitch during the first half was that my kayaker dropped her life jacket and in her attempt to retrieve it, fell behind me and had to be towed back up to me by the state trooper. So I had to choose my own line and swim by myself for 15 minutes or so.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How did you feel in the second half of the race?
Eric Nilsson: Right at about halfway through the race, I started having trouble seeing any of the buoys, so I had to blindly trust and follow my kayaker's lead which makes me a little uneasy. But I did trust my kayaker Sandy, so I did not waver from her. There were some buoys that I couldn't see until I was about 20 feet from them, but luckily Sandy could see them well before me. At about two-thirds through the race, my entire body, both arms and legs, and especially hip flexors began to fatigue. This is the point where it seems like the race is at a stand-still and no progress is being made. The addition of not being able to see the buoys makes it seem to go by even slower. Knowing that progress is being made and that the race will end soon helps push me through this though. I didn't have trouble seeing the last buoy which was nice, but at that point all of my muscles were right on the border of cramping, so I couldn't really make any different motions aside from my standard stroke, and needed to keep sighting to a minimum because my hip flexors would cramp each time I did. I managed to get a little momentum going for the finish. Seeing the finish line always gives me some energy. A beach finish meant I needed to get on my feet to get across the line which can be, and was, a little difficult after several hours in the water, especially with leg muscles on the verge of cramping, but I managed to hobble across.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How did you get over the fatigue during the race?
Eric Nilsson: I started feeding early in order to help alleviate fatigue later in the race, but some still came at about two-thirds through the race. At this point, I would just focus on keeping my stroke even on both sides. As my arms were fatiguing slightly greater than my legs, I picked up my legs just a little bit. Other than that, just keeping my mind off the fatigue helped.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What did you eat or drink? How often?
Eric Nilsson: I drank a small cup of Gatorade every 15 minutes, and added a gel pack to the Gatorade at every other feeding.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Did you and your kayaker talk during the race?
Eric Nilsson: Very minimally, but we would exchange a few words during the feeding, just checking up on each other.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What was your strategy versus your competition?
Eric Nilsson: My general strategy in races is to go out strong and try to hold on. During this race I tried to take it out smoother than I have in the past, because I knew I was not in the shape I have been for some of my other long races, so I knew I needed to pace myself in order to be able to finish. Other than that, I just try to not let people draft off of me. As I was in the lead pretty much from the start in this race, I tried to not let up during any part of the race, knowing that Feodor would be right there passing me if I did. I did check back every now and then, seeing where my competition was at, although I tried to do so less in the second half of the race.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How did you feel after the race?
Eric Nilsson: My muscles felt pretty spent after the race, but I felt good and accomplished, as I often do after a long race or workout. I don't think there are many better feelings than just after an endurance session, when you can relax and get something to eat.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Was this race easier or harder than the 10K USA Swimming National Championship races?
Eric Nilsson: I can compare it to the 2011 10k National Championships. This race was completely different than that race, mainly because of the conditions. I was swimming in the lead in this race, as compared to chasing the lead pack in 2011. This race had some mild swell, but it was a lake swim and had generally good conditions. The 2011 10K National Championships basically occurred during a storm with large swells and limited visibility. That race was decided for me at the beginning when I got caught in a group and couldn't get out past it for 15-30 minutes. After that I may have caught the lead pack a little but it is tough swimming solo in an open water race when others are in a group, and I never managed to re-enter the pack with the leaders.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What are your next open water swimming goals?
Eric Nilsson: This summer I have just a couple more races lined up including the Trans Tahoe Relay which I have done the past 2 years, the 8-mile Boston Light Swim which I competed in last year, the RCP Tiburon Mile which I've done the past 3 years, and some local New England races. My main goals include getting enough swim and workout time in my schedule to get into shape. I plan on competing in some competitive races in the next couple years, possibly some FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix races and 10K USA Swimming National Championships.

Photos courtesy of Phil White.

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.

2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference Agenda


Friday, 19 September

5:30

PM


Welcome Reception at Mount Stuart House, Isle of Bute, Scotland

Documentary films shown throughout the reception:

Blue Journey-Amerika Samoa – Stronger Together: The Waterman’s Way
(film by Bruckner Chase)

Dancing With The Water, Crossing of Lake Pontchartrain
(film by Wayne Ewing about Matthew Moseley's Lake Pontchartrain crossing)

Bering Strait Swim Chukotka - Alaska
(film by Admiral Konstantin Sidenko about the relay between Russia and Alaska)

The Clean Swim – Hong Kong to Macau
(film about Simon Holiday's Pearl River Delta crossing)


Saturday, 20 September

9:00

AM


Registration and Coffee at Mount Stuart House, Isle of Bute, Scotland

10:00

AM


Keynote Speech:
Colleen Blair (Scotland) on The History of Scottish Swimming

10:20

AM


Christopher Guesdon (Australia) on Multidimensional Roles In The Sport

10:30

AM


Colin Hill (England) on Recent Explosion in UK Open Water

10:50

AM


Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia) on The Feminine Code of Achievement - How a Lady from Down Under Revolutionized Professional Marathon Swimming

11:10

AM


Simon Murie (England) on Open Water Swimming Holidays: How A New Sector Was Created Within The Travel Industry

11:30

AM


Swimming The Oceans Seven
A round table discussion moderated by:
Kevin Murphy (England), with Stephen Redmond (Ireland), Anna-Carin Nordin (Sweden),
Darren Miller (USA), Adam Walker (England), Kimberley Chambers (New Zealand)

12:30

PM


Coffee and Break

1:00

PM


World Open Water Swimming Awards Luncheon:
with co-hosts Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia) and Steven Munatones (USA)

Pádraig Mallon (Ireland), 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year

Olga Kozydub (Russia), 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year

Bering Strait Swim, 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year

Honoring: Vladimir Chegorin, Maria Chizhova, Elena Guseva, Ram Barkai, Jack Bright, Oksana Veklich, Aleksandr Jakovlevs, Matías Ola, Henri Kaarma, Toomas Haggi, Nuala Moore, Anne Marie Ward, Toks Viviers, Melissa O’Reilly, Ryan Stramrood, Cristian Vergara, Craig Lenning, Rafal Ziobro, Andrew Chin, Jackie Cobell, James Pittar, Paolo Chiarino, Mariia Yrjö-Koskinen, Ivan Papulshenko, Zdenek Tlamicha, Zhou Hanming, Oleg Adamov, Andrei Agarkov, Alekseev Semen, Tatiana Alexandrova, Roman Belan, Elena Semenova, Alexander Brylin, Afanasii Diackovskii, Vladimir Nefatov, Evgenii Dokuchaev, Oleg Docuckaev, Roman Efimov, Dmitrii Filitovich, Olga Filitovich, Victor Godlevskiy, Olga Golubeva, Alexei Golubkin, Alexander Golubkin, Alexandr Iurkov, Oleg Ivanov, Pavel Kabakov, Eduard Khodakovskiy, Aleksandr Komarov, Aleksandr Kuliapin, Andrey Kuzmin, Irina Lamkina, Vladimir Litvinov, Andrey Mikhalev, Victor Moskvin, Nikolay Petshak, Sergey Popov, Vladimir Poshivailov, Grigorii Prokopchuk, Dmitrii Zalka, Natalia Seraya, Viacheslav Shaposhnikov, Olga Sokolova, Andrei Sychev, Alexei Tabakov, and Nataliia Usachaeva [represented by Admiral Konstantin Sidenko and Nuala Moore]


2:30

PM


Alexey Salmin Pavlovich (Russia) and Dmitry Dragozhilov (Russia)
on the 2016 Winter Swimming World Championships [film]

2:50

PM


Sally Minty-Gravett (Jersey) on Motivating Swimmers

3:10

PM


Dmitry Blokhin (Russia) and Aleksei Veller (Russia)
on the First World Ice Swimming Championships [film]

3:30

PM


Matthew Moseley (USA)’s Dancing With The Water, Crossing of Lake Pontchartrain [film]

3:50

PM


Simon Holliday (England) and Doug Woodring (Hong Kong)’s The Clean Swim – Hong Kong to Macau 2014 [film]

5:00

PM


International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF)
and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF)

IMSHOF Induction Ceremonies and Dinner
with co-hosts Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia) and Steven Munatones (USA).

Recognition of International Swimming Hall of Fame honorees:

  • Elizabeth Fry (USA), IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

  • Vojislav Mijić (Serbia), IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

  • James Anderson (USA), IMSHOF Honour Administrator

  • Dr. Jane Katz (USA), IMSHOF Honour Administrator

  • Indonesian Swimming Federation Open Water Committee (Indonesia), IMSHOF Honour Organisation

  • Melissa Cunningham (Australia), Irving Davids – Captain Roger Wheeler Award by the International Swimming Hall of Fame and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

  • Sandra Bucha (USA), ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

  • Jon Erikson (USA), ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer [represented by Sandra Bucha]

6:30

PM


International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) Introduction Video.
Welcome speech by host Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia)

6:45

PM


Dinner

7:30

PM


International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF)
Induction Ceremonies and Dinner with host Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia)

Recognition of International Swimming Hall of Fame honorees:

  • Mercedes Gleitze (England)
    ISHOF Honor Pioneer Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer
    [represented by daughter Doloranda Pember]

  • Dale Petranech (USA)
    ISHOF Honor Contributer and IMSHOF Honour Administrator

  • Claudio Plit (Argentina)
    ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer
    [represented by Shelley Taylor-Smith]

  • Judith van Berkel-de Nijs (Netherlands)
    ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer
    [represented by Niek Kloots]

  • George Young (Canada)
    ISHOF Honor Pioneer Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer
    [represented by the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation]

  • David Yudovin (USA)
    ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer


Sunday, 21 September

9:00

AM


Registration and coffee at Mount Stuart House, Isle of Bute, Scotland

10:00

AM


Nuala Moore (Ireland) on The Mindset of 1000m at 0ºC

10:20

AM


Admiral Konstantin Sidenko (Russia)’s Bering Strait Swim Chukotka - Alaska in 2013 [film]

10:40

AM


Ned Denison (Ireland) on Swimming The World

11:00

AM


Bruckner Chase (USA)’s Blue Journey-Amerika Samoa
Stronger Together: The Waterman’s Way
[film]

11:20

AM


Rok Kerin (Slovenia) on Lifestyle Benefits From Open Water Swimming

12:00

PM


Survey distribution and group photo-taking

2:00

PM


Swim at Stravvana Bay, Isle of Bute






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."


Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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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

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