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Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Theodore Yach Making A Point About The Cape
Watching the weather is a bit of a science – read obsession – for ocean swimmers in Cape Town so when I realised by Thursday evening that the weekend would be a great Robben Island to 3 Anchor Bay opportunity I tried to raise a crew.
My plans came to nought when Tony Sellmeyer of the Cape Long Distance Swimming Association advised me that Robben Island was in lockdown.
Robben Island was in preparation for President Barack Obama’s visit to Cape Town and Robben Island on June 30th. I felt bleak until Tony craftily suggested that as I had never given the Cape Point swim a go. Why not this Saturday as conditions were going to be good in False Bay? My wife, Michelle, is opposed to me swimming in False Bay since Great White Sharks accompanied us on the last Simonstown to Muizenberg race ever swum. Based on my interpretation, I reasoned that as this swim is technically not really in False Bay. And we now have Shark Shields to protect us, Michelle is OK with it.
As it happens, Michelle was cool about this, so I set about preparing. Tony put me in touch with Keith Finkelstein who boats and himself completed the swim a few months ago. Keith recruited Arend Grondman as his Cape Long Distance Swimming Association Observer – which is remarkable inasmuch as Arend had a back operation 4 weeks prior and really should not have been near an ocean going boat.
We agreed to meet at Millers Point Club House. I invited Dr. Otto Thaning to swim with me, but unfortunately he had to withdraw at the last moment due to an ill patient at Netcare Christiaan Barnard Hospital. So I was to swim alone. The road trip to Millers Point took me an hour from my home and was filled with thoughts of sharks, currents and whatever else one is given to think about when we have too much time to think.
My arrival at Millers Point Club House was a joy. I met the late legendary Dennis Pearson’s grandson, Geoffrey Pearson, who immediately made me feel at home. Many fishermen were there as yellowtail was running and they were heading off to sea. It was a really pretty unspoilt place. The last time I had been there was when I paddled for Steve Klugman on his False Bay swim years ago.
We launched the boat and headed for Diaz Beach which is the start point. I had no clue what I was letting myself in for. The only research I had done on the 8 km swim was on the Cape Long Distance Swimming Association website which lists the 21 swimmers who have succeeded so far and whose time ranged from 2 hours 2 minutes to an ominous 3 hours 49 minutes. I realised that serious currents and ocean swells abound in this area. Nothing prepared me for the massive shore break that greeted me at Diaz Beach. Fortunately, Keith suggested that there may be a rip current heading off the beach so once I had finally made it to the beach in one piece, I found the rip and swam with it out to sea.
The first 3 km to the Point was hairy. I thought to myself whilst being bashed around and trying to avoid the boat, 'I have swum Robben Island 72 times; wouldn’t it be a pity if I drowned right here as I was drinking so much sea water.' The good news is that I made it to the tip of Cape Point. As Keith and Arend had advised, the sea calmed down a lot and I could craft proper strokes en route to the end point some 5 kilometers away at Buffelsbaai. Tony had told me about the scenery, but it was still a surprise. Unspoilt stark mountain coasts, beautiful kelp forests within touching distance. The depth cannot be more than 8-10 metres, seals frolicking below me, an elusive whale that refused Arend’s best efforts to photograph it and many jellyfish that stung me from head to toe.
I reached land at Buffelsbaai in 2 hours 19 minutes. To celebrate, I was given a yellowtail by one of Keith and Arend’s fishing colleagues on the return trip to Millers Point.
All in all, it was a privilege to swim Cape Point. The main lesson for me is that we need to keep this stretch of coast as pristine as it is for future generations. Development certainly has a place, but not here please!
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.
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The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.