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Monday, August 5, 2013

Camping With Ned Denison And Jamie Patrick

If you are a hard-core open water swimmer, there are certain things on your bucket list. One is to participate in an open water swimming camp.

From Malta to Melbourne, swimmers can practice techniques and tactics, study nutrition and navigation, learn about pacing and positioning. From Jersey to Fiji, swimmers can enjoy meeting and training with swimmers from around the world. There are all kinds of open water camps, clinics, and seminars for all types.

The camps reflect the character of their founder, the area where the swims are held, and the collective mindset of its participants. One type of open water swimming camp is for the toughest of the tough.

The Granddaddy of Open Water Camps is a relatively new phenomena, the Cork Distance Week in Ireland. Founded by Ned Denison, the purpose of the camp is to prepare its participants to take on the English Channel and the most grueling cold-water swims on the planet. The Cork Distance Week is a special time and place where cold water is the main dish, Tough Love is served daily, and the renowned Body Brain Confusion Swim is on tap. The Cork Distance Week both punishes and prepares its willing participants to reach their physical and psychological extremes. Like a Boot Camp for elite troopers starring Denison as its drill sergeant, Cork Distance Week quickly weeds out those not tough enough, but entices all to reach their own potential.

Another type of an open water swimming camp is at the opposite end of the spectrum and is for the coolest of the cool. Far, far away in the land of hip and suave where individuality is celebrated, Denison's Alter Ego runs his own version of an elite open water swimming camp. Jamie Patrick runs the Jamie's Swim Camp, Lake Tahoe Edition, beginning this week. High up in Lake Tahoe, the Cork Distance Week's Body Brain Confusion Swim is replaced with Jamie's Body Brain Celebration Swimming. Consistent with Patrick's philosophy, swimmers of all ages and abilities are welcomed to swim as they wish - either far or short, morning or night, fast or slow. It is their choice what they do, when they do it. Nothing is expected and nothing is required. Yet, like Denison's camp in Ireland, Patrick's participants quickly create an ambiance of elevated expectations. Conversations center around the heroes and heroines of the sport. Discussions drill in about swimmer's own challenges and future plans. Bonds across borders and generations are established and friendships are quickly cemented as people swim, eat, and relax at their leisure. High in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the camp is a special time and place where both high altitude and a humble attitude are the main dishes.

With camps of all types in various open bodies of water, swimmers are being increasingly well-served by the camp directors and visionaries. For a short list of open water swimming camps, visit here.

Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming

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