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Saturday, September 14, 2013
Darren Miller On Difficulties Of The Oceans Seven
Miller's impressions on the relative level of difficulty for the Oceans Seven channels are as follows (from most difficult to least):
1. Tsugaru Channel
2. Molokai Channel
3. North Channel
4. Cook Strait
5. English Channel
6. Catalina Channel
7. Strait of Gibraltar
Miller explains, "I have been asked quite a bit recently on my ranking from easiest to difficult among the Oceans Seven swims. After some careful thought, I ranked the Tsugaru Channel as the most difficult due to the sheer aspect of swimming for 15:55, when mentally I was prepared for an 8:00 attempt. The temperature of the water was not an issue for the first 13:00, but was extremely difficult to navigate at times, and I felt that it simply did not quit punishing me. The final 2:00-3:00 was calmer waters; however I was not expecting the water temperature to drop into the upper-50s, when it was a solid mid-60s throughout. Being told to sprint for 2:00 after being beaten up for the first 14:00 was not a pleasant experience. The sheer aspect of continuing to push through the mental and physical barriers when I was told that I was not making any ground during the final few miles – only to be able to cut a 90-degree angle during the final mile(s) toward the Hokkaido coastline.
I ranked the Molokai Channel next in difficulty due to the intense undulating sea throughout the day, warm water and the mental challenge of knowing there was a more serious threat of marine life. The box jellies can be lethal; one direct sting can cause paralysis and a host of other problems. They surface one day a month, typically 10-days after the lunar cycle – the day we chose to swim. It was being asked about ‘whether I wanted to go during this time’ after a news report had flashing box jellyfish warning signs on the television the night before we left - all of this after zero sleep for three days leading up to the event. I remember being up the whole night on Molokai, listening to the ‘Any Given Sunday’ speech on my iPhone, picking hibiscus flowers off the ground to press and remembering the sounds of barking dogs and hens all night long. I was physically exhausted due to sleep deprivation around the half-way point when Jeff yelled that if I kept up my pace I would be in under the current record – so glad he did. It was one of the toughest barriers I ever had to push through in my swimming.
The North Channel was next in line because of the stress I was under for the weeks leading up to the swim knowing that I wanted to finish the Oceans Seven with a flawless record. I had to complete it because I didn’t want to let down my sponsor, my hometown and the friends I’ve made around the world who were tuning in at all hours of the day to follow the SPOT tracker. Couple that with the fact it was notorious as the most difficult of the seven, due to the cold and overwhelming amount of Lion’s Mane jellyfish. The reality was my two weeks of acclimatizing (a 25-degree difference from back home) prior to the attempt allowed me to become more comfortable in the water. The water was fairly calm through the swim, I handled the mid-50s water and my exposure to the Lion’s Mane was limited. It was a long time spent in Northern Ireland - but so well worth it!
The Cook Strait and the English Channel were pretty much a tie, as the Cook Strait was a tougher swim for me than the Channel, however the Channel had more stress involved since it was the first major marathon swim I had attempted, as well the sheer aspect of it being ‘the Channel’. The Cook Strait had tougher tidal flows; however the Channel had colder water. The Cook Strait had a unique challenge since Craig Lenning and I had to stay together the entire time – not an easy feat in a tough waterway.
I ranked the Catalina Channel as one of the least difficult channels of the seven because the swim was a quick experience at 9:15, and was one of the most memorable because of my friends who were along for the journey. Although jumping into the Pacific Ocean in the middle of the night is an interesting experience to those of us not from the coast – especially those of us unfamiliar with the concept of not thinking about what is swimming below you. For the most part, the swim began around 67-degrees at Doctor’s Cove off Catalina Island, held mid/low 60s throughout and the final few miles dropping down below 60. Just an overall beautiful experience, and had such a great trip meeting many of Southern California’s finest marathon swimmers.
Probably not a shock, I put the Strait of Gibraltar as the easiest swim of the seven - it was also my favorite. Traveling ‘across the pond’ with Jen Schumacher, Kim Plewa, Michelle Nelson, Jamie Patrick, and Oliver Wilkinson (with Brian Patterson as our photographer/interpreter) was just a wonderful experience as we got to spend a great deal of time together. Swimming a ‘four way’ across a relatively calm Strait, 59-degree water and it felt great the fact we fed off each other’s energy and excitement!"
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.
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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.