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Saturday, September 7, 2013
Night Train Swimmers Think Big
On a summer night much more calm than the conditions that they faced over their charity swim for the Navy SEAL Foundation, each swimmer told of their relay along the California coast.
It was an evening with big thoughts and definitions of courage and sacrifice.
Grace van der Byl was described by Bialla as their toughest swimmer. "Each hour that I was in the water (on 17 different legs of 1-hour each), I told myself that it is the only hour that I was going to have to do. That was my mindset. So I thought that I was just giving up 17 hours of my life, but the members of the Navy SEALs give up their entire lives for us."
Zach Jirkovsky who was described as Cool Hand Luck was succinct in a soft-spoken statement, "Something just pushes me in the water and I go. But I won't lie to you, it was tough out there. I am not religious person but I prayed. But here I am alive, so it is good."
Bialla also introduced Walter Scott who was the alternate swimmer for the Nighttrain228. "Walter had the toughest job on the team. He never knew if he had to swim, he was always on standby just in case someone got injured." Scott responded, "Well, it was actually the easiest job because no one in this Night Train group was not going to do it. No one was about to pull out. The Navy SEAL Foundation is near and dear to my heart. But six people completed this swim and being backup was an important role. All donations are greatly appreciated."
Blair Cannon tells of training with Scott in the La Jolla Cove prior to the relay. "Walter trains all by himself at the La Jolla Cove at 5 am every morning. So I decided to swim with Walter as part of my training. When we went out for the first time, he tells me, 'Don't swim so close to me. But I had to get used to that feeling of swimming in the ocean in the dark. I remember during the relay when I was swimming about 20 miles offshore and fatigue was starting to set in. It was dark and I couldn't see anything. But something good size hits me in the legs. It keeps on bumping into me. Then something else starts nibbling on my toes. I think that was a large school of fish that was nibbling on me. I do not want anything touching me out there. So I yell a few choice words to our pilot and he turns on the lights and stops the boat. Those are the two things that I precisely did not want him to do. I think we all knew the physical side of things, how it was going to be tough. But it was the mental side of things that we had to keep together. After I told everyone that something was bumping me in the night, they said, 'Yeah, something was bumping into me too.' Suddenly, we all had secrets that we told each other. But you keep on going. It was all business out there."
It was clear that the night and celebration was an apropos melding of the Navy SEAL psychology and the mindset of the six rough water swimmers who faced 4 long days and night in the cold Pacific Ocean. The mutual respect was obvious as they enjoyed a beautiful evening overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
It was ultra-marathon runner Mike Trevino who summed up the evening and the similarities between the SEALs and the marathon swimmers. "Think big. There are only limitation that you place on yourself. Think big."
Bialla agreed, "Yes, we got [more] swims in the planning stages."
Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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
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