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Sunday, October 20, 2013
Alper Sunaçoğlu Swimming For Peace And Brotherhood
Sunaçoğlu swam 78 km from Mersin, the largest port in southern Turkey, to Cyprus in 26 hours 15 minutes in 2010. This year in August, he put aside his ambitious goal to swim in the English Channel and started a swim from the coast of Antakya in southern Turkey to war-torn Syria instead. His goal was to protest the cruelty, death, captivity, and torture and highlight a respect to fundamental rights and freedoms.
But on October 12th, he attempted and completed a unique 280 km (174-mile) wetsuit swim in 125 hours. "Along my journey, I only had a GPS device to document my route and food to last me 5 days and first aid medicine in case of emergencies."
Side Gülden interviewed Sunaçoğlu before his swims:
Side Gülden: When did you start swimming? When you swim, do you ever get bored or scared?
Alper Sunaçoğlu: I swim as long as I have known myself. I feel as if I am a part of the sea while swimming. It is like a kind of worship. You are alone with the God in an unguarded environment and the only thing you can do is trust God who will arrange things for the best. To understand what I mean you have to try what I do. Swim 500 meters away from the coast and wait; no one can see or hear you. You are alone. There is only God, you and the sea with the host of the sea, the living creatures.
Side Gülden: You said you will swim the English Channel. Why was your swim cancelled? You refused the sponsorship of the governorship. Can you explain?
Alper Sunaçoğlu: My project was to swim across the English Channel which is known for its extreme currents and freezing water in less than 7 hours to break the world record, but I postponed because of the problems that the Turkey face and some private reasons. My aim is to break the record in 2014. As part of the sponsorship, we agreed in principle with the governorship but after the Gezi Park protests, I thougt that it will be logical and better to postpone to next year.
Side Gülden: Are you afraid of sharks? Have you ever seen before? Especially Mediterranean is too risky. What do you think?
Alper Sunaçoğlu: I can't say I don't, but I know how to control my fear. I have seen them before and I know I will again. But there has been no threat or attack so far. I hope there won't be any in the future.
Side Gülden: You started a recent protest under the name of Yuzen Adam. You and Bedirhan Karadağ swam across 30 km of Büyük Ada by taking the support of Gürsel Tekin and some member of Parliament. Now the last stop of the protest is Antakya. What is the reason to end this protest in Antakya? What is the meaning of the attempt of swimming across Antakya to Syria? What is the aim of this protest?
Alper Sunaçoğlu: I want a world that shows respect for fundamental rights and freedoms. I appreciate mankind no matter what his language, religion and ethnic origin are. I don't want war, blood, death, violence or an empire of fear. As the president Tayyip Erdoğan said, "There might be be foreign powers or some monkey business, but there is unrest, war and fear in Middle East and the Mediterranean. I protest Muslims killing each other. I am not the supporter of any political party. I don't earn any money. On the contrary, I have many loses materially and spiritually. I only use my right for individual action. I hope this works and I can lead to form common sense in the region. This is my unique aim: 'A good deed is its own reward' in short. My aim is to support peace, brotherhood and mankind. And if the conditions are appropriate, I want to go the place where Turkish aircraft crashed and stand in homage by raising the Turkish flag. If God allows, I will achieve this and return to Turkey safe and sound.
Side Gülden: Who will meet you in Syria when you walk ashore? What is your message to Syria?
Alper Sunaçoğlu: There is nothing clear about it and not important who will meet me. But it is enough for me as someone who is human being because I will be there as an activist with a message to the world. My message is that of a unifier not a separatist. I want respect to the right to life. I, as a swimmer of the Turkish Republic which destroyed many of its enemies in wars along the history, made a cross-border marathon swim without gun and defense. I believe that this message will be effective against foreign powers or other business in the world. Turks are neither afraid of war nor peace. This is my message and philosophy.
Side Gülden: As we see and understand your motivations, you are certainly determined like before during your 26-hour swim to Cyprus. We can see the same courage and determination in you. We hope everything you do will raise awareness on behalf of peace and brotherhood.
Alper Sunaçoğlu: Thank you very much for giving me a chance to share my protest with the public and thank you for your sensibilities. Let's hope for the best for Turkey and the world.
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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Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:
The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.