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Thursday, December 26, 2013

100 Things Every Open Water Swimmer Should Know

Eric Glass created a list of 100 Things Every New Triathlete Should Know. Glass' list is comprehensive and clever, educational and entertaining.

The World Open Water Swimming Association also has its own list of 100 Things Every Open Water Swimmer Should Know. Its coaches share this information and tidbits with newbies and veterans at its clinics and camps:

General Principles

1. Expect the unexpected.
2. Predictable unpredictability occurs in the open water. Have a race/swim plan and then be flexible when necessary.
3. Safety first; you can always swim another day.
4. It is farther than it looks.
5. Acclimatization takes time, patience and effort.
6. Acclimatization is better and healthier than purposefully putting on excess bioprene.
7. The Many Wrongs Principle in the open water is generally right.
8. Pack navigational accuracy (navigational IQ) generally increases with group size.
9. Directional uncertainty is reduced with increased familiarity of the open water course.
10. The Certainty of Uncertainty Principle can work to your advantage or disadvantage.


11. Sprint to win; pace to place.
12. Swim fast at first [in a competitive race].
13. Use your legs either for propulsion or stability.
14. In a large pack, pace slows around turn buoys.
15. Draft at the feet of the lead swimmer when the pace is slow; draft off their knees/hips when their pace is fast.
16. Know the shape of the pack: tripod, arrow, rotating arrow, beeline, rotating beeline, peloton or hybrid.
17. Learn to swim without swallowing water, no matter how turbulent the water is.
18. [Elite] women push the pace from the start; [elite] men negative split the race.
19. Learn to body surf and do it when you can.
20. Railroad whenever possible.


21. Use at least 2 pairs of goggles in your practices, just in case you might need the second pair in a race/swim.
22. Put Vaseline on your ankles and outer shoulders to prevent competitors from ziplining you.
23. Use sunscreen, preferably the biodegradable type.
24. Use a pace clock during pool workouts.
25. Do not overuse or become overly reliant on hand paddles or pull buoys in practice.
26. Swim snorkels can help you focus on your hand path and improve your stroke technique.
27. Swim near the mid-ship of your escort boat, breathing towards your pilot and crew.
28. Use fins - kicking at a high pace - to help improve ankle flexibility and leg strength.
29. Use ear plugs if the water is cool/cold for you.
30. Lanolin stays on much longer than Vaseline.


31. You can practice dolphining in a shallow pool and every time in open water practices.
32. Frequently practice "what-if" scenarios.
33. Know your limits when it comes to hypothermia. Know how and what extreme/cold water temperatures/conditions affect you.
34. Know your limits when it comes to hyperthermia. Know how and what extreme/warm water temperatures/conditions affect you.
35. Select escort crew members for their expertise and experience, not for their fun and friendships.
36. Become familiar with your hydration in practice.
37. Become familiar with foods that are good for you; not for their percentage of fat, carbohydrates and proteins.
38. Stress your body to improve your stamina, speed and strength.
39. Stay positive and motivated: swimming should be enjoyable.
40. Be consistent in your training.

Marine Life

41. Know how best to treat jellyfish stings.
42. Do not rub tentacles off your skin.
43. If you see a shark, go "big" (i.e., spread out how arms and legs and go vertical).
44. If you see a shark, try to keep your heart rate low.
45. If you see a shark, keep it in your visual range.
46. Do not grab the fins of a dolphin or porpoise.
47. Do not reach into a coral reef or anything with a shell.
48. You are the visitor in any marine environment; respect the local marine life.
49. Things hide and live with seaweed and kelp beds.
50. Know what venomous, stinging, biting creatures are indigenous to the place where you swim.


51. Share your knowledge of open water swimming with triathletes.
52. Share your knowledge of local open bodies of water with others, from water temperatures to safe swim courses.
53. Be on time for practices; be punctual for Toes In The Sand or Toes In The Water.
54. Be positive, especially when a swim is a DNF, a DNS, a DSQ or an OTL.
55. Offer to volunteer at races, clinics, camps, seminars and solo swims.
56. Offer to pack goodie bags or pick up post-race food or help with buoys for a race director.
57. Donate as you can for charity swims.
58. Thank the volunteers, race director, staff and crew. Express your appreciation in person and in words.
59. If you see something wrong at a race, tell the race director, safety personnel and volunteers. Put it in writing afterwards.
60. If possible, clip your finger and toe nails before a race.


61. Strengthen your core.
62. Improve your flexibility, especially your shoulders and ankles.
63. Cross-train, doing something you enjoy.
64. Do dryland training if you cannot find a pool or open body of water.
65. Find/use a restroom before you show up at the race. Restrooms are always crowded before the race starts.

Nutrition and Hydration

66. Hydrate well; your urine should be clear before a race/swim.
67. Know what foods agree with your stomach, especially when the open body is turbulent and wavy.
68. Eat a normal breakfast on race/swim day. Do not skip this important meal.
69. Do not litter the open water or the shoreline with your unused or used plastics, cups or containers.
70. Know the Four Steps of Feeding: (a) Seek and Spot, (b) Reach and Roll, (c) Gulp and Go and (d) Toss and Turn.


71. Practice ins-and-outs to improve onshore finishes and your T1 transitions.
72. Incorporate pull-outs and deck-ups in your pool training.
73. If you are not fast, do not start with the alpha dogs in the front row at races.
74. Accept the fact that physicality, whether intentional or unintentional, is part of the competitive open water swimming.
75. Accept the fact that drafting, whether intentional or unintentional, is part of the competitive open water swimming.
76. Use rubber gloves or a plastic baggie to apply lanolin, sunscreen or Vaseline; keep your hands free from ointments of all kinds.
77. Learn how to urinate while swimming; there is no need to stop.
78. Know what side your competitors prefer to breathe on.
79. Pollution and boat exhaust are occasionally part of the equation. Learn to deal with them.
80. Know the race course well and the number and placement of the turn buoys.


81. Know where and why you chafe.
82. Shave before a race if your beard or stubble cause chafing.
83. Lakes and fresh water feels colder than ocean and salt water at the same temperature.
84. Modify your stroke-per-minute pace and kicking at altitude.
85. Learn how to put on and take off your wetsuit quickly.
86. Remove watches, rings, necklaces and other jewelry in open water swimming competitions. With all the bumping, impeding, scratching, pulling on legs or arms, cutting off, veering into, tapping or touching, slapping, clipping, conking, swiping, whacking, pulling off goggles or swim caps, obstructing, ziplining, interfering, pummeling, nudging, punching, kicking, elbowing, pushing, jostling, shoving, crowding, banging against, smacking, smashing into or pressing against other swimmers, others can get cut or hurt.
87. Assume windsurfers or boaters cannot see you.
88. Even if you have the legal right of way in the open water, do not cross the path of surfers, windsurfers or boaters.
89. Do not swim behind a boat.
90. Make a list of the things you need before a race or swim.
91. Pack your bag and prepare all your equipment/hydration/feedings the day/night before your race/swim.
92. Get a good night's sleep, especially 2 and 3 days ahead of your race/swim. Insomnia and the jitters are normal the night before.
93. Bring an old t-shirt to wear immediately after your swim if you will be cold and you will wear lots of lanolin. The shirt will be junked with all the leftover lanolin on it. 94. Bring an extra towel and most certainly, extra goggles and swim caps.
95. Make your goggles clear by cleaning out with a few drops of baby/mild shampoo.
96. Try or use nothing new on race/swim day.
97. Do not apply sunscreen on your race numbers after they have been written on your skin. They will smudge.
98. Bring extra toilet paper for use at the race venue, especially when using portable potties.
99. Use coconut oil or other mineral oils to quickly and efficiently remove black ink/race numbers from your skin. These oils are more effective than wet wipes.
100. Enjoy the sport for your entire life.

On the opposite side of the equation, here are 50 Things An Open Water Swimmer Should Not Do.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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Thank you very much for your interest in the world of open water swimming.

The Staff of the World Open Water Swimming Association

2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference

Learn more...
Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference Agenda

Friday, 19 September



Welcome Reception at Mount Stuart House, Isle of Bute, Scotland

Documentary films shown throughout the reception:

Blue Journey-Amerika Samoa – Stronger Together: The Waterman’s Way
(film by Bruckner Chase)

Dancing With The Water, Crossing of Lake Pontchartrain
(film by Wayne Ewing about Matthew Moseley's Lake Pontchartrain crossing)

Bering Strait Swim Chukotka - Alaska
(film by Admiral Konstantin Sidenko about the relay between Russia and Alaska)

The Clean Swim – Hong Kong to Macau
(film about Simon Holiday's Pearl River Delta crossing)

Saturday, 20 September



Registration and Coffee at Mount Stuart House, Isle of Bute, Scotland



Keynote Speech:
Colleen Blair (Scotland) on The History of Scottish Swimming



Christopher Guesdon (Australia) on Multidimensional Roles In The Sport



Colin Hill (England) on Recent Explosion in UK Open Water



Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia) on The Feminine Code of Achievement - How a Lady from Down Under Revolutionized Professional Marathon Swimming



Simon Murie (England) on Open Water Swimming Holidays: How A New Sector Was Created Within The Travel Industry



Swimming The Oceans Seven
A round table discussion moderated by:
Kevin Murphy (England), with Stephen Redmond (Ireland), Anna-Carin Nordin (Sweden),
Darren Miller (USA), Adam Walker (England), Kimberley Chambers (New Zealand)



Coffee and Break



World Open Water Swimming Awards Luncheon:
with co-hosts Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia) and Steven Munatones (USA)

Pádraig Mallon (Ireland), 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year

Olga Kozydub (Russia), 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year

Bering Strait Swim, 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year

Honoring: Vladimir Chegorin, Maria Chizhova, Elena Guseva, Ram Barkai, Jack Bright, Oksana Veklich, Aleksandr Jakovlevs, Matías Ola, Henri Kaarma, Toomas Haggi, Nuala Moore, Anne Marie Ward, Toks Viviers, Melissa O’Reilly, Ryan Stramrood, Cristian Vergara, Craig Lenning, Rafal Ziobro, Andrew Chin, Jackie Cobell, James Pittar, Paolo Chiarino, Mariia Yrjö-Koskinen, Ivan Papulshenko, Zdenek Tlamicha, Zhou Hanming, Oleg Adamov, Andrei Agarkov, Alekseev Semen, Tatiana Alexandrova, Roman Belan, Elena Semenova, Alexander Brylin, Afanasii Diackovskii, Vladimir Nefatov, Evgenii Dokuchaev, Oleg Docuckaev, Roman Efimov, Dmitrii Filitovich, Olga Filitovich, Victor Godlevskiy, Olga Golubeva, Alexei Golubkin, Alexander Golubkin, Alexandr Iurkov, Oleg Ivanov, Pavel Kabakov, Eduard Khodakovskiy, Aleksandr Komarov, Aleksandr Kuliapin, Andrey Kuzmin, Irina Lamkina, Vladimir Litvinov, Andrey Mikhalev, Victor Moskvin, Nikolay Petshak, Sergey Popov, Vladimir Poshivailov, Grigorii Prokopchuk, Dmitrii Zalka, Natalia Seraya, Viacheslav Shaposhnikov, Olga Sokolova, Andrei Sychev, Alexei Tabakov, and Nataliia Usachaeva [represented by Admiral Konstantin Sidenko and Nuala Moore]



Alexey Salmin Pavlovich (Russia) and Dmitry Dragozhilov (Russia)
on the 2016 Winter Swimming World Championships [film]



Sally Minty-Gravett (Jersey) on Motivating Swimmers



Dmitry Blokhin (Russia) and Aleksei Veller (Russia)
on the First World Ice Swimming Championships [film]



Matthew Moseley (USA)’s Dancing With The Water, Crossing of Lake Pontchartrain [film]



Simon Holliday (England) and Doug Woodring (Hong Kong)’s The Clean Swim – Hong Kong to Macau 2014 [film]



International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF)
and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF)

IMSHOF Induction Ceremonies and Dinner
with co-hosts Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia) and Steven Munatones (USA).

Recognition of International Swimming Hall of Fame honorees:

  • Elizabeth Fry (USA), IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

  • Vojislav Mijić (Serbia), IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

  • James Anderson (USA), IMSHOF Honour Administrator

  • Dr. Jane Katz (USA), IMSHOF Honour Administrator

  • Indonesian Swimming Federation Open Water Committee (Indonesia), IMSHOF Honour Organisation

  • Melissa Cunningham (Australia), Irving Davids – Captain Roger Wheeler Award by the International Swimming Hall of Fame and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

  • Sandra Bucha (USA), ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

  • Jon Erikson (USA), ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer [represented by Sandra Bucha]



International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) Introduction Video.
Welcome speech by host Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia)






International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF)
Induction Ceremonies and Dinner with host Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia)

Recognition of International Swimming Hall of Fame honorees:

  • Mercedes Gleitze (England)
    ISHOF Honor Pioneer Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer
    [represented by daughter Doloranda Pember]

  • Dale Petranech (USA)
    ISHOF Honor Contributer and IMSHOF Honour Administrator

  • Claudio Plit (Argentina)
    ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer
    [represented by Shelley Taylor-Smith]

  • Judith van Berkel-de Nijs (Netherlands)
    ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer
    [represented by Niek Kloots]

  • George Young (Canada)
    ISHOF Honor Pioneer Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer
    [represented by the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation]

  • David Yudovin (USA)
    ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

Sunday, 21 September



Registration and coffee at Mount Stuart House, Isle of Bute, Scotland



Nuala Moore (Ireland) on The Mindset of 1000m at 0ºC



Admiral Konstantin Sidenko (Russia)’s Bering Strait Swim Chukotka - Alaska in 2013 [film]



Ned Denison (Ireland) on Swimming The World



Bruckner Chase (USA)’s Blue Journey-Amerika Samoa
Stronger Together: The Waterman’s Way



Rok Kerin (Slovenia) on Lifestyle Benefits From Open Water Swimming



Survey distribution and group photo-taking



Swim at Stravvana Bay, Isle of Bute


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."

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

A Thank You Gift from WOWSA

WOWSA is celebrating the
1-Year Anniversary of the monthly Open Water Swimming Magazine
by giving you a free copy of the anniversary issue.

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Open Water Swimming Magazine

Open Water Swimming Magazine

The 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 Swimming

An 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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Open Water Swimming Event Sanctioning

World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation

Open Water Race Calendar

Coaches Education Program