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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Steve Minaglia, Pioneering Pailolo Two-Way

On November 30th, Dr. Steve Minaglia completed an 11 hour 10 minute two-way crossing of the Pailolo Channel between the islands of Molokai and Maui.

Escorted by pilot Paul Luuwai from Maui and paddle boarder Blair Norris from Oahu, the 40-year-old Professor at the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu tells of his adventure that started out in the dark at 5:43 am on D.T. Fleming Beach Park, one of the most popular surfing beaches of Maui.

"In the beginning, I was so afraid. From the escort boat, I swam in pitch black alone to shore for about 200 meters. On the beach, I talked with a gentleman who was scanning the sand for metal.

He asked me what I was doing there and was very kind and encouraging. I didn't want to leave at that point. I swam back out to Blair and Paul. Blair had a flash light in strobe mode, but it was still difficult to find him because of the shore break. This is a risk management area that deserves further evaluation
."

He continues to describe the first leg, "I swam to Molokai, to a surf break I believe called 'Rock Point' - the only break on the East side of Molokai in about 5 hours 30 minutes. After walking up to the high water mark, I got back in the water, applied some sun screen, Vaseline, and ate a granola bar. The boat was about a mile out from me, but Blair was able to paddle in behind me up to the beach.

Had I landed on the point, I would have needed to climb up rocks and fight the waves on the way out. The whole day was overcast and the sun never shined. The winds were minimal, there was essentially no surface chop, and the way heights mid-channel were about 6 feet. The conditions seemed optimal for the first leg and most of the second leg. Per the GPS, I had swam about 9.5 miles at this point. I was mainly drinking Gatorade and water and eating bananas for most of this leg. I had gotten sick and vomited around mile 4 and think it was due to trying to eat a Snickers bar
."

The second leg predictably was tougher, "I swam back to Maui. I told Paul it did not matter where we landed and to find the best line. Ironically, that led us back to Flemmings. I was in heaven for the first part of this leg. I got my rhythm and was cruising again at about 2 miles per hour. Once 6 miles from shore, Paul announced I had a little over 3 miles to go to get to Flemmings.

This is when the conditions suddenly worsened. Although the waves did not appear big there was a lot of shaking from side to side. Twice I was flipped over onto my back. I felt motionless and unable to stroke. Both Paul and Blair, on several occasions, assured me I was still making progress. At 4 pm I had about one mile to go. This mile was the hardest to swim. I am still not sure what was happening in this coastal zone, but I felt buried in it
."

He culminated at the beach where he started, "I walked up the shore. I really like details and focus on rules.

Because of the 'high water mark' rule used in channel swimming, I so often run way up the beach because I am so afraid I might not see or actually miss the mark. I think somedays I will just climb a tree. Perhaps I take this too seriously, but I cannot imagine doing something so bold and then blowing it by violating a basic rule. Anyway, one of the videos shows this crazy propensity.

About 20 people met me on the shore many of whom were children. Some gave me water and some just shook my hand. All seemed impressed with the feat.

I will never forget the look on some of the kids faces when one of the dads explained to them what I had just done. It was very sweet to start and end with kind words from complete strangers, and despite feeling alone at times in my quest to double cross Pailolo I had the best support possible
."

Blair is an accomplished and fearless waterman. He traveled alongside me the whole swim on a one-man outrigger canoe.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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The Staff of the World Open Water Swimming Association

2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference

Learn more...
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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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.

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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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There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.

In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...

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The trends are very clear.
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