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2016 WOWSA AWARD WINNERS
2016 WOWSA Man of the Year – Nejib Belhedi
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2016 WOWSA Performance of the Year – Sarah Thomas’ Lake Powell Swim
2016 WOWSA Offering of the Year – Samsung Bosphorus Cross Continental Swim
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Steve Minaglia, Pioneering Pailolo Two-Way
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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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.
But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
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.