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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Legacy Of Dwight Crum

One of the most popular swims in America is the 2-mile Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim in Southern California from the Hermosa Beach Pier to the Manhattan Beach Pier.

But who is Dwight Crum?

He was an excellent distance freestyler who competed for the University of Southern California in the early 1940s. He was hired as a lifeguard in 1941 and promoted to to lieutenant in 1952 and then Captain in 1954 for the Los Angeles County Lifeguards. He was put in charge of the South Bay beaches including Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, some of the West Coast's most popular beaches, from the late 1940's through the early 1970's.

As a young man who loved the ocean, Crum helped elevate the professionalism of his chosen career and motivate many to follow in his footsteps throughout his career.

Crum once said, “We started at US$5.60 a day, so all guards with families had to have second jobs back then.”

He did skin diving for lobsters and abalone as well as became a respected water polo and swimming referee while remaining a lifeguard for 35 years.

During his rein as Captain, he was involved as one of the founders and served as Vice President of the National Surf Lifesaving Association (now known as the United States Lifesaving Association).

In the 1950's, the cities of Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach hosted their own separate beach festivals. In 1962, the cities decided to join forces with Los Angeles County and created the International Surf Festival.

Due to his experience and leadership, Crum was appointed the first Chairman of the International Surf Festival and remained in charge for 16 years. The Pier-to-Pier Swim was one of the original International Surf Festival events and has been conducted for 52 consecutive years since.

I used to like swimming in the pier to pier race during the festivals, because for a little while I didn’t have to answer any questions or the telephone."

In 1969, he was asked to become the Assistant Director of the Department of Beaches of Los Angeles County, an office job that was less enticing to him that patrolling the beaches.

In 1972 when Crum retired, the Pier-to-Pier Swim was renamed the Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim in his honor for his contributions over the decades. People remember him fondly and how he touched every aspect of the Festival.

"It was common for Dwight to start the swim and then run over and grab his swim cap and join the race," remembers his son Gary. "The Pier-to-Pier Swim was his favorite local event where he competed many times, including his last swim at age 72 in 1995."

Robert Moore recalls Crum's presence. "He was a lifeguard’s lifeguard.

If you would have met Dwight Crum, your instant reaction would be he is a nice, quiet person. He was not the type of individual who demanded attention nor did he ask anything of anyone that he would not do himself. Dwight had that Gary Cooper quality, quiet, committed to a cause, and got the job done
."

"The most important factor is having people who are good swimmers," said Crum.

"A good ocean swimmer with a (rescue) can and a pair of binoculars is the foundation of our service. You take one fast swimmer, you train him/her with the most experienced guards, then you send him/her to a hot area and let them make rescues. But you don’t become a real lifeguard until you almost lose somebody. Then it all becomes very clear what we do."

Crum passed away in 2000 at the age of 77. But his legacy - and bloodlines - continued. His son, Gary (shown in the top photo as a child) followed his father's career path with the Los Angeles County Lifeguards and served 17 years as the Section Chief in charge of the same beaches as his father. After he retired in 2001, he became Chairman of the International Surf Festival for 10 years. In 2010, he took over as the race director of the Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim.

I don’t have to look very far for a role model,” said Gary of his father who swam a mile a day until he suffered a stroke in 1999. “My dad was my best friend, and he always there to make a rescue. He said the most important component of lifesaving is a well-trained guard with a (rescue) can."

Dwight once reflected on lifesaving when he received a Lifetime Achievement Award. “There is a camaraderie among guards that stems from the love of the ocean. I have never been around a finer group of people. There is something special about being a lifeguard.”

It is clear that Dwight Crum was that special lifeguard.

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.

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...
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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.
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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.

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:
https://www.worldopenwaterswimmingassociation.com/preview-open-water-swimming-almanac


The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.

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