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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Admiral Of The Channel

When we look at old photos of Mercedes Gleitze attempting to swim across the North Channel between Scotland and Ireland, we half expect to see a young Brian Meharg MBE in her boat, so intertwined he is with swimming the North Channel. Meharg has been escorting channel swimmers across the North Channel for decades.

As he is winding down his illustrious career, the attempts on the 18.6 nautical mile (35 km) North Channel between the North of Ireland and Mull of Galloway in Scotland are increasing. But his knowledge and decades of experience are a treasure for channel swimmers to cherish and utilize.

True to his nature, the personable and knowledgeable pilot is ushering in a new generation of escort pilots. "After years of being on the fringes of open water swimming, the Oceans Seven has helped firmly put the North Channel on the map.

While I focus on three attempts per season, I am looking to persuade other captains to take up the mantle on each side, in both Scotland and Ireland, by providing advice and courses to take
."

It is men like Meharg who have enjoyed and participated in the sport for decades and have formed a solid foundation for the sport to take off in the 21st century.

His history and experience on the North Channel are colorfully and comprehensively documented on his website, Bangor Boat here.

From Kevin Murphy in 1971 to Darren Miller in 2013, Maherg has been a constant in the North Channel between Ireland and Scotland. His record of success is unprecedented in the Channel:

* 29 August 1971: Kevin Murphy of England (crew)
* 11 August 1973: Ted Keenan of Ireland (crew)
* 22 August 1988: Alison Streeter of England (pilot)
* 25 August 1989: Alison Streeter of England (pilot)
* 27 August 1990: Ireland 1 relay team (pilot)
* 14 August 1993: City of Liverpool relay (pilot)
* 23 June 1996: Irish (Dublin) relay (pilot)
* 18 August 1997: Alison Streeter of England (pilot)
* 27 July 1999: Paul Lewis of England (pilot)
* 20 August 1999: Californian relay (pilot)
* 21 July 2000: Stephen Price of England (pilot)
* 26 August 2002: City of Liverpool relay (pilot)
* 6 July 2004: City of Derry relay (pilot)
* 31 July 2004: Colm O'Neill of Ireland (pilot)
* 12 September 2008: Colleen Blair of Scotland (pilot)
* 31 August 2010: Stephen Redmond of Ireland (pilot)
* 27 July 2011: Craig Lenning of America (pilot)
* 2 August 2011: Howard Keech of England (pilot)
* 22 August 2011 Camlough relay of Ireland (pilot)
* 8 July 2013: Anna-Carin Nordin of Sweden (pilot)
* 16 August 2013: Padraig Mallon of Ireland (pilot)
* 29 August 2013: Darren Miller of America (pilot)

Nuala Moore admires his dedication and passion. "Brian's involvement has been so much more than a pilot in the North Channel. He has been there through all its difficult past when there were only a few swimmers a year. But he still maintained a momentum to allow the 21st century to come through with the now massive volume of interest.

Brian has maintained the channel's history since he was a tea boy on the North Channel back in the 1970's when the great Kevin and Alison started their North Channel journeys and now has continued through the decades from the history as seen through Mercedes' eyes. He mainly held all the newspaper cuttings, etc
."

What is common knowledge is that there is very little that Brian does not know about the North Channel. Meharg, a true treasure for the ages.

Photo shows Brian Meharg MBE with North Channel swimmer Howard Keech.

Copyright © 2014 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

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.

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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