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Friday, March 14, 2014
Anthony McCarley Taking It To Another Level
The 54-year-old Half Century Club member has done competitive swims like the 8-mile Boston Light Swim, the Tampa Bay Frogman Swim (shown on left), the 24-mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim, the 12.5-mile Swim Around Key West, and the 24.3 km Cape Circumnavigation Challenge around Cape May as well as completed an unprecedented triple-crossing channel swim between St. Thomas and St. John in the Caribbean Sea.
A humble, hardworking individual, McCarley was pleasantly surprised when he received the O’Clee Jubilee Award for the oldest person to swim English Channel under the auspices of the Channel Swimming Association in 2013.
"For me, this is so amazing. The CSA has a perpetual trophy for it, so my name is on there with Doc Counsilman, Michael Read, Otto Thaning, Bob West and a bunch of others – how cool is that?"
We asked the seasoned business executive a series of questions about his open water swimming goals:
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What has driven you to attempt the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming?
Anthony McCarley: From the time I was little boy, I had a burning desire to swim the English Channel. When I decided to put an action plan in place, the goal wasn’t about swimming or being in shape. I was singularly focused on the English Channel. It took me longer to do it that I ever thought possible, but the journey got me addicted to the sport of marathonsSwimming. Everyone is so supportive of each other. It is a great community. While masters swimming is nice, open water swimmers, and marathon swimmers in particular, take it to the next level. Through my swim travels and the Marathon Swimmers Forum, I feel as I have friends around the world that I would never otherwise have. I have also found that the swimming brings me joy – it is a connection to nature that I had lost in my life. I like to think I am swimming because of a relatively healthy addiction.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Do you have any particular strategy in tackling this goal - physical, mental or logistical?
Anthony McCarley: MIMS and Catalina are exactly three weeks apart, so I am approaching them as one 50 mile swim broken in the middle by three weeks. Physically, I will need to swim within myself – forget that MIMS is a race. During swims when I find myself going too fast or working too hard, I say to myself, “Let it go” and I relax. The “it” can be another swimmer, or any self-inflicted pressure. I plan to say “Let it go” a lot to myself over those three weeks. On the mental front, I accepted a long time ago that I am not a particularly good swimmer and along my journey I learned that even the best swimmers suffer from “dark” moments. When I hit my “dark” moments, I remind myself that even the best go through them and that really helps. Logistically, I think we’re in pretty good shape for Catalina, because Dan Simonelli has really taken me under his wing. I admit I am still learning about the logistics around MIMS.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What worries you most about each of the swims?
Anthony McCarley: My biggest worry regarding MIMS is finding the right speed – fast enough to make the turn while holding enough in reserve that I am not emptied at the end. For Catalina I am concerned about hitting the coldest water at the end of the swim, when I am at my weakest.
I am also worried about all the things I don’t know yet about the swims – I still have a lot to learn and I don’t know what I don’t know.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Do you feel 50 (years old)?
Anthony McCarley: I am 54, and 50 seems so long ago. I am not sure how 54 is supposed to feel other than what I am experiencing. I do know because of marathon swimming, I am stronger, more limber and in better shape than I was a 44. Particularly because I am a father of young children, being in shape brings more joy to other parts of my life.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How do you manage training with your professional and family responsibilities?
Anthony McCarley: It is really hard - I am never in as good of shape as I would like to be. As important as swimming is to me, family, friends and business come in front of it. I don’t work out as I think most swimmers do. Instead of swimming several times a week, I might only go to the pool two or three times a week. But on the days that I go, I try to swim sets between 10,000 - 15,000 meters. I believe longer swims are more valuable than a series of shorter swims and swimming this way saves on driving time, changing time and locker room chitchat time. I do try to do something every day towards the goal. It might only be learning something, doing dryland work or sitting in a tub of cold water, but for me it is important to do something every day to remind me of my goal.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Do people at work know of your challenge? If so, what do you think about it?
Anthony McCarley: If they think I am nuts, they haven’t told me. We have a pretty active group – mountain climber, kite-boarder, etc., so I think everyone is pretty enthusiastic about my swimming. There are a lot of characteristics of marathon swimmers that are valuable to business.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How do you maintain your enthusiasm? Do you ever find gearing up for training is a challenge?
Anthony McCarley: Training motivation is never an issue for me when I have a goal. I know that many, many things can and do go wrong in marathon swimming. The better shape I am in, the better the odds are of me being able to deal with those things. My first English Channel attempt ended a half mile from shore. Swimmers who are much better than I am, like Ron Collins, took two attempts at Catalina. Most of the swimmers didn’t finish MIMS last year. I know the odds of me completing both of these swims three weeks apart are tiny, probably less than 20%. I am scared out of my mind. That is all the motivation I need.
I maintain enthusiasm by picking goals that I don’t know I can accomplish – like swimming your Triple Crown in less than 12 months.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Do you have a pair of favorite goggles, swim cap or swimsuit?
Anthony McCarley: I have a funny shaped nose, so most goggles don’t work for me and I can’t see without glasses…which made finding corrective goggles that fit impossible. Through the Marathon Swimmers Forum I learned about TYR’s corrective goggles. These goggles are by far my most important piece of equipment.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Who are on your escort boats as crew for each of the swims?
Anthony McCarley: I have one friend who has been with me for Tampa Bay, Boston Light, and both English Channel swims. And another friend, who is my old abalone diving buddy, was there for both English Channel swims. A sister and a niece were both there for the successful English Channel swim. All four will be on the Catalina swim. MIMS limits you to two crew and we’re still sorting through who the two will be.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: When you touch the other shore, what are the thoughts and impressions that first flood your brain?
Anthony McCarley: For most of my longer swims, I get a deep emotional wave of accomplishment rolling through me – it almost feels physical. When I finished the English Channel swim, the driver of dingy was focused on getting back to the boat so quickly that all I could think about was trying to find my pebble before he poured me into the dingy. I didn’t experience the wave of accomplishment until I was back on the boat...with my pebble. In January, I did three laps between St. John and St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. This was the first swim under the Marathon Swimmers Federation rules and, whether these rules or someone else’s become widely accepted, I believe having a clearly articulated set of rules is an important step in the growth of the sport. It felt really good finishing that swim because I felt as if I contributed to the sport and community I have come to care so much about.
World Open Water Swimming Association
2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference
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
Swim Across the English Channel...
Who else is looking for a qualified open water swimming coach to help them swim across the English Channel?Chloë McCardel is a 6-time English Channel Swimmer who inspires and instructs. Access featured content by Chloë in this month's issue of the Open Water Swimming Magazine. Published monthly by WOWSA, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a digital, interactive publication made available exclusively to WOWSA members. See what you've been missing! Become a WOWSA member today!
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.