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Sunday, March 16, 2014
Expanding The Beautiful Swim Around Charleston
Penny Palfrey*, Charleston and a 12-mile (19.3 km) circumnavigation is the formula for the 2014 Swim Around Charleston (SAC) held on September 21st.
"The best benefits of open water swimming are the travel and the opportunity to see new places and meet other swimmers," describes race director Kathleen Wilson.
When that new place is Charlestown, voted the number one city in the United States and the world by the Condé Nast Traveler and Travel & Leisure, the swim takes on an entirely new level of expectations. Pioneered by Wilson, the Swim Around Charleston is an up-and-coming jewel of the open water swimming community.
The event is a warm-water, tidal-assisted swim that crosses the shipping channel of the port town, meanders around a historical American city up the Ashley River to its finish. "It is perfect for a swimmer new to the sport or a highly experienced open water swimmer looking for a relaxed course with a beautiful view and perhaps an extra couple of days exploring and eating one’s way around a spectacularly gorgeous city voted No. 1 in the United States three years running," explains Wilson, one of the most experienced marathon swimmers in America.
"This highly walkable, safe city with its beautiful and historic homes and gardens is the perfect cure for achy shoulders following the swim." It is a haven for foodies and those who enjoy seafood and a vibrant night life.
"In its fourth year, SAC is my creation. I’m 50-years-old and a long-time, highly experienced marathon swimmer. Having been a part of the marathon swimming world since 1997, I single-handedly introduced Charleston and the state of South Carolina to a sport in which no one had ever participated."
Fast forwarding to 2011, the Swim Around Charleston was born.
"I deliberately kept the swim low-key initially. It was very important to me to run a good, safe swim and to be sure that I was a good race director first. I had tremendous knowledge of what swimmers need to know and the resources that they required for a quality swim so while keeping numbers fairly low those first few years, I was able to sell the swim to safety agencies including the U. S. Coast Guard with no push-back and quietly garner support from them as well as other local partners necessary for a successful event. Once again, I was breaking completely new ground for South Carolina."
The Swim Around Charleston is open to solo swimmers, all of whom have a kayak escort and to a limited number of two- and four-swimmer relays. "Relays are limited due to the task of finding boaters willing to host a relay for the day. It is helpful if solos can provide their own paddlers however SAC will find paddlers and rent kayaks for those in need of support.
SAC has attracted between 17-30 solo swimmers during its first three years, but I see that field growing substantially as well as attracting an increasing number of younger swimmers. SAC has drawn most of its entrants from swimmers in their 40’s and 50’s likely due to the wide publicity that Charleston receives within the tourism world and that age demographic as well as previous swim publicity coming from United States Masters Swimming. Looking at the existing swims in the USA, the southeast is surprisingly bare, especially along the southeastern coast. There are few swims and no 10+ mile swims. SAC fills a nice void and it is time for the swim to expand."
Similar to fellow musician and marathon swimmer Carina Bruwer in South Africa, Wilson successfully juggles several lives simultaneously. "The changing winds of those lives have led to a yet a new direction for the Swim Around Charleston and for me."
Her dedication to her profession and to her sport is impressive. "I trained alone, every workout for ten years during which time I became an early member of the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming as well as completing other great swims. I learned my sport from scratch, before online resources with the help of a young age group coach, now an attorney who agreed to work with me. My husband took the time to learn how to crew and together, we caught the attention of the entire region. We also casually commented on how much fun it would be to create a swim in Charleston.
In addition to training for and swimming the most prestigious marathon swims in the world, Wilson served as the Principal Harpist with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. After a brief shut-down a few years ago, the orchestra members and the Board of Directors voted to eliminate 12 of their colleagues’ jobs. "So after 24 years of service and one quick vote, my career was all but ended, reduced to an as-needed musician on occasions in which the orchestra needed a harpist.
I was told on several occasions that if I cared about music, I would cut out this silly stuff and devote myself entirely to the orchestra and music. That silly stuff, in addition to marathon swimming, was an elected councilmember with the City of Charleston, representing 10,000 residents in my district."
But nothing is silly about the serious nature of the 12-mile Swim Around Charleston.
For more information Wilson's creation or visiting Charleston, visit www.swimaroundcharleston.com, www.swimcalm.com, and www.charlestonly.com.
* Both Penny Palfrey and Chris Palfrey will be participating in the 2014 Swim Around Charleston.
Copyright © 2014 by 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.
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Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:
The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.