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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

International Swimming Hall Of Fame Open Water Greats

During the 26-year period between 1970 and 1995, when the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) added an Open Water Swimming category to its existing classifications, no open water swimmers were selected for inclusion in the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

During that period, a number of well-qualified and renowned open water swimmers were nominated and will be so honored over the next 3 years.

The International Swimming Hall of Fame has authorized a special selection for these great open water swimmers:

* Sandra Bucha (U.S.A.) - Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Jon Erikson (U.S.A.) - Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Claudio Plit (Argentina) - Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Judith van Berkel-de Njis (Netherlands) - Honor Open Water Swimmer
* David Yudovin (U.S.A.) - Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Mercedes Gleitze (Great Britain) - Honor Open Water Pioneer Swimmer
* George Young (Canada) - Honor Open Water Pioneer Swimmer
* Dale Petranech (U.S.A.) - Honor Open Water Swimming Contributor

Two Floridians, Sandra Bucha of Bradenton and Jon Erikson of Boca Raton will be enshrined at the 2014 ISHOF Induction ceremonies on June 13th - 15th in Fort Lauderdale, Florida as Honor Open Water Swimmers. A special ISHOF Induction ceremony will be held on September 20th - 21st at the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference in Glasgow, Scotland to honor and to enshrine Plit, van Berkel-de Njis, Yudovin, Gleitze, Young and Petranech.

Bucha and Erikson will join 13 other athletes, coaches and contributors from the FINA-governed aquatic sports into the ISHOF Class of 2014 from 8 nations, including Grant Hackett from Australia, Agnes Kovacs of Hungary, Tom Malchow of the USA, Peng Bo of China, Penny and Vicky Vilagos of Canada, Carlo Silipo of Italy, Karen Kuipers of the Netherlands, coaches Charlotte Davis of the USA, coach Jozsef Nagy of Hungary. Bruce S. Hopping of the USA, Norman Sarsfield of Great Britain and Chuck Wielgus of the USA will be honored as Contributors to the sport.

Bruce Wigo, President of the ISHOF, explains Bucha's honor. "Before pools became commonplace, humans swam exclusively in the open water. By the end of the 19th Century, marathon or open water swimming competitions attracted what many in the “amateur” athletic and Olympic movements considered a disreputable class of professional swimmers. Thus it was rare that a pool swimmer would cross-over from the “amateur” pool to the open water and impossible for the revers. This year, ISHOF will honor two swimmers who helped pave the road for open water to become recognized as an Olympic and World Championship event.

Historically, open water swimming was professional. Other than the likes of Norman Ross, Gertrude Ederle, Greta Anderson, there were few if any world-class pool swimmers who participated in the open water marathon races - until John and Sandra. While it was many years in the future, I believe that these two started the long journey of respect for open water swimmers in the eyes of FINA.

Rather than retire from swimming after her high school days in Hinsdale, Illinois, as was the case with most female American swimmers in the pre-Title IX era, Bucha joined the male-dominated professional marathon circuit and competed against the men, mano-a-mano. In the 9 marathon swim races in which she competed in between 1973 and 1975, Sandy finished first in the female gender, undefeated in every race. Only once did she come in third to male swimmer and every other swim she finished a close second to the first male swimmer, usually her high school teammate and Hall of Fame swimmer, John Kinsella.

As her Hinsdale coach Don Watson pointed out, "If John were not of her era, she would have won five professional marathon swims outright." In partnership with Kinsella, Sandy and John twice won the 24 Heures La Tuque, the incomparable non-stop relay that showcased the ultimate one-two punch from Hinsdale."

Bucha not only joins her high school and professional tandem partner Kinsella in the Hall of Fame, but her brother Paul “Buddy” Bucha, is a recipient of both the Congressional Medal of Honor and ISHOF’s highest recognition, the Gold Medallion Award.

Wigo explains Erickson's honor. "In 1969, when he was just fourteen years of age, Jon made headlines around the world as the youngest swimmer to successfully swim across the English Channel. Twenty-two years later he set another milestone by becoming the first to do a triple crossing of the same Channel, a feat only two others have accomplished since. In between he garnered numerous laurels on the professional marathon circuit."

Erikson describes his three-way 38 hours 27 minute crossing of the English Channel here.

He was inducted in 1981 as an Honour Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame where he joined his father Ted. Jon first swam from France to England in 1969 as the youngest swimmer and did a two-way crossing in 1979 where his first leg as the fastest crossing of the year. He later did two English-to-France crossings in 1980 and did many professional marathon swims in Mexico, Argentina and Canada including five Traversée Internationale du lac St-Jean, three 24 Heures La Tuque and races in Chibougamau, Hamilton, Pasbebiac and elsewhere. He is also a member of the 24-hour Club for swimming 36.75 miles (59 km) in Lake Michigan from Michigan City to Chicago, Illinois in 1971 in 24 hours 30 minutes.

Upper photo shows John Kinsella, Sandra Bucha and Phil Dodson with Coach Don Watson after the 10-mile Chicago Lake Swim in 1974. Lower photo shows map of Jon Erikson's three-way crossing of the English Channel.

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

Swim Across the English Channel...

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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.
LEARN MORE...

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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