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Friday, April 11, 2014

Llandudno Beach To Robben Island By Yach And Goodman

Courtesy of Theodore Yach from Cape Town, South Africa.

Theodore Yach and Martin Goodman successfully swam 22 km from Llandudno to Robben Island on April 8th where Yach finished in 7 hours 3 minutes and Goodman finished in 7 hours 16 minutes.

This is their story:

The original plan was for me to swim from Hout Bay to Robben Island – another 7 km on top of the 22 km – but after failing 3 times due to inclement weather, freezing water and huge seas, I changed the route to cut off Hout Bay. In an inspired move, I asked Martin to join me on my new attempt. Martin is much younger (40-ish)and stronger than I, so I reckoned that, with his strength and youth coupled with my experience, we had a good chance to succeed as a team.

Llandudno has probably the coldest water and worst sea conditions of any other bay around Cape Town as it faces the force of the NW and SE weather conditions head on year-round. The water is freezing most of the time and the wave action is brutal as well. This particular morning the water was 12ºC (53.6ºF), there was a 50 km/hour wind blowing offshore, the mist was coming in fast and the sea was very lumpy.

Martin looked at me and I responded with “It will be better around the corner. Let’s get going.” We kitted up, gave our stuff to Martin’s associate, Steven Berman, waved to the boat crew to start their clocks and dove in. Strangely, I never felt the cold but Martin later reported that, even when the water warmed to 15ºC (59ºF) after about 2 hours and the sun had come up, he was cold for the entire swim.

For the next 2 hours we kept our heads down, stopping for very quick feeds, as we could see the 2 boat crews battling to keep their lines. I usually take comfort from the expressions on the faces of the crews whilst I am stroking but, there was no comfort for the first 2 hours. We also saw about 50 seals swim past from the opposite direction. The thought did cross my mind that since it was early morning, they were probably being followed by at least one Great White Shark looking for its breakfast, but I quickly put that out of my mind. We had Shark Shields on our boats which, according to the research, do give a measure of protection whilst we swim in their radius.

The sea is a wondrous place, however, especially around Cape Town. Once we were into our third hour, we were able to start stroking normally as the sea calmed and starting warming up. Direction Robben Island. At one of the feeds I stupidly asked Martin “Is that Lions Head in front of us?” Lions Head is one of the most prominent parts of Table Mountain range on the Atlantic seaboard. Martin’s response is for the ages “Are you retarded?” he asked. I realized that he must be doing OK with that response.

I am aware that Martin negotiates with himself during the inevitable tough patches during the swim. This was to be Martin’s longest swim ever as his previous longest was a Blouberg to Robben Island, double of 15 km, so mentally he needed to step up which he did with aplomb.

My methodology to keep the mental demons at bay is to count my strokes from feed to feed so this swim took me approximately 20,000 strokes from start to finish. I have refined this to the point such that I can count and think of other stuff simultaneously and the time goes past very quickly between feeds.

After the fifth hour, I could sense that Martin was swimming slightly slower than me so I suggested that one boat, crewed by Derrick Frazer and Darren Willars, look after him. I would be taken of by the other boat crewed by Ryan Minnaar and Bruce Sandemann. This worked well especially when Alon Kowen arrived with Otto Thaning on their boat. Otto then swam with Martin for the last hour to Robben Island.

I could only see Robben Island after around 6 hours and immediately switched to 20-minute feeds. This has 2 benefits for me. The first is that I can pick up my pace between feeds as I prefer, if I am able, to finish as fast as possible. The second is that I can have a quick look at where I am so that I am comfortable with where I am going to land. The Robben Island shore is filled with very sharp rocks and little sea sand so one has to be careful.

Fortunately, Derrick Frazer was able to guide me to shore safely and I landed in 7 hours 3 minutes – my 80th Robben Island crossing and a new record as this route had never been swum before. Martin finished soon after in 7 hours 16 minutes. Our overwhelming emotion was relief as it had been a tough journey, but well worth the struggle. We raised just short of R100,000 – at the time of writing – for 3 different charities in the process which we were very happy about.

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


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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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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