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Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Incredible Career Of Mercedes Gleitze

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Given the era, circumstances, and global expanse of her swims, there has been arguably no greater aquatic adventurer than Mercedes Gleitze. From Ireland and Spain to South Africa and Australia, she went often went swimming where no man (or woman) went before her.

Without jet transportation, GPS, or others to pave the way before her in many of her swims, Gleitze set forth to do many unprecedented swims that had to be mind-bogggling at the time, both physically and logistically.

Like Tesla in technology and Edison in electricity, Gleitze was well ahead of her time and visionary in her exploits and attempts in all kinds of conditions and venues from the British Isles to Down Under.

At the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference between September 19th and 21st at the Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute in Scotland, Gleitze will be one of the individuals honored by the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, an honor that was also previously granted upon her by the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.

Her storied career included the following marathon swims, channel swims, stage swims, and endurance pool swims:

1923
The Thames: British Ladies’ Record for Thames Swimming over the 27-mile stretch between Putney and Silvertown in 10¾ hours

1927
July 18-29th - The Thames: Westminster Bridge to Folkestone (120 miles in stages)
October 7th - English Channel (France to England)

1928
April 6th - Strait of Gibraltar (Spain to Africa)

1929
June 21st - The Wash
July 12th - Lough Neagh (breadthways)
July 13th - Loch Ryan
July 28th - Firth of Forth
August 17th - Lough Foyle (Moville to Portstewart)
August 20th - Lough Foyle (Portstewart to Moville)
September 8th - Lough Neagh (lengthways)

1930
June 13-18th - Around the Isle of Man (120 miles in stages)
August 6th - The Hellespont (Dardanelles) - Europe to Asia Minor
August 22nd - The Hellespont (Dardanelles) - Asia Minor to Europe
September 3rd - Sea of Marmara
December 25th - Wellington Harbour, New Zealand

1931
January 21st - Rangitoto Island to Cheltenham, New Zealand
January 24th - Won Manly Swimming/Floating Competition (48 hours) in Sydney, Australia
August 5th - Galway Bay, Eire, Ireland

1932
March 25th - Cape Town to Robben Island, South Africa
March 27th - Robben Island to Cape Town, South Africa

Set distances in the following South African rivers:
April 10th - Swartkops River, Cape of Good Hope
April 17th - Buffalo River, East London
April 23rd - Modder River, Glen, Bloemfontein
May 8th - Germiston Lake, Joannesburg
May 15th - Hartebeestpoort Dam, Pretoria
May 22nd - Vaal River, Vereeniging
Open water swims attempted, but not completed:

1928
June to November - 4 attempts of the North Channel
17 September - 14-hour endurance sea swim, Blackpool (target was 25 hours)

1929
August to September - 4 attempts of the North Channel

1930
June 2nd - Moray Firth
June 30th - Bristol Channel
September 30th - English Channel - Dover Town Gold Cup (England to France)

1933
August 2nd - English Channel (England to France)

Endurance swims carried out in British pools, except where indicated:

* 26 hours in Edinburgh on December 31st 1929 to January 1st 1930 at Infirmary Street Baths
* 28 hours in Dublin, Eire on February 9-10th 1930 at Tara Street Baths
* 30 hours in Cork, Eire on February 25-26th 1930 at Eglinton Street Baths
* 31 hours in Liverpool on March 7-8th 1930 at Westminster Road Baths
* 32 hours in Derby on March 28-29th 1930 at Reginald Street Baths
* 33 hours in Huddersfield on April 4-5th 1930 at Ramsden Street Baths
* 34 hours in Belfast on April 21-22nd 1930 at Ormeau Baths
* 35 hours in Leicester on May 19-20th 1930 at Belgrave Baths, Cossington Street
* 36 hours in Sheffield on 23-24 May 1930 at Glossop Street Baths
* 37 hours in Douglas on 9-10 June 1930 at Henry Bloom Noble Baths
* 38 hours in Stafford on 3-4 July 1930 at Royal Baths
* 39 hours in Wolverhampton on 18-19 July 1930 at Municipal Baths
* 40 hours in Leicester on 12-13 September 1930 at Belgrave Baths, Cossington Street
* 40½ hours in Dundee on 24-25 September 1930 at Central Baths
* 41 hours in Hull on 9-10 October 1930 at Madeley Street Baths
* 41½ hours in Newcastle on 24-25 October 1930 at Northumberland Baths
* 42 hours in Dublin, Eire on 3-4 November 1930 at Tara Street Baths
* 42½ hours in Wellington, New Zealand on 31 Dec 1930/1 Jan 1931 at Boys Institute Baths, Tasman Street
* 43 hours in Auckland, New Zealand on 16-17 January 1931 at Auckland Tepid Baths
* 43½ hours in Christchurch, New Zealand on 12-13 March 1931 at Manchester Street Tepid Baths
* 44 hours in Adelaide, Australia on 10-11 April 1931 at Crystal Swimming Pool, Unley
* 44½ hours in Melbourne, Australia on 17-18 April 1931 at Brunswick Baths
* 45 hours in Rotherham on 31 Dec 1931 - 1 Jan 1932 at Main Street Baths
* 45½ hours in Chesterfield on 15-16 January 1932 at Central School Baths
* 46 hours in Cape Town, South Africa on 18-19 March 1932 at Long Street Baths
* 46½ hours in Huddersfield on 31 Dec 1932-1 Jan 1933 at Cambridge Road Baths
* 47 hours in Worthing on 18-20 May 1933 at Corporation Baths

Photo of and swimming information on Mercedes Gleitze provided by her daughter Doloranda Pember.

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.

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