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Thursday, June 19, 2014
D-Day Anniversary Relay Commemorates The Courageous
“In grateful memory of those who won a victory for freedom on D-Day 1944, the Overlord 70 relay swim team crossed the Channel from England to France today in 12 hours and 8 minutes. May God bless those to whom we all owe so much," from Sea Satin off the coast of France on June 8th.
The Overlord 70 relay team of six swimmers completed the first swim crossing of the English Channel this season. The purpose of the swim was to honor the courage and sacrifice of those who fought in the D-Day invasion of June 1944.
The Overlord 70 members, ranging in age from 27 to 64, sought to replicate the composition of the Allied Expeditionary Force of 1944. Serving as team leader was John Kulewicz, an American lawyer from Columbus, Ohio. Joining him were Bryan Avery (a British information technology consultant), John Boyd (a retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel now working for NATO), Joe Hall (a U.S. Air Force Colonel/B2 Stealth Bomber pilot), James Penrose (an American lawyer living in London), and Edward Williams (a British marathon swimmer and swim instructor). Ready as its alternate was Canadian-born physician Dr. Don McNeil who practices in Columbus, Ohio.
The swim got underway at 4:00 a.m. from Shakespeare Beach, just west of the Dover Harbor. The water was expectedly chilly (13.9-15ºC or 57-59ºF), but the skies were generally clear and the sea remained calm throughout the swim. The sunrise was beautiful that was punctuated with a rainbow that spanned the Channel together with a light early morning shower. “A day such as is seldom seen,” said Kevin Murphy, the official Observer from the Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation.
The pilot boat Sea Satin accompanied the Overlord 70 team, skippered by Lance Oram. The team was treated to the wafting smell of bacon and sausages as the crew prepared its own breakfast at mid-morning. In a throwback in time, disco music was added to their repertoire as the day progressed. In place of the expected jellyfish along the way, the team enjoyed the company of a seal and a porpoise near the middle of the Channel along with some seaweed and organic debris in the Separation Zone.
Under the watchful eye and booming voice of Murphy, the changeovers were dramatically staged. “Ten minutes.” “Five minutes.” “One minute.” “30 seconds.” “15 seconds," announced Murphy prior to each new swimmer's entry for their one-hour leg. At “zero", the horn blew and the next swimmer overtook the previous swimmer in the water. Warm clothes, refreshments and a well-deserved nap awaited each sleep-deprived swimmer as he emerged from the coolish waters.
In their radio communications as the team entered French territorial waters, the French authorities asked the pilot, “Please tell the Overlord 70 team that we wish them well.” Reminiscent of the sentiment with which the liberation forces were greeted in June 1944, the team was especially reverent of the historic significance of D-Day and respectful of those individuals who came ashore 70 years earlier with an uncommon sense of selflessness, courage and fortitude.
The team reached the French shore near Wissant in late afternoon, a little over 12 hours after setting off, making their own history.
Historical footnote: Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy, the Allied operation that launched the successful invasion of German-occupied western Europe during World War II. The operation commenced on June 6th 1944 with the Normandy landings (Operation Neptune, commonly known as D-Day). A 1,200-plane airborne assault preceded an amphibious assault involving more than 5,000 vessels. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on June 6th, and more than three million allied troops were in France by the end of August.
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
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