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Friday, June 27, 2014

Sandra Bucha Inducted In The ISHOF

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Sandra Bucha was honored last weekend by the International Swimming Hall of Fame as one of its relatively few Honor Open Water Swimmers.

In the world of professional marathon swimming, 4 women have stood out among their male rivals: Greta Andersen, Judith van Berkel-de Njis, Shelley Taylor-Smith, and Bucha.

Bucha was a star throughout her swimming career in the 1970’s. Ever smiling and hardworking, she appeared on the cover of Swimming World Magazine as a promising age-group pool swimmer and enjoyed an outstanding 3-year career as a professional marathon swimmer while studying history as an undergraduate student at Stanford University.

Between her formative years as a young swimmer and before her college career, she and her father, Colonel Paul Bucha Sr., filed a lawsuit against the Illinois High School Federation based on sex discrimination. Their lawsuit went to the Illinois Supreme Court that ultimately ruled that girls deserved equal opportunities to compete in competitive sports on the same level as high school boys. This lawsuit, which was an early precursor to Sandra’s later legal career as prosecutor, public defender and personal injury attorney, resulted in the state of Illinois offering separate competitive sports programs for girls.

Bucha’s rival was her own American teammate, one of the fastest and most prolific marathon swimmers of all time, Olympic gold medalist John Kinsella. Both distance swimmers got into marathon swimming after the 1972 Munich Olympics. While John won a gold medal in Munich to add to his 1968 Olympic silver medal, Bucha’s pool swimming career came to an end when she missed the U.S. Olympic Team by a 7 tenths of a second in the 100-meter freestyle.

The former American record-holder in the 200-meter freestyle set off on an unprecedented marathon swimming career. Her first swim was the 1973 10-mile Chicago Lake Front race where she placed second overall finishing only a minute behind Johan Schans of the Netherlands. She won US$3,000 while setting a record for women as a college freshman. She won a bonus of US$1,000 for being the first woman after finishing second overall to John Kinsella. She teamed up with Kinsella at the 24 Heures La Tuque race, swimming 100 loops to John’s 94 for a world record of 194 laps or nearly 65 miles.

In her second season, she competed in the 1974 Traversee internationale du lac St-Jean where she finished third overall in 8 hours 19 minutes to Kinsella (1st) and Veljko Rogošić (2nd). She also finished second at the Laval (Quebec) 10-mile Pro Race. In her third season, Bucha finished second overall in the 10-mile pro marathon, again to Kinsella. She joined Kinsella to win the 1975 24 Heures La Tuque again and traveled to lac St-Jean to finish second overall again for her 8 hour 15 minute effort.

During her short career of 3 seasons sandwiched between 9 months of academic work at Stanford, Bucha wanted to see women separated from the men as long as the purses are equal, but that dream would not come for nearly two decades. She ended her 9-swim career with 9 wins among the women and 6 overall second places. Only three males finished ahead of her in her in nine marathon races.

The former American 200m freestyler record holder will also be honored by the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame at its induction ceremonies in Scotland at the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference.

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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2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac



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