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Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Polish Extravaganza, 2014 BCT Gdynia Marathon

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Tomasz Pąchalski is a young man with a passion for open water swimming.

The manager of the professional-amateur BCT Gdynia Marathon has really helped develop open water swimming in Poland at all levels.

He has also brought a number of world-class pro swimmers to Poland for the 19.5 km race including Petar Stoychev.

By bringing in the world's best to Poland, the domestic community is striving to rise to the high level of competition.

There are great hopes for the young Polish swimmers. Andrzej Kowalski, President of Polish Swimming Union, said, "The BCT Gdynia Marathon is a great event, not only by the organizational means, but also in sporting sense. We need more races like this, especially if we are to prepare a strong national team for Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.”

Leading American Christine Jennings finished third in last year's race, but she was the first woman by a comfortable margin.

Her American teammate and 2012 Olympian Alex Meyer handily won the men's division in the 19.5 km Marathon, likewise earning US$10,000 for his dominating effort.

Under less than ideal conditions, the swimmers impressed the sponsors, organization, fans and media.

Krzysztof Szymborski, CEO of Baltic Container Terminal in Gdynia, summed up the competition, "Last year level of competition was very high. What Alex Meyer [shown below] achieved today in much more extreme conditions is almost unbelievable."

Andrzej Kowalski, President of Polish Swimming Union, was similarly pleased with the outcome, "The BCT Gdynia Marathon is a great event, not only by the organizational means, but also in sporting sense. It should be an example for all events in Poland.

We need more races like this, especially if we are to prepare a strong national team for Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016
.”

With the seeds sown for a bright future, Meyer will definitely be back in 2014, "It is my first time in Poland, even though my grandparents were Polish. It is such a great event, I will definitely come back to Gdynia.”

The 2013 BCT Gdynia Marathon results are shown below:

1. Alexander Meyer (USA) 3:53:32
2. Vladimir Dyatchin (Russia) 4:07:24
3. Sebastian Karaś (Poland) 4:14:48
4. Chris Bryan (Ireland) 4:15:37
5. Jan Urbaniak (Poland) 4:15:43
6. Arseniy Lavrentyev (Portugal) 4:27:00
7. Daniel Jimenez Ponce (Spain) 4:33:28
8. Benjamin Konschak (Germany) 4;33:50
DNF Jose Luis Larrosa Chorro
1. Christine Jennings (USA) 4:13:57
2. Alexandra Sokolova (Russia) 4:15:46
3. Ines Hahn (Germany) 4:24:24
4. Olga Beresnyeva (Ukraine) 4:31:48
DNF Emily Brunemann (USA)

The window for the 2014 BCT Gdynia Marathon will be August 1st through 3rd.

The inaugural race in 2012 was won by Petar Stoychev and Christine Jennings with competitors coming from around the world like Trent Grimsey (Australia), Benjamin Konschak (Germany), and Megan Melgaard (USA) to compete in the 18ºC (64ºF) sea.

BCT Gdynia Marathon recalls the tradition of open water swimming marathons that took place in the 1960's and 1970's in Poland's Bay of Gdansk...and is taking the sport to a whole new level.

Mikołaj Nałęcz-Nieniewski and Tomasz Pąchalski explain the 19.5 km BCT Gdynia Marathon, "The contestants swim 19.5 km from the Hel Peninsula to a beach of the City of Gdynia while competing for a total cash prize of US$ 28,000, including two checks for US$10,000 for the overall female and male winners.

BCT Gdynia Marathon brings back the history of open water swimming in Poland. The tradition of open water swimming marathons in Poland began in the 1960's and early 1970's in the waters of the Bay of Gdansk. In 2011, the inaugural edition was held with 50 swimmers competing in a 3.5 km course. In 2012, professional marathon swimmers Petar Stoychev and Christine Jennings won."

This year will undoubtedly see the upscale race continue to become even more grand.

"Specifics of the basin and a distance of nearly 20 kilometres makes the competition one of the most difficult ones held in Europe," says Dagmara Łuczka, spokesperson for BCT Gdynia Marathon.

"We are convinced that the fourth edition of BCT Gdynia Marathon will contribute to the promotion of the city and to the popularisation of long distance swimming in open waters. We do hope that during those three days we will succeed in getting all aquatic sports lovers focus on the host city of the event – Gdynia, and in involving city inhabitants and tourists in joint fun, says Krzysztof Szymborski, President of title sponsor Baltic Container Terminal.

For more information, visit here.

We changed the date of both races because of more stable atmospheric and water conditions prevailing in the middle of summer. Thanks to this, we minimize the probability of cancelling our competition which is always possible while holding open water event,” explained Dagmara Łuczka, spokesperson for BCT Gdynia Marathon. “Once again we invited every top open water swimmer to compete in the marathon. We’re intent on keeping standards but we don’t limit ourselves only to the pro swimmers, so we encourage everyone, who sees his chance to cover this distance, to apply. Every application will be examined,” she added.

The application form to the Hel-Gdynia marathon is available at “For competitors” section (www.bctgdyniamarathon.pl), the deadline for applications is June 27th 2014. The entry form to the Open race can be found here.

The 2012 edition results are as follows:

1. Petar Stoychev 57:42, 1:52:41, 2:51:46, 3:51:49
2. Trent Grimsey 57:45, 1:53:13, 2:53:44, 3:53:27
3. Christine Jennings 57:54, 1:57:54, 3:01:01, 4:00:40
4. Natalia Charlos 57:56, 1:57:55, 3:01:02, 4:02:29
5. Benjamin Konschak 59:23, 2:00:51, 3:05:30, 4:07:08,65
6. Pilar Geijo 59:24, 2:00:54, 3:06:30, 4:10:30
7. Chris Bryan 57:35, 1:54:26, 3:04:41, 4:13:28
8. Krzysztof Pielowski 57:52, 1:58:19, 3:06:56, 4:14:44
9. Sebastian Karaś 59:23, 2:00:52,3:08:31, 4:18:35
10. Megan Melgaard 1:02:31, 2:07:00, 3:16:03, 4:21:34
11. Jan Urbaniak 1:02:31, 2:07:01, 3:16:04, 4:30:06
12. Mallory Mead 1:03:11, 2:10:16, 3:22:19, 4:30:14
13. Grzegorz Radomski 1:09:27, 2:18:19, 3:32:36, 4:46:14
14. Grzegorz Monczak 1:11:24, 2:24:57, 3:48:25, 5:21:35



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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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.

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.

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