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Friday, June 20, 2014
Veljko Rogošić's Moje Najteže Milje - His Hardest Mile
"He couldn't possibly do it."
"No way, she must have jumped on the boat."
"There is no documentation or proof of the swim."
"No GPS record exists and no Observer's Report was posted online."
These are common reasons why contemporary marathon swimmers do not occasionally recognize swims in the past by swimmers of earlier generations.
In some cases, the allegations are based on assumptions without written or visual proof. In some cases, the allegations are based on the fact that documentation exists, but not in the English language. In other cases, the allegations are based on the fact that nothing was posted online (at least in the English language).
But the Daily News of Open Water Swimming and the World Open Water Swimming Association view and report the exploits of open water swimmers more broadly than some in the contemporary marathon swimming community allow themselves.
When reporting on a swim, especially those done by non-English speakers and those who do not post information regularly online or on social networks, the Daily News of Open Water Swimming considers the following information:
1. Documentation in the native language of the athlete,
2. Comments, recollections and first-hand observations from coaches, crew members and escort pilots (in the absence of an Observer's Report).
3. The track record of the athlete.
Veljko Rogošić is a classic case where some in the marathon swimming community have stated online and in private circles that he did not complete his longest swim on record: a 225 km (139.8 mile) 50 hour 10 minute solo marathon swim across the Adriatic Sea from Grado, Croatia to Riccione, Italy in 2006. In other words, his swim was fraudulent.
To those who respect his claims and laud his accomplishment, they note that his swim was observed by local swimming officials and reported locally and was accepted by the Guinness Book of World Records.
But based on the high standards established by the Marathon Swimmers Federation in 2014, these observations, reports and acceptance by the Guinness Book of World Records are insufficient for some swimmers.
The long-time standards of documentation for open water swims were established by the English Channel swimming community and other organizations from the British Long Distance Swimming Association and Irish Long Distance Swimming Association to the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame. But even these long-time standards of documentation were insufficient for some. The Marathon Swimmers Federation aimed to outlaw drafting from the escort boats, reiterate the no touching rule and independence of observers, and unify rules on equipment and swimwear.
The new contemporary standards of documentation for open water swims were established by Evan Morrison in April 2014. The April 8th 2014 Morrison Report (see here) accurately, objectively, and comprehensively presented a digital overview of Craig Lenning's 25.7-mile swim from the Farallon Islands to Muir Beach on the California mainland.
While Craig Lenning was the beneficiary of the Morrison Report, swimmers of previous generations did not provide the same level of documentation as is now expected in 2014.
Veljko Rogošić of Croatia fell into this situation. His crew did not release the same level and scope of detail in the public realm after his 2006 swim as was presented in the Morrison Report of 2014. Rogošić's lack of detail opened up the opportunity for criticism and disbelief among some contemporary marathon swimmers.
Sadly, Rogošić passed away in 2012 and is no longer here to defend himself.
But when these situations occur, the World Open Water Swimming Association believe the existing documentation and a swimmer's track record of success are important factors to consider.
Given the fact that a 225 km swim or a swim of over 50 hours is beyond the capabilities of most humans, the capabilities and the track record of an athlete are essential to consider. That is, a swim of such length can realistically be accomplished by only those with years, if not decades, of experience and the requisite strength - both mental and physical - that comes with experience. Additionally, it is important to consider the innate swimming abilities of the athlete in question.
This is where Rogošić passes with flying colors. Even at the age of 65, Rogošić's swimming stroke and efficiency in the water are evident (see video below). The 2-time Olympic pool swimmer and world professional marathon swimming champion proved his speed and stamina when he crossed the English Channel at the age of 63 in 11 hours 27 minutes in 2004. He even rarely used skin ointment as his stroke was so efficient and well-balanced.
An Honour Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, Rogošić was clearly capable of a massively long swim after a lifetime dedicated to the sport of swimming.
He began as a great pool swimmer for the former Yugoslavia where he won 142 national championships and competed a total of 203 times for his country in international competitions. He set 51 national records in the 400m and 1500m freestyle, 200m and 400m individual medley, 200m butterfly and freestyle relays and was the national team captain for 15 years as he participated in two Olympic Games (1960 in Rome and 1964 in Tokyo). His highest international rankings were in the 1500m freestyle (fourth) and 400m individual medley (fifth).
After he shifted from the pool to the open water, he continued to excel. He won the 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1973 marathons in Italian Ricconeu and won the world championship in 1971, 1972, 1973 and 1974 at the 36 km Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli as well as the 1976 Faros Maratón 1976. He swam against the best: finishing second to John Kinsella in the 1974 Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean and third overall in the 1975 and 1876 Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean.
Contemporary open water swimmers like Jamie Patrick have the opportunity to film and webcast their marathon swims from start to finish with modern-day broadcast and Internet technologies. Given this ability to film and broadcast an entire swim live, there is no question that the global open water swimming community can collectively vouch for the veracity of a swimmer's claim. However, delivering a live broadcast of one's marathon swims from shore to shore is not only costly, but also operationally challenging given the challenges of filming in open bodies of water. While such real-time delivery may become the Marathon Swimmers Federation standard in the future as broadcast and Internet technologies improve and become inexpensive, these capabilities were not available to Rogošić and his crew.
Essentially, they - and others in the past - relied on the tried-and-true method of crew members watching and documenting through written forms and video.
What video images remain of a swimmer like Rogošić can also be viewed with a skeptical eye:
* Did the swimmer look efficient in the water?
* How did the swimmer appear to handle the surface turbulence and rough water conditions?
* How did the swimmer look while swimming at night?
* How did they appear when they finish?
* What was the interaction between the swimmer and crew?
* Did their body appear unstable and waterlogged at the finish?
While we do not understand the Croatian language in the video images below, it appears that Rogošić not only was capable of swimming for over 50 hours and 225 km, but also that he in fact did.
But issues remain for those interested in records and a global acceptance of their own swims: transparency and verification. How does one have their swim verified without a shadow of a doubt? There are several things that Jamie Patrick is doing in Lake Michigan that may be a precursor to future verification:
* He is using representatives of the Marathon Swimmers Federation as his official observers.
* He is webcasting his entire swim live to a global audience from start to finish.
* He is publicly posting the parameters (rules) of his swim.
* His observers are instructed to immediately disqualify him and pull him from the water if any parameters of his swim are violated.
* He is providing his information in English.
While Rogošić represents the past and how generations of previous marathon swimmers documented their own swims, Patrick represents the future and how generations of future open water swimmers can publicly and objectively document their swims for the record.
We celebrate both Rogošić and Patrick and stand in awe of their accomplishments.
The video on the 225 km swim by Veljko Rogošić begins 3 minutes into the following video after the television commercials. Enjoy Veljko Rogošić's Moje Najteže Milje (Veljko Rogošić's Hardest Mile), the unprecedented Adriatic Swimming Marathon.
Editor's Note: The reported distance of Veljko Rogošić's swim in the Adriatic Sea in 2006 is 139.8 statute miles (225 km). But the distance between his starting and finishing cities appears to be only a total straight-line distance of 121 statute miles (194.7 km), based on confirmation on Google Maps. However, information on the exact GPS coordinates of the starting and finishing positions are not known and were not reported.
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
Swim Across the English Channel...
Who else is looking for a qualified open water swimming coach to help them swim across the English Channel?Chloë McCardel is a 6-time English Channel Swimmer who inspires and instructs. Access featured content by Chloë in this month's issue of the Open Water Swimming Magazine. Published monthly by WOWSA, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a digital, interactive publication made available exclusively to WOWSA members. See what you've been missing! Become a WOWSA member today!
Open Water Swimming Magazine
Open Water Swimming MagazineThe 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.
WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...
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.
2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac
An Almanac for Open Water SwimmingAn 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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Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:
The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.