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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

What's Going Through Your Head In The Open Water?

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

"While I'm swimming, I sing songs in my mind," says Olympic champion Alexandr Popov

Music in your head is something most swimmers have experienced.

Songs can very easily and quite arbitrarily pop into your head, often without any rhyme or reason.

Kaia Hedlund, president of the Waikiki Roughwater Swim, is typical of many life-long swimmers. "I unfortunately find that the music going through my head when swimming is usually some repetitive commercial jingle which is really obnoxious. That or a medley of Rolling Stones tunes." Dr. Lyle Nalli, one of the Catalina Channel relay record holders, has the same phenomena happen to him, but with a simple solution. "It is critical not to get bad songs in your head, so I don't listen to the radio before a swim."

Phil White recalls that both Bethany Bosch and Sarah Thomas were singing songs to themselves while swimming 25 and 50 miles last September In Search of Memphre.

But Underwater Audio offers all kinds of waterproof equipment so music selection is no longer random and without reason. Underwater Audio's waterproof iPods are small, compact, and convenient to wear while their waterproof headphones work extremely well.

We asked some of the most daring and prolific open water swimmers from around the world how they deal with songs running through their brains:

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: If you were going to do a long training swim and had to listen to one song throughout, what would that be?

Carina Bruwer-Pugliese, a renowned channel swimmer from South Africa who is also the owner and Executive Producer of the award-winning instrumental pop group Sterling EQ: Ideally a song with good harmonies and some meaningful lyrics, if it’s a vocal song. I’m a musician so it’s a bit of an occupation hazard – I tend to be very critical and don’t want to be stuck with an average song!

Nuala Moore, the renowned Irish ice swimmer with the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association: I enjoy Meatloaf's Paradise by the Dashboard Lights and Bat Out of Hell for long swims, and a Shaggy's Hope when things are tough.

Michael Miller, renowned channel swimmer from Hawaii: Walk by Foo Fighters.

Dr. Lyle Nalli: The long playing version of Gimme Shelter by the Rolling Stones.

Grace van der Byl, renowned American marathon swimmer: Devil Went Down to Georgia or Truckin by Grateful Dead.

Vito Bialla, founder of the Night Train Swimmers in California: Dire Straits' Sultans of Swing in my head or Das Boot if it gets dark.

Sarah Condor, Esq., LL.M., a world-class Czech swimmer: Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1.

Darren Miller, Oceans Seven swimmer: My favorite song that keeps me motivated is Forever by the Dropkick Murphys. The song inspired my non-profit, Team Forever, as well as the Forever Fund at the UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. It has always reminded me of my grandmother who taught me the value of volunteer work, and why it is vital to give back to a society that needs us now more than ever. Gives me the strength to never give up as a visual.

Wayne Soutter, channel swimmer and team leader for The EC6 Team: The Black Eyed Peas's I Gotta Feeling. The reason I like this is that I hummed it on my English Channel as I swam into the dark thinking that "...tonight is going to be a good night..."

Lynn Kubasek, channel swimmer and observer: Probably Police's Sychronicity 2, the one with the Loch Ness Monster reference. It has a kind of urgency suited to 1-2 mile races.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What is your favorite song to listen to before you start a race or a long solo swim?

Carina Bruwer-Pugliese: I actually prefer the sound of silence when it comes to focusing on a swim. Again, being a musician means I have music around me almost constantly and it usually doesn't have a recreational nature. I tend to analyse it to death and my brain processes it in a very particular way. As is the case with most of us swimmers, to some degree at least, I try to escape when swimming, so I’m happy to have some quiet time. That being said, music can have a very calming effect which can probably put to very good use when waiting for the clock to start. I kind of like the nervous anticipation though!

Michael Miller: Walk by Foo Fighters, The Middle by Jimmy Eat World, Love Don't Die by The Fray, or Come Around by The Transplants.

Grace van der Byl: Devil Went Down to Georgia or Truckin by Grateful Dead.

Sarah Condor: The Eye of the Tiger from Rocky III.

Darren Miller: Either the theme song to the Last of the Mohicans or theme song for Gettysburg. Both songs are very powerful, and visually remind me of charging into a battle.

Wayne Soutter: Eminem's Lose Yourself. I love the sentiments of the first words, "Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted."

Lynn Kubasek: On longer swims, I prefer something dreamy-floaty. Softer -Radiohead (Porcelina) or Cinematic Orchestra.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Was there one song that stuck in your head during a training or actual swim…and it was annoying?

Carina Bruwer-Pugliese: Too many to mention. Sometimes I would have only part of a song in my head, and no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to get rid of it, or at least move on to the subsequent section of the song. Sometimes it is literally one phrase playing over and over. And over. In the end I just embrace it; no use fighting it. I still remember on my first Cape Point swim in 2004, I was playing in the orchestra for Phantom of the Opera, and the song Point of No Return was playing over and over in my head during the swim. I mean, really?!?!

Dr. Lyle Nalli: The worse song to hear or gets in your head while swimming is by Haysi Fantayzee called Shiny Shiny. Look it up. You won't be disappointed on being disappointed you have this in your head swimming a long set.

Michael Miller: Any music that is NOT hard-hitting rock 'n roll.

Dr. Lyle Nalli: Uggg, just thinking of it is already annoying, Shine Me.

Grace van der Byl: Not really, I can tune out to the sound of myself swimming pretty easily.

Sarah Condor: Queen's I Want to Ride a Bicycle.

Darren Miller: Yes. During my first marathon swim, Tampa Bay in 2010, I had Church on Sunday by Green Day on repeat for about 6 hours. Although I normally enjoy the song, it drove me crazy when I could not seem to shake it from my thoughts.

Wayne Soutter: Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer...somehow I started singing this in August on a swim and it drove me nuts, but I couldn't stop singing it.

Lynn Kubasek: In the 1980's, what was that awful Wang Chung ear-worm? Yuck, equally as bad as Shiny Shiny.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Are there any particular group of songs that you enjoy thinking about when you swim?

Carina Bruwer-Pugliese: I might be slightly prejudiced but yes, Sterling EQ’s songs are on the favourites list. The fact that I know it so well, helps, as I can literally “play” the song from A to Z - and I know how many minutes I’ve “killed”!

Ram Barkai, renowned ice swimmer and founder of the International Ice Swimming Asociation: I just hum Bob Marley's No Woman No Cry.

Doug Woodring, race director from Hong Kong and creator of Ocean Recovery Alliance: U2's It's a Beautiful Day.

Scott Zornig, President of the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association: Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven.

Michael Miller: On my iPod, I have a set list of 22 favorites, the list is called "Mental Advantage", I know them by heart.

Dr. Lyle Nalli: Ones with a backbone of good rhythm such as Low Spark of High Heel Boys, Gimme Shelter, Every Picture Tells a Story, Looking Out for Number One, etc.

Grace van der Byl: Just classic rock. I'll start thinking of a song and sometimes get through the album while I swim, most recently Rumors album by Fleetwood Mac.

Theodore Yach, the renowned South African channel swimmer: All the Rocky music, specifically Eye of the Tiger.

Sarah Condor: Pulp's Disco 2000, Alphaville, Depeche Mode, Falco, Erasure, Queen, Roxsette, ABBA, Ace of Base.

Darren Miller: Broken Hymns by Dropkick Murphys, Nothing Else Matters by Metallica, and Within A Mile of Home by Flogging Molly.

Wayne Soutter: Any songs.

Lynn Kubasek: Whatever is my current favorite mix on Spotify.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Do you think about music when the water is rough or the race is fast?

Carina Bruwer-Pugliese: Yes, often music is my saving grace when I’m struggling because of rough water, currents, or hypothermia. When I manage to get my mind into a musical zone, my rhythm settles and the pain becomes secondary.

Michael Miller: Rough water gets easy due to my music sets.

Dr. Lyle Nalli: No. Music to me is mostly for the long-haul swims.

Grace van der Byl: Nope, I love to do both so I let go of the music and soak in the moment of either fast swimming or rough conditions.

Sarah Condor: There are too many other things to pay attention to.

Darren Miller: Every Lasting Scar by Hatebreed, Fueled by Anthrax, and Hanger 18 by Megadeth.

Wayne Soutter: No, don't think about music, I focus on not swallowing sea water.

Pam Lazzarotto, coach and swimmer: Actually, I prefer to swim without music. I like to pay attention to the elements especially in the ocean. But I do tend to crank up the music to and from a workout...and it's usually high energy stuff, nothing relaxing.

Lynn Kubasek: Always, in rough water, the music is a buoyant beacon. If I don't get the music down, my stroke falls apart and then I am happy to finish.

For more information about Underwater Audio, visit here (www.underwateraudio.com).

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.

2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference Agenda

Friday, 19 September



Welcome Reception at Mount Stuart House, Isle of Bute, Scotland

Documentary films shown throughout the reception:

Blue Journey-Amerika Samoa – Stronger Together: The Waterman’s Way
(film by Bruckner Chase)

Dancing With The Water, Crossing of Lake Pontchartrain
(film by Wayne Ewing about Matthew Moseley's Lake Pontchartrain crossing)

Bering Strait Swim Chukotka - Alaska
(film by Admiral Konstantin Sidenko about the relay between Russia and Alaska)

The Clean Swim – Hong Kong to Macau
(film about Simon Holiday's Pearl River Delta crossing)

Saturday, 20 September



Registration and Coffee at Mount Stuart House, Isle of Bute, Scotland



Keynote Speech:
Colleen Blair (Scotland) on The History of Scottish Swimming



Christopher Guesdon (Australia) on Multidimensional Roles In The Sport



Colin Hill (England) on Recent Explosion in UK Open Water



Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia) on The Feminine Code of Achievement - How a Lady from Down Under Revolutionized Professional Marathon Swimming



Simon Murie (England) on Open Water Swimming Holidays: How A New Sector Was Created Within The Travel Industry



Swimming The Oceans Seven
A round table discussion moderated by:
Kevin Murphy (England), with Stephen Redmond (Ireland), Anna-Carin Nordin (Sweden),
Darren Miller (USA), Adam Walker (England), Kimberley Chambers (New Zealand)



Coffee and Break



World Open Water Swimming Awards Luncheon:
with co-hosts Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia) and Steven Munatones (USA)

Pádraig Mallon (Ireland), 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year

Olga Kozydub (Russia), 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year

Bering Strait Swim, 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year

Honoring: Vladimir Chegorin, Maria Chizhova, Elena Guseva, Ram Barkai, Jack Bright, Oksana Veklich, Aleksandr Jakovlevs, Matías Ola, Henri Kaarma, Toomas Haggi, Nuala Moore, Anne Marie Ward, Toks Viviers, Melissa O’Reilly, Ryan Stramrood, Cristian Vergara, Craig Lenning, Rafal Ziobro, Andrew Chin, Jackie Cobell, James Pittar, Paolo Chiarino, Mariia Yrjö-Koskinen, Ivan Papulshenko, Zdenek Tlamicha, Zhou Hanming, Oleg Adamov, Andrei Agarkov, Alekseev Semen, Tatiana Alexandrova, Roman Belan, Elena Semenova, Alexander Brylin, Afanasii Diackovskii, Vladimir Nefatov, Evgenii Dokuchaev, Oleg Docuckaev, Roman Efimov, Dmitrii Filitovich, Olga Filitovich, Victor Godlevskiy, Olga Golubeva, Alexei Golubkin, Alexander Golubkin, Alexandr Iurkov, Oleg Ivanov, Pavel Kabakov, Eduard Khodakovskiy, Aleksandr Komarov, Aleksandr Kuliapin, Andrey Kuzmin, Irina Lamkina, Vladimir Litvinov, Andrey Mikhalev, Victor Moskvin, Nikolay Petshak, Sergey Popov, Vladimir Poshivailov, Grigorii Prokopchuk, Dmitrii Zalka, Natalia Seraya, Viacheslav Shaposhnikov, Olga Sokolova, Andrei Sychev, Alexei Tabakov, and Nataliia Usachaeva [represented by Admiral Konstantin Sidenko and Nuala Moore]



Alexey Salmin Pavlovich (Russia) and Dmitry Dragozhilov (Russia)
on the 2016 Winter Swimming World Championships [film]



Sally Minty-Gravett (Jersey) on Motivating Swimmers



Dmitry Blokhin (Russia) and Aleksei Veller (Russia)
on the First World Ice Swimming Championships [film]



Matthew Moseley (USA)’s Dancing With The Water, Crossing of Lake Pontchartrain [film]



Simon Holliday (England) and Doug Woodring (Hong Kong)’s The Clean Swim – Hong Kong to Macau 2014 [film]



International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF)
and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF)

IMSHOF Induction Ceremonies and Dinner
with co-hosts Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia) and Steven Munatones (USA).

Recognition of International Swimming Hall of Fame honorees:

  • Elizabeth Fry (USA), IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

  • Vojislav Mijić (Serbia), IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

  • James Anderson (USA), IMSHOF Honour Administrator

  • Dr. Jane Katz (USA), IMSHOF Honour Administrator

  • Indonesian Swimming Federation Open Water Committee (Indonesia), IMSHOF Honour Organisation

  • Melissa Cunningham (Australia), Irving Davids – Captain Roger Wheeler Award by the International Swimming Hall of Fame and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

  • Sandra Bucha (USA), ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

  • Jon Erikson (USA), ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer [represented by Sandra Bucha]



International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) Introduction Video.
Welcome speech by host Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia)






International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF)
Induction Ceremonies and Dinner with host Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia)

Recognition of International Swimming Hall of Fame honorees:

  • Mercedes Gleitze (England)
    ISHOF Honor Pioneer Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer
    [represented by daughter Doloranda Pember]

  • Dale Petranech (USA)
    ISHOF Honor Contributer and IMSHOF Honour Administrator

  • Claudio Plit (Argentina)
    ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer
    [represented by Shelley Taylor-Smith]

  • Judith van Berkel-de Nijs (Netherlands)
    ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer
    [represented by Niek Kloots]

  • George Young (Canada)
    ISHOF Honor Pioneer Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer
    [represented by the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation]

  • David Yudovin (USA)
    ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

Sunday, 21 September



Registration and coffee at Mount Stuart House, Isle of Bute, Scotland



Nuala Moore (Ireland) on The Mindset of 1000m at 0ºC



Admiral Konstantin Sidenko (Russia)’s Bering Strait Swim Chukotka - Alaska in 2013 [film]



Ned Denison (Ireland) on Swimming The World



Bruckner Chase (USA)’s Blue Journey-Amerika Samoa
Stronger Together: The Waterman’s Way



Rok Kerin (Slovenia) on Lifestyle Benefits From Open Water Swimming



Survey distribution and group photo-taking



Swim at Stravvana Bay, Isle of Bute


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."

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

A Thank You Gift from WOWSA

WOWSA is celebrating the
1-Year Anniversary of the monthly Open Water Swimming Magazine
by giving you a free copy of the anniversary issue.

Open Water Swimming Magazine Anniversary Issue
File Size: 13MB


Download the file to your computer, and then right-click to extract the magazine which is inside the zip folder. The magazine is in PDF format.

CLICK HERE to download your free copy now.

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 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.

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 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.

But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.

In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...

Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:

The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.


Open Water Swimming Event Sanctioning

World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation

Open Water Race Calendar

Coaches Education Program