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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Capri Djatiasmoro’s Priceless Birthday Swim

Courtesy of Capri Djatiasmoro, Huntington Beach, California.

Capri Djatiasmoro, a 63-year-old dynamo and volunteer extraordinaire with NYC Swim, decided to give herself a nice present for her 63rd birthday.

The Project Manager from M&J Edelman & Associates decided to go long and go hard, swimming all the way around Manhattan Island. On July 12th, she attempted and completed the 28.5-mile Manhattan Island Marathon Swim.

She started at 6:06 am and finished at 5:06 pm, a long birthday swim of nearly 11 hours. Her race timeline was as follows:

6:06 am: Start at Pier A
6:34 am: Brooklyn Bridge
7:07 am: East 14th Street Power Plant (first feed)
7:33 am: United Nations
8:20 am: Gracie Mansion (Horn's Hook)
10:59 am: Willis Avenue Bridge
1:00 pm: Henry Hudson Bridge
1:13 pm: Spuyten Duyvil Bridge - entering the Hudson River
1:58 pm: George Washington Bridge
3:08 pm: 79th Street Boat Basin
4:12 pm: Christopher Street Pier
4:57 pm: South Cove
5:06 pm: Finish at Pier A

Djatiasmoro explains, “The race start was flat - I got to the bottom of Battery Park and made the turn up into the East River which was running flat and very fast. I was passing joggers all the way up to Gracie Mansion and Hell’s Gate where the current came to a dead stop.

Rather, I was swimming against a 1 knot current, barely making any progress. Terry my paddler put me very close to the seawall where there was a path of least resistance, but I was still struggling. Little by little, I was getting closer to the 103 Footbridge. Terry and Morty [Berger, the race organizer] were yelling at me to “SWIM!”. Terry said, “Swim or get pulled” - then I recalled other swimmers giving me pre-race advice, “Capri, you must make it to the 103 Footbridge”. With the threat of getting pulled, I was having a breakdown. My stroke fell apart, but then I got mad and determined and made it past the Footbridge.

But I was still not in the clear. The current had not switched yet. I was barely making any progress, struggling to swim. I heard the words of swim coach Igor Shoukhardin in my head, “Capri, you only think you are tired, but you are not tired.” I kept hearing those words in my head all through my swim. That is what got me through the entire swim, because I have never swum myself to exhaustion.

Further up into the Harlem River, the current was just starting to switch. Terry kept encouraging me to swim harder. If I didn’t make it to the Willis Avenue Bridge in 30 minutes, I would get pulled … again?!? The threat of getting pulled again? Damn it!

I started swimming mad and was determined to get into the Hudson River. That is what I did; the cut-off at the Hudson was 6:15. I got to the Hudson in just over 7 hours. I knew the current would be flying downstream and I knew I would have wind, waves, and chop with the wind coming up the Hudson there were white caps breaking, but I just kept swimming, remembering advice from swimmers who like to swim in chop: go long, almost swim catch-up, try to get the rhythm of the waves and breathe on top of the wave. I kept my head down breathing every 4, 6 or 8 or 5 and 7.

One month earlier, I had swum Stage 6 of the 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim (from Tappan Zee Bridge to the George Washington Bridge) that had worse conditions: 3 to 6 foot white capped waves. I had used that very tough swim as a training session for the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim. So when I got into the Hudson [River] with the chop, I thought, “OK, I got this!” Post-race, my crew on the boat including Alan and Arlene told me my stroke rate had dropped to 44 [spm], but then I settled down and it came back up to 57-60. They told me I was swimming well in the chop - it felt good.

We kept going down the Hudson. I knew all the landmarks. The 3 pm cruise ship was pulling out. We got to Christopher Street Pier and Terry was blowing his whistle hard and yelling at me to swim out into the river. I was on a direct collision course with the pier. My support boat was at the end of the pier. I thought, “How nice, they are blocking the pier so I don’t hit it.” Post-race, I found out that they had engine issues and were pinned to the pier and had to be rescued.

Terry and I continued to the end without the boat and my crew. Then, as planned, Terry turned in at the North Cove. There was another boat that stayed with me. I was close to the seawall heading to the South Cove making progress, but I could feel the push of the current was slowing down. I passed the South Cove and continued following the seawall. I thought I saw the end of the seawall where I had to make a hard left turn into the finish cove, but NO…the wall curved in and continued to the left…oh my God. I could feel the undercurrents beneath me.

When currents switch, they do not stop and switch on a dime, there is a period of flux and turmoil. So even though I still had a little push, I could feel the cold rolling currents below me. The switch was starting. I thought oh my God! NO - all this way and you’re not to make it to the finish? Are you kidding me? Hell no! I kept swimming hard … looking for the end of the wall.

Where is that last left turn into the cove? I heard the roar of the crowd above me. People yelling and screaming, cheering for me. That pulled me in. Then, finally I saw the end of the wall and made the last left turn and there was that beautiful orange buoy … touch that baby! Oh my God! I can’t believe I did it. I did it! Oh my God!

10 hours 59 minutes 46 seconds.

How did she do it?

Besides the mental toughness of a mature woman committed to a specific goal, Djatiasmoro does 90-minute masters swimming workouts 3 three times a week on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday nights as well as ocean swimming at Brighton Beach on the weekends with CIBBOWS on Saturdays and Sundays under all conditions. She also does a boot camp working on her core and upper and lower body twice a week as well as a MELT class on hard foam rollers once a week. She also does Tai Chi Chen Style - Qigong - and swords - and went to TNYA swim camp in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “CIBBOWS, the Coney Island Brighton Beach open water swimmers, is the absolute best swim training resource in the New York area. The shared knowledge and easy flowing camaraderie is priceless."

She was also greatly appreciative of the efforts of Terry O’Malley, her paddler, Morty Berger, her coaches and her mother. “Terry's dedication is unsurpassed. We had discussions on the water, but in the end, I listened to and followed his instructions, because there is no doubt in my mind he knew what was best for me as a swimmer. Morty suggested that I attempt MIMS. Never in my life would I ever consider a 28.5-mile swim race around Manhattan, but Morty knows me very well as a swimmer and said I could do it … and I did. And thanks to my swim coaches: Jorge Cardoso, Jonathan Dickson, Oscar Pineda, Igor Shoukhardin, and Amir Arslanoff Sibgatullin, and to my mother, an adventurous spirit, who, when she wasn’t roller skating, used to swim in the harbor in Baltimore.”

Photo by Terry O’Malley when Djatiasmoro was swimming underneath the George Washington Bridge heading downstream to the finish.

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.

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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