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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Carina Bruwer, In And Out Of The Water

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

In the morning, they are decked out in swimwear and goggles. With their hair often bundled up in a swim cap and goggles over their eyes, swimmers often look dramatically different than when they are dressed for work.

But the same intensity and intelligence, the same sacrifice and stamina, the same courage and creativity that open water swimmers demonstrate in the water, they show on terra firma. Their personalities do not change; only the venue where they show their talents.

Carina Bruwer excels on both land and water.

Conditions were tough”, Bruwer said of her recent swim in the Strait of Bonifacio. “Sardinia experienced unseasonal thunderstorms and sporadic flooding earlier in the week so I was relieved to get a window in which to swim on Tuesday, and all started out well with flat seas, but halfway through the weather took a turn for the worst and I honestly didn’t know whether it would be possible to complete the distance. I couldn’t see my support boat behind the waves, and waves were crashing on me – I didn’t actually know whether I was moving forward! I wasn’t going to give up though, as in the back of my mind was always the little cancer fighters for whom I’m swimming. It was a huge relief when I finally saw the beach, and completed the swim.”

In 2007 she founded instrumental pop group Sterling EQ which has became a headliner in the South African music industry, winning numerous awards and touring nationally and internationally. With Bruwer on flute, the three-piece has performed over 800 shows in 11 countries, released 3 albums and a live DVD, and won 3 major music awards, most notably a 2011 South African Music Award.

The statuesque South African explains her career that combines music and the marine environment.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Is any of your music inspired by the ocean or swimming or marine life?

Carina Bruwer: Not my music in particular, but my whole existence is obviously hugely influenced by swimming and the ocean, and the places I have visited in my quest to swim new oceans have inspired me and created unforgettable memories. For example, I played with some local musicians and fell in love with flamenco music while in Spain for my Gibraltar swim in 2005. When I came home to South Africa, I joined a fantastic flamenco band and recorded and performed with them for over 2 years. I still love the music and it always brings back vivid memories of my time in Spain.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Do you come up with the music themes or beat when you are swimming?

Carina Bruwer: Yes, I often do – amazing stuff. Unfortunately I usually forget it before I have a chance to write it down. It’s very frustrating, it’s almost like the melodies belong to the water and to the rhythm of my swimming! Sounds airy-fairy, I know, but I am yet to reproduce the quality of the music that I’ve “composed” in the water. Or maybe it just sounds much better in there.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What is the difference between working with a crew on a marathon swim and the members of your music group?

Carina Bruwer: There are similarities. Mutual respect and trust is essential; it’s not about egos, it is about delivering a performance to the best of your ability, and in order to do that, you have to work together. As in most things in life, communication is key – clear communication and a considerate attitude will keep things together when the going gets tough – whether it is on stage, backstage, in the middle of the ocean, or in marathon planning meeting. Main difference for me, is that on a swim I have to hand things over to my crew, to a large extent, while in a band context I’m usually leading and trying to control things. I used to be quite bad at letting go, but I think I have improved and grown up since I’ve had my kids.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Do you sing or hum your own music when you swim, either in training or doing a swim?

Carina Bruwer: Yes, for my swims. As a musician, I actually crave silence more often than not, but I’m not often blessed with that in reality. I also can’t usually control what I hear, it just enters my mind and exits when it wants to. It’s not all bad, sometimes it’s quite interesting how I automatically amend the beat to suit my stroke (as I can’t possibly be out of sync with the music). When I’m really trying to push for pace, I go into 6 stroke breathing (which feels like a mixed 6/8 beat), which becomes really interesting as most music is in a simple 4 beat per bar time signature.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Do your music fans ask about your swimming? Do your swimming friends or fans ask about your music?

Carina Bruwer: The swimming and the music have always been quite difficult to marry – not for me of course as I can’t live without either – but in terms of the public perception of the package.

I get the feeling people who are into sports don’t really take my music seriously, but do respect the swimming side of things, while the music fans and entertainment industry folk see me as some sort of freak. And it’s just such an unusual combination that sometimes even the media struggles to package it. But I must say, in recent times I have received comments (from people I do not know) who are following my collective career and are just incredibly supportive of whatever I do, and that is amazing. I thought that my swimming had reached its ceiling after I completed my big dream swims like the Channel and False Bay, and of course when I had kids, but I have found a reason to swim again, as I realised that my unusual persona has value. I can use it to attract attention and raise funds for worthy causes, which I am passionate about. This has honestly changed my own life, as making a difference – however big or small – gives me purpose.


Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

1 comment:

  1. I am always impressed by swimmers who have other talents such as music, science or arts. Carina Bruwer is one of these great examples. I'm so pleased to read this interview and to see Carina's responses to the various topics which describe her motivation and balance between family, music, charity work, and swimming.
    The swimming community can take great pride in having her as one of our most inspiring members.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you very much for your interest in the world of open water swimming.

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

5:30

PM


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

9:00

AM


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

10:00

AM


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

10:20

AM


Christopher Guesdon (Australia) on Multidimensional Roles In The Sport

10:30

AM


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

10:50

AM


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

11:10

AM


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

11:30

AM


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)

12:30

PM


Coffee and Break

1:00

PM


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]


2:30

PM


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

2:50

PM


Sally Minty-Gravett (Jersey) on Motivating Swimmers

3:10

PM


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

3:30

PM


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

3:50

PM


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

5:00

PM


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]

6:30

PM


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

6:45

PM


Dinner

7:30

PM


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

9:00

AM


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

10:00

AM


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

10:20

AM


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

10:40

AM


Ned Denison (Ireland) on Swimming The World

11:00

AM


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

11:20

AM


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

12:00

PM


Survey distribution and group photo-taking

2:00

PM


Swim at Stravvana Bay, Isle of Bute






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."


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.

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

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Open Water Race Calendar

Coaches Education Program