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Saturday, July 12, 2014
The Vision And Early History Of The Maui Channel Swim
The Maui Channel Swim is an absolutely gorgeous and challenging 9.6-mile (15.4 km) ocean swimming relay race between the islands of Lanai and Maui in Hawaii.
Each team has six swimmers who rotate at fixed intervals. It is one of the World's Top 100 Open Water Swims and is generally acknowledged as one of the sport's most beautiful venues between idyllic tropical islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
The volunteer-run Waikiki Swim Club was founded in 1971 in part to support the development of the Waikiki Roughwater Swim and masters swimming in Hawaii.
The first Maui Channel Swim was held 1972 when it was started by Jim Cotton, inspired by Bob Roper. The Waikiki Swim Club was the initial channel swim sponsor and was vital to its first decade of success and growth. In the early years, Waikiki Swim Club teams paid no entry fee and member's entry fees were waived for the race. With such an enticing opportunity to swim in such a grand setting, it was very competitive as to who made the various teams.
"Bob Roper of San Francisco Bay: the Swimming Pied Piper of no small fame. He has been organizing and swimming all the main Bay swims since the 1960's," recalls Cotton. "He and his father were major athletes in the Olympic Club going back into the 1920's. He and Frank Blair used to meet at the indoor odd-length basement swimming pool and knock off incredible intervals before going to work as pool plumber and sheriff respectively.
Bob got wind of our first annual Waikiki Roughwater Swim and in 1971 brought out the first team of non-Hawaii teams to our new swim. They were the then-rare year-round Bay cold-water swimmers. They were a rugged lot, some firemen and others who complained that the Hawaiian waters were too warm, it made them nauseous.
Intrigued by these swim animals, I invited myself to San Francisco. Bob said, 'I've been thinking about the first inter-island swim."
So the vision was set.
"That was the hard part back in those times: getting the unheard-of done. I grabbed the idea and did all the leg work since I lived in the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor on my Tahiti Ketch, recently in from a circumnavigation."
Organizing a swim between islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean where sharks, whales and dolphins regularly migrated between the volcanic islands was no easy task.
"We sailed over to Lanai and Lahaina on Maui and picked a starting beach. That pretty sandy beach of the Maui Channel Swim start had rocks under the water so everyone remembers me as the founder of their cut feet."
Gorgeous water, abundant marine life and a budding rivalry between swimmers from California (San Francisco) and Hawaii (Honolulu) between the island of Lanai and Maui was a perfect setting to a masters relay classic. "The founding swim team included Bob Roper, Dennis Rice, Frank Blair, Bumpy Jones, Sam Montgomery and Lew Cook. During the second year, the illustrious swimmers of the time, including Joel Wilson and Alex Shastakof, participated."
Long-time Waikiki Roughwater Swim Committee president Ted Sheppard recalls of the change in race management in the mid-1980's, "Ian Emberson and Jimmy Dean managed the race until Jimmy was injured when he and Mike Miller were hit by the boat in Waikiki.
Waikiki Swim Club members had a breakaway group forming the Hawaii Swim Club around 1986-1987. With the disruptions at Waikiki Swim Club, Emberson had the foresight to continue the organizing the Maui Channel Swim."
Hawaii Swim Club disbanded around 1992-1993 while the Waikiki Swim Club survived and Emberson and his wife Coco have continued to manage the race to this day.
The strength of the top teams have recently shifted from California and Hawaii to Australia in the 21st century. The results from 2013 include the following:
1. Tattersalls Masters Australia 3:09.38
Captain Peter Thiel, Trent Grimsey, Code Grimsey, Ridge Grimsey, Rhys Mainstone, George O'Brien
2. Tattersalls Engine 300 3:23.53
Captain John Demestre, Malcolm Allen, Paul Lemmon, Simon Skillicoon, James Kemp, Don Boland
3. Aussie Ticker 3:28.34
Captain Andrew Devries, Simon Buckingham, Darrin Jones, Matthew Renshaw, Graeme Brewer, Thomas Stachewicz
4. Dam Fine and Dam Fast 3:32.50
Captain Eney Jones, Katie Glenn, Amy Dantzler, Luane Rowe, Sarah Avery, Dianne Gleason
5. Aquaholics 3:35.41
Captain Bill Ireland, Mel Valero, Tracy Edwards, Jon Irwin, Bruce Thomas, Grant Levy
6. East Coast Girls 3:35.49
Captain Susan Stanton, Rachelle King, Jessica Collins, Miranda Bell, Dori Miller, Lara Davenport
7. Arden Hills 3:40.40
Captain Brett Favero, Kevin Hamma, Darryl Johnson, Scott Messord, Kirk Anderson, Brian Johnson
8. Maximum Damage 3:47.23
Captain Paul Latimer, Ryan Reid, Wyatt Russo, CJ Robie, Chris Eckerman, Bobby Patten
9. Big Blue Swimming 3:55.31
Captain Graham Hill, Jonathan Bell, Ben Davies, Roy Cantrell, Adrian Risk, Adam Radford
10. So Cal - Hawaii Grand Makule 4:03.12
Captain Patrick Dixon, Craig Taylor, Dan Leonard, Bill Goding, Jim Merchant, Mark Williams
For more information on the Maui Channel Swim, visit here.
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.
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.