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2016 WOWSA AWARD WINNERS
2016 WOWSA Man of the Year – Nejib Belhedi
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2016 WOWSA Performance of the Year – Sarah Thomas’ Lake Powell Swim
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Thursday, June 11, 2015
Linda Kaiser, Swimming Strongly
When all the swimmers inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame are considered, we cannot think of one swimmer who is primarily a warm-water swimmer.
Swimming in the English Channel or at least one of the Oceans Sevens seems to be a right of passage to be considered for induction in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame. Bearing the cold and overcoming hyperthermic conditions are as fundamental to the sport of marathon swimming as is dealing with distance and difficult conditions.
But one of the world's most adventurous marathon swimmers lives in Hawaii.
A member of the Hawaii Swimming Hall of Fame, 64-year-old Linda Kaiser is renowned in the Hawaiian island swimming community and can most definitely be defined as a warm-water swimmer extraordinaire.
But is warm water, venomous jellyfish, and dealing with sharks worthy of a Hall of Fame induction where cold and hypothermia have been almost considered a right of passage?
We think so.
Kaiser has crossed the following channels under the tropical sun and warm-water conditions:
Hawaiian Channel #1: 8.8-mile (14.1 km) Auau Channel (Lanai to Maui) in 1989 in 5 hours 11 minutes
Hawaiian Channel #2: 8.4-mile (13.5 km) Pailolo Channel (Maui to Molokai) in 1990 in 4 hours 47 minutes [first woman]
Hawaiian Channel #3: 9.3-mile (14.9 km) Kalohi Channel (Molokai to Lanai) in 1991 in 4 hours 30 minutes
Hawaiian Channel #4: 7-mile (11.2 km) Alalakeiki Channel (Maui to Kahoolawe) in 2001 in 3 hours 30 minutes [first woman/unprecedented direction/shark encounter]
Hawaiian Channel #5: 17-mile (27.3 km) Kaulakahi Channel (Kauai to Niihau) in 2003 in 10 hours 45 minutes [first person/first woman]
Hawaiian Channel #6: 17-mile (27.3 km) Kealaikahiki Channel (Kahoolawe to Lanai) in 2005 in 11 hours 53 minutes [first person/first woman]
Hawaiian Channel #7: 26-mile (42 km) Kaiwi Channel (Molokai Molokai to Oahu) in 2007 in 15 hours 0 minutes
Hawaiian Channel #8: 30-mile (48.2 km) Alenuihaha Channel (Hawaii to Maui) in 2009 in 16 hours 10 minutes [multiple shark encounters]
Hawaiian Channel #9: 72-mile (115.8 km) Kaieiewaho Channel Relay (Oahu to Kauai) in 2010 in 47 hours 55 minutes [shark encounters]
Kaiser knows about the inherent risks in the Pacific Ocean around the Hawaiian islands. "You've got to respect the ocean. You've got to come prepared. If you're not serious, and you're not focused on what you're doing, you're bound to have trouble. The ocean doesn't put up with any wimps."
Kaiser should know. It was during her 1990 Pailolo Channel swim from Maui to Molokai when she noticed a dark shape in the water beneath her. According to her interview with Honolulu Magazine, the shape was "no larger than a fist at first, but was growing quickly and racing straight for her."
"All of sudden I thought, 'Oh, that's a shark.' He just kept coming straight up, and I said to myself, 'Ooh, this may not be good.'" After the 12-foot shark circled her a few times, the shark lost interest.
But that scare obviously has not slowed her down.
" It's a great feeling of accomplishment. I don't do it for anybody else. I do it for me."
"Her track record of success in the channels, her willingness to give back to the sport, and her genuine helpfulness in volunteering for ocean swims of all distances and types are exactly the kind of role model that is great for the sport," says Steven Munatones. "Linda is not challenged by cold water or threatened by hypothermia, but she does swim for incredibly long distances and for long periods, always with the threat of shark encounters and painful jellyfish and rough conditions where the ocean swells are truly unlike few places on Earth. She volunteers for the Kaiwi Channel Swimmers Association, is available to help channel swimmers in Hawaii, and is always lending a hand in all kinds of local events like the Waikiki Roughwater Swim. She is a true heroine who has been a stalwart in the sport since the 1980s." Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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1-Year Anniversary of the monthly Open Water Swimming Magazine
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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.