DNOWS Header

Image Map

Monday, June 15, 2015

River Deep, Mountain High

Courtesy of Wyatt Song, high up on the Tibetan Plateau.

Pádraig Mallon called his swim with Wyatt Song, Milo McCourt and many Chinese a very technically difficult short (500m) swim across the Yellow River at an altitude of 2,200 meters on the Tibetan Plateau in northwest China.

High up at an altitude of 2,200 meters during the International Extreme Race of Winter Swimming*, Song completed two crossings in one day, both testing the water and a preliminary race.

"Both times I made it across without being fished out," he explained. "[But] both times [I] overshot the finishing line by 5 meters, so according to the rules being disqualified. [There were] about 70 people in our division: 8 people per heat, 21 people got across without being DQ'd."

Cross-river swims can be difficult, especially at altitude and with turbulence and a strong current. Mallon used the word 'perpendicular' to describe how one needed to swim across the river.

"[It was like] a huge water treadmill going sideways," said Song. "It's difficult to keep focusing on directly crossing at a 90° angel to the river, so easy to feel you are swimming easier by going with the current. As soon as you spot the finishing gate, your direction is guaranteed off course. Instead you have to just keep rolling your arms towards the opposite end of the river.

Time is a factor, but a slower swimmer who took 20 seconds more can get across, it's the course to take and how to stay focused. One thing I learnt a huge lesson is to swim your own swim.

During water testing, Pádraig followed my course and we both overshot the finishing line. During the prelim, a few swimmers were downstream on the right hand side of me which made a impression they were nearing the finishing line and a lot faster. That send me chasing for the finishing gate instead of swim my own swim. All other swimmers in our heat that appeared closer to the finishing line end up being swiped downstream and came up on the boat.

Pádraig did his own swim, planned it a little more technically and came up within the gate to win his heat. By the time I realized - when I looked ahead instead of spotting other swimmers, I was few seconds too late and I landed 5 meters behind finishing line. A near miss sometimes provoke more thoughts retrospectively, more temptation for further attempt and certainly a good dose of motivation to get back in the pool.

It was a very interesting swim indeed. One thing always great about this is meeting people and friends around the world. People congregate here from all corners of China and many international swimmers participated. The city of Xunhua is small yet filled with interesting culture
."

Video coverage of the January 2015 event in 2°C water when 58 swimmers from China, Iceland, France, Sweden, Italy, Germany, Australia, Belarus and Russia completed across the Yellow River is here.

* also called the International Limit Challenging Race of Crossing Yellow River Qinghai China

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

No comments:

Post a Comment

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

The Staff of the 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

FREE DOWNLOAD

INSTRUCTIONS:
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.

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...
LEARN 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.
LEARN MORE...

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:
https://www.worldopenwaterswimmingassociation.com/preview-open-water-swimming-almanac


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

SponsorMySwim.com

Open Water Swimming Event Sanctioning

World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation

Open Water Race Calendar

Coaches Education Program