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2016 WOWSA AWARDS
Vote in All Four CategoriesThe World Open Water Swimming Association is pleased to present the 2016 WOWSA Award Nominees.
The nominees are presented in the following four categories:
Monday, July 20, 2015
Being Old Once Again
To contemporary swimmers, what Harry Huffaker faced in the 1960s when he first crossed the 26-mile (42 km) Molokai Channel was unfathomable.
"I used to swim down in Ala Moana, going back and forth time and time again," recalled Huffaker about the popular, crowded swimming basis near downtown Honolulu within view of Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head volcano.
"Not once did I see another person swimming there. Not one.
Remember I was 27 years old at the time, back in 1967. The Honolulu Marathon had not started. The Waikiki Roughwater Swim did not yet exist. After college, you just got married and went to work. You certainly didn't do endurance sports.
I remember running in Kapiolani Park and people yelling at me. Police even came up to me because they figured that I must be doing something wrong running through a park."
So back in 1967 at the age of 27, Huffaker was considered old to be doing sports and even more so for attempting to cross the Molokai Channel, which he eventually did twice in both directions (13 hours 35 minutes in 1967 and 16 hours 15 minutes in 1972).
Now dial forward 48 years and the former dentist will try it again.
Although he is certainly considered old, especially for attempting a 30-mile channel swim, the mindset of society and endurance athletes has changed. People like 73-year-old Otto Thaning from South Africa (12 hours 52 minutes), 70-year-old Cyril Baldock from Australia (12 hours 45 minutes), 70-year-old Roger Allsopp from Great Britain (17 hours 51 minutes), and 70-year-old American George Brunstad (15 hours 59 minutes) have proven that age is relative in the English Channel.
But Huffaker will have 2 years and 5 miles on his English Channel colleagues. While the English Channel is colder and notorious tidal flows, Molokai has sharks, more venomous jellyfish, and its own tidal flows are massive.
Living in Idaho, far away from Hawaii, Huffaker has a unique training plan that came from a simple inquiry from a friend. "How far can you swim?"
He thought, "I don't really know," and set out to find out. Swimming from Molokai to Oahu, a stretch of 48.2 kilometers, would be quite a test. And he is giving it an ol' college try.
"I cycle 30 miles into town and back in addition to swimming tethered in a pool for 2-3 hours and do some shoulder exercises as well as hike twice a week from an elevation of 5,900 feet (1,798m) to 9,400 feet (2,864m) near my home. I try to keep my heart rate above 150 bpm, so we will see how it goes."
Photo shows Dr. Huffaker at the age of 50 after another Hawaiian Isle channel swim. He has crossed the 30-mile Alenuihaha Channel (Hawaii to Maui) in 20 hours in 1970 after his initial failure of 17 hours. He crossed the Molokai Channel from Molokai to Oahu in 1967 and was the first person to cross between Oahu to Molokai in 1972 after a failed 20-hour attempt. He has swum the Maui Channel three times and was the first person to cross the 9.3-mile Kalohi Channel (Molokai to Lanai) and crossed the 8.5-mile Palilolo Channel (from Maui to Molokai) in 1989.
Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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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.