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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Race Announcers Help Make Good Events Great

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

There are many things at an open water swim that make a world-class event:

A beautiful venue, great weather, clearly marked and numbered turn buoys, accurate timing systems, timely results, sufficient medical and safety staff and marine vessels along the course, practical emergency protocols, ease of registration, ample pre-race information and course maps, objective referees, good photography and impressive videography, post-race food, fair competition, cool or unusual awards, and music or entertainment at the finish are many of the elements that make up world-class events.

But there is one more addition that really tops off a great event: a charismatic announcer with a rich sense of humor and depth of knowledge and history.

These kinds of announcers like Rob Webb of Long Beach, California Shelley Taylor-Smith of Australia, Jonathan Strauss of Miami, Florida, and El-Fish in Las Vegas, and Lord "Tally Ho" Blears in Hawaii truly keep the spectators and participants engaged and entertained. They share little-known facts, provide insightful interviews with swimmers, coaches and volunteers, and bring impromptu humor to the shoreline.

Rob Webb is shown above interviewing Tom Shadden, president of Aquatic Capital of America. Lord "Tally Ho" Blears was the long-time race announcer at the Waikiki Roughwater Swim in the middle photo and El-Fish, an Elvis inpersonator in Las Vegas, is the race announcer for the Slam The Dam event in Lake Mead, Nevada.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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