DNOWS Header

Image Map

Thursday, October 22, 2015

What Happened In Back To The Future (In Open Water)?

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

In "Back to the Future Part II," Marty McFly (played by Michael J Fox) travels forward in time to October 21st 2015 in order to save his children. The

But what was the open water swimming world like in October 1985?

Philip Rush had yet to attempt his famed 3-way English Channel swim, but he did rip off a fast 17 hour 56 minute two-way crossing (9:03 first leg, 8:53 second leg) in the summer of 1985.

Christine Cossette completed the first two-way crossing of lac St-Jean and forever changed the face of the Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean.

John Koorey of Australia still held the record for the fastest one-way crossing in 5 hours 37 minutes set in 1981.

No one had yet crossed the Tsugaru Channel or the Bering Strait and only 5 people had yet crossed the Molokai Channel (Keo Nakama, Harry Huffaker, Jonathan Ezer, Michael Miller and Ian Emberson) and only 3 people had yet crossed the North Channel (Tom Blower, Kevin Murphy, and Ted Keenan).

The aQuellé Midmar Mile only had 2,454 swimmers compete in 1985...but it later grew to 19,013 years in 2008.

Paul Asmuth was in the middle of his 7-time reign over the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation while Shelley Taylor-Smith had just begun her own 7-year reign and had just won her first Manhattan Island Marathon Swim.

Olympic gold medalist Jim Montgomery won his first and only Waikiki Roughwater Swim in 1985.

Only 2 people had completed a crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar during 1985 - one of which was Jordi Cervera who set the overall record in 3 hours 14 minutes in 1985. No one had contemplated a tech suit with compression panels and hand paddles were simple rectangular pies of plastic.

No one used GPS to guide them across channels and feeding stops were more likely to be one hour as opposed to 30 minutes.

Some channel swimmers survived on sliced canned peaches and had no idea what gel packs were.

A marathon swim was long, but it certainly was not only 10 km in distance.

Open water swimmers hoped that one day their sport would be included in the Olympics, but they all assumed the distance would be 25 km in 1985.

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


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...

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 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:

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


Open Water Swimming Event Sanctioning

World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation

Open Water Race Calendar

Coaches Education Program