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Wednesday, June 22, 2016
The Bar Is Continuously Raised In The Open Water
Even since Captain Matthew Webb crawled out of the English Channel in 1875, the collective open water swimming community has continued to get better and better.
Decades ago, the North Channel between Scotland and Northern Ireland, was considered a venue for only the very top echelon of rugged swimmers. In the 1960s, there were sometimes only a few dozens of swimmers attempting the English Channel each season. Swims around Manhattan Island very few and far between in the 1970s. Swims below 10ºC (50ºF) were considered cold in the 1980s; now those temperatures are often described as balmy with the advent of winter and ice swimming. The Farallon Islands went 4 decades with never a success.
But the crème de la crème in the contemporary global open water community has vastly expanded to include swimmers of all ages and backgrounds.
Open water swimmers take to colder, rougher, farther swims - and are dreaming of even tougher swims. The bar is continuously being raised to levels previously unimagined.
Lori King and Dr. Sean O’Connell are prime examples of how much the sport - and its expectations - is expanding.
Dr. Sean O’Connell, the first person to swim around Bermuda in 1977, greeted his modern-day contemporary King who more than halved his time for the 36.5-mile circumnavigation around the island of Bermuda [both shown above]. While Dr. O’Connell took 43 hours 27 minutes in two attempts, while King took a mere 21 hours 19 minutes...in rough conditions.
Dr. O'Connell was both happy and surprised to see the improvement. "As I said [before], I never thought anyone else would succeed since I thought they would need miraculously calm conditions like I had to even have a chance."
But King proved that the bar has been raised, significantly.
Copyright © 2016 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.
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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.