DNOWS Header

Image Map

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Adam Ellenstein Claims World Record For Wetsuit Swim

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Swimming World Magazine, CBC News and several other media outlets reported that American Adam Ellenstein established a Guinness World Record for the fastest non-stop lengthwise open water swim of a Canadian lake with his VictorySwim105 this week.

The 39-year-old triathlete from Detroit, Michigan, completed a 105 km (65-mile) swim in 40 hours 47 minutes across Okanagan Lake in Penticton, Canada.

"The swim exceeded my expectations and it is all because of my crew," Ellenstein said. "My job was to swim and eat – the crew did everything else. During the most challenging moments, my admiration for my aunt, Susan Scarlett, and her commitment to live well with Parkinson's disease, was the motivation to continue. Each stroke was a demonstration of my love and support of Susan."

Ellenstein came up with the idea of VictorySwim105 as a charity swim in order to raise awareness and support to benefit those with Parkinson’s disease through a partnership with the Davis Phinney Foundation.

Though weather conditions were nearly ideal throughout his 40+ hour swim, Ellenstein battled colder-than-anticipated water temperature and growing fatigue in his left shoulder. "We had estimated that Adam would take approximately 60,000 strokes during the swim," said Adam's wife and crew chief Amelia Ellenstein. "His left shoulder, in particular, suffered from extreme use, causing him significant pain. To manage this pain, he swam with one arm for the last 13 hours of the swim."

While a world record was claimed and reporters writing articles about the confirmation of the world record, Ellenstein swam in a wetsuit and what appeared to be a neoprene cap. "Swims in a wetsuit provide a significant advantage over non-wetsuit or bioprene swims," described Steven Munatones of the World Open Water Swimming Association. "Adam did a great job completing the swim and raising money and awareness for the David Phinney Foundation, but swimming with a wetsuit and neoprene cap cannot be compared to other great marathon swims in history in my opinion."

To keep him warm in water that ranged from 16-21°C (62-70°F), Ellenstein's crew poured hot water into his wetsuit.

Ellenstein issued a press release that stated, "A Guinness World Records Adjudicator must still evaluate evidence – including videos, photos, independent witness statements and GPS tracking information – to verify and confirm [my] Guinness World Records title."

But Ellenstein's team also inaccurately and misleadingly reported, "According to Openwaterpedia, his swim of nearly 41 hours is among the top 30, by time in the water, in the history of open water swimming."

"Openwaterpedia does keep track of many of the longest swims in open water swimming history in our 24-hour Club (see here)," said Munatones. "But wetsuit swims are in a completely different category than non-wetsuit swims and cannot - and should not - be compared. A wetsuit creates both warmth and buoyancy that are not possible in a bioprene solo swim. This opinion is shared by everyone and anyone who has swum in 62°F water with and without a wetsuit. Speed is directly and positively impacted with a wetsuit and neoprene cap because of the additional and significant buoyancy - especially in a freshwater lake - and the additional feeling of warmth - especially overnight or in a swim over 24 hours. Cold is the greatest risk that open water swimmers face. A wetsuit completely minimizes this obstacle."

While the media focused on the alleged record, Ellenstein's efforts were focused on raising money for a cause. Ellenstein announced, "Scarlett, who swam for a time with [me] on Monday, said the Davis Phinney Foundation's two defining themes resonated with her and [me]. Phinney, the winningest professional cyclist in U.S. history, was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2000 and created the Foundation as a way to promote and fund innovative programs, resources and research that demonstrate the effects and importance of exercise, speech and other elements that are critical to quality of life."

Scarlett explained, "They are ‘Live Well Today’ and ‘Every Victory Counts.' When you have Parkinson’s, simple activities that one takes for granted, like putting on socks or picking up a cup of coffee, can be real challenges. The Foundation encourages those of us with Parkinson’s to recognize our daily 'Moments of Victory' and celebrate all that we can accomplish."

Leading up to VictorySwim105, Ellenstein and the Davis Phinney Foundation encouraged people around the world to get involved by completing a swim of their own at a local pool or other body of water or by making a donation here.

Upper photo was posted by Swimming World Magazine. Lower photo was posted by Adam Ellenstein's team.

Copyright © 2016 by 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