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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Crushing Waves, Strong Currents In Copacabana Beach

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Copacabana Beach certainly ain't a rowing basin or a manmade lake.

Site of the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim in one of the world's most famous beaches facing winter season in the Atlantic Ocean, Copacabana Beach has the very distinct probability to have huge waves, strong currents, massive tidal flows and strong winds during the race.

For experienced open water swimmers like Jordan Wilimovsky who grew up on the beach in Malibu, California, these are not unfamiliar conditions. But for other finalists in the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim, they would much prefer zero waves, no currents and conditions as flat and calm as can be.

But if this week is any indication, the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim will turn into a wild rough water swim that will challenge every open water skill of the finalists.

And, in our opinion, that is the best way to distinguish between the pool events with the open water swimming races on the Olympic calendar.

While the American media is focused on dangerous bacteria and water quality issues that can reportedly cause serious illnesses and possibly death, the swimmers themselves and their coaches are focusing on their final preparations and how possibly to deal with an Olympic course where massive ocean swells can raise havoc.

What kind of havoc?
* In massive ocean swells, the turn buoys feeding pontoons can become unanchored and float aimlessly along the course
* In massive ocean swells, the feeding pontoons can become unanchored and making the swimmers rely on their gel packs stuck in their swimsuits
* If a series of massive ocean swell crashes at the wrong times, athletes can be separated and packs can be non-existent
* If a series of waves takes out the finish pontoon
* If high surf washes away much of the white sand beach, reducing the ability for thousands of spectators to watch the races
* In massive ocean swells, the contours of the beach may lead to rip currents and backwash that creates oncoming resistance as the swimmers head to shore or to the finish

But from the perspective of ocean swimmers and television viewers, these conditions would highlight many of the inherent risks of open water swimming.

Professor Ricardo Ratto, who has helped organize many ocean swims in Copacabana Beach and other beaches in Brazil, explains a little bit about the 2007 Pan American Games and the upcoming 2016 Rio Olympic Games 10 km marathon swimming courses:

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
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Open Water Swimming Magazine Anniversary Issue
File Size: 13MB


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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.

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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.


Open Water Swimming Event Sanctioning

World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation

Open Water Race Calendar

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