DNOWS Header

Image Map

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Michael Dale On Australian Marathon Swimming Federation

Courtesy of Michael Dale, Australian Marathon Swimming Federation.

Michael Dale reminisces about his activities as Treasurer of the Australian Marathon Swimming Federation and other activities in the 1980s:

"...the Australian Marathon Swimming Federation was quite active during the 1980’s. John Koorey was the president [he set the record for a crossing of the Cook Strait in 1981 in 5 hours 37 minutes from the South Island to the North Island]. For a number of years back then, we had a series of relay races against the Kiwis across Cook Strait. Philip Rush was the Kiwi swimmer of the day.

We were involved in providing swimmers to some of the very early open water swims where the organisers wanted some comfort that at least one swimmer would be able to complete the course. We were also supportive of, and took part in, The Cole Classic in 1982.

This swim was the first real public open water swim and continues to this day as the oldest continuous open water swim in Australia.

It is funny to look back, but in those early days the fear of sharks was really strong and the early Magnetic Island swims in Queensland were invitation-only as all the swimmers had to swim in shark cages and there were only 7 or 8 cages available. Plus, apart from the English Channel, which everyone had heard of, the concept of ‘open water’ was really new.

Des Renford and Kevin Murphy got a lot of media exposure here in Sydney in 1979 - 1980 when they had a series of challenge swims when they were both trying to be King of the Channel. From memory Kevin nominated the English Channel, Des nominated the swim from the steps at The Sydney Opera House across the harbour to the Ferry Wharf at Manly, not very far, but the whole thought of swimming across Sydney Harbour freaked most people out, hence the publicity. The third challenge was to be Loch Ness [that both men did not finish].

I had migrated to Australia from the UK in 1977 and had been very active in the British Long Distance Swimming Association for a number of years. I was part of The Paddington Mob who had won the Men’s Amateur division of the Captain Webb Centenary Channel Relay race in 1975. Overall, the swim was won by a mixed professional Egyptian team if my memory serves me right. Ah the good old days.

I had training sessions from Gerald Forsberg [shown above]. I am ex-Royal Navy as was he so I had my swimming values set early and firmly. I fondly remember him taking the temperature at various British Long Distance Swimming Association swims. He would wear a very old Navy raincoat and, to ensure a standard for every swim, he would walk into the lake/water at the starting point until the hem of the raincoat was getting wet. Then he would lean forward with his thermometer, take the temperature, and announce to the assembled swimmers the temp for the swim. He was a wonderful, albeit somewhat eccentric, Englishman

Photo of Commander Forsberg above is courtesy of Bryan Finlay of Solo Swims of Ontario.

Copyright © 2008-2017 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.

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