DNOWS Header

Image Map

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Doctor Is In The English Channel

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

In 1972, a young 15-year-old Lynne Cox set a record swimming across the English Channel from England to France in a time of 9 hours 57 minutes, breaking both the men's and women's records.

Her crossing was a blistering fast time during that era and the first time anyone had broken the 10-hour mark swimming from England to France.

That summer of 1972, Richard Davis Hart, a studious young man who received his Ph.D. from Springfield College and was serving in the United States army as a second lieutenant, was training hard for his own attempt.

While he had been ranked third in the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation and was an NCAA Division II All American swimmer, it was his first channel attempt. And he made the most of his time spent in the water, setting a record of 9 hours 44 minutes.

After setting the English Channel record, he decided to go to medical school in 1973 and graduated in 1977. During one of his summers while studying to become a urologist, he swam across the English Channel again in 1976 with another fast time of 9 hours 50 minutes.

In Body Trauma: A Writer's Guide to Wounds and Injuries, published in 2006, Dr. David Page writes, "Folklore has it that long-distance swimmers are hefty athletes who sport a generous lawyer of adipose (fat) tissue to fight off the ravages of cold water. Without a doubt, some swimmers are cherubs, adiposidly unchallenged. The real speedsters are svelte, and they don't use a layer of grease, either.

In 1972, I was Davis Hart's physician when he set a world record swimming the English Channel. There was't much information in the medical literature at that time to use to prepare Davis for this endeavor, but we knew Davis's trim physique would leave him at risk for cold-related problems. Water conducts heat twenty-five times faster than air. Davis discovered a training program that worked for him. He swam in cold water as often as possible, but he also did a lot of warm pool swimming because of his job. What to do to acclimate to cold water? Davis began to stand in a frigid shower in a plastic garbage can filled with the cold shower water, training his nervous system to acclimate to the harsh elements of mimicked cold water submersion.

It worked. Davis tolerated 62 Channel water for nine hours and forty-four minutes

Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1946, Dr. Hart is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a shining example of seriously-minded hard work and success.

Copyright © 2008-2018 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