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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Indomitable: Sea Bull Completes The Oceans Seven

Courtesy of WOWSA, Cook Strait, New Zealand.

Lynton Mortensen of Brisbane, Queensland became the first Australian to complete the Oceans Seven with his 14 hour 14 minute crossing of the Cook Strait today.

The 54-year-old, nicknamed the Sea Bull, was the 12th person in history to swim across the 14.4 km Strait of Gibraltar (Spain to Morocco in 5 hours 12 minutes in 2016), the 33.8 km English Channel (England to France in 12 hours 35 minutes in 2017), the 35 km North Channel (Northern Ireland to Scotland in 13 hours 49 minutes in 2017), the 32.3 km Catalina Channel (Santa Catalina Island to the Southern California mainland in 13 hours 59 minutes in 2017), the 42 km Molokai Channel (Molokai to Oahu in 14 hours 49 minutes in 2018), the 19.5 km Tsugaru Channel (Honshu to Hokkaido in northern Japan in 9 hours 34 minutes in 2018), and the 29.5 km Cook Strait (North Island to South Island in New Zealand in 14 hours 14 minutes today).

Mortensen is raising money for the Children’s Hospital Foundation on his channel crossings in order to help hospitalized children in need and their families. Funds support lifesaving childhood cancer research and purchase of vital new lifesaving equipment for the children. For more information on Mortensen's charity swims, visit his Everyday Hero campaign here.

Oceans Seven Swimmers:
1st: Stephen Redmond (Ireland)
2nd: Anna-Carin Nordin (Sweden)
3rd: Michelle Macy (USA)
4th: Darren Miller (USA)
5th: Adam Walker (UK)
6th: Kimberley Chambers (New Zealand)
7th: Antonio Argüelles (Mexico)
8th: Ion Lazarenco Tiron (Moldavia/Ireland)
9th: Rohan Dattatrey More (India)
10th: Abhejali Bernardová (Czech Republic)
11th: Cameron Bellamy (South Africa)
12th: Lynton Mortensen (Australia)

Articles on Mortensen's previous swims:
* Everyday Hero Duels Mother Nature In Triple Crown
* Sea Bull Completes A Canary Islands Crossing
* Sea Bull Crosses The Tsugaru Channel
* Mortensen's Molokai, Déjà Vu Done
* Lynton Mortensen's Successful Summers Of Swimming

Copyright © 2008-2018 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Tita Llorens Begur Accepts WOWSA Award

Courtesy of WOWSA, Olympic Club.

Not only did Margarita 'Tita' Llorens Begur win the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year for her valiant 37-hour attempt to swim 90 km between Ibiza and Javea in Islas Baleares, Spain.

The 49-year-old president and inspiration of the Menorca Channel Swimming Association trained with a 42 km 11 hour 54 minute swim along the Costa Brava from Roses to Port Boy and then took on her challenge.

She swam for 73 km before difficult conditions and adverse currents led her crew and her escort kayaker and husband Francisco Siscu Pons to abort her attempt.

True to her nature, the 49-year-old came back in July this year to pioneer an unprecedented 101.6 km swim between the Spanish mainland and Cala Colodar on Ibiza across the Canal de Ibiza in 36 hours 16 minutes.

Her speech - delivered in Spanish - at the WOWSA Awards gala at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, California on November 10th was as follows:

¡Buenas noches a todos!

En primer lugar, me gustaría agradecer a Steven Munatones por todo el maravilloso trabajo que realiza. En España, si no eres nadador de élite, es como si no fueras nadador; no existes. Creo que gracias a los esfuerzos que realizan personas como Steven la situación ha empezado a cambiar. Aunque todavía hay mucho trabajo que hacer, especialmente en países como España, la natación en aguas abiertas va en ascenso.

Me enorgullece recibir este premio por varios motivos. Uno de ellos es que soy mujer. Otro tiene que ver con mi desarrollo como nadadora. Aunque desde niña me había metido al mar en mis visitas a la playa, no fue sino hasta los 30 años que tomé la decisión de nadar y entrenar de manera sistemática. Para hacerlo tuve que modificar mi horario laboral. Como siempre había trabajado ocho horas diarias, compaginar ambas actividades fue tremendamente duro. Desde entonces, nadie me ha regalado nada. Estos retos implican mucho esfuerzo y recursos, pero he alcanzado mis metas. Empecé con un nado de 700 m en un triatlón por equipos y ahora puedo decir con satisfacción que he completado una travesía de más de 100 km.

Durante los últimos años he estado trabajando en el proyecto “Unimos las islas”, el cual consiste en cuatro travesías. Completar dos de ellas me tomó seis años. Para recorrer los 84 km que separan a Ibiza de Mallorca tuve que realizar tres intentos: el primer año nadé 20 horas y poco más de 74 km; el segundo año nadé nueve horas y sólo 25 km —me encontré con tantas medusas al caer la noche que parecía estar en una sopa de medusas—; y, el tercer año, finalmente conseguí acabar el reto en 28 horas y 13 minutos.

La segunda travesía consiste en unir las islas españolas con la península, 90 km en línea recta. Otra vez, fueron tres intentos: el primer año nadé 45 km en 17 horas. Durante las últimas horas del nado el viento llegó a fuerza 5 e iba en aumento. Además, se acercaba la noche y nuestra seguridad no estaba garantizada, así que decidimos que la travesía se acababa ahí. El segundo intento fue el año pasado. Nadé 37 horas y recorrí más de 70 km. Me encontré con un muro de corrientes marinas que no me dejaba avanzar; durante las últimas siete horas tan solo avancé unos 10 km. Cada vez avanzaba menos, hasta nadar 400 m en 45 minutos. Este año sí terminé. Al final fueron 101.6 kilómetros en 36 horas con 16 minutos.

No sé si alguno de ustedes haya tenido que abandonar algún reto o prueba. Cada uno gestiona sus abandonos de manera diferente, pero hacerlo siempre es duro. Es duro nadar más de 20 horas y recorrer 74 km y no llegar. Es duro nadar 37 horas y quedarte a las puertas de conseguir tu sueño.

Mientras otros compañeros cumplían sus metas y nadaban canales quizá de menores distancias, pero más importantes o reconocidos, yo sufría una derrota tras otra en canales inéditos. Sí, conseguía completar nados más asequibles, de 25, 30 o 40 km, pero no conseguía mi gran sueño. A pesar de ello, insistí porque sabía que lo podía lograr.

Además de ayudarme a creer en mí misma y rodearme de grandes amigos que ahora son como familia, esta experiencia me ha servido para demostrar que los sueños se cumplen. Ahora mi mayor satisfacción es que nadadores principiantes o gente que va a España a nadar el canal de Menorca —cuya asociación presido— me diga: “Tita, conseguí terminar porque pensé en ti, en tu fuerza y empeño”. Para mí, ser una inspiración para las personas que quieren nadar en aguas abiertas es la mayor recompensa.

La mayor lección me ha dejado todo esto es que, en el ámbito que sea, la tentación de rendirse es grande. Por tanto, lo difícil y verdaderamente importante es acabar lo que hemos empezado; caer y levantarse, volver a caer y levantarse otra vez, dejar los miedos a un lado y empezar de nuevo. No hay nada más bonito que creer en uno mismo y ver que quienes te rodean creen en ti.

Mil gracias y millones de brazadas más.


The English translation is below:

Good evening, everyone!

First off, I would like to thank Steven Munatones for all the wonderful work he does. In Spain, if you're not an elite swimmer, it's as if you were not a swimmer; you do not exist. I am convinced that thanks to all the efforts people like Steven are doing this situation has started to change. Although there is still much work to do, especially in countries like Spain, open water swimming is on the rise.

I am proud to receive this award for several reasons. One of them is that I am a woman. Another has to do with my development as a swimmer. I had, of course, swam in the ocean since I was a little girl when I went to the beach. However, it was not until I was 30 years old that I decided to start swimming and training systematically. To do this I had to change my shifts at work. I’d always had a full-time job, so combining both activities was extremely hard. Since then, it has all been quite an effort. Open water swims require hard work and resources, and yet I have been able to achieve my goals. I started with a 700m swim in a team triathlon and now I can proudly say that I have completed a crossing of more than 100 km.

Over the last few years I have been training for a project called "Uniting the Islands", which consists of four swims. Completing the first two took me six years. To finish the 84-km-swim from Ibiza to Mallorca I had to make three attempts: the first year I swam more than 74 km in 20 hours; the second year I swam only 25 km in nine hours – there were so many jellyfish at nightfall that I seemed to be in a jellyfish soup; and, the third year, I finally managed to complete the challenge in 28 hours and 13 minutes.

The second crossing consists of a journey from the Spanish islands to the peninsula, 90 km in a straight line. Again, there were three attempts: the first year I swam 45 km in 17 hours. During the last hours of the swim the strength of the wind reached level 5 and was increasing. Besides, nightfall was approaching and our security was not guaranteed, so we decided to abort. The second attempt was last year. I swam for 37 hours and covered a distance of more than 70 km. I encountered a wall of marine currents that did not let me move forward; during the last seven hours of the swim I only advanced about 10 km. As time went by I advanced less and less, to the point where I only progressed 400 m in 45 minutes. This year I finally finished. In the end I swam 101.6 kilometers in 36 hours and 16 minutes.

I do not know if any of you have had to abandon a swim. Each person deals differently with failure, but doing so is always hard. It's hard to swim for more than 20 hours and cover a distance of 74 km without getting there in the end. It is hard to swim for 37 hours and not achieving your dream.

As other swimmers reached their goals and completed famous swims of perhaps smaller distances, I suffered one defeat after another in little-known waters. Sure, I managed to complete shorter swims of 25, 30 or 40 km, but I was having trouble achieving my big dream. Despite the difficulties, I insisted because I knew I was capable of doing it.

Besides boosting my self-confidence and giving me great friends who are now like family, this experience has helped me show that dreams can be fulfilled. Now my biggest satisfaction is when beginners or people who travel to Spain to swim across the Menorca Channel—I am the president of the association—tell me: “Tita, I managed to finish because I thought of you, of your strength and commitment.” For me, inspiring people who want to become open water swimmers is the greatest reward.

The most important lesson I have learned so far is that, in any difficult challenge, the temptation to surrender is always great. Therefore, the most difficult and truly important thing is to complete whatever you begin. If you fall, you get up; if you fall again, then you get up again; you put your fears aside and start over. There is nothing more beautiful than believing in yourself and realizing those around you also believe in you.

Thank you very much and let us never stop swimming.


Tita is shown above with other WOWSA Award winners including Antonio Argüelles, Jaimie Monahan, James Harrison, and Adrian Sarchet.

Copyright © 2008-2018 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Cameron Bellamy Rounds Barbados In 40 Hours 43 Minutes

Courtesy of WOWSA, Barbados.

Cameron Bellamy has had quite a year.

First he became the first South African to complete the Oceans Seven. Then he attempted a Swim Around Barbados. He did not finish his first attempt in September when he swam for over 27 hours and 66 km, but he vowed to return.

But today, he realized his goal and became the first individual to complete a 96.4 circumnavigation swim around the tropical island in the Caribbean Sea.

Kristina Evelyn of the Barbados Open Water Festival reported, "Cam has done it. He has become the first person ever to #SwimAroundBarbados. 96 K. Nearly 41 hours in the water. Astounding. He never let up. Total focus all the way. Swimming for a purpose: The Ubunye Challenge."

His track RS of his 96.4 km 40 hour 43 minute adventure is here.

At the 27-hour mark, she reported, "Cam is still giving thumbs ups and has maintained an average stroke rate of about 55 per minute for the entire swim! has just reached the north of island. They say, 'It takes a village to raise a child,' well it takes many Barbadians and much planning to get Cam around the island. Six boats, over 30 key volunteers, medics and others have been involved! Detailed feeding plan to be followed, observers carefully maintaining logs, kayakers, boat pilots and a lot of zinc oxide to protect against the warm sunshine."

Bellamy is nominted for the 2018 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year award together with the following individuals. The WOWSA Awards are meant to honor individuals who best embody the spirit of open water swimming, possess the sense of adventure, tenacity and perseverance that open water swimmers are known for, and have most positively influenced the world of open water swimming in calendar year 2018.

1. Benoît Lecomte (France/USA)
2. Cameron Bellamy (South Africa)
3. Diego López Dominguez (Canary Islands)
4. Ferry Weertman (Netherlands)
5. Igor Lukin (Russia)
6. Ion Lazarenco Tiron (Republic of Moldava)
7. John Batchelder (USA)
8. José Luis Larrosa Chorro (Spain)
9. Kristóf Rasovszky (Hungary)
10. Lewis Pugh (Great Britain/South Africa)
11. Maarten van der Weijden (Netherlands)
12. Ned Denison (Ireland/USA)
13. Rohan More (India)
14. Vladimir Mravec (Slovakia/Australia)
15. Yaroslav Pronin (Belarus)

To vote for the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year and the WOWSA Awards, visit here.

Bellamy also provided a short 8-minute speech via YouTube that was shown at the Open Water Summit at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, California this past weekend:



Copyright © 2008-2018 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Read About This Angel

Courtesy of Laura Aguon, Science, off the coast of Waikiki Beach.

Dr. Angel Yanagihara has been studying jellyfish for over two decades.

A recent article in Science describes her professional situation, "Among the world's public health problems, jellyfish stings may seem trivial."

But not to Dr. Yanagihara, ocean swimmers or anyone who has been stung by a jellyfish.

"While everyone seems to ask open water swimmers about sharks, it is really the jellyfish that present a more ubiquitous problem for swimmers in the ocean," observes Steven Munatones. "Most jellyfish stings do not result in a swim being aborted, but they certainly give the swimmers something pretty significant to think about and deal with for several minutes or perhaps up to a few hours."

Then, of course, there is the box jellyfish.

Up to 40 people die from box jellyfish stings annually in the Philippines alone according to the U.S. National Science Foundation. "But because death certificates are not required in many countries within the range of box jellyfish, worldwide fatalities from box jellyfish may be seriously underestimated," writes the National Science Foundation.

Chloë McCardel encountered box jellyfish in her DNF swim from Cuba to the Florida Keys in 2013 [see photo on left]. "My hips were locked, I felt like I was compressed, I felt paralyzed from the waist down, I couldn't get any forward movement. This was something I've never experienced and I hope never to experience again."

The Science article about Dr. Yanagihara and her work is wonderfully educational [read Jellyfish almost killed this scientist. Now, she wants to save others from their fatal venom].

For more information on Dr. Yanagihara, visit the Pacific Biosciences Research Center here.

Copyright © 2008-2018 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Monday, November 12, 2018

Swimming From Alcatraz For The First Time

Courtesy of Dan Wegner of Club Assistant, Alcatraz Island, San Francisco Bay.

The 2018 Open Water Summit attendees were invited to sign up for an Alcatraz Island swim. The swim was a 1.5-mile swim from Alcatraz Island to Aquatic Park finishing at the Dolphin Club where the final event of the Summit was held.

The event was limited to the first 50 swimmers to register for the 5:45 am assembly in the famed boathouse and open water swimming epicenter of California.

The night before the event I realized I had left my swimsuit, swim caps, and goggles at the Olympic Club. I could not get my swimming gear in time, but I decided to go to check-in anyway at the Dolphin Club. At worst, I could always swim in my underwear.

I was the sixth person to arrive and immediately recognized half of the people standing around from the previous days of talks. I asked a former Navy SEAL named David Loeffler from Arizona if he had a swimsuit that I could borrow and he immediately said yes.

On one hand, I think I was lucky. On the other hand, I think open water swimmers are nice people.

I still didn't have a swim cap and I saw a bucket of orange caps, but they cost $4 and I had a $1 bill and a $100 bill, and I could see they didn't have change. Then a lady came up and introduced herself as being from the area and having swum the event before. We chatted and made friends and then I mustered up the sheepish request for a swim cap. She immediately said "Yes". Ok, 2 for 2. I want to be a part of this group.

The swim did not begin until 7:30 am and I had a flight at 11 am out of the Oakland Airport. I decide to swim anyway because this was the first time in my life I had the chance to swim from Alcatraz. This has been a bucket list item of mine since first learning about the penitentiary as a teenager.

I made friends with JC from Washington D.C. who had checked in before me. He knew a lot about politics and even knew ex-Senator Dean Heller and a few of the current representatives from Nevada. I was embarrassed that I still needed a pair of goggles, so I didn't bring it up. The conversations were great and soon it was time for the course explanation.

We went upstairs to the ready room and we were informed the water was 57.4°F (14.1°C). Quite a bit colder than the 60°F I had hoped. They handed out orange caps for safety. I tried to return the borrowed cap to the lady, but she insisted I keep it in case I wanted to double-cap. What a great idea.

In the ready room, a woman from the audience announces, "During the race, stop and look around at the beauty of the location." Another good idea. I set a plan to do that. I started down the steps, but made a wrong turn and ended up separated from the group. Quinn Fitzgerald, a World Open Water Swimming Association board member and the Open Water Summit host, popped in and asked me if I needed help with directions.

How in the world did he know I was going to be lost?

We were out getting ready for the boat and more chatting occurred. I figured out how we ate up all the time. We kept talking with the most interesting people in open water swimming. On the way out, I had a chance to talk with my new friends, take pictures of the sun rising over San Francisco, and take pictures of the south side of Alcatraz.

Aaron Peirsol, a 7-time Olympic medalist, looked very casual on the way out considering his recent work in the warm waters of Costa Rica. I finally got the courage up to ask for goggles, but the two people I asked did not have any. The only thing weirder than me asking for goggles was the fact that they apologized for not having any extras. As if they somehow let me down. Obviously this was a very close group who treat each other like family.

Soon enough it was 7:29 am and we were getting the 10-second countdown to the start: when Antonio Argüelles runs off the boat into the water. I delayed a few seconds wondering just how cold the water is and then jumped in maybe 10th in the water. So the cold of the water promptly constricted the muscles in my chest to the point where I was taking tiny little breaths.

How do the ice swimmers handle this? My mind raced. Keep my head up. OK, let's go with that. 10 strokes, still tiny breaths. OK, now what? More head-up freestyle. OK, but I can't do head-up freestyle for 1.5 miles, right? Well, I don't have goggles, let's start with that. Ok, now 1 minute in and I am exhausted. I try putting my head down, still no big breaths.

Finally, I have a flash idea. Backstroke. OK, so I start swimming backstroke. This works great except for 2 issues: 91) I don't swim backstroke fast, and (2) I can't see where I am going. People are catching up to me. Well, I decided to do backstroke for a couple minutes. My chest finally relaxed and I rotated over to do freestyle. Ah-ha. Breathing normally. Great.

So I start swimming and I see one swimmer well far ahead of me. At least one swimmer was faster. I start taking my favorite strokes, long, powerful, relaxed strokes. After five minutes, I check behind me and I have put 25 yards on the next swimmer behind. Fine, keep swimming. Another five minutes. Uh-oh, I forgot. I am not in shape. Seize the opportunity and the convenient excuse to look around. I pop my head up and ... beautiful.

...

At the finish line I am handed the Popsicle® stick labeled "3". I overheard from one of the handlers that the first two swimmers were Dolphin Club swimmers. That makes me the first non-Dolphin Club member across the line. Of course, with all the help I received and all the friends I made, I think the real winners are everyone involved in the open water swimming community.

Quinn was the host of a great event. Antonio brought the fun mariachis, wine, and tequila. Aaron Peirsol was very approachable and down-to-earth. All the Guinness World Record holders and WOWSA Award recipients were wonderful. I look forward to attending the Open Water Summit every year in the future.

Photos above show the participants of the Alcatraz swim technical meeting in the Dolphin Club, headed by Ryan Utsumi.

Copyright © 2008-2018 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Pat Gallant-Charette Completely Surprised By Her Fame

Announcement courtesy of Ned Denison, Chairman of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.

Pat Gallant-Charette was completely caught off-guard at the Open Water Summit in San Francisco, California.

Listening to a myriad speeches from ice swimmers and marathon swimmers, from Olympian Aaron Peirsol to Ice Sevens Jaimie Monahan at The Olympic Club, Ned Denison, Chairman of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame was up next. He was scheduled to present issues relevant to the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.

As Denison was explaining the protocols and procedures of the Hall of Fame, he delighted the audience and surprised Gallant-Charette by announcing that she has been inducted as an Honor Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame's Class of 2019.

These photos captured those moments when she first learned of her new Hall of Fame status.

Just prior, Denison said, "Welcome all from Ireland. I am the chairperson of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame where we honor the best in our sport including swimmers, escort pilots, coaches, administrators, writers, inventors and luminaries who make our sport what it is today.

I want to help you understand how International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame works. We receive nominations which are put to a panel of 40 or so selectors each September. I then get the pleasure of calling the new honorees to left them know as follows:

'Hello – this is Ned Denison from the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame – I am delighted to inform you that you have been selected as an Honor Swimmer and we’ll see you at the induction ceremony in Melbourne in March ...

congratulations Pat Gallant-Charette from Maine
."

Denison then proceeded to make another surprise announcement when he similarly informed the audience that Kimberley Chambers of New Zealand was also an Honor Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame's Class of 2019.

With gasps of excitement and ubiquitous smiles and signs of respect being showered upon the 67-year-old retired nurse then proceeded to stand, wipe away her tears of joy, and give an inspirational speech in front of her peers and colleagues.

Her speech, Never Too Old, is appropo.

Denison explains, "Pat has defied age to begin an incredible marathon swimming career starting in her 50's.

Pat is an inspiration. There is life - lots of life and success - for the swimmers taking up the sport after the age of 40. Setbacks are part of life and DNF's are part of marathon swimming.

Pat has experienced six defeats in completing six channels of the Oceans Seven challenge. Her toughest DNF's included attempting crossings of the North Channel when she pulled after 16+ hours – less than 1 mile from the finish and in the English Channel where she was pulled 1.7 miles from the finish.

She is followed as a role model by many aspiring marathon swimmers – both young and not so young
."

Nine of her swims have set records for the oldest female swimmer:

* English Channel from England to France in 2017 at 66 years 135 days in 17 hours 55 minutes
* Tsugaru Channel from Honshu to Hokkaido in 2012 at 61 years 224 days in 19 hours 36 minutes
* Molokai Channel from Molokai to Oahu in 2016 at 66 years 107 days in 23 hours 54 minutes
* North Channel from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 2016 at 65 years 204 days in 14 hours 22 minutes
* Lake Ontario (USA to Canada) in 2017 at 66 years 209 days in 24 hours 28 minutes
* Completion of the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming in 2018 at 67 years 148 days
* 20 Bridges Manhattan Island Swim in New York (20 Bridges) in 2018 at 67 years 148 days in 10 hours 53 minutes
* Lake Tahoe at 1,897 meters (6,225 feet) in 2018 in 20 hours 32 minutes at 67 years 186 days
* Loch Ness in Scotland from north to south in 2018 in 13 hours 45 minutes at 67 years 198 days

Gallant-Charette also completed a 12-mile crossing of Lake Windermere in 7 hours 38 minutes in 2018 at 67 years, a crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar in 2010 at 59 years, and a crossing of the Catalina Channel in 14 hours 11 minutes in 2011 at 60 years. She also attempted a Cook Strait crossing in 2014 at 63 years.

The retired nurse from Westbrook, Maine explained, "Each swim had a unique set of challenges: speed in Manhattan, high altitude and cold air temperatures in Lake Tahoe, cold water in Loch Ness, and only 3 days rest after Loch Ness in Windermere."

On November 10th at The Olympic Club, Gallant-Charette will explain her mindset, her preparations, her planning, training and escort teams that she has to continue to raise the bar in the open water at the .

"It is great to see a sport where you can continue to set records in your 60's and 70's and are considered to be one of the best in your given athletic discipline. Pat is one such individual - of many," explains Steven Munatones. "But the road to greatness is never easy and the world’s waterways have always put the hard-working grandmother to the test.

What always impresses me in face of the tremendous physiological stress and marine conditions that she faces and the long hours she endures is that her smile is as brilliant at the finish as her smile is in the beginning. She is always cheerful and deeply appreciative to her crew and family. And she always faces challenges. She has occasionally failed in her crossings - but she always comes back with a success
."

Footnote 1: True to her profession and helpful nature, Gallant-Charette later quietly and quickly attended and revived a fellow swimmer who had collapsed and fainted during the evening session while another swimmer was giving a speech. Together with fellow nurse Amy Appelhans Gubser, the swimmer was revived without interruption of the speaker and with all due haste and medical care.

Footnote 2: Evan Morrison of the Marathon Swimmers Federation, Joel Wilson of the Monterey Bay Swimming Association, and Forrest Nelson of the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation were at her table.

Copyright © 2008-2018 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Ferry Finishes First In FINA

Courtesy of FINA, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

The overall winner of the 2018 FINA/HOSA Marathon Swim World Series title was Dutch Olympic and world champion Ferry Weertman.

Despite wrapping up his long season with a 7th-place finish in the10 km race held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates this last Friday, Ferry had enough to best second-place Jack Burnell of Great Britain.

The 2018 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year nominee was obviously satisfied with his season.

It’s the first time for me that I managed to compete in the series and win. I had Olympic, World, and European titles – only the [FINA/HOSA Marathon Swim] World Series was missing. Now, it’s done. Moreover, finishing the year with a race like this in Abu Dhabi is fantastic.

The highlight in 2018 was my victory in Doha – it was my first series’ victory. I very much liked the overall experience – travelling to so many places, meeting the same people all the time. We are really an open water family. Now, it’s train, train and train to make the cut for the Olympics in 2020
.”

2018 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year Nominees:
1. Benoît Lecomte (France/USA)
2. Cameron Bellamy (South Africa)
3. Diego López Dominguez (Canary Islands)
4. Ferry Weertman (Netherlands)
5. Igor Lukin (Russia)
6. Ion Lazarenco Tiron (Republic of Moldava)
7. John Batchelder (USA)
8. José Luis Larrosa Chorro (Spain)
9. Kristóf Rasovszky (Hungary)
10. Lewis Pugh (Great Britain/South Africa)
11. Maarten van der Weijden (Netherlands)
12. Ned Denison (Ireland/USA)
13. Rohan More (India)
14. Vladimir Mravec (Slovakia/Australia)
15. Yaroslav Pronin (Belarus)

To vote for the WOWSA Awards and the 2018 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, visit here.

Copyright © 2008-2018 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Ana Marcela Cunha Wins 4th FINA World Series Title

Courtesy of FINA, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The hard work keeps paying off for Ana Marcela Cunha who won her seventh FINA series title on Friday.

The two-time Olympian and recently inducted International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Swimmer won the 2018 FINA/HOSA Marathon Swim World Series title after finishing third to Arianna Bridi and Rachele Bruni in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates on Friday.

The Brazilian won her fourth FINA/HOSA Marathon Swim World Series title after winning in 2010, 2012 and 2014. She also won three FINA UltraMarathon Swim Series titles - in 2011, 2015 and 2017.

While Bridi captured her the second World Series victory of the year after a win in Seychelles, Cunha knew she just had to keep things close to continue her winning ways on the FINA professional marathon swimming circuits.

Bridi described her tactics on her fifth race on the 2018 circuit, “My tactics was to stay as much as possible in the pack, and then push faster in the last [one] kilometer. It worked quite well and I even managed to arrive comfortable to the finish. Open water races are today very tight, so I was happy to get some advantage in the final meters."

Her Italian teammate Bruni finished second in the 2018 overall series rankings with 2016 Olympic marathon swimming champion Sharon van Rouwendaal third.

Cunha said after the race, “I have done a very regular season, so this is a happy conclusion of it. I couldn’t be on the podium in all races, but this is of course a very positive outcome. This is a year without [a FINA] World Championships, so this is the main competition for us. Now, it’s time to take a short break and to prepare for 2019, where we will have the FINA World Championships in Korea. We will be in all individual events, plus the team, so we hope we can do well, and, who knows, get a fourth title in the 25 km. Then, the Olympic Games, however I like to think about the upcoming goals once at the time. But I am quite optimistic."

Results:
1. Arianna Bridi (Italy) 2:00:21.80
2. Rachele Bruni (Italy) 2:00:25.70
3. Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil) 2:00:26.20
4. Esmee Vermeulen (Netherlands) 2:00:26.40
5. Aurélie Muller (France) 2:00:27.00
6. Sharon van Rouwendaal (Netherlands) 2:00:27.40
7. Finnia Wunram (Germany) 2:00:28.40
8. Giulia Gabbrielleschi (Italy) 2:00:30.50
9. Martina de Memme (Italy) 2:00:32.30
10. Leonie Beck (Germany) 2:00:35.90
11. Maria de Valdes Alvarez (Spain) 2:00:37.30
12. Lara Grangeon (France) 2:00:39.70
13. Oceane Maryse Jeannie Cassignol (France) 2:02:24.30
14. Viviane Jungblut (Brazil) 2:02:26.70
15. Muran Tian (China) 2:03:52.80
16. Lisa Pou (France) 2:04:02.40
17. Yawen Hou (China) 2:04:03.50
18. Xin Xin (China) 2:04:04.10
19. Adeline Furst (France) 2:04:16.50
20. Lea Boy (Germany) 2:04:16.90
21. Samantha Arevalo (Ecuador) 2:04:20.10
22. Caroline Laure Jouisse (France) 2:04:23.10
23. Morgane Dornic (France) 2:04:26.20
24. Alice Dearing (Great Britain) 2:04:26.80
25. Sofia Kolesnikova (Russia) 2:04:30.20
26. Sarah Bosslet (Germany) 2:04:37.20
27. Svenja Zihsler (Germany) 2:05:01.50
28. Michelle Weber (South Africa) 2:05:04.80
29. Minami Niikura (Japan) 2:05:27.40
30. Xu Chu (China) 2:08:12.50
31. Ane de la Fuente (Spain) 2:08:12.70
32. Danielle Huskisson (Great Britain) 2:08:14.00
33. Alena Benesova (Czech Republic) 2:08:14.30
34. Stephanie Horner (Canada) 2:09:02.70
35. Valeriia Ermakova (Russia) 2:11:07.10
36. Vasiliki Kadoglu (Bulgaria) 2:11:48.90
37. Krystyna Panchishko (Ukraine) 2:13:05.00
38. Justyna Dorota Burska (Poland) 2:13:39.30
39. Carla Goyanes Garcia (Spain) 2:13:55.00
40. Karolina Balazikova (Slovakia) 2:14:18.40
41. Tsz Yin Nip (Hong Kong) 2:16:04.70
42. Cho Ying Wong (Hong Kong) 2:18:47.50
43. Nada Ahme Yassin Mohamed (Egypt) 2:18:51.20
44. Pac Tung Nikita Lam (Hong Kong) 2:24:14.90
45. Sheung Wai Ho (Hong Kong) 2:24:32.30
46. Kathriana Gustianjani (Indonesia) 2:25:11.00
DNF Reem Mohamed Hussein Elsa Kassem (Egypt)
DNF Angelica Maria (Portugal)
DNF Adela Sehonamin (Indonesia)

Cunha was also nominated for the 2018 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year award. To vote for the WOWSA Awards among the following 2018 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year nominees, visit here.

World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year Nominees:
1. Aleksandra Bednarek (Poland)
2. Abhejali Bernardová (Czech Republic)
3. Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil)
4. Barbara Pozzobon (Italy)
5. Caroline Block, Ph.D. (USA)
6. Eilís Burns (Ireland)
7. Hania Bakuniak (Poland)
8. Jaimie Monahan (USA)
9. Nadezhda Dudina (Russia)
10. Oksana Beletskaya (Russia)
11. Paula Selby (USA)
12. Pat Gallant-Charette (USA)
13. Rondi Davies, Ph.D. (USA)
14. Sharon van Rouwendaal (Netherlands)
15. Teruko Onuki (Japan)

Copyright © 2008-2018 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Personality Plus, Beaming From Britain

Courtesy of Red Bull, San Francisco, California.

Ross Edgley flew to San Francisco, California to attend the Open Water Summit only five days after completing his 157-day Great British Swim (UK).

Tired and exhausted from the 3,218 km assisted stage swim around the coastlines of England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland for sure, but the constantly smiling and genuinely humble British adventurer kept the audience laughing during his Q&A session with Adam Skolnick of the New York TImes at the Summit held at the famed Olympic Club.

In addition to being recognized by Guinness World Records at the Summit, Edgley is up for a WOWSA Award in the category of the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.

To vote for the WOWSA Awards and select one of the following nominees in the 2018 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year, visit here:

World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year Nominees:
1. Catalina Channel Crossing (USA) by Hank Wise
2. Century Swim around Key West (USA) by Bill Welzien
3. Great British Swim (UK) by Ross Edgley
4. HK360Swim Around Hong Kong Island (Hong Kong) by Simon Holliday
5. Ice Kilometer (Netherlands) by Sven Elfferich
6. Double Ice Mile (Germany) by Hamza Bakircioglu
7. Kangsha River Swim (Bangladesh) by Kshitindra Chandra Baisya
8. Lake Zürich Two-Way Crossing (Switzerland) by Katrin Walter
9. Santa Barbara Channel Crossing (USA) by Jim McConica
10. Sfax to Djerba Marathon Swim (Tunisia) by Nejib Belhedi
11. Traversée Internationale du lac St-Jean (Canada) by Edoardo Stochino
12. Travessia do Leme ao Pontal (Brazil) by Glauco Luise de Oliveira Rangel
13. Triple Country Swim (Italy-Monaco-France) by Carina Bruwer
14. Tsugaru Channel Tandem Crossing (Japan) by Nora Toledano Cadena and Mariel Hawley Dávila
15. Two-way Santa Cruz Island Crossing (USA) by Ken Mignosa

Copyright © 2008-2018 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Wellbrock Wins. TBD In Tokyo

Courtesy of FINA, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

It is still a long way off to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but Germany's Florian Wellbrock can possibly achieve a Mellouli Double (competing in both the 1500m and marathon swim at a single Olympics).

There is a strong possibility that Wellbrock will face 2016 Italian Olympic 1500m champion Gregorio Paltrinieri and 2012 Chinese Olympic 1500m champion Sun Yang in the distance freestyle event in the pool on the last day of the Olympic pool swimming schedule.

What is most remarkable is that Wellbrock's pool race could be followed by a competition in Tokyo Bay against defending 2016 Olympic 10 km champion Ferry Weertman and the rest of the fastest marathon swimmers in the open water four days after the 1500m swim.

Wellbrock is not only on a roll in the pool in the 1500m with the world's fastest time in 2018 in 14:40.69, but he has also out-sprinted all top competitors in three major international competitions: at the LEN World Cup race in Gravelines, France in May, the FINA/HOSA Marathon Swim World Series race held in Balatonfüred, Hungary in June, and in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates on Friday.

Wellbrock won the eighth and final leg of the FINA/HOSA Marathon Swim World Series in a very tight finish among men in 1 hour 53 minutes 0.9 seconds, only 0.4 over Paltrinieri and 0.7 over Kristóf Rasovszky and 0.9 over Marc-Antoine Olivier.

The race started really slow and it remained like that until the 5 km mark. Then, things got a bit faster, but this initial pace allowed me to save some energy for the final. I could then manage to get into the last meters of the race with additional strength," described Wellbrock. “I’ll try to qualify for both [the 1500m and 10 km races at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics]. Here, it was an easy race – the water was quite flat, so I could imagine swimming in a pool. I’m happy, because being only my second race of the season, I won both."

What happens in Tokyo is TBD (to be decided), but things are looking up for Wellbrock.

Results:
1. Florian Wellbrock (Germany) 1:53:00.90
2. Gregorio Paltrinieri (Italy) 1:53:01.40
3. Kristóf Rasovszky (Hungary) 1:53:01.70
4. Marc-Antoine Olivier (France) 1:53:01.90
5. Mario Sanzullo Italy) 1:53:04.30
6. Andreas Waschburger (Germany) 1:53:05.90
7. Ferry Weertman (Netherlands) 1:53:09.20
8. Rob Frederik Muffels (Germany) 1:53:26.00
9. Axel Reymond (France) 1:53:27.80
10. Logan Fontaine (France) 1:53:30.30
11. Andrea Manzi (Italy) 1:53:31.00
12. Jack Burnell (Great Britain) 1:53:35.00
13. Simone Ruffini (Italy) 1:53:36.50
14. Christian Reichert (Germany) 1:53:36.70
15. Marcel Schouten (Netherlands) 1:53:37.40
16. Matteo Furlan (Italy) 1:53:37.50
17. Soren Detlef Meissner (Germany) 1:53:37.60
18. Tobias Patrick Robinson (Great Britain) 1:53:37.90
19. Alberto Martinez Murcia (Spain) 1:53:38.80
20. Beraud (France) 1:53:39.70
21. Diogo Villarinho (Brazil) 1:53:40.20
22. Danie Marais (South Africa) 1:53:41.20
23. Pepijn Smits (Netherlands) 1:53:42.40
24. Niklas Frach (Germany) 1:53:44.90
25. Raul Santiago Betancor (Spain) 1:53:46.80
26. Matej Kozubek (Czech Republic) 1:53:47.10
27. Vitaliy Khudyakov (Kazakhstan) 1:53:47.20
28. Alexis Vandevelde (France) 1:53:47.70
29. Chad Ho (South Africa) 1:53:47.80
30. Krzysztof Pielowski (Poland) 1:53:47.90
31. Rafael Gil (Portugal) 1:53:49.50
32. Taishin Minamide (Japan) 1:54:15.00
33. Marcus Herwig (Germany) 1:54:30.60
34. Kirill Belyaev (Russia) 1:54:30.70
35. Fernando Ponte (Brazil) 1:54:31.70
36. Jean-Baptiste Clusman (France) 1:54:31.90
37. Guillem Pujol (Spain) 1:54:33.30
38. Hau-Li Fan (Canada) 1:54:35.10
39. Elliot Sodemann (Sweden) 1:54:37.00
40. Clement Kukla (France) 1:54:42.10
41. Jon Thomas McKay (Canada) 1:54:48.70
42. Yosuke Aoki (Japan) 1:55:16.80
43. Ruoyu Wang (China) 1:55:21.70
44. Aubin Coccordano (France) 1:55:22.90
45. Allan do Carmo (Brazil) 1:55:24.90
46. Jiabao An (China) 1:55:31.30
47. Riku Kuwazoe (Japan) 1:55:39.20
48. Enzo Roldan Munoz (France) 1:55:40.50
49. Chris Deegan (Australia) 1:55:42.30
50. Vit Ingeduld (Czech Republic) 1:55:42.90
51. Pol Gil (Spain) 1:55:54.00
52. Christian Keber (Germany) 1:56:10.90
53. Nicholas Rollo (Australia) 1:56:49.70
54. Takeshi Toyoda (Japan) 1:57:16.50
55. Igor Chervynskiy (Ukraine) 1:58:38.90
56. William Yan Thorley (Hong Kong) 1:58:39.40
57. Moselhy Mohamed (Egypt) 1:59:22.10
58. Yunze Wang (China) 1:59:52.10
59. Naim Mokhfi (France) 1:59:52.10
60. Long Cheng (China) 2:00:08.10
61. Bozhao Zhang (China) 2:00:10.30
62. Eric Hedlin (Canada) 2:00:21.70
63. Lev Cherepanov (Kazakhstan) 2:00:27.70
64. Fernando Betanzos (Mexico) 2:03:03.30
65. Rui Meng (China) 2:05:07.30
67. Hao Han Wang (China) 2:10:12.80
68. Kenessary Kenenbayev (Kazakhstan) 2:12:13.20
69. Timotius Mulyadi (Indonesia) 2:14:52.20
70. Chak Fung Lam (Hong Kong) 2:16:36.90
71. Ching Leung Sunny Poon (Hong Kong) 2:17:25.60
72. Tsz Fung Tse (Hong Kong) 2:17:39.90
73. Damien Payet (Seychelles) 2:19:57.00
74. Gavin Akbar Dharmawa (Indonesia) 2:22:44.50
DNF Mevan Abhiskek Induruwa (Sri Lanka)
DNF Marwan Ahmed Aly Morsy Elamrawy (Egypt)
DNF David Olvera Lopez (Mexico)
DNF Simon Wanna (Lebanon)
DNF Uyanga Abeysingha Mudiya (Sri Lanka)
DNF Ruwan S Disenthuwa Handi (Sri Lanka)
DNF Narada Assaj Jayanorisge (Sri Lanka)
DNF Sasindu Ravishk Kalugala (Sri Lanka)
DNF Vimal Warnakulasooriyage (Sri Lanka)

Copyright © 2008-2018 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Kim Chambers Inducted In International Marathon Swimming Hall Of Fame

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

"If it scares you, that is exactly why you should do it.

I’m talking about stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something, experiencing something, feeling something that you never thought possible.

It’s about challenging yourself not just physically but emotionally and spiritually. Something that reaches to the core of your soul, of who you are.

When you're willing to push the boundaries of what's possible, you'll find your best self right on the other side
."

This is how Kimberley Chambers of New Zealand talks about her challenges and accomplishments. Tonight in her adopted San Francisco, she will give the keynote speech at the 2018 WOWSA Awards.

This Saturday morning as she was surrounded by great swimmers from the United Nations Patron of the Oceans Lewis Pugh to fellow Oceans Seven swimmer Antonio Argüelles of Mexico, she was informed by Ned Denison, Chairman of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, that she has been inducted as an Honor Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Class of 2019.

Her road to be honored as an open water swimmer is unusual to say the least. Her road to become a member of the Dolphin Club of San Francisco, the South End Rowing Club, North Bay Aquatics, and the Night Train Swimmers was totally unexpected.

And her road to become an Honor Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame was simply not in the cards - until her leg was nearly amputated after an accident - one of several hospitalizations and near-death experiences she has faced in her adventurous life.

The 41-year-old Honoree explains her mindset, "Adventure allows me to realize previously unimaginable dreams. With each all-consuming journey towards that edge - a tantalizing boundary where my mind and body are truly challenged - my sense of self not only blossoms, it thrives.

Of course it is scary, but for me that is precisely the draw, because if it does not challenge you, it does not change you.

I still want to see how far I can go. I want to see if I can push that edge just a little bit further
."

A former ballerina going up on a sheep farm in New Zealand, she was recruited by the University of California Berkeley as a rower. After graduating, she stayed in the San Francisco Bay area and works for Adobe, one of Silicon Valley's most recognizable brands.

She got into swimming upon her rehabilitation from a near-amputation in her leg and soon became a member of the Dolphin Club of San Francisco, the South End Rowing Club, North Bay Aquatics, and the Night Train Swimmers.

Surrounded and egged on by her fellow swimmers, she started off in 2009 by swimming from Alcatraz Island to Aquatic Park in San Francisco Bay as part of her rehabilitation from Acute Compartment Syndrome. Eventually, she found herself completing the following swims and becoming the sixth person in history to complete the Oceans Seven:

* Lake Tahoe in California in 2012 in 15 hours 30 minutes
* Cook Strait between the North and South Islands of New Zealand in 2012 in 8 hours 26 minutes
* Molokai Channel between Oahu and Molokai in Hawaii in 2012 in 19 hours 27 minutes
* Strait of Gibraltar between Spain and Morocco in 2013 in 4 hours 39 minutes
* Catalina Channel from Santa Catalina Island to the California mainland in 2013 in 11 hours 26 minutes
* English Channel from England to France in 2013 in 12 hours 12 minutes
* Tsugaru Channel from Honshu to Hokkaido in Japan in 2014 in 9 hours 38 minutes
* North Channel from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 2014 in 13 hours 6 minutes [she was subsequently hospitalized for 7 days due to jellyfish stings]
* Farallons Island to Golden Gate Bridge in 2015 in 17 hours 12 minutes [first woman]
* Participated in myriad marathon swim relays with the Night Train Swimmers including a Farallon Islands relay in 2011, an English Channel relay, a Manhattan Island relay around, a 292 km San Francisco-to-Santa Barbara relay down the California coast that raised over US$1.2 million for Semper Fi Fund, and a Lake Powell record relay
* Participated in a number of cross-border tandem swims including a 16 km tandem swim across the Dead Sea between Jordan and Israel in 2016, and 7.9 km Pan-American Colibrí Swim (Nado Panamericano Colibrí) between Imperial Beach, California, USA and Tijuana, Mexico in 2017

Her accomplishments are numerous including being featured in a popular documentary film called KIM SWIMS produced by Kate Webber and raising funds for the Warrior Canine Connection, Team Theo and The Free Morgan Foundation.

She was nominated for the Halberg Awards' High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year in 2015 and the WOWSA Awards (2013 and 2014 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year and 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year nominee) and was named one of the 15 World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Women.

Chambers' speech at the WOWSA Awards delivered at The Olympic Club in San Francisco will be posted tomorrow.

Copyright © 2008-2018 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Pat Gallant-Charette, Never Too Old

Photo courtesy of Brian Fitzgerald. Announcement courtesy of Ned Denison, Chairman of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.

Pat Gallant-Charette gave an inspirational speech at the 2018 WOWSA Talks & WOWSA Awards at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, California today. Surrounded by great swimmers from Olympian Aaron Peirsol and United Nations Patron of the Oceans Lewis Pugh to Oceans Seven swimmers Kimberley Chambers, and Antonio Argüelles, she was informed by Ned Denison, Chairman of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, that she has been inducted as an Honor Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Class of 2019.

It came to her as a complete surprise.

Her speech, Never Too Old, is appropo.

Denison explains, "Pat has defied age to begin an incredible marathon swimming career starting in her 50's.

Pat is an inspiration. There is life - lots of life and success - for the swimmers taking up the sport after the age of 40. Setbacks are part of life and DNF's are part of marathon swimming.

Pat has experienced six defeats in completing six channels of the Oceans Seven challenge. Her toughest DNF's included attempting crossings of the North Channel when she pulled after 16+ hours – less than 1 mile from the finish and in the English Channel where she was pulled 1.7 miles from the finish.

She is followed as a role model by many aspiring marathon swimmers – both young and not so young
."

Nine of her swims have set records for the oldest female swimmer:

* English Channel from England to France in 2017 at 66 years 135 days in 17 hours 55 minutes
* Tsugaru Channel from Honshu to Hokkaido in 2012 at 61 years 224 days in 19 hours 36 minutes
* Molokai Channel from Molokai to Oahu in 2016 at 66 years 107 days in 23 hours 54 minutes
* North Channel from Northern Ireland to Scotland in 2016 at 65 years 204 days in 14 hours 22 minutes
* Lake Ontario (USA to Canada) in 2017 at 66 years 209 days in 24 hours 28 minutes
* Completion of the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming in 2018 at 67 years 148 days
* 20 Bridges Manhattan Island Swim in New York (20 Bridges) in 2018 at 67 years 148 days in 10 hours 53 minutes
* Lake Tahoe at 1,897 meters (6,225 feet) in 2018 in 20 hours 32 minutes at 67 years 186 days
* Loch Ness in Scotland from north to south in 2018 in 13 hours 45 minutes at 67 years 198 days

Gallant-Charette also completed a 12-mile crossing of Lake Windermere in 7 hours 38 minutes in 2018 at 67 years, a crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar in 2010 at 59 years, and a crossing of the Catalina Channel in 14 hours 11 minutes in 2011 at 60 years. She also attempted a Cook Strait crossing in 2014 at 63 years.

The retired nurse from Westbrook, Maine explained, "Each swim had a unique set of challenges: speed in Manhattan, high altitude and cold air temperatures in Lake Tahoe, cold water in Loch Ness, and only 3 days rest after Loch Ness in Windermere."

On November 10th at The Olympic Club, Gallant-Charette will explain her mindset, her preparations, her planning, training and escort teams that she has to continue to raise the bar in the open water at the .

"It is great to see a sport where you can continue to set records in your 60's and 70's and are considered to be one of the best in your given athletic discipline. Pat is one such individual - of many," explains Steven Munatones. "But the road to greatness is never easy and the world’s waterways have always put the hard-working grandmother to the test.

What always impresses me in face of the tremendous physiological stress and marine conditions that she faces and the long hours she endures is that her smile is as brilliant at the finish as her smile is in the beginning. She is always cheerful and deeply appreciative to her crew and family. And she always faces challenges. She has occasionally failed in her crossings - but she always comes back with a success
."

Copyright © 2008-2018 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Friday, November 9, 2018

Who's Who At The Open Water Summit

Courtesy of Antonio Argüelles, The Olympic Club, San Francisco, California.

Many luminaries have gathered in San Francisco to attend the 2018 Open Water Summit and WOWSA Awards ceremony. Among the stars, Lewis Pugh (UK), Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia, shown above), Aaron Peirsol (USA), Kimberley Chambers (New Zealand), Antonio Argüelles (Mexico), Ben Lecomte (France), Michelle Macy (USA), Angel More (USA, shown above), Ger Kennedy (Ireland, shown above), Jaimie Monahan (USA), Margarita Llorens Bagur (Spain), Adrian Sarchet (Guernsey), James Harrison (Guernsey), Marcia Benjamin (USA), Megan Melgaard (USA), Ross Edgley (UK), Sally Minty-Gravett (Jersey), Pat Gallant-Charette (USA), Evan Morrison (USA), Nejib Belhedi (Tunisia, via video), Ned Denison (Ireland, via video), Dan Simonelli (USA), Bryce Elser (USA), Ram Barkai (South Africa), Cameron Bellamy (South Africa, via video), Brent Rutemiller(USA), Jessi Harewicz (Canada), David Holscher (USA), Suzanne Heim-Bowen (USA), Rafa Hernández (Mexico), Adam Skolnick (USA), and many others will attend.

To meet and listen to the following speakers, presenters and honorees at the Open Water Summit at The Olympic Club, register here.



Copyright © 2008-2018 by World Open Water Swimming Association

The Unspoken, Unwritten Etiquette Of Open Water Drafting

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

It is unfair. It is frustrating. It is cheating.

So goes the thought process of some open water swimmers.

It is classic tactics. It is strategic. It is all part of the sport.

So goes the completely reverse thought process of other open water swimmers. Which is correct? Is drafting cheating or is it strategic? Is it unfair or is it part of the sport?

Neither side of the argument will ever convince the other side of their viewpoint of drafting. It is a debate without conclusion.

Our viewpoint most definitely sides with those who think drafting is part of the sport.

But the question remains: in a draft-legal open water swimming competition, is it good or bad etiquette to draft off another person for all, majority or any part of a race, and then swing around and try to beat them at the end?

At the highest end of the competitive open water swimming, professional marathon races or triathlons, this is precisely the well-accepted and understood strategy of all swimmers and triathletes. But what about at local open water swims among amateurs and masters swimmers?

We believe drafting is fair and part of the sport, but there also is an unspoken and unwritten etiquette that is also part of the sport. Fundamentally and specifically, impeding by occasional hitting or pulling on the lead swimmer is flat-out unfair, continuous tapping on the feet of the lead swimmer is simply uncool. This is true whether or not there are officials in the race.

While we do not believe that swimmers should necessarily take turns at leading as well as drafting, we are also unequivocally believe that impeding another swimmer's progress is an act of unsportsmanlike behavior at any level whether at the professional or amateur level.

The purposeful act of impeding especially feels wrong among amateurs who simply want to participate for fitness and a sense of accomplishment.

Among professional swimmers and competitive elite and masters swimmers, drafting is an acquired and respected skill. Among these swimmers, there is a healthy respect for those who draft and position well and then are able to sprint to victory (e.g., replicating The Ilchenko).

Among professional open water swimmers, tapping on an opponent's feet and trying to "get inside the head" of one's competitors while drafting is also a tactic that some athletes employ. But drafting without physicality is what the very best do extraordinarily well, from Maarten van der Weijden to Thomas Lurz.

While some athletes are renowned for leading races from the front, most pros and amateurs prefer to draft strategically and make their moves during the late stages of races. They know that they can effectively conserve their energy through drafting and smart positioning and then moving into the lead or near the leader with 5-10% of the race left.

While some individuals might think this strategy is unfair, ANY and ALL swimmers have the opportunity to draft in a competitive environment,

But for individuals who simply want to enjoy a race and the camaraderie of open water swimming while swimming from Point A to Point B, we agree that drafting behind or alongside and then "sprinting" ahead "to win" can be viewed as poor etiquette. Certainly, tapping on the feet and constantly bumping into lead swimmer is in poor taste.

As a countermeasure in cases where you are being bothered by someone behind you, we recommend swimming laterally - even for a few meters or strokes - and the problem often resolves itself. Alternatively - and this has occurred at the professional and competitive levels - the lead swimmer can also simply stop or do some easy backstroke or breaststroke until the trailing swimmer has passed and you have switched positions on your drafting opponent.

Photo of swimmers drafting at the European Open Water Swimming Championships by Giorgio Scala.

Copyright © 2008-2018 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

FREE DOWNLOAD

INSTRUCTIONS:
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...
LEARN 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.
LEARN MORE...

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:
https://www.worldopenwaterswimmingassociation.com/preview-open-water-swimming-almanac


The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.

SponsorMySwim.com

Open Water Swimming Event Sanctioning

World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation

Open Water Race Calendar

Coaches Education Program