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Friday, December 15, 2017

A Swim Across

Courtesy of Ioannis Kifonidis, Thessaloniki, Greece.

The pre-production poster of #A Swim Across by Dimitris Giouzepas.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Sarah Thomas Swims More Than 100

Photos courtesy of Sarah Thomas.

Information courtesy of Tom Allen, Financial Times

Tom Allen is a freelance writer and journalist who wrote an article about the incomparable Sarah Thomas in an article in the Financial Times called Sarah Thomas: the woman who swam a century.

Thomas has won and been nominated for numerous awards over the last few years including being a nominee for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year along with the following individuals:

1. Katherine Batts (Great Britain)
2. Dr. Caroline Block (USA)
3. Arianna Bridi (Italy)
4. Chloë McCardel (Australia)
5. Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil)
6. Pat Gallant-Charette (USA)
7. Ludmila Maller (Russia)
8. Jaimie Monahan (USA)
9. Aurélie Muller (France)
10. Barbara Pozzobón (Italy)
11. Sarah Thomas (USA)
12. Julia Wittig (Germany)

Her nomination reads, "Sarah Thomas was all over the place in 2017. She warmed up with a 40 km double circumnavigation around Mercer Island in Washington, then won the women’s division at the 17 km Portland Bridge Swim in Oregon, completed an unprecedented 31.7 km crossing of Grand Lake in Oklahoma, and finished 6th overall at the 16 km Swim The Suck in Tennessee. But she did one more swim that was simply mind-boggling and typical of Thomas’ tenacity.

In August, she swam further than anyone in human history without currents: 168.3 km (104.6 miles) in 67 hours 16 minutes in Lake Champlain, New York and Vermont. While fatigue was increasing as sleep became necessary after nearly 3 days of non-stop swimming, Thomas finished with a steady stride, wide smile, and fully conversant with her crew and media. Her swim was carefully documented and virtually observed by thousands, inspiring many and ensuring her effort set the standard for ratification.

For her continued push to set the bar in marathon swimming, for her pleasant personality and friendly interactions with her escort crew throughout her swims, for her ability to swim further than anyone else on Planet Earth, Sarah Thomas is a worthy nominee for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.

To register and vote on the WOWSA Awards and the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year here.

To read the Financial Times article, visit here.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Thiago Toshio Rebollo Swims Travessia do Leme ao Pontal

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Today, Thiago Toshio Rebollo is a Brazilian open water swimmer who set the neoprene record for the 35 km Travessia do Leme ao Pontal between Leme Beach to Pontal in 7 hours 2 minutes 34 seconds, breaking the record of 7 hours 34 minutes.

"Ainda estou anestesiado com o resultado da prova de hoje. O que dizer da Travessia Do Leme Ao Pontal, a maior ultramaratona aquática do Brasil? Larguei da Praia do Leme a 00:50 de hoje, temperatura da água agradável (22°C), consegui imprimir um ritmo forte desde o início, e a alimentação da prova pela primeira vez saiu 100% perfeita. Eu treinei muito para essa prova e sabia que estava preparado, porém esse resultado eu não esperava," he reported.

The Travessia do Leme ao Pontal was founded and is managed by Adherbal de Oliveira and Renato Ribeiro Barbosa. Their efforts were nominated for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year along with the following eclectic mix of products, events and services:

1. 48 Braçades by Miquel Suñer (Spain)
2. Blue Journey Dangerous Waves Project with Bruckner Chase (USA)
3. Global Swim Series by Rob Kent & Dylan Kent (Canada)
4. LongSwimsDB by Evan Morrison (USA)
5. New York Open Water by David Barra, Rondi Davies & Alex Arévalo (USA)
6. Open Water Swim Academy by Dan Simonelli (USA)
7. Outdoor Swimmer by Simon Griffiths (Great Britain)
8. Sea Donkey with Adrian Sarchet (Guernsey)
9. Shark Bait by Dr. Seán O’Connell (Bermuda)
10. Swim Argentina by Matías Ola (Argentina)
11. The Channel of Bones with Toni Enderli (South Africa)
12. Travessia do Leme ao Pontal by Adherbal de Oliveira & Renato Ribeiro Barbosa (Brazil)

The nominees for the 2016 World Open Water Offering of the Year are as follows:

Adherbal de Oliveira and Renato Ribeiro Barbosa were honored for the Travessia do Leme ao Pontal with the following description:

The Travessia do Leme ao Pontal is a scenic 35 km coastal swim in Brazil that ends in Pontal and was inspired by a famous song in Brazil called Do Leme ao Pontal. The ocean challenge offers great natural beauty where the swimmer can admire from a privileged perspective the wonders of Rio de Janeiro including Sugar Loaf, Copacabana Beach, Christ the Redeemer, Cagarras Archipelago, Ipanema Beach, São Conrado Beach, Barra da Tijuca Beach and the Pontal Stone. Adherbal de Oliveira and Renato Ribeiro Barbosa created a governing body (Leme to Pontal Swimming Association) that enables solo and relay attempts for neoprene and bioprene swimmers along the gorgeous course.

For creating a professional infrastructure complete with escort pilots, crew, guidance and record-keeping to support marathon swims and relays, for encouraging marathon swimming among people who are inspired to repeat the lyrics of a popular song, for offering opportunities throughout the year in temperatures that can range from 15°C to 26°C, the Travessia do Leme ao Pontal is a worthy nominee for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

To register and vote on the WOWSA Awards and the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year, visit here.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Library Of Open Water Swimming Books

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Hundreds of books have been written by open water swimmers including the small sampling listed below:

* Πώς πέρασα τη Μάγχη (How I Spent The Channel) by Jason Zirganos
* 21 Yaks and a Speedo: How to achieve your impossible by Lewis Pugh
* 48 BRAZADAS: Solo tú marcas tu horizonte (48 Swimming Strokes: Only you set your horizons) by Miquel Sunyer with James Manresa
* 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save Hawai'i by Gail Grabowsky
* A cada brazada el azul interminable (With each stroke, the endless blue) by Antonio Argüelles and Nora Toledano
* A Chance for Children by Stathis Avramidis Ph.D. with Nikos Kouremenos
* Achieving the Impossible: A Fearless Leader, A Fragile Earth by Lewis Pugh
* Alone on a Wide Wide Sea by Robert McCormack
* America's Girl: The Incredible Story of How Swimmer Gertrude Ederle Changed the Nation by Tim Dahlberg
* Annaleise Carr: How I Conquered Lake Ontario to Help Kids Battling Cancer by Annaleise Carr and Deborah Ellis
* Auf der Erfolgswelle schwimmen: Was junge Menschen wissen müssen, um erfolgreich zu werden (Float on the Wave of Success: What Young People Need to Know For Success) by Thomas Lurz and Yasmin M. Fargel
* Beaches of Oahu by John R. K. Clark
* Believe It Or Not by Michael Jennings
* Beter by Maarten van der Weijden
* Biomechanica: Theoretische mechanica toegepast op het bewegen van de mens by Huub Toussaint
* Blonde in Deep Water: Brenda Fisher: The Story of a Channel Swimmer by Lucy Wood
* BlueMind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do by Wallace J. Nichols, Ph.D.
* Boss Of Me, The Keyshawn Johnson Story by Diana Nyad
* Captain Webb and 100 years of Channel Swimming by Margaret A. Jarvis
* Circle of Success: Lessons from a Lifetime of Sport by Bill Leach with Ted Newland
* Conquering the English Channel by George H. Pumphrey
* Conquest of the English Channel by Thomas Hetzel
* Dangerous When Wet The Shelley Taylor-Smith Story by Shelley Taylor-Smith and Ian Cockerill
* Dear Dr. Thompson: Felony murder, Hunter S. Thompson, and the Last Gonzo Campaign by Matthew Moseley
* DEEP: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us about Ourselves by James Nestor
* Diana Nyad's Basic Training For Women by Diana Nyad
* Días Azules (Water Days) by Mariel Hawley
* Dip: Wild Swims from the Borderlands by Andrew Fusek Peters
* Discover Swimming (Descubre la Natación) by Robert Strauss
* Dover Solo by Marcia Cleveland
* Downstream: a history and celebration of swimming the River Thames by Caitlin Davies
* Dr Rip’s Essential Beach Book by Rob Brander, Ph.D.
* Erica From America: Swimming from Europe to Africa by Erica Moffett
* Escape by Sarah Condor-Fisher
* Fair Sport - The History of Sport at the Canadian National Exhibition, 1879-1977 Inclusive by A.W. "Bill" Leveridge
* Fat Passion by Kelly Gneiting
* Fearless Swimming For Tri-athletes by Ingrid Loos Miller
* Find A Way by Diana Nyad
* Fighting the Current: The Rise of American Women's Swimming, 1870-1926 by Lisa Bier
* GILLS by K. M. MacKinnon
* Gino the Minnow by Scott Weston Wolford
* Go Deeper: The Seven Ages of Water by Wallace J. Nichols, Ph.D.
* Grayson by Lynne Cox
* Haunts of the Black Masseur, The Swimmer as a Hero by Charles Sprawson
* History of Catalina Swims by Penny Dean, Ph.D.
* History of Life Guards & Lifesaving in America by Chuck Kroll
* History of Open-Water Marathon Swimming by Captain Tim Johnson
* How to Learn to Swim by Frederick Cavill
* How To Swim A Marathon by Penny Dean, Ph.D.
* Hung Out to Dry - Swimming and British Culture by Chris Ayriss
* Ice Breaker: The Freezing Story of Lynne Cox by John Diconsiglio
* In Cold Water by Mike Humphreys
* In My Element by Theodore Yach
* In Solo, Yet Never Alone: Swimming the Great Lakes by Laura Young
* Instructional Design That Soars: Shaping What You Know Into Classes That Inspire by Guila Muir
* It's Cold in the Channel by Sam Rockett
* J'ai décidé de vivre (I Decided to Live) by Philippe Croizon
* James Pittar, Swimming the Continents by Claire Daniel
* Just Try One More by Penny Dean, Ph.D.
* Las Máscaras Sagradas En La Isla De Wakahay by Jose Diaz
* l'Art de Nager by Thomas Moette
* L’aventure de l’eau libre by François-Bernard Tremblay
* Life is Worth Swimming by Murray Rose
* Long Distance Swimming by Commander Charles Gerald Forsberg OBE, RN
* Lucky's Collectors Guide to 20th Century Yo-Yos by Dr. Lucky Meisenheimer
* Man vs. Ocean by Adam Walker
* Marathon: The World of the Long-Distance Athlete by Gail Campbell
* Marathon Swimming: My Fun Journey by Yuko Matsuzaki
* Marilyn Bell: The Heart-Stopping Tale of Marilyn's Record-Breaking Swim by Patrick Tivy
* Modern Long Distance Swimming by Commander Charles Gerald Forsberg OBE, RN
* Nadando El Estrecho, Sus Orígenes Y Su Historia (Swimming the Strait, Its Origin and History) by Montserrat Tresserras Dou
* Near-Death Experiences while Drowning. Dying is not the End of Consciousness by Janice Miner Holden, Ed.D. and Stathis Avramidis, Ph.D.
* New Worlds to Conquer by Richard Halliburton
* Nine Ways to Cross a River, Midstream Reflections on Swimming and Getting There from Here by Akiko Busch
* Nothing Great Is Easy by Des Renford MBE with Ian Heads
* Ontberingen van een marathonzwemster (Rigors of a marathon swimmer) by Monique Wildschut
* Open Water Swimming by Steven Munatones
* Open Water Swimming: A Complete Guide for Distance Swimmers and Triathletes by Penny Dean, Ph.D.
* Open Water Swimming Almanac by Steven Munatones
* Open Water Swimming in South Africa, A Journal of the Cape Long Distance Swimming Association by Tony Sellmeyer
* Open Water Swimming - Lessons from Alcatraz by Joseph Oakes and Gary Emich
* Open Water Swimming Manual: An Expert's Survival Guide For Triathletes And Open Water Swimmers by Lynne Cox
* Other Shores by Diana Nyad
* Poliana Okimoto by Daniel Takata Gomes and Hélio de la Peña
* Rouging It In Rubber by Paul Boyton
* Sage Island by Samantha Warwick
* Saltwater Buddha by Jaimal Yogis
* Schwimmen by Glen Christiansen and Franziska Wischmann
* Science of Swimming Faster with Scott Riewald, Ph.D. and Scott Rodeo, M.D. with Steven Munatones
* Shark Attacks of the Twentieth Century; from the Pacific Coast of North America by Ralph S. Collier
* Shark Don't Scare Me by Luke Tipple
* Shark-Human Interaction by Erich Ritter, Ph.D.
* South with the Sun: Roald Amundsen, His Polar Explorations, and the Quest for Discovery by Lynne Cox
* Spineless by Juli Berwald, Ph.D.
* Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes by Monique Ryan
* Surviving the Shark: How a Brutal Great White Attack Turned a Surfer into a Dedicated Defender of Sharks by David McGuire
* Sport and Meditation by Sri Chinmoy
* Swimming Short and Long Distances, Crawl Stroke and Diving by Jabez Wolffe
* Taking the Waters: A Swim Around Hampstead Heath by Caitlin Davies
* Surviving the Sea of Life: The Triumphs and Tragedies of an Australian Olympian by Linda McGill
* Swell: A Year of Waves by Evan Slater and Peter Taras
* SWIM: Why We Love the Water by Lynn Sherr
* Swim to Glory: The Story of Marilyn Bell and the Lakeshore Swimming Club by Ron McAllister
* Swimming in the Sink: An Episode of the Heart by Lynne Cox
* Swimming, Short and Long Distances, Springboard Diving by Jabez Wolffe
* Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer by Lynne Cox
* Swimming with Smiles by Gary Standen with Claire Bunker-Fellingham
* Take It to the Limit by Julie Ridge
* Textbook of Swimming by Jabez Wolffe
* The Art of Swimming by Captain Matthew Webb
* The Challenge of the English Channel: A Spiritual Approach to the Mount Everest of Swimming by Adriano Passini
* The Complete Book of Swimming by Phil Whitten
* The Crossing: The Curious Story of the First Man to Swim the English Channel by Kathy Watson
* The Day the Whale Came by Lynne Cox
* The Devil's Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America's Great White Sharks by Susan Casey
* The Fear Project by Jaimal Yogis
* The Grace To Race: The Wisdom and Inspiration of the 80-Year-Old World Champion Triathlete Known as the Iron Nun by Sister Madonna Buder
* The Great Swim by Gavin Mortimer
* The Hinsdale Swimming Program by Don Watson
* The History of Olympic Swimming by Phil Whitten
* The Immune by Dr. Lucky Meisenheimer
* The Man Who Swam the Amazon - 3274 Miles on the World's Deadliest River by Matthew Mohlke
* The Next Africa: An Emerging Continent Becomes a Global Powerhouse by Jake Bright
* The Open Water Swimmer by Sabrina Devonshire
* The Stolen Dragon of Quanx by Becca Mann
* The Story of Swimming by Susie Parr
* The Wave: In Pursuit Of The Rogues, Freaks And Giants Of The Ocean by Susan Casey
* The Wisdom of Sri Chinmoy by Sri Chinmoy
* Træk Vejret – mere energi, mindre stress by Stig Åvall Severinsen Ph.D.
* Triathlon Swimming Made Easy - The Total Immersion Way for Anyone to Master Open-Water Swimming by Terry Laughlin
* Two Faces of the English Channel, The Untold Story by Paul Jagasich
* Ultra Swimming by Claudia B. Manley
* Underrättelser i simkonsten by Jöns Svanberg
* Water Margin - Hong Kong's Link to the Sea by Matthew Flynn
* Where Mountains Come to Swim by Paul Lundgren
* Wider Than A Mile by Mimi Hughes
* Wild Portugal by Daniel Start
* Wild Swim by Kate Rew
* Wild Swimming Book by Kate Rew and Daniel Start
* Wild Swimming Hidden Beaches by Kate Rew and Daniel Start
* Wild Swimming Coast by Daniel Start
* Wild Swimming France by Daniel Start
* Wild Swimming Italy by Michele Tameni
* Wild Swimming Spain by Daniel Start
* Wild Swimming Sydney Australia by Sally Tertini and Steve Pollard
* Wild Swimming Walks: Dartmoor and South Devon by Sophie Pierce and Matt Newbury
* Wind, Waves and Sunburn: A Brief History of Marathon Swimming by Conrad Wennerberg
* Yoga and the Spiritual Life by Sri Chinmoy
* Young Woman and the Sea - How Trudy Ederle Conquered the English Channel and Inspired the World by Glenn Stout
* 大貫映子のスイミング (Onuki Teruko Swimming) by Teruko Onuki
* やっぱりスポーツが気にかかる! by Teruko Onuki
* ジョイフル・トライアスロン・マニュアル (Joyful Triathlon Manual) by Teruko Onuki
* マラソンスイミング (Marathon Swimming) by Teruko Onuki
* ドーバー海峡泳いじゃった! (I Swam The English Channel) by Teruko Onuki
* テルちゃんののびのびスイミング : ドーバー海峡横断の大貫映子が教える水泳教室 by Teruko Onuki
* オープンウォータースイミング (Open Water Swimming) by Teruko Onuki

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Kester Edwards Honored By An ESPY Award

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Kester Edwards received an ESPY Award in July 2017.

Edwards from Trinidad & Tobago is, deservedly so, one of the driving forces behind adding the sport of open water swimming to the Special Olympics community.

Through his charisma and depth of passion, Edwards has worked tirelessly over the last several years to bring open water swimming to this community.

When people said it cannot be done, Edwards pressed further. When people said it would be dangerous for Special Olympics athletes to do an open water swimming, Edwards contacted more people. When people said it would be irresponsible to allow Special Olympics athletes in the open water, Edwards showed them that competent swimmers existed around the world. When people said that the parents and caregivers for Special Olympics athletes would not allow them in the open water, Edwards found those parents and caregivers who did.

"Kester has changed the world for many, for the better, and for the future," observed Steven Munatones. "One of those athletes who benefitted was Andrew Smilley who has served as an open water swimming ambassador from Europe to the Americas together with his Cayman Islands coach Penny McDowall. Andrew has proven that Special Olympics athletes can safely and courageously venture beyond the shorelines."

Ultimately, Edwards was able to push the organizers of the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games to add open water swimming to the schedule. They followed it up with another 1.5 km event at the 2015 World Summer Games - with no stopping the open water swimming community now.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Deep Dives In The Open Water

Courtesy of Science and Monterey Bay Aquarium Research, California.

Open water swimmers often worry about - and the media often mentions - sharks as the apex predators in the ocean.

Channel swimmers and their crews from Molokai to Rottnest have long prepared for shark encounters and shark attacks.

But the chances of open water swimmers being attacked by sharks - or even seeing a random shark in the distance - is much, much, much lower than getting stung by a jellyfish or Portuguese man o war or other venomous creature in the open water.

So what are the top predators in ocean?

Over 27 years, the researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research videotaped and studied the feeding habits of marine creatures. Their findings and conclusions - and the importance and presence of venomous creatures in the deep ocean - may not be surprising to veteran ocean swimmers who have encountered jellyfish during their careers.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Guardian Presents A Sparkling Sea

Courtesy of The Guardian

The Perfect Woman

Courtesy of Studio 10, Australia.

Annette Kellerman, a biographer of an International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer from Australia.

The Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre is an indoor swimming pool in Kellerman's hometown of Marrickville, New South Wales, presents her biography here.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Hidden Figures, Not Now, Not Ever

Courtesy of Track.RS, North Channel between Northern Ireland and Scotland.

In the biographical drama film Hidden Figures, African-American female mathematicians served critical roles at NASA during the early years of the United States space program in the 1960's.

But in the open water swimming world and throughout the history of the sport since Annette Kellerman burst onto the scene in the early 20th century, women's talents have never been hidden in the open water.

"Open water swimming feats by women have been recognized and renowned globally for the last 110 years of the sport," observed Steven Munatones.

"In the United States, only a woman has ever been given a ticker tape parade: Gertrude Ederle in 1926. Women from Greta Andersen to Ana Marcela Cunha have been supported by major sponsors throughout the Americas. In the most contemporary times, Chloë McCardel, Keri-Anne Payne, Natalie du Toit, and Poliana Okimoto have been highly celebrated from Australia and Great Britain to South Africa and Brazil.

Among the most highly sought after motivational speakers included Lynne Cox and Diana Nyad. Among the most popular books on open water swimming have been written by women including Linda McGill, Shelley Taylor-Smith, Marcia Cleveland, Juli Berwald, Annaleise Carr, Sister Madonna Buder, Kate Rew, and Nora Toledano.

Ever since the movies like Siren of the Sea over 100 years ago and aquamusicals like Million Dollar Mermaid in 1952, films about women in the open water has been proposed, produced and released including recent documentary films about Kimberley Chambers and Beth French. Similar to female beach volleyball players and female professional golfers in South Korea, female swimmers have arguably achieved at least as great a level of global celebration and recognition in the sport of open water swimming than men. That is, female swimmers have not been hidden figures, but instead, incredibly celebrated figures

One example of a contemporary celebrated figure in the open water world is Dr. Caroline Block, an anthropologist from Baltimore, Maryland.

. Not only did she become the 10th person in history to cross 51.8 km in Lake George, New York in 19 hours 21 minutes in 15°C water, but she also attempted an unprecedented two-way crossing of the North Channel between Northern Ireland and Scotland. Her first leg from Northern Ireland to Scotland was 15 hours 32 minutes 25 seconds. She ultimately lasted a total distance of 88 km and 28 hours 55 minutes until the tides proved too much.

With the possible exception of Chloë McCardel's unprecedented four-way crossing of the English Channel this year, Dr. Block's North Channel double crossing was perhaps the most followed DNF in the online swimming community in 2017.

"Epic is often used to describe channel swims and marathon swims, especially those conducted in difficult conditions. It goes without saying that Dr. Block's nearly 29-hour swim is most definitely an extreme example of an epic swim," commented Munatones.

She wanted to double her first crossing of the North Channel that took her 14 hours 31 minutes from Northern Ireland to Scotland at the age of 32 in 2016. Her crew and pilot Pádraig Mallon were all in to help her achieve her dream.

Mallon described the brilliance and courage of her two-way attempt, "Caroline planned a two-way crossing of the North Channel upon her completion of her one-way solo on August 6th 2016. Caroline arrived in Ireland in mid-July ready to go.

The current trend for weather on the North Irish Channel for the available 2017 tidal windows has been irregular. On August 3rd with the closing of the third window (between July 30th and August 8th), the conditions were looking far from favorable. Following team discussions, the swim date options to this year were limited by her busy schedule. So it was decided in Caroline's words 'Let's do this'. Making use of a forecasted lull in the whether between two low pressure fronts - one just leaving Ireland and one in its way - Caroline's start date was set.

At 8:04 pm on August 4th with a water temperature of 12.9°C (55.2°F) and an ambient temperature 12.3°C (54.1°F) and a wind chill of much less, Caroline set off from Robbie's Point taking choppy water in her stride and with the Donaghadee Lighthouse blinking to every second beat of her 58 strokes per minute. A positive mindset made swimming at night easy as she kept close to the boat and returned half hourly for her feeds.

With the sunrise at 4:40 am, the coastline of Scotland revealed a change of goggles that helped keep the sun's rays from her eyes bringing some welcomed heat to both Caroline and the Infinity crew. The choppy conditions arrived, departed, and returned. Eight hours in, the Killantringan Lighthouse was in view with a northwesterly wind of 6 knots.

Contending with the infamous Scottish tides at 11:36 am on Saturday, August 5th, Caroline completed the first leg in 15 hours 32 minutes 25 seconds over a swim distance of 49.5 km. Caroline arrived to a small stony beach in the garden of the beautiful Knockinaam Lodge at the Port of Spittal bay with the Scottish flag bellowing in the wind.

As per the rules of a two-way crossing, a swimmer is permitted a ten-minute break on completion of their first leg. The sun shone with a clear blue sky as Caroline was joined by Pádraig. She had a short stop to re-grease, eat and focus on her return leg. Her one-way crossing was done and dusted and she was ready to rock for the second leg. At 11:44:10 am, she was on the move leaving Scottish shores behind. The tide had turned and she headed northwest against wind and waves joined by Pádraig until her first feed.

We all knew that this is where the swim would really begin. Forecasts of predicted good weather failed to appear and Caroline continued relentlessly to swim through these conditions including several squalls.

Caroline's simple approach to the swim never altered. Her requests were for factual information of distance, time and sea state allowing her to calculate her performance. This mindset in a marathon open water swimmer is a golden ticket to success. Previous team planning regarding how the swim would progress and how each sections would go allowed the plan to unfurl. It was known that at this stage there would be wind against tide, but with the actual weather not matching the predicted (normal in this county), it meant that the seas were heavy slowing progress, preventing the much needed advances northwest.

After 63.4 km at 8:07 pm on August 5th, the swim course turned southeast at least 7 km short of the predicted target due to the wind and waves. Caroline's pace and energy levels were as on her first stroke all those miles ago stroke rate: steady 54 spm with a perfect attitude.

With the currents pushing Caroline southeast back towards Scotland, her progress advanced slowly west. Caroline was advised to work with the presenting sea state and conditions against this tide to stem the loss of valuable ground and with the same positive reply she said 'Let's go'. So, for the next four hours, Caroline swam against the tide. With 77 km swam, the tides released their grip, weather conditions improved with less chop and further westerly progress was made, much later than predicted.

At 10:45 pm as Caroline had her feed, she had a factual conversation with Pádraig laying out all the details. It was clear that Caroline was unlikely to make landfall. In amazing physical and mental condition, Caroline would swim a further one hour to assess progress and make sure that the agreed decision was the right one. Swimming at an increased pace of 58 spm to the light of the moon, Caroline and the cold North Irish Channel waters danced in tandem weaving through the complex currents with the lights of Belfast harbour and Donaghadee tantalisingly close.

At 11:59 pm having swam 88 km just before a new day, Caroline whilst ahead and making history happen, bowed gracefully to the North Irish Channel fully acknowledging the amplitude of the success.

Infinity Channel Swimming with Caroline had agreed on media silence to fully focus on this pioneering swim. The track was shared after the turnaround point and the swimming world was watching and commenting with their own ideas of what was happening, filling in from the tracker and imagining what it would be like to be in such an amazing place on earth and this valiant swim - every stroke a winner.

The team at Infinity are amazed at Caroline's stamina, mental and physical ability during this swim. Mother Nature did not allow Caroline's access to Irish shores. Our admiration and respect is unsurmountable - a pleasure to partner on a journey into the unknown

Due to her achievements in 2017, Dr. Block was nominated for the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year. Among other things like setting a record across Lake George, she is only the second woman to successfully swim both ways across the North Channel - equaling the feat the legendary Alison Streeter achieved in 1988.

Her fellow nominees include the following individuals:

1. Katherine Batts (Great Britain)
2. Dr. Caroline Block (USA)
3. Arianna Bridi (Italy)
4. Chloë McCardel (Australia)
5. Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil)
6. Pat Gallant-Charette (USA)
7. Ludmila Maller (Russia)
8. Jaimie Monahan (USA)
9. Aurélie Muller (France)
10. Barbara Pozzobón (Italy)
11. Sarah Thomas (USA)
12. Julia Wittig (Germany)

Dr. Block was nominated as follows, "Dr. Caroline Block is an American marathon swimmer who attempted to push the boundaries to the extreme in 2017. An anthropologist on dry land, she takes things to a whole new level in the open water. In addition to participating in the U.S. Winter Swimming Association National Championship early in 2017, she set a new women’s course record swimming the 52 km length of Lake George in New York in 19 hours 21 minutes and then embarked on a legendary attempt – a two-way crossing of the bitterly cold, jellyfish-strewn North Channel between Northern Ireland and Scotland. While the best of the best and the most hardened open water swimmers in the world have completed a total of 57 one-way crossings in history, Block followed up on her 2016 North Channel single by attempting the first two-way crossing this August. For swimming 88 km in 12°C water over 28 hours 55 minutes before running into impassable tides, for attempting the most difficult two-way channel crossing in the world, for not relenting until running headlong into insurmountable tides on her return leg, Dr. Caroline Block is a worthy nominee for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year."

To register and vote on the WOWSA Awards and the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year here.

Dr. Block's attempted course of her two-way attempt between Northern Ireland [landmass shown on left] and Scotland [landmass shown on right] is posted above and here, courtesy of Track.RS.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Young and Older at Travessia da Fuga das Ilhas

Photo courtesy of Ricardo Moreno; report courtesy of Guilherme Freitas


Nearly 4,000 people participated in the Travessia da Fuga das Ilhas, part of the 4-race Circuito Aqua series, on December 11th.

The swimmers are taken by schooners to start on the island and they swim 2 km to the finish at Praia da Barra do Sahy Beach.

Veteran Glauco Rangel won in 22:20 with 14-year-old Vitoria Alves Silva Farabulini Lopes taking a surprising first in the women's division and tieing for fifth overall.

Another young female, 12-year-old Giovanna Menezes, finished second in 25:56 while third place went to Jovana Nakagaki in 26:10.

Top 10 Results:
1. Glauco Luis de Oliveira Rangel 22:20
2. Matheus Henrique Bertazzoli de Souza 22:40
3. Daniel Costa Cunha 22:56
4. André Ramos Rocha e Silva 22:58
5. Wanderley Pinto dos Santos Junior 24:09
5. Vitoria Alves Silva Farabulini Lopes 24:09 [first female]
7. Rafael Quirino de Oliveira 24:12
8. Gabriel Cruz da Silveirac24:27
9. Renato Donha 24:41
10. Matheus Branco Elias Dib 25:30

The full results are posted here.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Around The World In Competition And Camaraderie

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Guillermo Bértola of Argentina and Xavier Desharnais of Canada have both long traveled around the world competing in a number of races on the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix and on the FINA 10K Marathon Swim World Cup circuits as well as at FINA World Championships and professional invitational races.

Between the duo, they have won 3 of the last 4 Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean races [see their interview here]. While they remain fierce competitors in the water, often swimming for hours in the same pack, they enjoy a close camaraderie outside the water - quite common among the 20-something and 30-something professional marathon swimmers.

Photos show the marathon swimmers after a professional marathon race in Québec's lac Mégantic, before the Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli in Italy, and at the recent Rei e Rainha do Mar in Copacabana Beach in Brazil.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Monday, December 11, 2017

2017 Barker Rock Swim

Courtesy of Derrick Frazer, Big Bay Events, South Africa.

The Barker Rock Swim includes a 1.6 km and 3.2 km ocean swim on the Barker Rock Route in Clifton 3rd Beach on December 16th 2017 (Reconciliation Day in South Africa).

For more information about the Big Bay Event, visit here.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Kim Swims In Hawaii

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Kimberley Chambers took a difficult 19 hours 27 minutes to swim across the Molokai Channel from Molokai Island to Oahu in 2012.

She will return - at least on movie screens - in 2018.

Kim Swims, a documentary film about Chambers directed by Kate Webber, will be shown at the 2018 Waimea Ocean Film Festival in Hawaii.

For more information on the Waimea Ocean Film Festival, visit @WaimeaFilm.

The mission of the Waimea Ocean Film Festival is to bring a greater understanding of the ocean environment and island culture while building awareness that everything we do on land affects the sea and the people whose livelihood and subsistence depends on the health of the ocean environment.

Its website that covers the films showcased at the January 1st-4th 2018 festival and the January 5th-9th 2018 festival in Waimea on the Big Island of Hawaii is here.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Catarina Ganzeli, Matheus Evangelista Win Okimoto Trophy

Courtesy of Satiro Sodré, Guilherme Freitas, Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Over 3,000 swimmers participated in the Rei e Rainha do Mar's 10 km Super Challenge, 5 km Challenge, 2.5 km Classic and 1 km Sprint races on Copacabana Beach this weekend.

The longest race of the weekend was the 10 km Super Challenge where the winners received the new Poliana Okimoto Trophy in honor of the Olympic bronze medalist. Catarina Ganzeli [shown above] continued her winning ways after victories at the 24 km Maratona Aquática 14 Bis and Rio Negro Challenge Amazonia with a 2 hour 26 minute swim, finishing 5th overall. Gabriela Moraes in 2 hours 34 minutes 1 second was second and Beatriz Puciarelli was third in 2 hours 34 minutes 41 seconds.

Matheus Evangelista of Grêmio Náutico União won the men's 10 km in 2 hours 8 minutes with Luiz Felipe Lebeis in second in 2 hours 10 minutes and Artur Pedroza in third in 2 hours 11 minutes with 137 swimmers completely the 4-loop Super Challenge in the Atlantic Ocean with the water temperature between 16-18°C.

The 5 km Challenge saw Carlos Aguiar and Ana Luiza Mourão standing on top of the podium with a 1 hour 7 minute 6 second swim and 1 hour 13 minute 21 second swim respectively.

Carlos Rosa (1 hour 7 minutes 20 seconds) and Daniel Cunha (1 hour 10 minutes 34 seconds) as well as Raquel Goto (1 hour 20 minutes) and Lygia Pereira (1 hour 22 minutes) were also on the podium.

Matheus Avelar won the 2.5 km Classic in 31:46 followed by Daniel Silva (31:56) and Luis Rogério Arapiraca (33:16). In the women's 2.5k Classic, Rafaela Souza won in 34:19 followed by Maria Fernanda Costa (37:33) and Bianca Ewald (37:37). In the 1 km Sprint, Daniel Cunha won the men's race in 13:42 followed by Guilherme Aquino (14:06) and Armando Junior (14:08). In the women's 1 km, Priscila Klaes won in 16:18 followed by Pamela Engel (16:23) and Gabriela Alves (16:38).

The full results of the event is posted here.

The elite professional competition was televised on TV Globo here, here and here [available only in Brazil].

Copyright © 2008-2017 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