Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New Website Location For The Daily News

The Daily News of Open Water Swimming that covers professional marathon swimming, solo swims, relays, charity swims, ecoswims, mass participation swims, adventure swims, stage swims, channel attempts, world record swims and open water swimming tours, camps, clinics and conferences can be followed here.

For the latest and most comprehensive news coverage of exploits, personalities, trends, commentary, records, services and products of the open water swimming world, get your daily fix of open water swimming at the new Daily News of Open Water Swimming.

Copyright © 2011 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Friday, January 15, 2010

Marine Life On Channel Swims

Earlier this week, Anne Cleveland announced her Double-Double Channel Swim (i.e., two-way crossing of both the English Channel and Catalina Channel). But she is also selfless in always freeing up her busy schedule as a coach and motivational speaker to help other channel swimmers realize their dreams.

Anne took great photographs of marine life during last year's Catalina Channel crossings by Nick Adams and Sakura Hingley (here).

Copyright © 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Open Water Swimming In Oceania

What a better place for open water swimming than Oceania.

The 2010 Oceania Swimming Championships 5K and 10K races will be held in Faleausiu on the island of Upolu in Samoa in June. But there are an incredible array of open water swimming opportunities - competitive, solo and relays - throughout the region.

Previously, the 5K and 10K races have been held in Brisbane, Australia (1998), Noumea, New Caledonia (2002), Suva, Fiji (2004) and Cairns, Australia (2006) with swimmers from Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Fiji, Guam, Palau, Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, American Samoa, Hawaii, Northern Marianas and Tahiti competing in the Championships.

The inaugural Oceania Masters Swimming Championships 5K race was held in Fiji in 2005. A 5km open water event is included on the Championships program.

The quadrennial South Pacific Games includes a 5K race since it was first introduced in the 1999 Games in Guam with swimmers from New Caledonia, Fiji, Guam, Palau, Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, American Samoa, Northern Marianas and Tahiti taking part.

The Micronesian Games, originally started in 1969 in Saipan, holds a 3K race where athletes from the northern Pacific region (Micronesia, Guam, Palau, Northern Marianas, Nauru and Kiribati) compete. A 3K race was held for the first time at the 2006 Games. The 2010 Micronesian Games will be hosted by Palau.

The biennial Arafura Games are held every two years in Darwin, Australia is billed as a meeting of "Sporting Neighbours" and attracts competitors from all parts of Australia, nations throughout the Asia Pacific and beyond. Participation had soared to more than 3,000 athletes representing 32 nations with competition in 30 sports including 5K and 10K races.

In addition to the international championships, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji hold their own annual national open water swimming championships. The Australian Masters Games also includes 5K and 10K races.

And there are hundreds of informal and formal races including the 3K Cocos Island Crossing in Guam, the 3K Saipan Ocean Swim in Northern Marianas:, the 3-day open water Fiji Swims festival, the swims of the New Zealand Ocean Swim Series and the Pacific Swims in Fiji and Vanuatu and everything in Australia from the Cole Classic to the Rottnest Channel Swim

According to the sport's leading authorities in Oceania (including FINA Bureau Liaison Dennis Miller of Fiji, Chris Guesdon of Australia and John West of New Zealand, "...despite a limitation of resources (both human and financial), a concerted push to recognize open water swimming as a part of regional and continental aquatic events has seen an increased profile for the discipline in recent years."

Copyright © 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

3C's Of Open Water Swimming

When we observe the start and first initial turns of a mass open water swim, we think of the 3C's: a churning cacophony of competition.

Or perhaps it is a captivating clamor of camaraderie?

Whatever it is, it is charming, collegial and challenging.

Photos from the Great Swim, New Zealand Ocean Swim Series and the Nike Swim Miami (photo by George Kamper).

Copyright © 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Aloha - Swimming The Channels Of The Hawaiian Isles

One of the Oceans Seven channels is the Kaiwi Channel, a 26-mile (42K) challenging swim from Molokai to Oahu in Hawaii. There are nine main channels in the Hawaiian Islands - eight of which have been successfully crossed.

These include the following channels and swimmers (including the year crossed):

1. The Kaiwi Channel, 26 miles from Molokai to Oahu:

Mackenzie Miller (shown above in 2009), Mike Spalding, Kelly Gleason, Linda Kaiser (2007), Forrest Nelson (Molokai to Oahu), Forrest Nelson (Oahu to Molokai), Bill Goding (2006), Robin Isayama 1st Female (1994), Mike Miller, Ian Emberson (1979), Jonathan Ezer (1974), Harry Huffaker (Oahu to Molokai in 1972), Harry Huffaker (1967), Keo Nakama (1961)

2. The Kalohi Channel, 9.3 miles from Lanai to Molokai:

Carl Kawauchi (Molokai to Lanai), Mike Spalding (Molokai to Lanai), Laurie Foster, Kelly Gleason, Tom Burke (2007), Carl Kawauchi, Bill Costello, Alton Motobu (1995), Linda Kaiser (Molokai to Lanai), Janice Vierra (1991), Carl Kawauchi (Molokai to Lanai), Terry Chodosh, Ulrich Klinke (1989), Harry Huffaker (Molokai to Lanai in 1989), Bob Justman, Jody Pollack (1978)

3. The Alalakeiki Channel, 7 miles from Kahoolawe to Maui:

Carl Kawauchi, Alton Motobu (2006), Linda Kaiser, Laurie Foster, Mike Spalding (2001), Carl Kawauchi, Ulrich Klinke, Alton Motobu (1992), Bill Lawrence, Solomon Fernandez (1977)

4. The Palilolo Channel, 8.5 miles from Maui to Molokai:

Carl Kawauchi, Chris Palfrey (2009), Bill Goding, Quinn Carver (2008), Billy Brown, Karen Finnerty, Joe Glenn (2006), Jim Sorensen (2005), Ginny Walsh (2004), Carl Kawauchi, Bill Costello, Alton Motobu (1998), Carl Kawauchi (Molokai to Maui in 1993), Dennis Blake, Vernon Knight, Joe Nagi (1993), Carl Kawauchi, Ulrich Klinke (1991), Linda Kaiser, Mike Spalding, Janice Vierra (1990), Harry Huffaker, Jim Jonsson (1989), Jim Caldwell (1973)

5. The Alenuihaha Channel, 30 miles from Hawaii to Maui:

Harry Huffaker (1970), Penny Palfrey, Linda Kaiser (2009)

6. The Kaulakahi Channel, 17 miles from Kauai to Niihau:

Linda Kaiser, Laurie Foster, Mike Spalding, Tom Robinson (2003)

7. The Kealaikahiki Channel, 17 miles from Kahoolawe to Lanai:

Quinn Carver, Bill Goding (2009), Linda Kaiser, Laurie Foster, Mike Spalding (2005)

8. The wildly popular Auau Channel, 8.8 miles from Lanai to Maui:

Todd Robinson, Peter Worland, Bill Goding, Jeff Cleveland, Laurin Weisenthal, James Paisley, Hudson Slay, Scott Berek, Barbara Held, Greg Kearney, Matt Smart, Alastair Hulbert, Bob Lowney, James Goins, John Farrington, John Derr, Tom Heckler, Samantha McIntosh, Chris Palfrey, Penny Palfrey (2009), Peter Attia (double crossing), Elise Baker, Mark Baker, Carey Colbert, Katie Dalgamouni, Patrick Haluptzok, Colin Hortman, Erin Kirley, MacKenzie Miller, Nick Pederson, Rachel Randall, Chance Usrey, Garrett Usrey, Bill Goding, Alan Voisard, Sam Worden, Moby Coquillard, Steve Lowe, Dea Ann Joslin, James Barkman, Doug Pritchard, David Rich, Pam Dickson, Mark Cibula, Becca Mann (age 10), Steve Green (2008), Todd Robinson, Robert Breitel, Bill Goding, Quinn Carver, Lisa Hazen, Chloe McCardel, Peter Worland, Gregg Shields, Teague Soderman, Kevin Smith, Gabriel Mecs, Michelle Santilhano (2007), Todd Robinson, Bill Goding, Forrest Nelson, Matt Smart, Alex Knibbs, Chis Day, Rance Boren, Dea Ann Joslin, Michelle Deasy, Laura Jenkins, Andrew Davis, Ian Murray, Donielle Chitterden, Kawikanoron Cook, Jennifer Locke, Vladimir Dyatchin, Dana Atkins (2006), Marcos Diaz (Lanai To Maui), Bill Goding, Alan Bell, Michelle Deasy, Brad Horner, Kevin Polansky, Shery Kitrell, Shane Collins, Debbie Collins, Amer Rhett, Chad Schneider, Steve Royce, Alice Wong, Steve Diforte, Elise Baker, Kaylen Baker, Aaron Schmaltz, Sean Schmaltz, Jorge Gago, Michelle Vawer, Rachel Randall, Terry Richmond, Mark Baker, Tommy Randall, Billy Brown (Maui to Lanai), Joe Glenn (2005), Bill Goding, Alan Bell, Abel Tong, Bruckner Chase, Bill Dick, Graham Johnston, David Harrison, Bernd Straehie, Deann Joslin, Aaron Schmaltz, Paulo de Azevedo, Mike Miller, Jessa Baker, Elise Baker, Mackenzie Miller, Mark Baker (2004), Bill Goding, Paul Lundgren, Bob Childs, Douglas Bosley, Kevin Smith, Kak Cook, Kiko Aumond, Shane Collins, John Farrington, Rick Avila, Carol Sing, Debbie Collins, Laura Colette, Carl Kawauchi (Maui to Lanai), Alton Motobu, Bill Costello, John Nielsen, Jim Emmons, Billy Brown (2003) James Sorenson, Adrienne Mason, Bill Goding, Dave Matthews, Mason Bailey, Craig Taylor, Emily Evans, Becky Jackman, Laura Colette, Christiana Tangora, Mike Miller, Malcolm Cooper (2002), Bill Goding, Dan Veatch, Dave Matthews, Patrick Mcmillan, Deaann Joslin, Anne Cleveland, Richard LeBolt, Laura Colette (2001), Anne Cleveland, Debbie Collins, Shane Collins, Ken Harmom, Dave Matthews (2000), Jim Mellon, John Derr, Bruce Wetta (1999), John Dunbar, Cheryl Loomis (1997), Mike Coyle, Jeff Hawk (1996), Chana Motobu (1995), Robin Isayama, Tom Billings (1993), Katie Anderson, Langley Frisell, Chad Harrison, Leif Johnson (1991), Rick Heltzel, Mike Miller (1990), Janice Vierra, Linda Kaiser, Gary Morita, Tony Rivera, Peter Kang, Alton Motobu, Keith Arakaki, Alfie Calpito, Ham Homan, Steve Watkins, Mari Okazaki, Tina Niell, Charlie Hansen, Gary Gibo, Bruce Jamieson, Harry Huffaker, Harry Huffaker (1989), Sarah Burch, Mike Sullivan, Cliff Pollard, Jeff Conner, Amy Williams, Bill Tucker, Elizabeth Kent (1988), Harry Huffaker, Carl Kawauchi, Ulrich Klinke, Terry Chodoshi, Bruce Sloan, Chris Cox, Ken Frank, Vernon Knight, Jim Krueger, Tim McNulty, Steve Rudolph, Peter Schegel, Diane Stowell (1987), Steve Bobko, Ian Emberson, Rick Heltzel, Mike Miller, Doug Rice (1984), Jim Cole, Marc Feizner, Mike Spalding, Jim Krueger, Carol Lee (1983), Bob Luce, Bob Justman, Judy Collins, Doug Rice (Lanai to Maui), Steve Bobko, Gary Niemeyer, Richard Merritt, Bill Goding, Jim Roumasset, Archie Hapai (1977), Jim Caldwell (1970)

9. The ninth and as-yet-uncrossed channel is the Kaieiewaho (Kauai) Channel, 63 very challenging nautical miles between Oahu and Kauai that was attempted in the 1970's by Jonathan Ezer who faced literally a wall and sea of water with tremendous winds and ocean swells. While the maximum depth of the Auau Channel (Lanai-Maui) is 108 feet (33 meters), the depth of the Kaiwi Channel (Molokai-Oahu) is 2,300 feet (701 meters) and the depth of Alenuihaha Channel (Hawaii-Maui) is 6,100 feet (1,900 meters), the depth of the Kaieiewaho Channel (Kauai-Oahu) is over 10,000 feet (3,040 meters).

In our opinion, if anyone crosses the Kaieiewaho Channel, it will surely be one of the great moments in open water swimming history.Copyright © 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association

The Embodiment of Effort, Joy And Courage

The International Paralympic Committee conducted its first 5K open water world championship swim in Mar de Plata, Argentina in 2003. The second International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Championships to have a 5K race was in Durban, South Africa in 2006.

The next IPC open water world championship race will be held at E3 beach in Eersel, the Netherlands in 2010. The 5K 2010 IPC Swimming World Championship will be an open class race (meaning that athletes from different handicap classes will compete against one another).

The IPC recently voted to include athletes with intellectual disability in its competitions, starting with the 2012 Paralympic London Games. Timothy P. Shriver, Ph.D., Chairman & CEO of the Special Olympics, wrote, "This is an important change for the IPC and presents an opportunity to direct [the Special Olympics] focus to the power of sport around the world. Most importantly, this new competition opportunity will be exciting for elite athletes with intellectual disabilities who will get a chance to participate in extraordinary Games. We know everyone in Special Olympics joins us in extending an early congratulation to those athletes who will have the chance to compete and show the world their enormous skill and courage."

With the leadership of its top executives, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Special Olympics, and the IPC have strengthened the collaboration between the organizations and share the message that each is a pillar of the Olympic movement charged with fulfilling the Olympic vision in a distinct way. While the IOC leads the Olympic movement and the IPC leads the world of elite sport for people with disabilities, the philosophy of Special Olympics is unique. At its core, Special Olympics offers training and competition to 3.2 million athletes in 186 countries with an intellectual disability who wants to train and compete.

It is a not well-known fact that at the recent Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghai, over 100 performances by Special Olympics athletes in aquatics and track & field would have qualified those athletes for Olympic teams. So there are some Special Olympics athletes already competing at Olympic levels.

But, most importantly - and consistent with the sport of open water swimming where collegial spirit and camaraderie reign - the Special Olympics celebrates excellence in sport in the truest Olympic ideal: sport for the joy of competition, sport for the exhibition of human bravery, sport for the achievement of human aspiration.

As Dr. Shriver writes, "We believe that our Special Olympics sports model is a pure and powerful example of the Olympic vision where greatness is measured by the effort, the joy, and the courage of the competitor. We believe that many volunteers and fans around the world see in our athletes the best in sports."

From our perspective, the effort, joy and courage that he talks about is also embodied by open water swimmers around the world.

The emerging worlds of the Special Olympics and open water swimming will come together in July 2011 in Greece at the 2011 World Summer Games where the Special Olympics will hold its first world championship for open water swimming - a 1.5K sea swim where the athletes can test themselve against each other - and the dynamic nature of the elements.

The reach and scope of the Special Olympics and open water swimming are clearly expanding - and its embodiment will be seen at the 1.5K race in the 25° (77°F) waters in the City of Marathon.

We will be proud to cover this seminal event.

Copyright © 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Monday, January 11, 2010

Powerboosting A Triathlete In The Open Water

Chris Foster is not a swimmer. In fact, he is far from it. Count him almost 7-8 minutes down in the mile swim of the Olympic distance triathlon a few years ago.

Today, with open water swim skills and specific training, he's closed that gap to 1-2 minutes in his last few races.

Chris has done specific training in the pool to hone-in on open water swim racing skills; he has trained diligently in open water to perfect those skills even further, and he now has confidence to improvise based on race conditions.

Racing at the 2010 Viña del Mar ITU Triathlon Pan American Cup in Chile last Sunday, the first ITU race of the year, Chris scouted the ocean terrain, something that any bonafide open water swimmer and triathlete should be doing pre-race. He found that the beach start had a hole (more like a moat) right past the waterline; four feet deep and probably three feet wide, running the whole length of the beach.

Knowing from experience that this hole would be a make or break moment at the beginning of this very crowded (over 40 fast ITU athletes) swim start, Chris decided to improvise.

"I walked in and out of the water trying to visualize where it was, and watched others fall almost neck-deep in water after running in knee-deep water at the edge.

It was incredibly tough to picture where it was underwater due to the motion of the waves rolling over the beach."

"Finally, it occurred to me that I would use an old hurdler's technique (as I ran steeplechase in college) to set up a line in the dry sand a few feet from the start line and count out steps to the edge of the hole. I hoped that I would be able to time this perfectly and jump over the race-ending obstacle and into the knee-deep water on the other side
."

"When the gun went off, everyone slowly moved down the beach to the edge of the water - scared of the hole - and I took off full sprint to my mark. I counted off my six steps like I had planned, took the leap of faith (missing the mark and landing on the back end of the hole could legitimately hurt my leg) and nailed the landing! I made it into the shallow water on the other side, dolphined about four times and made it through the breakers with a ton of speed and momentum. I was then able to relax. After about 20 strokes, I lifted my head to looks around, and I saw that I had almost 20 meters on the entire field! I was able to stay calm and smooth through the start that allowed me to have one of the strongest and 'easiest' swims of my career."

"Despite having never encountered that specific situation in training or racing before, I was able to use the tools I have learned from my swim coach, and on my own improvise a solution, creating a plan and executing it with confidence allowing me to have an incredibly strong race overall."

Coaches note: Chris executed from his training. He scouted the ocean flooring, checked the waves, set-up his improvised strategy and executed it flawlessly. He dolphined several times for further gain, then swam with relaxation. All the specific pool and open water training we have done allowed Chris to build his open water confidence.

He's still about three minutes slower in the pool over a mile than the best triathlete swimmers, but he makes up about half of that with open water racing skills and confidence. He'll likely improvement quite a bit more in the pool this year, putting him in closer contact withh the lead swimmers. He knows he has about 60-90 seconds of skill training in his pocket to spare.

Copyright © 2010 by Gerry Rodrigues

Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association

Phil White and 11 passionate open water swimming enthusiasts recently established the Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association (NEKOWSA) to promote and coordinate swims in the legendary lakes of the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, a wonderfully beautiful part of the eastern United States.

The clarity of the lakes in this area rival any in North America - geological marvels that NEKOWSA will celebrate and promote with its four open water swims in summer 2010.

We’re very excited by the incredible response we’ve received from so many swimmers, local and from away. Our next goal is to find and build a club house where we can have serious meetings and talk about serious stuff and burn some wood and stuff long into the night," said Phil.

The Association recently announced a 4-mile swim to be held in Lake Willoughby, a beautiful glacier lake, on August 21st to add to the 6-mile Son of a Swim on June 26th in Lake Memphremagog, the 1-, 3- and 10-mile Kingdom Swims on July 24th in Lake Memphremagog and the Even Up Aquaman Triathlon (3.5-mile swim + 35-mile bike + 13.1-mile run) in Lake Salem or Lake Seymour on August 7th.

NEKOSA joins JIOWSA (Japan International Open Water Swimming Association), USOWSA (United States Open Water Swimming Association), DOWSSA (Dubai Open Water Swimming Sports Association), VOWSA (Vancouver Open Water Swimming Association), IOWSA (International Open Water Swimming Association), WOWSA (World Open Water Swimming Association and SOWSA (Staged Open Water Swimming Association) in an intriguing collection of acronyms with common goals and missions.

These open water swimming associations have numerous advantages in the endurance sports world: (1) their event locations are scenic and natural - oceans, lakes, bays, rivers. (2) The challenge and enjoyment of swimming from start to finish in an open body of water is tangible. (3) For some, the autonomy of swimming with hundreds or thousands of swimmers is often less stressful and more enjoyable than standing up on a starting block alone in a pool. (4) The sport embodies camaraderie, being both collegial and competitive at the same time.

Adam Winter, a DOWSSA founder, spoke for many in NEKOSA, JIOWSA, USOWSA, DOWSSA, VOWSA, IOWSA, WOWSA and SOWSA where he explained what he is doing, "We have some very exciting plans in the pipeline that will blow the minds of swimmers and sports fans alike. Our creation is truly an exciting development in the world of open water swimming sports."

Copyright © 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Rogers At Home In The Water

Karen Rogers, whose 10 hour 50 minute 21.5-mile crossing of Lake Tahoe in California last August was nominated as one of the Great Open Water Swims of 2009, started off the new year with another first: a 14-mile cold-water swim from Richmond Bridge to Point Bonita in the northern San Francisco Bay.

Karen said after her 3 hour and 20 minute swim, "Started my swim by doing a flipturn off the Richmond Bridge. 14 miles in 50°F (10°C) water. I was asked to the prom by a few seals that played with me for miles and was escorted under the Golden Gate Bridge by dolphins. Ended at Point Bonita. 2010 off to a good start!"

Karen's explanation of her 2009 Lake Tahoe swim is here:



Copyright © 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Olympians Heading To The Midmar Mile

Similar to last year when 13 Olympians competed in the world's largest open water race, the Midmar Mile, Olympic medalists are starting to announce their participation in the South Africa classic.

Swimming World Magazine's World Open Water Swimmer of the Year and 10K world champion Keri-Anne Payne will return to her country of birth to defend her crown. She will compete with bronze medalist Cassandra Patton, silver medalist David Davies and fellow fast teammates Katy Whitfield, Charlotte Wooliscroft, Daniel Fogg, David Carey and Tom Allen.

The British team will face a tough German team of Nadine Pastor Reichert, Christian Reichert and Alexander Studzinski, who will all be knocking heads with the 2009 champion Riaan Schoeman and 2009 world championship 5K bronze medalist Chad Ho.

Copyright © 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Establishing A Champion Mindset For Rotto

Seven-time world professional marathon swimming champion and channel swimmer Shelley Taylor-Smith is splitting her time and talents as both a motivational coach and an open water coach.

In addition to her speeches, she is coaching solo swimmers, including 1992 Australian Olympic swimmer Deane Pieters, and duo teams for the 19.7K Rottnest Channel Swim in Western Australia on February 20th.

She is also coaching 40 swimmers from the Kirby Swim team, including 2000 Olympic gold medalist Bill Kirby himself.

Copyright © 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association

No, You Take The Lead

Valerio Cleri, Trent Grimsey, Vladimir Dyatchin and the other top men at the 2009 World Championship 25K race (see results below) picked up the pace and finished hard, but in the beginning of the race, it was an interesting game of cat and mouse where no one wanted to take the lead (see below).



1. Valerio Cleri (ITA) 5:26:31.6
2. Trent Grimsey (AUS) 5:26:50.7
3. Vladimir Dyatchin (RUS) 5:29:29.3
4. Brian Ryckeman (BEL) 5:30:18.4
5. Loic Branda (FRA) 5:30:20.9
6. Bertrand Venturi (FRA) 5:30:22.9
7. Brendan Capell (AUS) 5:30:27.5
8. Rostislav Vitek (CZE) 5:32:38.8
9. Simon TobinDaignault (CAN) 5:34:48.2
10. Libor Smolka (CZE) 5:35:06.4
11. Sean Ryan (USA) 5:36:22.2
12. Andrea Volpini (ITA) 5:36:37.9
13. Manuel Chui (MEX) 5:39:12.1
14. Rodrigo Elorza (MEX) 5:43:26.4
15. Danill Serebrennikov (RUS) 5:46:21.7
16. Arseniy Lavrentyev (POR) 5:48:43.0
17. Saleh Mohammad (SYR) 5:49:30.6
18. Adel Elbehary (EGY) 5:54:00.3

Copyright © 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Looking Forward To Open Water Swimming

Professional marathon swimmer Shelley Clark (shown on left) who has competed at numerous world championships, World Cup and Grand Prix events, Olympic 10K Marathon Swimmer and the 2009 5K world champion Melissa Gorman, the extremely well-traveled Australian masters swimmer Graham Travers and the energetic Pacific Swims race organizer, with a deep well of South Pacific hospitality, Paul McCoy all explain about open water swimming here and what it means to them via a visually dynamic photo gallery presentation provided by the Sydney Morning Herald.

Copyright © 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Sheppard And Brown Swim-Run To Victory In Lorne

With an estimated 20,000 spectators packing the beach in an electrified atmosphere, 18-year-old Sam Sheppard out-swam and out-ran an accomplished field to claim his first overall victory among the over 4,300 swimmers in the highly competitive 1.2K Lorne Pier to Pub swim in Lorne, Australia.

On the women's side Harriet Brown overcame leader Micha Burden-Shaw to beat the Californian marathon swimmer and lifeguard by a scant four seconds with a long shallow-water dolphin leg and furious sprint up the beach.

"It's very different, I think that compared to last there was a lot more pressure this year because I won it last year," Harriett said. "I'm so happy to win this, it's a great event. A lot of my friends and family are watching, so it's great. At the start we were all pretty spread out, so I wasn't really sure where anyone was, I was swimming with a few guys, and about a quarter of the way through I saw her just in front of me. So I was swimming behind her, pretty close to her for most of the way in and then (I passed her) just up the beach. I love running, so I enjoy a sprint finish."

Sam also greatly enjoyed himself, "I really wanted to win it because I've come so close before and I hadn't done it the last couple of years."

"I was just really happy with it and I've been in full training so hopefully this goes a long way to (performing well) in the (Australian) world open water swimming trials (in February)."




Copyright © 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Sunday, January 10, 2010

An Unprecedented Double-Double In the English and Catalina Channels

Anne Cleveland announced her unprecedented "double-double" attempt this August.

The 54-year-old La Jolla Cove legend plans to be the first person in history to complete a two-way crossing of both the English Channel and Catalina Channel come this August.

The training required, the logistics required and the potential risks of accomplishing this feat are mind-boggling. But, if anyone is committed and talented enough to see her plans through, it is Anne.

Anne first entered the elite world of endurance swimming in 1999 at the advanced age of 43, after initially quitting the sport as an accomplished age-group swimmer.

During her first Catalina Channel attempt, she passed out from hypothermia after 6 hours and 40 minutes in the water during a cold, windy night in the Pacific Ocean.

The next year, she wisely shifted gears and headed to warmer waters with a 9.6-mile solo swim from Lanai to Maui which she finished in 4 hours and 9 minutes.

With sufficient experience under her cap and confident in her training, Anne went back to the Catalina Channel to redeem herself. Although luck and weather conditions were not on her side, persistence was. Her crew, including experienced Catalina Channel veterans John York and David Clark begged her to not get in due to unsafe conditions, but Anne’s mind was made up – come hell or, literally, high water. She bravely took on extremely rough seas and finished her swim in 10 hours and 15 minutes to the surprise of the seasoned channel experts.

With that courageous swim behind her, her dream to swim across the English Channel, initiated when she met Florence Chadwick in San Diego in her teens, seemed closer to reality. The next year, at the age of 46, Anne experienced that reality when she crossed the English Channel in 12 hours and 32 minutes.

But she was not done yet – not by a long shot.

With another two years of hard training, including training through miserable conditions in the cold Pacific Ocean throughout winter, Anne was ready to significantly step up and become the 17th person to do a double-crossing of the English Channel. But no one had ever attempted a Channel two-way only two years shy of 50.

After an incredible 28 hour 36 minute battle with the elements and tides, Anne became the oldest person, male or female, to successfully complete a two-way English Channel swim. Gamely toughing out Force 5 conditions with winds up to 24 knots on spring tides, she had to face 6-9 foot (2-3 meters) waves in miserable conditions. Despite the tides that forced her to land at the northernmost point of history of any two-way swim (Kingsdown), she achieved her goal and received the Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation Award for the Most Meritorious Swim by a Woman in 2004.

Her two-way crossing was a charity swim for the Moores University of California San Diego Cancer Center. With trademark humility and profound analogies, Anne described her effort, "Staying in the water for a channel swim is similar to staying the course for cancer treatment. You can’t 'get out' when you are tired or if you just don’t feel like it anymore. You have to stay in to the finish. Sometimes toward the end of a swim, you can see the shore, but the tides shift unexpectedly, so you must swim a few extra miles. I’m not a cancer survivor, but I know about staying in there for the long haul."

Her 28 hour 36 minute swim certainly counts as a long haul.

After establishing her motivational company, Wish Upon A Star, Anne took a bit of time off to focus on shorter ocean swims and relays, including a 10K swim in Fiji, a two-way Catalina Channel relay, a one-way Catalina Channel relay, a swim in 52°F (11°C) Haro Straits in Canada and a variety of relay swims in the San Diego area.

But the solo marathon swimming bug came back in 2007. Back among her friends and a supportive escort crew in Dover, she completed a one-way solo crossing of the English Channel in 11 hours and 33 minutes.

The seeds of doing something special have been ruminating around her mind since reaching the French shore. Achieving a double-double will be special – and unprecedented – but she will need to call upon all of her ocean experiences – good and bad – to waltz into history with her double-double. Anne has assembled the most experienced crew, led by renowned Catalina skipper John Pittman, to help guide her from the California mainland to Catalina island and back. Her star-studded crew, aboard Pittman's Outrider, will include John York, Todd Robinson, Michelle McConica, Paula Selby, Lynn Kubasek and Emily Evans.

To date, there have been only six people who have successfully completed a double-crossing of the Catalina Channel: Greta Andersen in 26:53 in 1958, Penny Dean in 20:03 in 1977, Cindy Cleveland in 24:30 in 1977, Dan Slosberg in 19:32 in 1978, John York in 1978 in 16:42, Tina Neill in 22:02 in 2008.

Anne fully intends to join their club.

It would be doubly sweet.

Copyright © 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Todd Robinson, One Tough Character

Catalina Channel record holder Todd Robinson of San Diego (8:05 from Catalina-to-mainland) was the subject of a inspirational article in the winter issue of Competitor Magazine, a publication normally the exclusive domain of triathletes, cyclists and runners.

His focus and well-roundedness was abundantly clear in the article.

It outlined his fascinating life, including a childhood that required him to take three trains and a bike ride over a two-hour period to travel one-way to swim practice, and described his inherent toughness that is characterized by his career as a Assistant US Attorney General specializing in prosecuting gang and narcotic cases.

The modest, yet intense, attorney is undoubtedly a man of steel.

Open Water Source

FINA Kicks Off In New York

FINA's annual calendar has beautiful photography showcasing all five of its aquatic disciplines: open water swimming, pool swimming, water polo, diving and synchronized swimming.

January kicked off with a wonderful photograph from New York City as the pro marathon swimmers raced near the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor between Governors Island and lower Manhattan Island.

Photo courtesy of David Nager of the NYC Pro Swim.

Copyright © 2009 by Steven Munatones

Is Kane Able?

RCP Tiburon Mile champion Kane Radford and top 10K swimmer Alannah Jury will be the headliners at next week's inaugural Epic Swim Festival in New Zealand held in the majestic Lake Taupo.

The Epic Swim Festival will double as the New Zealand 5K and 10K Open Water Championships and the New Zealand Masters 2.5K Open Water Championships.

Kane will fast some very tough teenagers in George O'Brien and Josh Richardson while Alannah will be matched against Jamie-Leigh Austin and Caitlin Zillman.

They will be competing for spots on the 2010 World Championship Team under the watchful eye of Swimming New Zealand Open Water Programme Manager and marathon swimming legend, Philip Rush.

The Epic Swim Festival, held in the largest lake in New Zealand, will also look towards the future and includes recreational swims of varying distances 100-300 meters for children between the ages of 5-12 and 12-16 years, plus a 2K and 5K for open and age group swimmers.

Another one of New Zealand's great open water swimming events, capitalizing on the country's abundant natural resources and proud open water swimming traditions.

Open Water Source

Give It The Ol' College Try Across The Sound

The 25K St. Vincent's SWIM Across the Sound Marathon announced its August 7th date of its 23rd annual race - as well as a new intriguing University Challenge.

Registration are now live for solo swimmer and two-person relay applicants. Team and University Challenge relay registrations will open on January 20th.

The SWIM Across the Sound Marathon started in 1987 as an amateur relay across Long Island Sound as a fundraiser for St. Vincent's cancer programs. In the early 1990’s, it became a professional marathon swim. "I remember the race fondly. There were some great races," said 7-time professional champion Shelley Taylor-Smith.

In an interesting twist in the 1990’s, amateur relays were introduced to compete alongside the professional swimmers. In 2003, the event returned to its roots with an all-amateur field with both relay teams and solo swimmers.

2010 will see an even more interesting evolution in the race history: the addition of the University Challenge team relay where teams are comprised of students and/or alumni from the same university or college. Anyone can join or captain a University Challenge team as long as all team members are either currently enrolled or attended the same university for at least two semesters.

Swimmers must complete the 25K within 9 hours and 30 minutes from West Beach in Port Jefferson, New York, across the Long Island Sound, to Captain’s Cove Seaport in Bridgeport, Connecticut. There will be a maximum of 20 solo swimmers, 10 two-person relays and up to 45 team relays accepted. "The organizers are very professional and really put on an outstanding race. They really know what they are doing," said NYC Pro Swim's Morty Berger.

There are minimum age requirements: 19 years for solo swimmers and two-person relay members and 13 years for team relay members. The minimum fundraising fees are US$1,500 for solo swimmers, US$3,500 for two-person relays and US$7,500 for team relays and University Challenge team relays. 100% of the funds raised will help provide financial assistance to cancer patients and their families as well as cancer screening, prevention and support programs.

A great event to give it a good ol' college try.

Copyright © 2009 by Steven Munatones

World Championship Racing - Impressive, Powerful, Bellissimo

The abilities, endurance and speed of the world's fastest marathon swimming women are impressive. The two close-up videos below from the 2009 25K world championship race and the 10K world championship race in Rome clearly demonstrate why these women are the best in the world.

In the 25K race, you can see the speed, navigational IQ and power of the top three women - Angela Maurer of Germany, Anna Uvarova of Russia and Federica Vitale of Italy - in the final two minutes. Their form remains incredibly solid after nearly six hours of pure racing in the warm, wavy Mediterranean Sea. They swim straight with a strong kick and high turn-over and great sighting techniques. Plus, their joy of medaling is evident.

In the 10K race, you can similarly see the speed, navigational IQ and power of the lead pack, especially that of Keri-Anne Payne of Great Britain who led the race from start to finish and silver medalist Ekatarina Seliverstova of Russia and bronze medalist Martina Grimaldi of Italy. In the final six minutes of their nearly two hour race, you can see how straight they swim, how they incorporate nearly flawless sighting techniques in their stroke, how they quickly get around the turn buoys, how they draft (some better than others), their quick turn-over, great body position, bilateral breathing and ability to swim straight and pick up the pace at the very end of the race.

Impressive. Powerful. Bellissimo.

25K World Championship Race


10K World Championship Race


Copyright © 2009 by Steven Munatones

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Desafio Internacional Puerto Varas de Aguas Abiertas

In 14°C (57°F) water under intermittent rain in Puerto Varas y Santiago, Chile, the four-person relay with Eva Fabian just out-touched the relay led by Poliana Okimoto to kick-off the Desafio Internacional Puerto Varas de Aguas Abiertas (Puerto Vara International Open Water Swimming Challenge) this Saturday morning.


Later, Eva competed in the 2K race with the men and women competing together. Eva and the first place male tied for first in 25 minutes and 23 seconds. Eva's father and coach reported, "It was extremely cold and some swimmers used wetsuits. The sportsmanship shown by all the competitors was at the highest level. The athletes, coaches and spectators are all supportive of one another. It was very exciting to be a part of this competition. Tomorrow is the 5K."

Copyright © 2009 by Steven Munatones

Superstars Of The Sport - Chris Guedson

If the world of open water swimming has a man behind the scenes, certainly Chris Guesdon is that man who has been selflessly and passionately devoted to the sport for over 44 years.

Chris Guesdon, the mastermind behind the vision of the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim and its inclusion in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, 2012 London Olympics and the 2016 Rio Olympics has been involved in the sport as an organizer, administrator, official, escort, lobbyist, swimmer, historian and documentor-extraordinaire.

Internationally, there are probably few individuals who have raked up as many airmiles as Chris has on behalf of the sport.

Tireless, fair, relentless and visionary, he has truly traveled the world.

Chris Guesdon was a FINA-accredited Open Water Swimming Referee between 1992-2008 and manager of the Australian Open Water Swimming Team between 1991-1996, member of the FINA Open Water Swimming Technical Committee between 1996-2000.

He is also a life member and representative of the English Channel Swimming Association. He was the referee at the 1998 Perth World Championships and organized the open water events at the 1998 Brisbane Oceania Championships, the 1999 Melbourne Pan Pacific Championships, 2003 Fiji South Pacific Games, 1991-2008 Tasmania Open Water Swimming Championships and the 2007 Darwin Arafura Gamesas as well as lectured at the Argentina International Open Water Swimming Clinic, the Fiji Technical Officials Clinic, the Mombassa, Kenya Technical Officials Clinic. He also refereed, managed swimmers or lectured in Dubai, Hawaii, Suva (Fiji), Cairns, Melbourne, Rarotonga (Cook Islands), Rotorua (New Zealand), Tasmania, Bali (Indonesia), Lac Chibougamau (Canada), Rosario (Argentina), Lac Memphramagog (Canada), Lac St-Jean (Canada), Saguenay River (Canada), Chicoutimi (Canada), Nile river, Suez Canal, Atlantic City (New Jersey), Lake Michigan, Capri-Napoli (Italy), Lake Ontario, Atlanta (Georgia), San Felice & Crotone (Italy), Terracina (Italy), Evian (France), 90K Relay from Malta to Sicily and Lac La Tuque, an epic 24-hour race in Canada. Airmiles are definitely piling up based on his devotion and knowledge of the sport.

In his home country of Australia, Chris was the Secretary of Australian Open Water Swimming Technical Committee between 1988-2001, partly for which he received the Australian Sports Medal in 2000. He was the founder of the Australian Long Distance Swimming Federation, which he started to lead from Tasmania in 1973, and a bureau member of the International Long Distance Swimming Federation, which existed between its founding in Paris in 1953 until 1974.

But his legacy will be as the chief architect of - and passionate lobbyist for - the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim which he designed - along with Sid Cassidy and Dennis Miller - to be acceptable as an Olympic Games marathon swimming event. He initially presented the plan - initially sketched out on a napkin - the idea to the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee in 1997 where it was accepted as the optimal blueprint for the good of the sport and ultimately adapted for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

But he also completely understood the perspective of the athletes as he pioneered the Hong Kong Lifeguards Repulse Bay Round Silver Island & Return swim in 1977 (now a FINA 10K World Cup event) and participated in the Daugo Island to Ela Beach Marathon Race (Papua New Guinea), Isle of Capri (Italy) Circumnavigation Swim, Lac La Tuque 24-hour relay, an English Channel attempt and a slew of swims throughout Tasmania: 30K New Norfolk to Cadbury Point Swim, Constitution Dock to Kingston Beach Swim, Howrah Beach to Long Beach Sandy Bay and Montague Bay to Wrest Point Swim.

He co-authored with Bill Ford the comprehensive and authoritative Australian Long Distance and Marathon Swimming Manual and helped draft the FINA Open Water Swimming Manual.

A man of the world and a superstar of our sport.

Copyright © 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Special Dedication Shown By Coach And Athlete

The Cayman Islands Government wrote a nice article about Andrew Smilley's Open Water Swim of 2009 on its website here.

Andrew's next big competition: the second Latin-American Special Olympic Games (II Juegos Latinoamericanos de Olimpiadas Especiales) between February 19th - 27th where Andrew will join over a 1,000 athletes and 250 coaches in front of thousands of spectators and volunteers in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

"His dedication is phenomenal," said his coach Penny McDowall (shown on left). "We have always been very proud of him – now the world knows why."

Penny herself is also an incredible individual - passionate, thoughtful and experienced - as she is one of only 40 coaches worldwide to receive the Special Olympics' Exemplary Coach Award.

"There are more than 250,000 Special Olympics coaches around the world. And so for Penny to win this international award is really something we cherish," explained Special Olympics Cayman Islands Board Director Maxine Everson.

Copyright © 2009 by Steven Munatones

Eva Fabian And Poliana Okimoto, Chilly In Chile

Down in Puerto Varas y Santiago, FINA World Cup champion Poliana Okimoto and American Eva Fabian have been trying to stay warm before a trio of races in Chile.

Jack Fabian, Eva's coach and father, reported from southern Chile, "It has been a very interesting experience. Our host, Adriano and all the people we have met, have been extremely nice. Poliana and her coach have been extremely kind to us and have helped translate for us. It has been wonderful to get to know her and her coach."

"Today is the first race in the lake. It is 58°F (14.4°C). Eva will compete in a relay and hoping to compete in the 2K race after. She swam in the lake today and managed to relax, but did agree it was cold. Eva and Poliana gave a swim clinic at the Hacienda Santa Martina Nature Club and Golf and then met with some local swimmers in Puerto Varas."

Over the weekend, they will compete in promotional races of 0.5K, 1K and 2K and the 10K Desafio Internacional Puerto Varas de Aguas Abiertas in located in relatively cool southern Chile (water temperature 17ºC (62.6ºF).

Poliana and Eva, the diminutive powerhouse swimmer from New Hampshire who came on very strongly at the end of the 2009 pro FINA World Cup circuit, are shown above in a promotional poster for their joint exhibition at Hacienda Santa Martina Nature Club and Golf. Despite the small stature of both women, they both have hearts of champions and are fearless whomever they race against.

Copyright © 2009 by Steven Munatones

Superstars Of The Sport - Chloe Sutton

There is perhaps no female with greater upside in the elite open water swimming world than Olympic 10K marathon swimmer and 5K world championship medalist Chloe Sutton.

By the age of 16, Chloe had already been a cover girl on Swimming World Magazine, won the prestigious RCP Tiburon Mile twice (where she donated her US$20,000 in prize money), won the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships 10K, the 2007 Pan American Games 10K and won a leg on the FINA 10KM Marathon Swimming World Cup in London.

She was a two-time USA Swimming national 10K champion, was selected as USA Swimming's 2007 Open Water Swimmer of the Year and competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. But she truly emerged out of her post-Olympic disappointment (where she placed 22nd in the 10K) with startling improvement and a laser focus on becoming one of the world's best cross-over athletes.

She trains extremely hard at one of the traditional pool swimming powerhouses in America, the Mission Viejo Nadadores, where her coach, Hall of Famer Bill Rose pushes her beyond exhaustion - daily competing against fast young men - with the ultimate goal of bringing home medals from both the pool and open water.


In 2009, Chloe won the 2009 USA Swimming World Championship Trials in the 800-meter freestyle and has been on a roll ever since on the American pool scene, winning numerous big meets across the country. She recently announced her plans to turn professional and make a living out of her passion and physical talents.

"It is a hard decision to give up the opportunity to swim in college [in America where she would have to remain an amateur to compete]. I want to get the world records; I want to get the gold medals. I want to focus on swimming...do it for as long as I can...focus on it and accomplish it."

We look to see Chloe continue her accomplished ways as she takes her talents overseas to the FINA 10KM Marathon Swimming World Cup in Santos, Brazil and, as expected, the 2010 World Open Water Swimming Championships in Roberval, Canada this summer.

Stay tuned.

Copyright © 2009 by Steven Munatones

Superstars Of The Sport - Trent Grimsey

This lean, focused 21-year-old professional is an emerging - and established - open water swimming superstar.

If he continues his upward trajectory, he will be one of the favorites in the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim in not only the 2012 London Olympics, but also the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Besides winning the 2.4-mile Waikiki Roughwater Swim, US$10,000 at the RCP Tiburon Mile (see below), the Eyeline 1000 Noosa Ocean Swim, the Australian 5K and 10K Open Water Swimming Championships, the 10K King of the Sea Challenge (Rei Do Mar Desafio), the FINA 10KM Marathon Swimming World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and the New Zealand Ocean Swim Series, he also was a member of the winning Maui Channel Swim and won a silver at the 2009 World Swimming Championships 25K race.

Known as a workhorse in the pool and an independent strategist on every open water course, Trent is nicknamed Trento and was born in Sunnybank, Australia. His personal best time in the 1500-meter freestyle is 15:12 (where he placed third in the 2008 Australian Olympic Trials) and is coached by John Rodgers.

In addition to participating in a variety of invitational swims and the FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup circuit, he intends to participate in the Commonwealth Games 2010 and we expect to see him to be a force to be reckoned with throughout 2016.

Prior to competing in the 5K, 10K and 25K races at the 2009 World Swimming Championships in Rome - the only competitor to tackle such a grueling schedule - he was interviewed by 10Kswimmer:

10Kswimmer: What is the allure of open water swimming for you?
Trent: I guess it's an Olympic sport now so that has a fair bit to do with it, but I also like that it's very tactical, so you don't have to be the fastest swimmer in the field to win.

10Kswimmer: When did you first realize that open water swimming was for you?
Trent: I think I realized that open water swimming was a path to seriously consider during 2008 when I really started to have a lot of success with it.

10Kswimmer: How many ocean swims do you think you have done in Australia or around the world?
Trent: Well, in Australia, there are quite a few ocean swims every year. In south east Queensland where I live, they have ocean swims probably every 5 to 6 weeks, that are anywhere from 1K to 3K long. Also, in New Zealand, they have a really good ocean swim series that I like to compete in. Other than that, I have not done a lot of racing overseas...although in 2008 I did a few races in the US including the RCP Tiburon Mile, Maui Channel Swim and the Waikiki Roughwater Swim.

10Kswimmer: What do you think about when you start an ocean race in Australia where hundreds of people head down the beach in a mad craze?
Trent: If there are hundreds of people in a race then start is crucial, I'll try and find the best place on the line to start from and just try and relax... maybe put my hands on my hips so as people do not stand to close to me.

10Kswimmer: Australian swimmers and lifesavers are notoriously competitive, aggressive and experienced. What do you think about when you are in a pack going around a turn buoy (can)?
Trent: I will try not to be in the middle of this pack, but if I am, I would be trying to find ways to get out. Its probably not the best thing to lift your head when going around a turn buoy.

10Kswimmer: When the surf is high, what do you think about when you are heading into shore during a tight race?
Trent: I hope my legs are fresher the the guys next to me. You also have to know if there's a wave building up behind you and know exactly when to stand up to start running.

10Kswimmer: What was your most difficult swim – either short ocean swim or longer marathon swim?
Trent: My most difficult ocean swim would of been about two months ago in New Zealand, It was the King of the Bays, a 2.8K swim in Auckland. The conditions were really bad. It was something like 15 to 20 knots. It was cold, wet and windy, I couldn't get in to a rhythym and the bouys were spaced a long way apart - I couldn't see anything.

10Kswimmer: What was going through your mind as you were doing this swim?
Trent: I hope I'm in front and I hope there's hot showers at the end.

10Kswimmer: When conditions get difficult in the open water, do you ever about quitting?
Trent: I guess the thought might cross your mind, but then you think, wait...everyone else in the race is hurting just as much as me and everyone else is having just as much trouble as me...I find that aways helps.

10Kswimmer: Are there any particular song or words that you repeated to yourself over and over again during the swim?
Trent: Pain is temporary, but pride is forever!

10Kswimmer: Are there any kind of mental games that you play to help you overcome the cold water or tough conditions?
Trent: Not really, I do get very nervous before a race so I am aways trying to control my breathing and trying to relax.

10Kswimmer: What are some of the most difficult workouts you have ever done – either in the pool or open water?
Trent: Well, my type of training is very aerobic based and I swim big KMs. About two years ago, I swam 120K in one week over 11 sessions.

10Kswimmer: The Europeans have recently dominated professional marathon swimming. How do you plan to change that?
Trent: This is a good question. I guess experience has a lot to do with being a good open water swimmer. Experience and hard work. I believe I am doing the right type of training - it's just getting the international race experience. Living in Australia, I guess doesn't really help with that because we are so far away from the rest of the world, so I think the next best thing to international racing is talking with people who have been there before and done that. I find talking with people like Josh Santacaterina and Brendan Cappel (both former 25km world champions) really helps. They are both full of great advice and are not afraid to share what they know. These guys have helped me out a lot with advice and how to prepare for a race and, I guess, even race tactics.

Copyright © 2009 by Steven Munatones

Tough And Brutal Workouts

Multi-world champion Thomas Lurz was interviewed by Swimming World Magazine about the intense two-week long-distance training camp, called Battle Training, that he and other world-class pool and open water swimming superstars (including Trent Grimsey and Chad Ho) are doing in Potsdam, Germany until January 17th.

Thomas said, among other things:

"The training is tough and brutal. We did 102,000 meters in the first week. I had a three-week break [after the season was over] and it is pretty hard. We are going to do 75,000 meters this week, but there are three practices per day for three straight days."

"I sometimes have some shoulder problems when I swim in the waves and winds, but I feel OK. Every session we do a really tough. People are swimming fast [when we do sets like] 20 x 200 or 4 x 800 or 5 X 1500."

"One set was 20 x 200 @ 2:30 with a lactate testing after 10. Paul Beiderman can beat us in the short distance. He was averaging 2:06. I was averaging 2:10-2:12 which is bad for me, but good for the beginning of my season. I train with Jan Wolfgarten, Chad Ho and other good IM'ers, 1500-meter swimmers and open water swimmers. Everyone tries to race [during practice]."

"I will go home after this training is over. My first swim will be a 10K race in Setubal, Portugal in June."

We will be very interested to see the results of the Battle Training come the summer open water swimming season.

Copyright © 2009 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Friday, January 8, 2010

Petar Stoychev Doing More Ocean Racing

English Channel record holder Petar Stoychev has committed to participating in the Ocean Racing World Championship Series, the Nelson Mandela Bay Bell Buoy Challenge and the King of Nelson Mandela Bay extravaganza in South Africa.

The participation of the 9-time FINA Grand Prix World champion from Bulgaria in the three-part April 2010 professional event in Nelson Mandela Bay in Port Elizabeth over Easter weekend will certainly enhance the profile of the new race and help prepare him for the 2010 summer season in the Northern Hemisphere.

Petar will compete in the 2K Ocean Racing Series World Championships against South African swimmers, like world championship medalist Chad Ho. The next day, he will participate in the 7K Nelson Mandela Bay Bell Buoy Challenge and the third and final day, he will face other top swimmers in the 750-meter King of Nelson Mandela Bay Challenge.

It will be very interesting to watch the strategy and tactics of the top swimmers throughout the exhausting five-round King of Nelson Mandela Bay Challenge. They will have to survive four tough preliminary elimination heats - swum one right after another - to reach the final prize-money heat.

They will have to call upon all of their endurance and sprinting talent in this unusual event that will showcase all the skills of professional open water swimmers.

Copyright © 2009 by Steven Munatones

King Of The Seas Expands To Portugal

The highly successful King of the Sea Challenge (Rei Do Mar Desafio in Portuguese) is expanding its franchise to Lisbon, Portugal in a new pro invitational race called the King of the Seas Europe.

The new King of the Seas Europe will take place in Lisbon, Portugal on April 25th, 2010.

The event is organized by one of the more traditional club's in Lisbon, Clube Oriental de Lisboa and cooperation with a leading Portuguese sports events company, Sports4all.

The King of the Seas Europe will include an amateur/masters race as well as the exciting pro race whose winner will become the European representative for the King of the Sea World Challenge (Rei Do Mar Desafio) in Rio de Janeiro.



Very exciting times on the high seas.

Upper photo above shows Trent Grimsey of Australia and Poliana Okimoto holding the very unique memorial Rei Do Mar Desafio trophies. Lower photo shows the staggered start of the race in Rio de Janeiro with Chad Ho in the foreground.

Copyright © 2009 by Steven Munatones