Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

One evening one of the greatest English Channel swimmers of all time was talking to an up-and-coming swimmer about the current status of the sport of open water swimming.

The young swimmer asked older 61-year-old veteran what she thought about the history of the open water world. She replied,

I was born before…

…the Molokai Channel was crossed (Keo Nakama in 1961),
…the Cook Strait was crossed (Barry Devonport in 1962),
…Loch Ness was crossed (Brenda Sherratt in 1966),
…Kevin Murphy (1968), Michael Read (1969) or Alison Streeter (1982) crossed the English Channel,

…GPS was used to determine swim courses,
…an era when open water courses were set by survey equipment,
…gel packs became popular,
…Gatorade was invented,
…anyone swam from the Farallon Islands to the mainland (Stewart Evans in 1967),

…we paid for races via PayPal or online,
…swims were documented with digital phones or handheld video cameras,
…jammers or tech suits were invented,
…the inaugural Class of Honourees in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (1963),

…software or apps became widely available
.”

How time flies in the open water.

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