Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

When a solo swim or marathon relay has never been completed before, when does its history start?

In the open swimming world, especially with a channel swim, marathon swim, circumnavigation swim, success is not always achieved on the first attempts. Although there are many exceptions, unprecedented swims – especially long, rough or cold water courses – take time to see success. That is, attempts were tried before the English Channel or Molokai Channel or the Cook Strait was ultimately crossed. Similarly, only 1 swimmer out of 105 people (George Young) who attempted in the Catalina Channel for the first time in 1927 made it.

It takes time and a whole lot of effort for humans (including pilots, navigators, crew members and swimmers) to figure out how best to traverse a waterway.

For these reasons, I think the history in the open water swimming world does not begin when the first swimmer successfully reaches land – or the finish – on the first crossing,” commented Steven Munatones shown above with Mark Warkentin and Kalyn Keller in Melbourne, Australia. “Instead, the practical history of crossing any waterway begins in the when someone first dreams of swimming from point A to point B.”

With so much of Planet Earth and its waterways yet to be crossed or circumnavigated, the annals of open water swimming have many, many more chapters to be written by swimmers of all ages and abilities.

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