Cruise Control With Sid Cassidy On WOWSA Live
WOWSA Live pre-recorded an interview with Sid Cassidy where he took us on a nostalgic tour of open water swimming from the era of the dominant force of the 1970s in Olympic champion John Kinsella to the contemporary times of 2008 Olympic 10K Marathon Swim gold medalist Larisa Ilchenko.
His photo above of the USA National Team Relay is one example of the incredible brushes with history that Sid has enjoyed in his four-decade career in open water swimming. Together with the renowned coaches Penny Dean and Flip Darr, he got in the water as a swimmer and helped his fellow relay members – Jay Wilkerson, Martha Jahn, Karen Burton, Dirk Bouma and Chad Hundeby set two long-standing one-way and two-way world records in the English Channel. They set the one-way record of 6 hours and 52 minutes and two-way record of 14 hours and 18 minutes that remains the standard in relay swims after more than two decades.
It was a great conversation for swimmers of the previous generation who remember escorted for 7, 8, 9, 10 hours not by the modern vessels (see bottom left) of contemporary times, but by the old-school dories (see above and left) in the always challenging 23.5-mile Around the Island Marathon Swim – a tough race often against the currents.
Instead of a support crew feeding and observing in comfort on a motorized boat, the steady, sturdy lifeguards of Atlantic City used to row the entire marathon swim in dories navigating through experience, skill and hours of hard work.
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