Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

FINA announced its new members of its Technical Open Water Swimming Committee (TOWSC) for the 2013-2017 period.

Long-time members Dennis Miller, Ronnie Wong (Hong Kong), Jorge Delgado (Ecuador), Sid Cassidy (USA), Tomas Haces (Cuba) maintain continuity and remain the backbone of the influential committee.

But there is plenty of new blood and renewed enthusiasm from new members.

New FINA members include Joaquim Pestana Costa (Angola), David Ngugi (Kenya), Fernando Terrilli (Argentina), Abdulmonem Al Alawi of Oman, Mubarek Abdulla Al Zahmi (United Arab Emirates), Jean Paul Narce (France), William Ford (Australia), Christiane Fanzeres (Brazil), Ayman Saad (Egypt), and Jon Hestoy (Faroe Islands).

In terms of touching the global open water swimming community and its reach to the over 12,600 open water events around the world, the FINA TOWSC members are the most influential members of the community. They are collectively responsible for advising, analyzing, appointing, investigating, studying and recommending rules, regulations, protocols, procedures, equipment and specifications regarding the preparations and execution of open water swimming events sanctioned and organized by FINA. These policies and rules are then adopted by the 202 member federations (countries) around the world. Although there are a few examples of deviations between FINA rules and rules used by other governing bodies (e.g., swimsuit styles, swim caps, water temperature), the FINA TOWSC‘s influence is global and ubiquitous.

The 2013-2017 FINA TOWSC members include:

Chairman: Ronnie Wong of Hong Kong
Vice Chairman: Jorge Delgado Panchana of Ecuador
Honorary Secretary: Andrea Prayer of Italy

Representatives of the African region:
Joaquim Pestana Costa of Angola
David Ngugi of Kenya

Representatives of the Americas region:
Fernando Terrilli of Argentina
Tomas Haces German of Cuba
Sid Cassidy of USA

Representatives of the Asian region:
Abdulmonem Al Alawi of Oman
Mubarak Abdulla Al Zahmi of United Arab Emirates

Representatives of the European region:
Jean Paul Narce of France
Samuel Greetham of Great Britain
Noam Zwi of Israel

Representatives of the Oceania region:
William Ford of Australia
John West of New Zealand

Events Sub-Committee:
Christiane Fanzeres of Brazil
Ayman Saad of Egypt
Jon Hestoy of Faroe Islands

FINA Bureau Liaison is Dennis Miller of Fiji

Besides race directors like Ayman Saad (who was responsible for the FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup event in which Fran Crippen died), Andrea Prayer (who organized the 2009 FINA World Championship open water events in Rome), and Bill Ford who wrote the Australian Long Distance and Marathon Swimming Manual, there are two former professional marathon swimmers, Fernando Terrilli and Christiane Fanzeres. Together with the TOWSC stalwarts like Tomas Haces, Sam Greetham, Noam Zwi, John West, and Dennis Miller of Fiji, the committee is a mix of open water swimming representatives. But countries where open water swimming is really exploding – Ireland, South Africa, Japan, and Mexico – remain unrepresented while countries like Faroe Islands, Kenya, Angola, UAE, Oman, and Egypt represent one-third of the entire committee.

Photo shows FINA Delegate and FINA TOWSC member Jean Paul Narce of France together with Joanes Hedel at the 2013 Traversée Internationale du lac Memphrémagog.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association