Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference will be held on September 20th – 21st at the famous Mount Stuart Castle on the Isle of Bute in Scotland.

The programme will include a swim in Loch Lomond on the 18th, a Scottish banquet and dinner dance on the 19th, speakers from around the world on the 20th and 21st, the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and the WOWSA Awards on the 20th.

The Global Open Water Swimming Conference will, not surprisingly, culminate in a 2 km swim on Sunday, September 21st in the stunning St Ninian’s Bay on the Isle of Bute on the 21st.

At the Mount Stuart Castle on the Isle of Bute, an architectural masterpiece, the WOWSA Awards will give honor to several swimmers who were recognized for their hard-earned swim successes in 2013,” said Steven Munatones, founder of the World Open Water Swimming Association. “In addition to the honorees of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and the International Swimming Hall of Fame, the community can come together and celebrate the successes of some of the sport’s greatest luminaries.”

The 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year was the successful and renowned ice swimmer, channel swimmer, and open water swimming event organiser Pádraig Mallon of Ireland. The 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year was professional marathon swimmer Olga Kozydub of Russia who won the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit in her second year as a pro. The
2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year was by the incomparable and unprecedented Bering Strait Swim, an international relay with 121 participants (including swimmers + officials + crew). The 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year was the International Ice Swimming Association, a dynamic organization in the cold water world founded by Ram Barkai of South Africa. We cannot speak highly enough of these individuals
.”

If there is anyone who embodies the spirit of open water swimming while possesses the sense of adventure, tenacity and perseverance that open water swimmers are known for in a genuinely humble and understated manner, it is certainly Pádraig Mallon of Ireland.

The Irish event director, ice swimmer and channel swimmer is multi-talented, multi-faceted and multi-focused. With a sincere humility and obvious joy in his stroke, Mallon put his handprints all over the global open water swimming map throughout 2013.

Mallon became only the third person in history – other than the venerable Kevin Murphy and Allison Streeter – to complete the North Channel and English Channel in the same summer in addition to serving as the chairman and co-organiser with Aoiffe Lynch of the massively successful Camlough Lake Water Festival.

He is also one of the very few ice swimmers to also complete an Ironman triathlon. To be able to complete a full Ironman and swim a mile in 3.5ºC (38.3ºF) is rare achievement and challenges the mind and body in uniquely different ways. He drives himself with profoundly simple but audacious ethos: “If your dreams don’t scare you, you are not dreaming big enough.” And he achieves his dreams with a lock-down focused goal-setting character: “Mental ability is more important than the physical ability. If the mind fails, you will never make it but if the mind is strong, you have the finish line in sight.”

But in addition to pushing himself as an athlete, the double Guinness world record holder (for relays) is also the Vice Chairman of the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association and one of the organisers of the 2013 Irish Marathon Swim Series. Helping others achieve their own dreams is part of his very DNA. His year-round efforts – to either play a part in someone else’s success or swim the part to his own success – led to his well-deserved selection as the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year:

Photo shows Pádraig Mallon with Billy Wallace of the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association.

For additional articles on the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference, visit:

* Olga Kozydub To Be Honored In Scotland
* Mount Stuart House, Splendid Setting For Swimming
* Colleen Blair To Kick-off Global Open Water Swimming Conference
* The Man Who Swims Better Than He Walks
* Joining In The Sea Goddess At The Hall Of Fame
* St Ninian’s Bay To Host International Swim Conference
* Mercedes Gleitze To Be Honored In Scotland
* The 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference

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