Few people have influenced the contemporary open water swimming world like Colin Hill.
The visionary aquapreneur will explain what he has done at the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference in Scotland on September 19th-21st. Well-known throughout Great Britain, the channel swimmer and ice swimmer has touched every niche in the open water swimming world: channel swimming, Olympic marathon swimming, ice swimming, clinics, competitive pro races, and mass amateur open water swimming festivals. He has been a well-spoken ambassador of the sport who has presented on television and print.
Hill will present a fascinating talk at the Conference entitled the Recent Explosion in UK Open Water. There is no one like Hill who now runs Chillswim and is characteristically taking the sport in another direction and to another level.
In addition to Hill, the speakers, presentations, honorees and award recipients at 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference will cover a wide range of topics in the sport of ice swimming, channel swimming, marathon swimming and open water swimming, all held on the Isle of Bute in Scotland between September 19th-21st.
The presenters include luminaries from Scotland, Australia, United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden, U.S.A., New Zealand, South Africa, Russia, Slovenia, Jersey, Hong Kong, Hawaii, Serbia, Indonesia, Argentina, the Netherlands, and Canada:
* Colleen Blair (Scotland): The History of Scottish Swimming
* Colin Hill (England): Recent Explosion in UK Open Water
* Simon Murie (England): Open Water Swimming Holidays: How A New Sector Was Created Within The Travel Industry
* Christopher Guesdon (Australia): Multidimensional Roles In The Sport
* Swimming the Oceans Seven: A roundtable discussion moderated by Kevin Murphy (UK) with Stephen Redmond (Ireland), Anna-Carin Nordin (Sweden), Darren Miller (USA), Kimberley
Chambers (New Zealand), and Adam Walker (UK)
* Nuala Moore (Ireland): The Mindset of 1000m at 0ºC
* Ram Barkai (South Africa): First World Ice Swimming Championships Update
* Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia): The Feminine Code of Achievement – How a Lady from Down Under Revolutionise Professional Marathon Swimming
* Rok Kerin (Slovenia): Lifestyle Benefits From Open Water Swimming
* Sally Minty-Gravett (Jersey): Motivating Swimmers
* Dmitry Blokhin and Aleksei Veller (Russia): First World Ice Swimming Championships
* Ned Denison (Ireland): Swimming The World
* Steven Munatones (USA): Shark Encounters in the Open Water
The documentary films to be shown at the Conference include the following:
* Bruckner Chase (USA): BlueJourney-Amerika Samoa – Stronger Together: The Waterman’s Way
* Matthew Moseley (USA): Dancing With The Water, Crossing of Lake Pontchartrain
* Admiral Konstantin Sidenko (Russia): Bering Strait Swim Chukotka – Alaska in 2013
* Simon Holliday (UK) and Doug Woodring (USA): The Clean Swim – Hong Kong to Macau 2014
The bios of the speakers are as follows:
Colleen Blair from Scotland has crossed the English Channel, North Channel, and Loch Ness as well as circumnavigated Manhattan Island and the island of Jersey in the Channel Islands. She is the first person to swim across the Pentland Firth for which she was nominated for the 2011 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.
Colin Hill from England is a British ice swimmer and channel swimmer who was the visionary and impetus of the British Gas Great Swim Series and Chillswim. Hill was the Marathon Swimming Technical Operations Manager for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games at the 2012 London Olympic Games where the sport was showcased like never before. He was named as one of the 101 Movers And Shakers In The Open Water Swimming World in 2012 and 2013.
Simon Murie from England is the founder and visionary of SwimTrek, the world’s leading open water swimming holiday company. He writes regular classic swims column for H2Open Magazine and was nominated for the 2011 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year award for bringing the challenge and allure of the open water swimming world closer to its growing community. Thousands of people every year improve themselves as open water swimmers as a result SwimTrek training camps.
Christopher Guesdon from Australia created the modern format of the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim. He officiated races throughout Oceania, Asia, Africa the Americas and Europe and founded the Australian Long Distance Swimming Federation. He was a bureau member of the International Long Distance Swimming Federation, a director of the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation, a member of the FINA Open Water Swimming Technical Committee, International Swimming Committee of Swimming Australia and Sports Development Committee Confederation of Sport Australia, the Secretary of Swimming Australia Open Water Swimming Committee, and is the Programme Vice President of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.
Kevin Murphy from the United Kingdom Kevin Murphy is an Honor Open Water Swimmer in the International Swimming Hall of Fame and an Honour Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame. He has swum across the English Channel more times than any man in history and currently serves as the Honorary Secretary of the Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation and President of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame. A reporter by profession, he is a member of the Dover Beach Crew, and done several dozens of notable channel and marathon swims throughout one of the most illustrious careers in the sport including the North Channel, Loch Ness, Isle of Wight, Lake Balaton, Nile River, Capri to Napoli, Majorca to Minorca, and a 52 hour 30 minute three-way English Channel attempt.
Stephen Redmond from Ireland is a former rugby player and triathlete who was the first person in history to achieve the Oceans Seven (swims across the English Channel, North Channel, Catalina Channel, Tsugaru Channel, Strait of Gibraltar, Cook Strait, and Molokai Channel). He was voted as the 2012 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year and is the protagonist of a film called Defeating Oceans Seven and in Explorers: Adventures of the Century.
Anna-Carin Nordin from Sweden is a mother who was the first female in history to achieve the Oceans Seven (English Channel, North Channel, Catalina Channel, Tsugaru Channel, Strait of Gibraltar, Cook Strait, and Molokai Channel). She did an Ice Mile in Callifayd, swam 43.4 km from Eckerö, Finland to Grisslehamn, Sweden, competed on the FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup circuit, and swam 20 km from Norrfjärden-Mellanfjärden along the coastline in north of Sweden.
Darren Miller from the United States of America is a former sprint freestyler and butterflyer at the Pennsylvania State University who crossed the English Channel in 2010 and went on to flawlessly complete the remaining 6 swims of the Oceans Seven challenge in the name of his charity, Team Forever, which benefits the Forever Fund at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Miller is a motivational speaker on concepts relevant to business and endurance and rooted on helping those less fortunate while inspiring his audiences to leverage the gifts they have been given to do the same.
Chambers from New Zealand is former ballerina who nearly lost her leg before turning to swimming for rehabilitation. She is on track to complete the Oceans Seven (English Channel, North Channel, Catalina Channel, Tsugaru Channel, Strait of Gibraltar, Cook Strait, and Molokai Channel) and member of the Night Train Swimmers, a relay that swam from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Farallon Islands off the coast of northern California. She was nominated for the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.
Adam Walker from the United Kingdom is on track to complete the Oceans Seven (English Channel, North Channel, Catalina Channel, Tsugaru Channel, Strait of Gibraltar, Cook Strait, and Molokai Channel). Mad Adam or Ocean Walker is a former water polo player and a motivational speaker who offers technical swim camps and one-on-one clinics in the United Kingdom and across the European continent and Africa, including the Swim Camp Malta. He swims for charities like Sportsaid and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society on his solo swims and relays.
Nuala Moore from Ireland is an ice swimmer, coach and North Channel Secretary of the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association. She documents ice swimming, she completed 1,800m at 3°C, 1000m at 0°C water in Murmansk 2013, and compete in 0°C in Tyumen, Murmansk, Finland and China. She completed the Lake Zurich 26.4 km solo and was a member of the Round Ireland relay team and the Bering Strait Swim that was selected as the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year. Moore was nominated for the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year and is a speaker with the World Explorers Bureau. She received the Margaret Smith Award, was awarded the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association Female Swimmer of the Year, and was nominated for the 2013 Outsider of the Year by Outsider Magazine.
Ram Barkai from South Africa is the founder of the International Ice Swimming Association and has organized a number of extreme swims including the Patagonia Extreme Cold Water Challenge. The renowned ice swimmer has completed the most southernmost ice swim ever performed in Antarctica and he was among the first individuals to swim around Cape Horn at the tip of South America. Barkai also organized the Cadiz Freedom Swim, the Speedo Ice Mile Africa and appeared on Stan Lee’s Superhuman Showdown television series. He completed a 1.3 km swim in Folgefonna Glacier in Jondal, Norway in 0.2˚C water at 1000m above sea level. He was nominated for the Night Jar Travel Adventurers of the Year (South Africa) and the 2012 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.
Shelley Taylor-Smith from Australia is considered one of the greatest marathon swimmers in history and is an Honor Open Water Swimmer in the International Swimming Hall of Fame and an Honour Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame. The 7-time world professional marathon swimming champion is also one of the longest serving members on the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee). She is a motivational speaker and coach in Western Australia who won the inaugural FINA World Swimming Championship 25 km in 1990 and held the record for the 48 km Manhattan Island Marathon Swim for many years.
Alexey Salmin Pavlovich from Russia is a member of the Economy and Natural Resources Management Committee of the Tyumen Regional Duma who plays a significant leadership role in winter swimming in Russia.
Dmitry Dragozhilov from Russia is the Director of Winter Swimming in the Tyumen region of Russia who plays a significant leadership role in the Winter Swimming World Championships in Tyumen, Russia.
Rok Kerin from Slovenia was ranked on the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix and the FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup circuits. The multilingual, well-traveled professional marathon swimmer founded the Rok Kerin Swim Academy and participated in the FINA World Championships in Shanghai, China. He is also a well-regarded speaker and event organizer of open water events.
Sally Minty-Gravett from Jersey is an Honour Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame who has crossed the English Channel five separate times over five decades. She leads the Jersey Long Distance Swimming Club and mentors many individuals of all ages to become comfortable in the sea and to cross channels around the world. She was nominated for the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year and became the first woman to complete a crossing from Sark to Jersey in 2014.
Dmitry Blokhin from Russia is the Vice Chairperson for the Committee of Physical Culture and Sports at the City Administration of Murmansk in Russia. He is also a coach and teacher who is also organizing global and local ice and winter swimming competitions in Murmansk.
Aleksei Veller from Russia is the Head of Murmansk city municipality. Under his administration, the International Winter Swimming Competition (or the Polar Olympics) is held annually in Murmansk, Russia as well as the Murmansk Mile in Kola Bay. He signed the Declaration on cooperation between the Murmansk City Municipality and the International Ice Swimming Association to organize the 1st World Ice Swimming Championship in the City of Murmansk in March 2015.
Ned Denison from Ireland is an Honour Administrator in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and has completed the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming as well as a Round Jersey Solo, Jersey to France crossing, Lake Zurich Marathon Swim, Rottnest Channel Swim, Robben Island and numerous other channel swims around the world including the S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge, False Bay, Strait of Gibraltar and the Santa Barbara Channel. He also completed an Ice Mile and organizes the Cork Distance Week.
Steven Munatones from the United States of America created the Daily News of Open Water Swimming, Oceans Seven, Openwaterpedia, WOWSA Awards, Half Century Club, Tsugaru Channel Swimming Association, and the World Open Water Swimming Association. He was inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honour Swimmer and served on the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee. He serves as a consultant to the Guinness Book of World Records and was the Technical Delegate for the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, participated on the USA Triathlon Swim Collar Task Force, and was the NBC commentator for the 2008 Olympic 10K Marathon Swim in Beijing.
Bruckner Chase from the United States of America is known as Uila O Le Sami. He is an environmentalist, waterman, triathlete, ocean advocate, filmmaker, coach, speaker and writer who creates ocean awareness initiatives with his wife Michelle Evans-Chase. He created the innovative 2Samoas/1 Ocean curriculum and the Toa o le Tai program. He also runs the prone paddle boarding program in Upper Township, New Jersey for individuals with spinal injuries with the Bacharach Rehabilitation Hospital Swimming and Paddling Unified Team Program. He created the film, BlueJourney-Amerika Samoa – Stronger Together: The Waterman’s Way and the Legion of Ocean Heroes program, and the Ocean City Swim Club.
Matthew Moseley from the United States of America is a writer, media consultant and an author of Dear Dr. Thompson who made the first swimming descent of the Colorado River through Canyonlands for 49 miles. He also crossed Lake Pontchartrain as a duo relay in 2012 and as a solo swimmer in 2014. His unprecedented solo crossing is the subject of a documentary film by Wayne Ewing.
Admiral Konstantin Sidenko from Russia is the Head of the Eastern Military District Forces and was named as the Head of the Project’s Organisation Committee.
Simon Holliday from the United Kingdom completed the English Channel set a record swimming from Hong Kong to Macau where he was Walkerized with pink dolphins. A documentary of his swim was produced by Scuba Zoo.
The following honourees will describe their careers, motivations and swims:
Melissa Cunningham from Australia is the 2014 Irving Davids – Captain Roger Wheeler Award recipient and an Honour Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame. She was the world champion in the 25 km race at the 1994 FINA World Swimming Championships in Rome and was a member of the 93 km Malta to Sicily International Relay 1996 in 19 hours 11 minute.. She also served as an announcer and administrator at the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim in Beijing as part of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Cunningham is an ambassador for the McGrath Foundation where she is utilizing her passion and skills in the water to help others via the program, Every Stroke Counts for which she was nominated for the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.
Pádraig Mallon from Ireland, the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, is an ice swimmer, Ironman triathlete, extreme swimmer, English Channel and North Channel swimmer and event organiser. He is the vice Chairman of the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association and one of the organisers of the Irish Marathon Swim Series and chairman of the Camlough Lake Water Festival. He received the 2013 Senior Individual Sports Personality Award and a nomination by Outsider Magazine for its Outsider People of the Year Award. He was the co-organiser of the 680 km Guinness World Record open water relay in Camlough Lake.
Olga Kozydub from Russia is the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year who won the 2013 FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix pro circuit as well as the 57 km Maratón Acuática Internacional Santa Fe – Coronda and the 32 km Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean and finished second at the 88 km Maratón Hernandarias-Paraná and competed in the 34 km Traversée international du lac Memphrémagog. She finished fourth overall in the 2012 FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix pro circuit.
Bering Strait Swim is the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year, an unprecedented 6-day, 86 km relay across the Bering Strait from Cape Dezhnev in Chukotka, Russia to Cape Prince of Wales in Alaska, U.S.A. It included 68 ice swimmers from 16 countries and 15 regions of the Russian Federation covered the distance between the two continents in 6 days in water temperature between 2.5-10°C where orca killer whales and walruses were encountered close to Big Diomede Island. The swimmers included Vladimir Chegorin, Maria Chizhova, Elena Guseva, Ram Barkai, Jack Bright, Oksana Veklich, Aleksandr Jakovlevs, Matías Ola, Henri Kaarma, Toomas Haggi, Nuala Moore, Anne Marie Ward, Toks Viviers, Melissa O’Reilly, Ryan Stramrood, Cristian Vergara, Craig Lenning, Rafal Ziobro, Andrew Chin, Jackie Cobell, James Pittar, Paolo Chiarino, Mariia Yrjö-Koskinen, Ivan Papulshenko, Zdenek Tlamicha, Zhou Hanming, Oleg Adamov, Andrei Agarkov, Alekseev Semen, Tatiana Alexandrova, Roman Belan, Elena Semenova, Alexander Brylin, Afanasii Diackovskii, Vladimir Nefatov, Evgenii Dokuchaev, Oleg Docuckaev, Roman Efimov, Dmitrii Filitovich, Olga Filitovich, Victor Godlevskiy, Olga Golubeva, Alexei Golubkin, Alexander Golubkin, Alexandr Iurkov, Oleg Ivanov, Pavel Kabakov, Eduard Khodakovskiy, Aleksandr Komarov, Aleksandr Kuliapin, Andrey Kuzmin, Irina Lamkina, Vladimir Litvinov, Andrey Mikhalev, Victor Moskvin, Nikolay Petshak, Sergey Popov, Vladimir Poshivailov, Grigorii Prokopchuk, Dmitrii Zalka, Natalia Seraya, Viacheslav Shaposhnikov, Olga Sokolova, Andrei Sychev, Alexei Tabakov, and Nataliia Usachaeva.
International Ice Swimming Association is the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year. It is a governing body of extreme swimming founded by Ram Barkai to conduct and govern extreme cold-water swimming events around the world including Ice Miles where the maximum water temperature is 41°F (5°C) and wetsuits are not allowed.
Sandra Bucha from the United States of America is an International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer. She won the 24 Heures La Tuque in 1974 with Jon Kinsella. During her professional marathon swimming career, no female was able to challenge and only three men finished ahead of her in her 9 professional marathon races while she was a student at Stanford University, including the Traversée international du lac St-Jean and the Chicago Lake Front 10-mile Swim. She also won the 1971 National Senior AAU Long Distance Swimming Championships and set an American record in the 200m freestyle.
Jon Erikson from the United States of America is an International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer. He completed 11 English Channel crossings including an unprecedented three-way 38 hour 27 minute crossing, 31 professional marathon swims in Canada, Mexico, US, and Argentina including five Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean and three 24 Heures La Tuque events. [Represented by Dale Petranech of the International Swimming Hall of Fame and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame]
Elizabeth Fry from the United States of America is an International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer. She is a member of the Half Century Club and the 24-hour Club, and achieved the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming. Her most recent English Channel crossing set the record for the oldest person ever to do a two-way crossing. She was the first person to complete the unprecedented double Ederle Swim, a 35-mile swim from Manhattan Island in New York to Sandy Hook, New Jersey. At the age of 50, she broke the record for swimming clockwise around Manhattan and became the first woman to swim around Manhattan Island in that direction when she completed the course in 11 hours 41 minutes. She is the race director of the 25 km St. Vincent’s Foundation Swim Across the Sound. She has crossed the Catalina Channel and Strait of Gibraltar, and has completed In Search of Memphre and the Round Jersey solo circumnavigation.
Vojislav Mijić from Serbia is an International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer. A 2-time member of the 24-hour Club, Mijić is the race director for the Šabac Swim Marathon and the Epiphany Swimming For the Holy Cross of Honour. He won hundreds of marathon swimming competitions in Serbia, Macedonia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Argentina, U.S.A. (from Hawaii to New Jersey), Yugoslavia, Italy, Brazil, Czech Republic, Brazil, the Netherlands, Egypt, Syria and Greece. As the founder of the Committee for Marathon and Long Distance Swimming in the Republic of Serbia, he has completed three swims recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records, . He received from the Government of the Republic of Serbia, a 2008 Recognition as a Meritorious Sportsman and was nominated for the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.
James Anderson from the United States of America is an International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator He is the race founder and director of the Hawaiian Christmas Looong Distance Invitational Rough-H2O Swim in Hawaii, the race director for the Waikiki Roughwater Swim, and organized the 2000 FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships in Honolulu. He organized the 1999 USA Swimming 25 km National Open Water Swimming Championships, the 1991 and 1992 USA Swimming National 10K Open Water Swimming Championships, the North Shore Swim Series, and was a consultant for the 1983 Cole Classic in Australia. He was the founder and president of the Hawaiian Channel Swim Association and published the Hawaii Sports Calendar. He was inducted as a member of the Hawaii Swimming Hall of Fame in 2005.
Dr. Jane Katz from the United States of America is an International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator. She is a renowned educator, speaker, coach and author with a background as a world-class competitive and long-distance swimmer. A professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York, she teaches fitness and swimming to New York City police and firefighters. As a member of the 1964 United States Synchronized Swimming Performance Team in Tokyo, Dr. Katz helped pioneer the acceptance of synchronized swimming as an Olympic event. At the XXVII Olympiad in Sydney, Australia in 2000, Dr. Katz was awarded the FINA Amateur Certificate of Merit to honor her lifetime of “dedication and contribution to the development” of the sport of swimming. She created a popular series of instructional books and videos including Swim Basics – Aquatics for Lifetime Fitness and Your Water Workout: No-Impact Aerobics and Strength Training From Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi and More and Swimming For Total Fitness co-authored by Nancy P. Bruning.
Indonesian Swimming Federation Open Water Committee is an International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Organisation that hosted the Asian Beach Games and the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games). Its members include Ismail Ning (member), Amir Husein (Head of Open Water Swimming Committee), Ari Tribusono (member), Ray Sani (member), Liza G. Januar (Deputy of Secretary General of PRSI or the Persatuan Renang Seluruh Indonesia).
Claudio Plit from Argentina is an International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer. He is race director of the FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup in Viedma and the Mar de Plata and Maratón Acuática Internacional Ciudad de Rosario. He competed in and won every major professional marathon swim around the world over a 30-year period. During his peak between 1974 and 1985, he first or second nine times and finished in the top 3 in 45 professional marathon swims throughout North and South America, Europe and Africa. He has completed more than 250 professional marathon swims over 8 hours in duration including the 57 km Maratón Acuática Internacional Santa Fe-Coronda, the English Channel, the Beltquerung, 17 Traversée internacionale du lac Memphrémagog, 25 Traversée internacionale du lac St-Jean, 15 Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli, 20 Atlantic City Around-the-Island Marathon Swims, the 88 km Hernandarias-Paraná Marathon, and crossed the English Channel twice. He won races in the Nile River and in the Suez Canal and won 3 two-way 64 km Traversée internacionale du lac St-Jean events. He remains active as a coach and escorts swimmers participating on the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit and 25 swimmers who have crossed the English Channel. He was the president of the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation from 1980-1982 and 1990.
Judith van Berkel-de Nijs from the Netherlands is an International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer. She was ranked No. 1 by the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation in 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968 and 1970. She crossed the English Channel in 1969 and won many professional marathon races over both men and women, including the 49.8 km Lake Ontario swim, the 30.5 km Ohrid Lake swim in Macedonia, two 32 km Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli races, the 40 km Alexandria race in the Suez Canal, the 32 km Traversée internacionale du lac St-Jean, the 16 km Hamilton Marathon Swim, the 24 Heures La Tuque, and the 1968 Canalswim Cape Rennes from France to Dover, England. [Represented by Niek Kloots of the Netherlands]
David Yudovin from the United States of America is an International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer. He began channel swimming in 1976 and remains active competing over 35 solo marathon and channel swims including 15 firsts. He has completed 4 Catalina Channel crossings, a Santa Barbara Channel crossing, a Santa Cruz Island crossing, a Strait of Gibraltar crossing, a Tsugaru Channel crossing, a English Channel crossing, and other swims in Sunda Strait, Indonesia – Java to Sumatra, Cook Strait, Cape Verde (Africa), Maio to Santiago Islands, Azores Islands (Portugal ), Madiera Islands (Portugal ), and in Central Africa,
Mercedes Gleitze from Great Britain is an International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Pioneer Swimmer and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer. She helped launch the first waterproof watch by Rolex during her English Channel crossing in 1927, on her 8th attempt. She attempted the North Channel 7 times without success. In 1928, she became the first person to swim the Strait of Gibraltar from Spain to Morocco. She accomplished a number of marathon swims in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa including in the Thames River in 1923, Lough Neagh in 1929, Hellspont in 1930, Galloway Bay in 19+ hours and across Sydney Harbor. She completed a 30-hour endurance swim in Cork, Ireland in 1930 and swam in Cape Town, South Africa in 1932 to bring her total number of marathon swims to 51. With the money she earned from her swims, she established the Mercedes Gleitze Home for the Homeless in Leicester, England which opened in 1933 until it was destroyed during World War II. [Represented by her daughter Doloranda Pember]
George Young from Canada is an International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Pioneer Swimmer and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer. As a 17-year-old, Young was the sole finisher of the 1927 Wrigley Ocean Marathon, a 20.2-mile race across the Catalina Channel, winning the US$25,000 first prize. He was voted as an Associate for Life in the International Professional Swimmers Association in New York City in 1927. [Represented by members of the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation]
Dale Petranech from the United States of America is an International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Contributer and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator. He is a member of the Half Century Club for a crossing of the Catalina Channel. He remains the Honorary Secretary of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and started the 1-Hour Postal Swim in 1978. In 1977, he became the first U.S. Swimming Open Water Swimming Committee Chairman where developed a successful domestic and international program. He assisted U.S. Masters Swimming to form its own independent organization. He was chairman of the FINA Open Water Swimming Commission that made recommendations to FINA for inclusion of open water swimming into FINA and served as the Honorary Secretary of the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee.
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