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Open Water Summit

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2019 Open Water Summit will be held during the Redondo Beach Coastal Challenge and Guinness World Records and WOWSA Awards celebration in Redondo Beach in Southern California
2018 Open Water Summit was held at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, California
Top row left to right: Marcia Benjamin, Shelley Taylor-Smith, Ger Kennedy, Lewis Pugh, Angel More, Antonio Argüelles, Dan Simonelli, Jessi Harewicz, Pat Gallant-Charette, and Adrian Sarchet. Bottom row left to right: Steven Munatones, Ross Edgley, Aaron Peirsol, and Ram Barkai at the 2018 Open Water Summit at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, California
2018 WOWSA Talks & WOWSA Awards held at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, California
The WOWSA Talks (formerly known as the Global Open Water Swimming Conference) is an annual international gathering of athletes, coaches, administrators, safety personnel, writers, filmmakers, pilots, kayakers, paddlers, promoters and event directors discussing all aspects of open water swimming
Steven Munatones hosting the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame ceremonies and WOWSA Awards at the United Nations as part of the 2011 Global Open Water Swimming Conference
Dr. Jim Miller, FINA Sports Medicine specialist and long-time USA Swimming team doctor speaking at the Global Open Water Swimming Conference
Drury Gallagher, International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame honoree speaking at the 2011 Global Open Water Swimming Conference at the United Nations
Captain Tim Johnston explaining tides at the Global Open Water Swimming Conference at Columbia University
International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame inductees Martin Strel and Shelley Taylor-Smith, speakers at the Global Open Water Swimming Conference at Columbia University
Steven Munatones introducing Openwaterpedia at the Global Open Water Swimming Conference at Columbia University
Kaia Hedlund, President, Waikiki Roughwater Swim at the Global Open Water Swimming Conference
Doloranda Pember accepting the International Swimming Hall of Fame honor on behalf of her mother Mercedes Gleitze in Scotland as part of the Global Open Water Swimming Conference
RMS Queen Mary, site of the 2012 Global Open Water Swimming Conference
Grand Salon on the Queen Mary, site of the keynote speeches at the Global Open Water Swimming Conference
Joel Wilson of Santa Cruz

noun - The Open Water Summit (formerly called the Global Open Water Swimming Conference and WOWSA Talks) is an annual symposium and networking event for open water swimming and all of its niche disciplines including marathon swimming, channel swimming, ice swimming, winter swimming, stage swimming, wild swimming, high-altitude swimming, transoceanic swims, and events including mass participation swims, Olympic 10K Marathon Swim, FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix series, and FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup series. The WOWSA Talks was founded by Steven Munatones and is co-organized by World Open Water Swimming Association and its local supporters.

Mission[edit]

Promoting and Showcasing Heroes and Heroines In The Fastest Growing Sport In The World

Objective[edit]

The WOWSA Talks focuses on the promotion, development, safety, support, and governance of the sport of open water swimming, including marathon swimming, stage swimming, ice swimming, channel swimming, Olympic 10K Marathon Swimming, and other forms of open water swimming from wild swimming to open water orienteering including open water swimming during triathlons and multi-sport endurance events.

History[edit]

The WOWSA Talks was started due to the desire and need for athletes, coaches, referees, administrators, promoters and sponsors from around the world to share, collect and learn information about the growing sport. The conference offers different themes from training and business to racing and lifestyle with each presentation geared towards providing different perspectives on these themes. The conference is devoted to providing information about the latest trends, race tactics, training techniques, equipment, psychological preparation, race organization, inspirational stories and safety practices used in the sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons.

The conference's mission is to provide opportunities to listen and meet many of the world's most foremost experts in open water swimming. Dozens of presentations cover every aspect of the vast and growing world of open water swimming where attendees can learn the latest trends, race tactics, training techniques, equipment, race organization and safety practices for open water swimming as a solo swimmer, competitive sportsperson|athlete, masters swimmer, triathlete, multi-sport athlete, administrator, race promoter or referee.

History of the WOWSA Talks[edit]

2010[edit]

2011[edit]

2012[edit]

2013[edit]

2014[edit]

2015[edit]

2016 & 2017[edit]

  • The 2016 - 2017 Global Open Water Swimming Conference was held at the Bizerta Hotel Resort in Tunis, Tunisia, hosted by Minister Majdouline Cherni of the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Tunisia, 2016 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year Nejib Belhedi, Imed Jabri, Secretary of State for Youth and Sports in Tunisia, Chokri Ben Hassen, Minister Advisor, and Afif Kchouk, President Director General of Bizerta Hotel Resort.

The 2016 - 2017 Global Open Water Swimming Conference, Ouma and World Iron Swim was held concurrently between 9-13 September 2017 at the Bizerta Resort Hotel and in the Bizerta Channel. It covered the following topics:

1. Safety in the Open Water
2. Global Opportunities in the Open Water
3. Outstanding Races of 2016 including the Rio Olympic 10K Marathon Swim
4. Charity Swims
5. Environmental Swims
6. Ice Swimming and Winter Swimming
7. Ouma in Tunisia and around the World for the Next Generation
8. World Iron Swims
9. Speciality Swims including High-altitude Swims, Prison Island Swims and Stage Swims
10. New Equipment and Emerging Technologies of the Open Water
11. Corporate Sponsorship in the Sport
12. Honoring 2016 WOWSA Awards Winners: Nejib Belhedi, World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year (Tunisia), Jaimie Monahan, World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year (USA), Sarah Thomas, World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year (USA), Samsung Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swim, World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year (Turkey)
13. Future Trends in the Open Water Community

2018[edit]

The 2018 WOWSA Talks is combined with the annual WOWSA Awards held at The Olympic Club in downtown San Francisco, California.

Speakers include Quinn Fitzgerald, The Olympic Club Swim Commissioner, Ben Lecomte on transoceanic swimming, Steven Munatones on Tactics and Strategies Used at the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim, Meg Gill of Golden Road Brewery on Corporate Sponsorship in the Open Water World, Evan Morrison of the Marathon Swimmers Federation on LongSwims database, insights and data analyses, Darren Miller of Oceans Seven on Utilizing Your Dryland Talents In The Open Water, Dan Simonelli of the Open Water Swim Academy on the Planning and Logistics of a Channel Swim, Ed Rudloff and Mike McCaffery on The History of Open Water Swimming at the Olympic Club, Bill Brenner, Chief Operating Officer of U.S. Masters Swimming on open water swimming with U.S. Masters Swimming, Bryce Elser, USA Swimming National Team Open Water Director, on Athlete Progression to Podium Success, Shelley Taylor-Smith, 7-time world marathon swimming champion, on The Year 1991, Ram Barkai, Founder of International Ice Swimming Association on The Future of Ice Swimming, Pat Gallant-Charette on Never Too Old, and Cameron Bellamy on Achieving the Oceans Seven.

Additionally, the 2018 Trans Tahoe Relay Honors and WOWSA Awards will be given World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year Antonio Argüelles (Mexico), World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year Jaimie Monahan (USA), World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year Margarita Llorens Bagur (Spain), World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year Sea Donkey film with Adrian Sarchet (Guernsey) and James Harrison.

2019[edit]

The 2019 Open Water Summit is part of the annual WOWSA Awards held at the Redondo Beach Coastal Challenge on the shores of the Catalina Channel in Redondo Beach, California.

The Open Water Summit will honor Guinness World Records holders and the 2018 WOWSA Awards recipients:

WOWSA Talks Speakers[edit]

Speakers at the Global Open Water Swimming Conference include Olympic medalists, English Channel swimmers, world record holders, renowned coaches, world open water swimming champions, professional marathon swimmers, physicians, writers, authors, race directors, officials, motivational speakers, and administrators from the Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania including Lewis Pugh, Martin Strel, Shelley Taylor-Smith, Captain Tim Johnson, Steven Munatones, Dr. Penny Dean, Dr. Annette Salmeen, Dr. Jim Miller, Gerry Rodrigues, Ram Barkai, Anne Marie Ward, Pedro Rego Monteiro, Diana Nyad, Craig Dietz, Ben Lecomte, Simon Murie, Colin Hill, Ned Denison, Wayne Riddin, Trent Grimsey, Nejib Belhedi, Greta Andersen, Shelley Taylor-Smith, Dan Empfield, Sid Cassidy, Lewis Pugh, Martin Strel, Steven Munatones, Anne Marie Ward, Ram Barkai, and Ventura Deep Six. Race directors from the Great Swim in Great Britain (Colin Hill), Cadiz Freedom Swim in South Africa (Ram Barkai), King and Queen of the Sea in Rio de Janeiro (Pedro Rego Monteiro), the Midmar Mile in South Africa (Wayne Riddin), Flowers Sea Swim in the Cayman Islands (Frank Flowers), Waikiki Roughwater Swim in Hawaii (Kaia Hedlund), Clean Half Extreme Marathon Swim in Hong Kong (Doug Woodring) and Catalina Channel Swimming Federation (Penny Dean and David Clark) and swimmers who have successfully completed the English Channel, Catalina Channel, Cook Strait, Tsugaru Channel, Strait of Gibraltar, Molokai Channel and the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim provide unique perspectives on open water swimming.

Need for Global Discussions[edit]

After the inclusion of marathon swimming in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and its announced return at the 2012 London Olympics in Hyde Park, London and at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics at Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and in Tokyo Bay at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan, there was a growing need for sharing information between race directors, athletes, coaches, administrators and referees.

Awards Ceremonies[edit]

At the WOWSA Talks, awards are presented to the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year, and the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year. Special Lifetime Achievement Awards are also presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport over their lifetime including Greta Andersen, Siga Rose and Dan Empfield.

In 2011, the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame also began incorporating its induction ceremonies with the Global Open Water Swimming Conference where swimmers like Drury Gallagher, Yuko Matsuzaki, Fran Crippen, Anne Cleveland and Dr. Harry Huffaker were honored at a special ceremony in the United Nations.

In 2014, the following individuals were honored:

2012 Global Open Water Swimming Conference[edit]

2019 Open Water Summit Introduction Video[edit]


With Quinn Fitzgerald, Megan Melgaard, Steven Munatones

External links[edit]