2011 Global Open Water Swimming Conference

From Openwaterpedia
Dr. Jim Miller, medical specialist at the Global Open Water Swimming Conference
Drury Gallagher 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
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
John Dussliere, Olympic Open Water Swimming Coach
Joel Wilson of Santa Cruz

The Global Open Water Swimming Conference is an annual meeting focused exclusively on the sport of open water swimming, including marathon swimming and swimming during triathlons and multi-sport endurance events.


Speakers at the 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 and administrators from the Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania. These speakers have included 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. and many other luminaries of the sport.


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 Global Open Water Swimming Conference 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.

Need for Global Discussions

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, there was a growing need for sharing information between race directors, athletes, coaches, administrators and referees.

Those who give presentations include Greta Andersen, Shelley Taylor-Smith, Dan Empfield, Sid Cassidy, Lewis Pugh, Martin Strel, Steven Munatones, Anne Marie Ward, Ram Barkai, Ventura Deep Six and others. 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 Swim in Hong Kong (Doug Woodring) and Catalina Channel Swimming Federation (Penny Dean and David Clark) and swimmers who have successfully swum the English Channel, Catalina Channel, Cook Strait, Tsugaru Channel, Strait of Gibraltar, Molokai Channel and the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim provided unique perspectives on their chosen sport.

Awards Ceremonies

At the Global Open Water Swimming Conference, 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. Special Lifetime Achievement Awards are also presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport over their lifetime including 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.


The conference was first held in Long Beach, California in 2010 and the second conference was held at Columbia University and the United Nations in New York City in 2011.

The conference's mission statement 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.


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