Cold water preparation: nature or nurture?

t’s cold outside. The water is also cold – freezing cold in many locations. Throughout the winter months, there are a large and growing number of Polar Bear Swims around the world. The swims range from Hawaii (Maui Polar Bear Fin Swim) to Finland (Finnish Winter Swimming Championships).

What is the best way to prepare for these cold-water swims? It reminds us of the nature vs. nurture debate. Modifying this classic debate for our sport, is an open water swimmer’s innate qualities (e.g., body fat percentage, natural ability to withstand cold water, mental toughness, ability to push oneself) more important than the swimmer’s personal experiences (e.g., amount of training and acclimatization to cold water) when determining one’s ability to swim well in cold water?

Pro English Channel Races of the 1950's

The original article (with foto's) by Steven Munatones is on the 10kswimmer website since 2008-01-08.

With the credible rumors that major international races will be held in the English Channel in 2009, it calls to mind the professional English Channel races that were held in the 1950's.

The first race was held in 1950 and was limited to 20 participants from around the world, sponsored by the London Daily Mail. A 41-year-old Egyptian by the name of El-Rheim won the first race in a then-record of 10 hours and 50 minutes over an international field.

In 1951, another Egyptian, 34-year-old Hamad, won the race in 12 hours 12 minutes by just one minute over Frenchman Roger de Morvan who had also placed second in 1950. In addition to France, England and Egypt, swimmers also came from Canada, Argentina, Sweden, Peru, Greece, the Netherlands and Denmark.

Between 1953 and 1959, the pro races across the Channel were sponsored by Billy Butlin of Butlin's Holiday Camps.

"Prettige kerstdagen en een gelukkig nieuwjaar" wish all of you in Dutch: "Prettige kerstdagen en een gelukkig nieuwjaar" and a lot of nice swims.
And remember: Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

Acholi: Mot ki Yomcwing Botwo Me Mwaka Manyen
Adhola: Wafayo Chamo Mbaga & Bothi Oro Manyeni
Aeka: Keremisi jai be
Afrikaans: ‘n Geseënde Kersfees en 'n Voorspoedige Nuwe Jaar
Ahtna: C'ehwggelnen Dzaen

Open Water Swimming - For Beginners

I learned to swim in a lake where my family lived, in northern Wisconsin. My siblings and I trained summer workouts in open water since the nearest pool was a thirty minute drive and our back yard was more convenient. Due to this immersion, it did not seem strange when I competed in my first open water race in Seal Beach, California, in my late twenties. Open water swimming has been a never ending adventure. Some of my favorite memories are from swims; leaving from Catalina Island for the California mainland at 1 am on a windless moonlight night, watching the phosphorescence glow as my arm pulled through the water and fish darted below; swimming in tandem with my husband, Dave, silhouetted against the beautiful blue Caribbean water off the coast of St. Lucia. Other memories include the sense of fear before beginning a 42 kilometer race in Newport Vermont, which heads north up Lake Memphremagog towards Canada and a 'foggy' memory (due to mild hypothermia) of finishing in Calais, France after crossing the English Channel.

Advice to new Channel swimmers

Summary of several articles by Michael Oram on Google chat site Channel_swimmers and on


Think what you are doing and keep a diary / log of all your training.
Your keenness might be good but your approach might need a little thought.
Firstly if you are willing to put in the training ( a lot of it) you should be able to physically do the swim. -------
Unfortunately 80% + of the swim is mental attitude. That part you need to get into perspective yourself.
It needs to be positive, positive & positive.
Remember the English Channel is one of - if not - the worlds top open water swim. It has waves, tides, wind, unpredictable weather patterns, lots of shipping and the water is cold (16°-18°C).

Webmaster Richard Broer attempting to swim Strait of Gibraltar

updated 30-09-2008

Richard Broer is in Tarifa, Spain for his attemp to swim the `Strait of Gibraltar` under the rules of the ACNEG.  He will try to swim 30 September with 1, 2 and 3 October as backup dates. All can be followed at if you can understand/read Dutch.

Good luck Richard and think about our slogan.

Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

 2 October at 14.30 hour is his starting time.

Thursday 2008-10-02
Sunrise 6:18 UTC, Sunset 18:04 UTC
Moonrise 9:26 UTC, Moonset 19:28 UTC
High Tide: 3:01 UTC 1.2
Low Tide: 8:26 UTC 0.3
High Tide: 15:12 UTC 1.2
Low Tide: 20:45 UTC 0.3

So his plan is to swim diagonal with the tide and the last part straight south when the tide is low.

Music by the pool invalidates Beijing Olympic swimming Gold medals by Michael Phelps

For full article, photos, references and data tables please visit

Alexei R Koudinov

Did you notice that some swimmers wear earphones and are listening music just before their every Olympic start, at Beijing's Summer Olympiad Water Cube pool deck, be it finals or semifinals? I first noticed that before Michael Phelps first gold swim on August 10: he removed earphones 2 minutes before the start, and he was the only swimmer who worn earphones at the pool deck. During other finals several other swimmers worn headphones. Intriguing scientific evidence testifies: Listening to music improves blood oxygen capacity and is a performance enhancement.

Swimmer hit by 'monster' wake

The original article by Matthew Taylor is posted on The Westmorland Gazette since 10:24am Thursday 23rd July 2009

A BIZARRE swimming incident on Windermere coincided with the announcement that a paranormal investigator will plumb the lake’s depths in search of a giant creature.

Thomas Noblett, 46, was swimming the lake this week when he was suddenly swamped by a three-foot wave of unknown origin.

A spate of eyewitness sightings reported by The Gazette during 2006-2007 described a 50-foot long serpent-like animal surfacing on Windermere.

Psychic Dean ‘Midas’ Maynard, who came to prominence by accurately predicting sports score lines and X factor winners, will hunt for the beast in September.

Mr Noblett trains on the lake for four hours every day in preparation for a channel swim.

1th Crossing Croatia - Italy 121 km

1 ° Crossing Croatia - Italy
Croatia- Veli Rat -- Italy- Porto Recanati 121 km
Crossing Croatia -- Italy
Google translation: Italian - English



Shark in swimming pool

source: divemagazine
original: divemagazine
date: 11 / 07 / 08

A shark was found in a swimming pool at Sydney's Cronulla beach after being swept in by a freak wave.

Good Turns vs. Flip Turns

source: 10k swimmer
original: 10k swimmer
by: Steven Munatones
date: Thursday, June 26, 2008

Around the pool deck, it is rumored that open water swimmers have bad turns. While that may be true, turns are defined differently by open water swimming community.

Great pool swimmers know how to quickly get in and out of the walls. World-class swimmers gain momentum as they streamline off the wall with maximum velocity. The incredible power of Michael Phelps and the beautiful grace of Natalie Coughlin off the walls are truly something to watch.

Do open water swimmers really have bad turns? Pool turns, maybe. What is considred a good open water turn? How are these turns executed?

There are 5 major distinctions.

Swimming In Open Water Safety Tips


Whether you are training for a triathlon or you are just wanting to stay in shape, swimming in open water breaks the monotony of the mind-numbing lengths of a swimming pool. Open water swimming is great fun, but don't ignore your safety. Here are a few tips for swimming safely in open water.

Ocean's Seven

source: 10kSwimmer
original: 10kSwimmer
by: Steven Munatones
date: Monday, June 23, 2008

The Seven Summits are the highest mountains in each of the seven continents. Successfully scaling these mountains is a mountaineering challenge attained by only the strongest. As of 2007, 198 climbers have achieved this expensive and physically demanding goal.

Open water swimming’s version of the Seven Summits is the Ocean’s Seven.

The Ocean’s Seven include (1) the Irish Channel between Ireland and Scotland, (2) the Cook Strait between the North and South Islands of New Zealand, (3) the Moloka’i Channel between O’ahu and Moloka’i Islands in Hawaii, (4) the English Channel between England and France, (5) the Catalina Channel near Los Angeles, California, (6) the Tsugaru Channel between Honshu and Hokkaido in Japan, and (7) the Strait of Gibraltar between Europe and Africa.

No Harm, No Foul - Reffing Open Water Swimming

Sunday, January 20, 2008
No Harm, No Foul - Reffing Open Water Swimming