Friday, August 31, 2007

New record in the 800scm freestyle

I got a Swimming World News alert that a new world record was set in the 800 SCM relay. here is a snippet from it :

"...THE Australian foursome of Grant Hackett, Kirk Palmer, Grant Brits and Kenrick Monk took down the short course meter 800 freestyle world record at the Telstra Australian Short Course Championships held in Melbourne on August 31

The quartet clocked a time off 6:52.66 that destroyed the previous record of 6:56.41 set by compatriots Ian Thorpe, Michael Klim, William Kirby and Hackett in 2001. ..."

From Hansen Media in Australia, here is a link with more results of the Telstra Australian Short Course Swimming Championships at the Melbourne Sports And Aquatic Centre. [Link]

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Wasserman Media Group/USA Swimming deal has to be clarified

I pulled this paragraph off the Wasserman Media Group site:

"... WASSERMAN MEDIA GROUP FORMS LANDMARK MARKETING AND PROGRAMMING PARTNERSHIPS WITH USA GYMNASTICS, USA SWIMMING, AND USA TRACK & FIELD

WMG’s technology, market savvy, and capital investment will help us build something new and provide a comprehensive platform to members, fans, and corporate partners. This combined effort will allow us to create resources that promote our brands, programs, athletes, and events, and serve the passions of those who care about these sports on a daily basis,” said Steve Penny, President, USA Gymnastics. ..." [Link]

It's all marketing-speak. Everything I read about the Wasserman Media Group and USA swimming deal is usually nothing more than cleverly packaged phrases with no specifics whatsoever.

What programming rights does USA Swimming control which allows them to do a programming partnership? They don't own the swimmers and they do not own the pools. If they were a union or an organization like the NFL or MLB I could understand but they are nothing more than a non-profit non-governmental body. What programming rights do they dictate? This is not a rhetorical question.

'Sportsnet' took 'Timed Finals' off their link list!

I went to Sportnet.com to see if I could find some swim videos; I found some here: Link, which I cannot embed them. However, something odd happened when I visited the site this morning versus when I visited the site tonight.

Here is some background: The Wasserman Group owns Sportnet, they are also the same people that have a marketing deal with USA swimming. This is what surprised me: Lo and behold, this morning they listed TF or Timed Finals as one of their properties; meaning they own them. However, now it is gone!

What also is a bit weird is that they list USA Swimming as one of their properties but how can USA Swimming be a property of a corporation when it is suppose to be a non-profit or non-governmental body? Freudian slip or bad grammar.

I cannot provide a photo because I am afraid they will send legal ninjas after me like they did to the people that posted that YouTube video that got removed. Reference: [Link]

'Open Water Clinic' in Venice this weekend

OCEAN CLINICS: Saturday 9/1 Venice Beach, 10:00am. You want great coaching to optimize your ocean races/triathlons. SCAQ is the premiere ocean racing team in So Cal with so many victories in all age groups. You want some tips on entering, exiting the surf, deal with currents, sighting and other tactics then take a clinic. We have to have swimmers strong enough, about 4X100's on 2:00. If you are unsure about your swimming ability, it is highly recommended that you enroll in a Swim 101 Clinic prior to the Ocean Clinic or come by a SCAQ workout. Call the SCAQ office to register at 310-390-5700

I will be doing a Playa-Del-Run aquathon on September 8th at Zuma beach. (I will just be doing the swim and I think I may swim it without a wetsuit this year.) Details here: [Link]


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

You have heard of 'Timed Finals' - Now here is 'Timed Prelims'

I have nothing to do with this satire site making fun of Timed Finals: [Link]

UPDATE: THE TEXT MESSAGES ARE ACTUALLY REAL

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Made some progress on looking for a wetsuit.

UPDATE: merritt has sent us a link to Blue Seventy and though it too has lousy graphics, it did win the top wetsuit award from 220 Triathlon which is a tri-magazine and has conducted these awards for the past two years: [Link]

The suits listed below are rather expensive but they include lots of info on what makes them best.
Here is a really helpful buyers guide
from OneTri: Triathlon Wetsuit Buying Guide:

Here is a snippet:

"... Level 3: If you’re looking for the most comfortable and fastest wetsuit with the newest technology then we’d consider you Level 3. If you’re looking for every little edge and don’t mind spending more for the top of the line wetsuit then these are the ones for you. These wetsuits generally have the best quality and most buoyant rubber. As well they are designed with efficiency and flexibility in mind. ..." (Caveat: OneTri sells all these models)

Here are some "level 3" wetsuits suggested:

Zoot: Zoot Zenith for Men and Zoot Zenith for Women

Orca: Orca Apex 2 Fullsleeve Triathlon Wetsuit Men's and Orca Apex 2 Fullsleeve, Triathlon Wetsuit Women's

2XU: 2XU Elite Triathlon Wetsuit for Men and 2XU Elite Triathlon Wetsuit for Women

De Soto: De Soto T1 First Wave Pullover Triathlon Wetsuit, De Soto T1 First Wave Bibjohn Triathlon Wetsuit, De Soto T1 Speedtube 5 Triathlon Wetsuit

It turns out the the US Triathlon Association has rules regarding wetsuits. (Here is a link to the PDF regarding those rules:
competition-rules-master5.PDF.) For instance, a wetsuit with 5mm of rubber is illegal and said wetsuit has to be made of a material that FINA or ITU approves when racing in USTS events. Also, which I found really odd, is that you cannot wear just wetsuit bottoms for a race. I would totally want to do that and I think it is silly that you can't. (Section D.5.2)

For me I want most of the rubber in the reg area and a lot less rubber in the torso part. Since triathletes are generally not know for their swimming prowess, suit companies are making both the torso thicker and the arms thinest for flotation purposes. I currently have a wetsuit like that and though the arm area is thin and mobile, the trunk area is thicker and less mobile. I feel this effects my shoulder flexibility.

BTW: All have bad logos or cheesy prints!

Monday, August 27, 2007

What is the fastest wetsuit on the market?

When I was a kid, Olympians were not allowed to accept any sort of sponsorship cash or endorsement fees whatsoever or they would have been labeled a professional and thus excluded from the Olympic games. All athletes had to be "amateurs" rather than branding proxies.

I am moving up into the next age group next month and I want to do really well when I do the Alcatraz Sharkfest Swim, perhaps even medal in my age group. I want a really fast time and that requires a fast wetsuit. Athletes today simply wear what they are paid to wear so I can't use them as a reference.

Now here is my problem, I want a fast wetsuit. I want the Porsche or the "Formula 1" of wetsuit engineering! I want the neoprene to part the water like Moses! About.com tells me that the Desoto T1 wetsuits are the fastest but About.com is all about ad revenue and I suspect their articles are suggested by advertisers.

If I were buying a car I could go to consumer reports. I can't do that for a wetsuit. Hence, I ask you this? What is the fastest wetsuit? I know that is like asking what the fastest shoe is but shoes can be codified to thei exact strengths and weaknesses.

I wear a Quintana Roo which has this hideous logo on the front with a giant arrow incorporated into the design that conveniently points at a man's wanker. Who was the genius that approved that design!? (That is not me in the photo above but check out that awful logo. Yep, I own that suit and I want a new one.)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Swim News did a bunch of homework handicaping the 2008 Olympics

Swim News did a bunch of homework sizing up their favorites for the the swim events in Beijing. You would think Craig Lord was a Las Vegas actuary or odds maker in that his list is so thorough. Here is a link to the Craig's. [Link]

The photo above is Ben Wildman Tobriner of Stanford. He is my favorite for the 50m free since he can swim consistently under 22.00. (He has done so 3 times according to the Swim News article.)

Alain Bernard has posted the fastest time this year but he needs to post a couple of sub 22s before I change my mind.

The above photo comes from EmmyMik's photostream at Flickr.com. Here is a direct link to the photo: [Link]

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Some new sea monsters were found about 2700 meters deep

Don't worry, Tokyo is safe but isn't that glass looking creature pictured above exceptionally creepy? It's like part flea and part crab. Like a horrible STD nightmare.

Live Science
has an article entitled: "Colorful Carpet of Cool Sea Creatures Discovered 2 Miles Deep"; (I swear to God that is the title). Written
By Jeanna Bryner, LiveScience staff writer. Snippet: "...The finds were made by a team of 31 scientists during a five-week expedition to explore life along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge using remotely operated vehicles equipped with digital cameras and other technologies...."

The new species of Ostracod, freak me out the most. They look like brains swimming around in glass jars.

This squid looks like it has a fish in it's head acting as it's "pilot" but the jewel squid, looks like a piece of Victorian "bling-bling."

The bottom of the ocean is like a mad scientist's laboratory. [Link]

A 15-year-old beat Libby Lenton in the 50m free in a time of 24.48

Her name is Cate Campbell - AUS, and if she can beat Libby Lenton -AUS, she can beat Dara Torres, and if she can beat Dara Torres, she can beat our patron saint, Natalie Coughlin. Yikes! [Link], [more Link]

Keep your eye on her; I know all of the above will. In the photo above, she is featured on the left after winning a silver in the 100m free. Libby Lenton is in the middle and Zhu Yingwen - CHN on the far right.

This wonderful photo of Cate Campbell came from atrip's photoset on Flickr.com. Here is a direct link to the photo above: [Link]

Just a closing thought, note the yellow Nike logo on the red pants of Zhu Yingwen. Maybe I use the word irony to much; (well, actually I do), but to witness a prominent capitalistic logo featured in communist colors overtly displayed upon a team uniform is surreal to me. I

It appears Nike will be anything to anybody so as to sell shoes and clothes. The Chinese government appears to be a slow meandering process so as not to lose face that the Communist Manifesto; though it looks great on paper, does not work as an economic platform.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Rebecca Soni is back on my radar

Chiba, Japan: Rebecca Soni swam a 2:23.36 versus Liesel Jones 2:21.45 which is pretty darn fast at this time of year. Libby Lenton swam a sub 25 for the 50m free as well.

Seiko has the results for the Chiba meet here: [Link]

I yanked this photo from the USA Swimming website. Hopefully copyright ninjas from the Wasserman Media Group don't come after me. Connected to this photo is an interview with her as well: [Link]

IOC: Stiffer penalties but potential amnesty for dopers!

Before that meet in Chiba, Japan, the President of the IOC, Jacques Rogge, discussed proposing stiff new measures to counter doping.

In society, or in this case sports, when penalties or laws become more harsh or more strict that is generally a red flag. If you read between the lines in the submitted articles below, it appears to me that the IOC, WADA and USADA are apparently losing the war on doping. I say that because penalties imposed by society or organizations are primarily nothing short of incentives to modify behavior. When these incentives become more harsh or more encompassing, it means the former incentives were not working.

Though the IOC will punish dopers more stringently they will lessen the suspensions and/or bans greatly if an athlete completely debriefs detailing his or her complete doping network which includes coaches, doctors, suppliers, manufacturers and individuals they know are doping as well. Here are some news articles about the proposed rule changes:

BBC News: [Link]
Swim News: [Link]
International Herald Tribune: [Link]

My take: Perhaps they need to start doing supplemental tests such as blood and hair rather than just urine? Though hair is controversial for some races, it could provide a preponderance of evidence needed to justify or clarify what sort of "sneaky" chemical is being used.

Hair testing info: Craig Medical Distribution: [Link]
Drug testing info: Wikipedia: [Link]

I am not looking forward to the day when gene doping, "Tommy John" surgeries, and the lengthening tendons by severing them becomes the undetectable norm.

Science News on Gene doping: [Link]
Wired Magazine Blog: Teenage Pitchers Volunteer for Tommy John Surgery: [Link]

The picture above is of disgraced Tour de France rider, Floyd Landis USA, who tested positive for artificially high testosterone levels after "winning" Le Tour. The picture comes from missingsaddle photostream at Flickr.com. Here is a direct link to the photo: [Link]

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Two local girls from USC storm it in Chiba, Japan

Chiba, Japan, the sci-fi setting for William Gibson's seminal novel, Neuromancer. It was a novel where the word, Cyberspace, was coined.

Today, Tara Kirk and Rebecca Soni, two local girls from USC California; (Soni attends USC while Kirk attends Stanford), stormed it in 100m Breast racing against Leisel Jones of Australia. Though they finished 2nd and 3rd place, it was a very close race.

From About.com: "... Soni, who swept the breaststroke events at the 2007 Conoco Phillips USA Swimming Nationals, hammered home in a time of 1:06.94 to finish just behind Australia’s world-record holder Leisel Jones in second place. Kirk took home the bronze in 1:07.31. ..." [Link]

I think if I swam an all out 100m free, I could a high 1:08. I guess I have some work to do!

This wonderful photo is part of jdlasica's photostream at Flickr.com

Dara Torres won't swim the 100 fly

Lane 9 News: Dara says, "Dude, I'm 40! Leave that to the 30-somethings like Therese Alshammar!"

Just kidding; she said this instead: [Link]

This photo is part of mrjkbh's photostream at Flickr.com

The Radisson SAS Hotel, Berlin: 'AquaDom', World's Biggest Aquarium



Now here is an aquarium that is 25 meters high, contains 250,000 gallons of sea water, it is stocked with 2500 tropical fish, dozens and dozens of different species, you can travel up and down in it elevator, party in the Aqua Lounge after work or rent a room within it. Whew, that was a lot to say.

you can not only travel through the aquarium by way of an elevator but you can rent a room with a window into the aquarium. Then there is the Auqa Lounge for unwinding after work.


Quoted form Fogonazos "... Placed at the lobby of the Radisson SAS Hotel in Berlin, the 25 meters high AquaDom is the largest cylindrical aquarium ever built. Filled with about 900,000 liters of seawater, it contains some 2600 fish of 56 species. ..." [Link]

From ARCspace:
"... The new Radisson SAS Hotel is located on the banks of the River Spree, across from Museum Island and the Berliner Dom, in the historical center of the new Berlin. ..." [Link]

From the Radisson SAS, Hotel, Berlin website: "... All 427 rooms and suites are tastefully decorated and have a spectacular view of either Berlin or the colourful; [British selling], ocean view of the AquaDom.

The Aqua Lounge and Atrium Bar offer a relaxing atmosphere, where you are able to relax and unwind after a long day. ..." [Link]

Monday, August 20, 2007

Photo: Ocupational and recreational swimmer, Natalie Coughlin in Fiji with friends and SCAQ member Bill Ireland


Besides looking like she does a 1000 sit-ups a day, Natalie will win because even on her vacation she is out there swimming for fun. Natalie in Fiji with some friends.

Loving her Speedo Bikini. Looks fast. (Even on her free time she wears Speedos.)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Well That Shows Mao, huh!

I am copy/pasting the snippet below from BeijingWideOpen. Here is the exact link to the post: [Link]

"... And there’s no shortage of information to share and talk about. The most amazing development since my last post is that Ai Wei Wei, one of China’s most celebrated artists and the designer of the Bird’s Nest, has come out against Beijing’s Olympics. In this unbelievably damning report from Al Jazeera posted on YouTube, Ai Wei Wei says that the Olympics don’t represent the true face of China and he wants nothing more to do with them anymore. ..."

Here is an actual photo of the "Bird's Nest" below:

Lane 9 News dug up a fascinating study from a news report from the China View that the "Bird's Nest" may be susceptible to lightening strikes. Now wouldn't that suck?!

"... In an academic paper submitted Thursday to the ongoing 13th International Conference on Atmospheric Electricity, Guo Hu, head of the Beijing Meteorological Observatory (BMO), and his fellow researcher Xiong Yajun concluded, after studying the 11-year lightning disaster data from 1995 to 2005, that Haidian District was the area most seriously affected by lightning disasters. ..."
Lane 9 News [Link] China View [Link]

In architectural design, function MUST come before aesthetics! I know that is very "Atlas Shrugged" of me but it is especially true in this case where you could have "two-kadrillion" volts dancing around the stadium like Pac-Man. The concept of being "vaporized" is quite scary.

I love satire especially when it is both funny and true

Uinninsta is my favorite swimming blog on the "internets." Even national champions post comments to blog posts there. I have been lucky enough for them to link me from time to time and this is a "Stephen Colbert On Notice" list they made over at Shipbrook. Make your own list too. Jason saw it first and sent it to me.

Here is a critical post I made about Timed Finals: [Link]
Here is a critical post of Craig Lord: [Link]
I didn't write about the Ian Thorpe positive test for elevated testosterone.
I would take Laure Manaudou of the list due to a personal internal bias.
Link leechers who don't share the source really blow
Jani Sievinen is/was a Finnish swimmer. I don't know who Jane Sievinen is.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

This is not a crowd of people - it's a crowd a people in a swimming pool in Japan

Well, not exactly a swimming pool but rather a wave pool. I found this at kilian-nakamura.

One reader comment to the photo above was rather amusing: "...Americans would not be able to handle that kind of closeness. There would be fights. It is a testament to the manners in Japanese society...."

Then the retort: "I agree with Clayton. Americans would not be able handle that kind of stupidity..."

See the below You Tube of the spectacle once a wave rolls by:

"Self-Talk - The Power of Pre-event Thought - Mind Training Tips for Swimmers"

I once had a surfing dream that was so real and so immersive that when I woke up I was gasping for air in a complete panic not quite sure how I ended up in my bedroom instead of trapped underwater by the currents at Zuma beach. (Sleep apnea?)

The dream saw me wiping out on a big wave and apparently I had held my breath in my sleep. Suddenly I woke up hyperventilating to get air in a full blown panic complete with a racing heart and adrenaline surge. Stuff like this happens to me when I visualize.

If I visualize a race, I will lose two seconds before stepping on the blocks because I will be hyperventilating by the time the bell goes off. Many champions like Greg Louganis et al. have had very good results through visualization. Here is an About.Com article about it: [Link]

Photo from youngdoo's photostream at Flickr.com.

Breaking a minute in the 100m breast

I like these kinds of articles. Articles that chronicle accomplishments rather than failures. I once heard on an NPR radio play that the sports page is the most important part of a newspaper for they embrace a person's quest for the unobtainable rather than their destruction.

Here is a Lane 9 News article about how many times the one minute barrier has been broken. Photo By: Stephen J Thomas: [Link]

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Wasserman Media Group, LLC

I was about to post a You Tube of Michael Phelps swimming the 200 back at Nationals seemingly filmed by a guy in the stands but the Wasserman Group, LLC made You Tube pull it.

It's ironic that they complain about copyright infringement and I will go into detail about it in another post but for now, swimmers who follow USA swimming, or post videos of it will soon become overly aware of who this group is. According to their press release at USA Swimming here is a carefully worded summation of their intentions:

"...USA Swimming has entered into a long-term exclusive partnership with Wasserman Media Group, which will see WMG represent the NGB; [NGB means non-profit], in the marketplace for sponsorship, events and marketing opportunities, and develop digital platforms to broaden distribution and original programming. Through this partnership, the organizations will work together to promote the sport, attract commercial partners and better serve athletes, coaches and fans... [Link]

Hearing words like 'marketing opportunities' and 'original programming' didn't mention how coaches, and athletes will profit but they sure made it clear that USA Swimming and Wasserman would. That short paragraph above smelled of money to me and not promotional activities to make swimming more popular. Also the line about commercial partners to better serve coaches, athletes, and fans summarily reads to me as, Swimmers provide the content, and they keep all the money. Athletes, swimmers like us, and fans can just enjoy the fleecing.

Watercone converts seawater or "brackish water" into distilled water

Here is an amazing design that requires no automation whatsoever and allows for usable drinking by distilling problem water into a form we can ingest. It is called the "Water Cone." I found it at Not-Cot this afternoon.

There are only two ways to desalinate slat water; distilling it or running it through a process of complex filtration.

This device uses the former to create drinkable water by distilling it. It works like an ad hoc greenhouse. You pour the water into the bottom pan, the water evaporates due to the greenhouse heat and through condensation collects along the sides of the "window" and collects into a safe area to provide 1.6 liters of distilled water. (Australia could use a few million of these.)

Here is a link to the Water Cone site with a demonstration on the photos page as to how it works: [Link] Here is the home page: [Link]

Alternative sand castles

Well, it's August and that means it's time for regular beach runs for open-water swims, some surfing, maybe a triathlon, and, and, and, sand castles.

Here is sandsibility's photostream. First discovered by the readers of Not-Cot-dot-org!

This image, I believe, was created at a sand castle festival in Germany called the Sandfestival Ruhr.

BTW, rats prefer nuts not cheese. Trust me, I found out the hard way.

Beijing Water Cube will get a test swim in February

The Water Cube will get a test drive in February '08 where it will stage a "national swimming event." [Link]

According to the Telegraph UK, 300,000 Beijing residents were "relocated" to make way for this Olympic endeavor. To put that into perspective, imagine relocating all the residents of Pasadena, Altadena and Claremont, California and that still you would be 70-thousand short of matching the Beijing population relocation: [Link]

Ironically it will be western architecture rather than eastern designs that will be the showcase of these Olympic games so as to illustrate China's modernity. This article by the Herald tribune talks up pollution fears and how grand the architecture will be in representing China's future. [Link]

I found the above image in Mat Booth's photostream at Flickr.com I chose this "in progress" photo due to it's raw feeling versus the slick renderings and post modernist landscapes featured in the promo images. It also features the "Bird's Nest" or the Beijing Olympic Stadium where the track events and field events will take place.

On a personal note, there has been no pool better than the Munich Olympic pool. I am hoping London can at least match it but due to the lack of glass therein, Munich will remain number one with me.

2007 Dwight Crum Pier to Pier Race start


This was posted just 12 hours ago and like I said, I was on it as soon as I could find it. See you there next year.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Mark Savage, SCAQ swimmer and photgrapher shoots everything!


Mark occasionally misses a workout or two because his swanky publisher Corbis sends him out on the town to chronicle the ridiculous celebrity industrial complex we have out here. One day he got this idea to just set up a tripod with a point-and-shoot video camera on in it and film how silly red carpets shoots are no matter who walks across them. He put the videos on You Tube last week and they are being well received. Something like 1000 hits or more in some cases. What is so fun about his videos is that they reduce these people into looking like dolled up individuals you may see in a super market or at the race track or just like you or me. They are dorky, nervous, and vulnerable all at the same time.

The Paris Hilton one is my favorite. watch her make $50k by just pretending to be Paris Hilton as she stops and poses for about 15 seconds. [Link]

Mark has many websites for he shoots anybody and everything. Weddings, Celebrities, even me when I broke a minute in the 100 SCY free at Mission Viejo :-D

In this particular case this website features poets of Los Angeles: [Link]

An article in the 'New York Times' regarding the social politics/economics of bottled H2o

A solid anti bottled-water point of view: "...It takes 1.5 million barrels a year just to make the plastic water bottles Americans use, according to the Earth Policy Institute in Washington, plus countless barrels to transport it from as far as Fiji and refrigerate it...."

A solid pro-bottled water point of view: “...Paul Pentel, a physician in Minneapolis. “We have been trying to steer people away from the liquid candy — juices, pop and everything else,” he added. “From that standpoint, water is good, and I’m very hesitant to demonize bottled water.”

Indeed, some people wonder why environmentalists have singled out bottled water, and not dish detergent or [plastic] Wiffle Ball bats [and other polyvinyl toys]. ..."

This photo was taken from pt harriet's photostream at Flickr.com

Gary sent some mad photos of the Pier to Pier race his wife took .

Also note that Gary placed 137th out of 850+ swimmers that day placing him in the top 15% overall. I came in 153 places later placing 280th. Here is a link to a compete photo essay at Picassa: [Link]

In this picture I am good looking one in the middle, the one smiling at the camera! Cheese.

Video of the 2006 Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Race Start!


Mass start, but note the wankers running up the beach to the right to get an unfair race advantage. As soon as a 2007 video is posted I will will be all over it.

Naked swimmer found hiding from rescuers

Now here's a "New Yawker" who had this bright idea to go swimming at 9:20 PM last Saturday completely naked and by himself. So, Neal, Mello of Brooklyn goes to the beach, leaves his cell phone and wallet in his pants and ventures out into 3-5 swells and starts swimming. Soon after he is lost and swimming up and down the coast trying to find his pants.

After 40 minutes or so his girlfriend awakes, gets worried that he is missing, gathers up his clothes, LEAVES, and calls the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard immediately springs into action! A swanky helicopter, a few boats and and a full blown search and rescue mission is underway.


So, while this is all happening, Neil apparently finds the beach he left from but he can't find his clothes since his girlfriend went home with them.

So, Neal panics and goes back into the water probably thinking he is at the wrong beach.

At 5:30 AM they find Neil under a pier in Long Island hiding under from the Coast Guard rescuers out the sheer embarrassment of being found stark naked. This pisses the Coast Guard off to no end since they had boats, an expensive helicopter flying five miles off the coast, and the marine police looking for him. Guess who is going to be paying for it? Gothamist: [Link] Men's Health: [Link]

The above photo is of Long Beach, New York, the location where Mr. Mello decided to go swimming. The photo was taken form chschulz's photostream at Flickr.com

Have you ever had a weekend so bad you couldn't wait for Monday?

What is that cliché? Oh, here it is: "welcome to my world!" If I could have swam everything would have been okay. Hence, I will swim tonight at SMC so all will be gold once again.

Lot's to talk about today, namely all the world records set at Masters Nationals. Here is just a couple that surprised me. From Lane 9 News: [Link]

How about these three?

50 fly: Women's 45-49: Susan Walsh, 45, 29.84 (Angela Zingler, 30.30, 7/6/2001)
Women's 55-59: Laura Val, 56, 31.83 (Laura Val, 32.10, 4/22/2006)

200 free: Men's 50-54: Dan Stephenson, 50, 2:00.34 (Jim McConica, 2:02.50, 8/20/2000)

Mike Freshly, the guy who coined the best swimming quote ever: "Show me a swimmer who is 70 and he will look like 50; Show me a runner who is 70 and he will like like 90!" lost his world record in 200LCM breast to Richard Todd, 65-years-old, who swam a 3:03.47 lowering the record by slightly more than 4-seconds. Freshly has an amazing breaststroke. His biggest asset is his underwater work so this world record by Richard Todd is truly impressive.

USMS Results: [Link]

Friday, August 10, 2007

Swimming World is about to amp up overage of USMS events!

Jason just sent us this:

"... PHOENIX, Arizona, August 10, SPORTS Publications International will begin providing more United States Masters Swimming (USMS) coverage on a regular basis. Under the direction of Swimming World Magazine's editorial staff, Emily Sampl will begin covering Masters events as an intern starting Sept. 1st.

Most of what we envisioned for USMS as part of our desire to continue supporting USMS has been put into place with a better magazine design and layout, and the launching of new media vehicles in TV and Radio," Rutemiller said. "We went forward without USMS. We are now prepared to ramp up USMS coverage and evaluate those benefits going forward, but it is still a two-way street. We are proud to have Emily be a part of the team leading us in this area." [Link]

Perhaps send them photos or YouTube links of your USMS races as well?

UPDATE: Jason Asked: "... I'm really excited about that. One of them might have open water as a primary beat. So, anything special from the open water people out there would be grateful.

I personally would love to post anyone's pictures of an open water swim that really captured the spirit of the event. I would link to any You Tube movies as well. The idea here is to inspire others to swim or enjoy someone's swimming.

Never, ever, sign a contract that requires you use blood instead of ink. Laure Manadou just learned that.

Laure Manaudou signed in blood on the dotted line without the advice of a lawyer or her father and now rumors in and around the 'blogosphere' state that Satan's holding company will be auctioning off fragments her immortal soul on eBay. '0_o'

Actually, I made that up; but you knew that. However, are the following allegations below made by Laure Manaudou's father made up as well? From Swim News:

"...The contract, said Jean-Luc [Manaudou], held that Manaudou would pay for promotional activities should she wish to develop her Arena International collection. It also holds that the swimmer would forfeit up to 75 per cent of the value of the deal if she does not win in Beijing. ..." [Link]

I started thinking about the 'Kate Ziegler's effect' when I read that last clause. Keep in mind that taxes are 48.9% in France. If Laure lost, she would only get to keep 12% or her estimated 2 million Euros per year. Granted you can buy plenty of soup and Pinot Noir with 250k Euros, but you won't be able to retire off your earnings.

Swim News
has another article that discusses, Paolo Penso's, La Presse team's reaction which is translated by Swim News: " ...LaPresse then poses a series of questions, including]: Who has an interest in the rights to images of Laure Manaudou? Who is fearful of losing predicted millions by losing control over the champion? Who is preventing the athlete from living autonomously and independently? Who are the managers set to earn 20 to 25 per cent of [Manaudou's earnings]? [Link]

So, what do we have? La Presse originally said they "fired" Laure Manaudou for not wanting to work hard enough. Laure's group said, it was a bad contract. La Presse wonders aloud with rhetorical questions as to who she is accusing but they later site that that they are entitled to compensation.

Hence, there are three sides to this story: Laure's side; La Presse's side; and the truth. (I think the 3-sides quote comes from a song Don Henley wrote?)

The beautiful photo in the above right was taken from
guyomedw's photostream at Flickr.com. He can be contacted at: guyomedw[at]mac.com

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Four minute interview and slide show with the Beijing 'Water Cube' architect.

Jane McLean spoke with John Bilmon of PTW, the architects of this over-designed, form before function, aquatics center. Here is a link to the PTW site so you can see all of the 'horsey' stuff they build: [Link]

From CNN: The National Aquatics Centre, known as the "Water Cube," for the Beijing Olympics looks set to be ready in October 2007. ... he building's design and operation aims to live up to China's promise to be the most environmentally friendly Games ever. ..." [Link]

Greenest games ever? I don't think so. The IOC is all ready having issues with air quality and has suggested events be rescheduled if air quality is rated unhealthful: [Link]

Keep in mind this is a country that uses coal as a primary energy source, allows metal tailings to flow into rivers unregulated and prefers 'Sour Crude' oil instead of 'Brent Crude' or 'Sweet Crude' to drive their cars and buses. (Sour Crude contains more sulphur and costs more to refine but it is cheaper than Sweet Crude but pollutes more.)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

As noted in a comment by Charlie, the Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier swim results are up!

Just so Bill Kalmenson has a witness, he came in 8 seconds behind me but they listed him as coming in at 54.00. Also note that Daniel S. stormed it in 43:31. That is FAST! Congratualtions Daniel. [Link]

Michael Phelps "talks story," as the Hawaiians say, in this 'L.A. Times' article.

I wish I could say I saw this when I picked up the L.A. Times this morning but Swim News brought it to my attention first and they deserve credit. I subsequently did a Google news search and found it online.

Phelps discusses Libby Lenton's world record swim which was later denied by FINA. He suggested that Libby is a competitor and she tried to hold onto him by drafting. Phelps gives a nod of respect to that by stating it was a smart thing to do. He discusses seeing his near naked body on a cover of a magazine that proclaims he is the "world's greatest athlete," Also what it is like to live on his own etc. etc.

Bob Bowman has some comments as well about Michael's swimming performance at Worlds that nearly crosses the line into paranormal phenomena. Los Angeles Times article: [Link] Swim News on the Times article: [Link]

A total of twelve individual world records have been broken in the past seven months

Of course five of them belong to Michael Phelps. Swim news has a breakdown of all the world records set this year including relays as well. (Phelps was there in a relay too making it six world records out of eight records set for men's swimming.) They also include a prediction set with possible and probable contenders for the medal podium: [Link]

I like the photo above; it's so pop culture and reminds me how we all use media delivery systems such as this blog, You Tube, iPhones, DVRs, TIVOs, or otherwise to observe the art of swimming. This photo was taken from Roi de la Gala's Flickr set.

Photographer Grant Steinfeld sent us a link to some more swim photography

This time it is open water oriented. I "discovered" Grant when: "... Ogged shared a link with us all to some very rich underwater swim photography by Grant Steinfeld. [Link] Here is a link to his blog, Aqua Hill, with some great insights on photographing swimmers: [Link]

Here is a link to his latest work: [Link]

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Rep Maxine Waters wants a US boycott of the Olympics

Democrat Representative, Maxine Waters, of California introduced a resolution just before the August recess to boycott the Olympics over China's involvement in Dafur. She summarily did so at the last second and couldn't be reached for comment. Her resolution would be non-binding, or according to Politico.com's The Crypt: "... Just asking the president to "take immediate action to boycott the Summer Olympic Games of 2008 in Beijing, China." It was referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee. ..." [Where hopefully it dies a humiliatingly painful shredding.]

Her reasons are the same as the French left position, China's involvement with Dafur, and their defense dealings and oil contracts with them. She did not answer calls to defend it.

If you look up the word 'ineffectual" in the dictionary, you see that the derivation of the word comes from the phrase, "Olympic Boycott." It's right next to the word "Jimmy Carter" and "Francois Bayrou," the French candidate that put that idea out into the void in the first place.

Maxine Waters is a politician out here in Southern California whose district is located on the map right here: [Link]

If she is in your district, send her a note. The link regarding her boycott nonsense can be read here: [Link]

Manaudou to be coached by her brother!

Eurosport has the details: [Link] - Swim News has the best analysis: "... Having worked herself into a corner as far as getting the best coaching advice goes, the swimmer has opted to go for a choice that may offer her the best chance of stability in life, while young Nicolas can, presumably, count on the full and frequent support and intervention of Claude Fauquet, technical director, and the sports science teams, coaches and advisers at the helm of the French Federation. ..." [Link]

UPDATE: Alcatraz Challenge fatality

I want to begin with an apology. When I read of the death of a swimmer at the Alcatraz Challenge I presumed the swimmer; whose name is Sally, was a swimmer who may not have been prepared for how hard the swim is. I did not state that implicitly but perhaps it came across tacitly. It was never my intention to blame the victim and I should have rephrased my comments without associating them with a Alcatraz tragedy. My comments did offend those that knew her and I want to apologize.

In my post I primarily blamed pop-culture media who frequently feature human interests story about dogs, children or even naked people making the swim and I stately bluntly that this sort of reporting inspires people to attempt an Alcatraz swim when in fact they are summarily not qualified. I have seen several examples of this each year.

The swimmer who passed at Alcatraz last Sunday was named, Sally, and she was definitely qualified to do this swim. I am going to post a letter that Scott Davis, a friend of hers sent me:

"Tony-

Sally was an original member of our 'Y' Master's swim team and we had been swimming 10,000 - 12,000 yards per week in our practices for more than a year. I believe she had also been invited to compete in some Senior Olympic events in butterfly and had also completed the swim leg in an Olympic distance triathlon in open water earlier this year.

I was part of her group that swam the Alcatraz Challenge and the conditions were horrible. We don't know what happened, but out of respect for Sally, please don't make a comment unless you know what you are talking about. "

Scott, I apologive to you and anyone else who was offended by my post.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Gizmo out of Australia: Swim harder recover faster!

I saw this portable 'bathtub thingy' at Gizmag. [Since they won't let me use their picture, I have deleted their link] It is called the iCool Plunge. Without using ice this 'bathtub thingy' cools the water down to a specified temperature allowing the anti-inflammatory effects of the cold to reduce swelling, fatigue and exhaustion as well as internal muscle bleeding, pain and all the other scary stuff that happens when you push the limit and you want to fool your body into thinking it never happened.

The endorsement page seems very credible! It was used in the Athens Olympics and now it can be yours. Here is a Gizmag piece on it: [Link]

Here is the company website: [Link]

*Reminder: I get so compensation for writing about this product

Ben Woldman Tobriner in the 50m free.

The world champ wins at US Nationals defeating Cullen Jones by just 2-hundreds-of-a-second in a time of 21.80. Swim news: "...0.08 seconds inside his world-title effort and 0.04 second shy of the US record held by Gary Hall Jnr, equals the fourth-fastest time ever alongside Anthony Ervin, and takes him to second on the 2007 world rankings. ..." Second only to Alain Bernard of France who swam a 21.76. Swim News: [Link]

This is what the Stanford Magazine caption to the photo on the right says about Wildman-Tobriner:
Junior Ben Wildman-Tobriner, studying premed, holds school records in two events and is pointing toward the 2008 Olympics. [Link]

Put Therese Alshammar of Sweden on your radar!

We hear about Libby Lenton and Britta Steffen when sprints are discussed but Therese Alshammar may beat them both. From Craig Lord over at Swim News : "The result, a 24.23 Swedish record that fell just 0.10 second shy of the world record set by Inge de Bruijn, of the Netherlands when she took gold ahead of the Swedish sprinter's 24.44 at Sydney 2000." Behind her in second place was Britta Stefen by about 3/4 of a second. (Dara Torres American record is 24.53) [Link]

Above is Alshammar obviously swimming fly for which she has a world record in the 50m. I had to include this picture because her reach and the vacuum or air behind her shoulders to her hips blows me away. This photo was taken by
guyomedw's at Flickr

Italian Coach, Paolo Penso: "Laure Manaudou is a Lazy Bones"

WOW! Maly form France sent this comment: I was listening to [Laure's] lawyer on the French radio on one of the sports show, he said that Saturday, Laure told her dad that the Italian club had tried to make her sign a contract where she gave the club a big part [of the rights to her image] and a part of the profit of a company she owns who markets her image and that she refused.

She told her dad she made a mistake. There is a lot of money at stake, this year, l'Equipe estimated her gains to be about 2 million Euros [$2.75 million]. The French Federation gave her the choice between 5 or more coaches.

My Take: Laure, come to America where all the misfits from Europe live. You could go train at USC or with Kate Ziegler in Mission Viejo along with other male super stars. No one will ask you for rights to your trademark and you could also have access to me for really bad swimming advice.

Well, he really didn't say that but he did say this according to Lane 9 News: "If Laure wants to work hard I can help her do great things but if she's not ready to work hard, I'm not the right coach," said Paolo Penso, the head of the Italian club.

Hence Laure Manaudou may have been kicked off her Italian team. [Link] Even CNN reports: [Link] More info at Yahoo Eurosport: [Link] Here is a great headline and article: "The Italian club LaPresse has thrown out the French swimmer after her refusal to take part in the relays at the Paris Open.": [Link]

Laure Manaudou is the world record holder in the 200m and the 400m free.

UPDATE: More articles and opinions are being posted all over the place about her morals or motivations but what she apparently has in common with distance swimmers such as Popov, Thorpe and Janet Evans at the end of her career is that swimming 10-15 miles a day gets really old when you are in your early to mid-twenties.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

A swimmer died racing the Alcatraz Challenge today.

The blog post is over at 'Just add water', my favorite open water swimming blog. Acatraz is not an easy swim. When I see articles about dogs, children, toddlers swimming from Alcatraz to the mainland I get real mad because it cheapens how hard it actually is to swim. It is NOT an easy swim and it is the hardest open water swim I have ever done and a swim I take very seriously. Last year I swam a total of of seven, 2-mile ocean swims as well as swimming 3-4 days a week in a pool to prepare. [Link] SF Gate Article with photos [Link]

UPDATE: This comment by Sylvia deserves front page listing regarding the Alcatraz death: "... Exactly! Even though I swim Alcatraz on a regular basis, there are times when I know I'm pushing my limits. (See last Friday afternoon's swim [post]. [Link]

While swimming it is an accomplishment for anyone, it is tough. When the kids are out there (1:1 or more coverage) and in wetsuits in the morning (much calmer water) I preface that it isn't at all the same as an afternoon skin swim with high swells and chop.

Any open water swimming is "swim at your own risk".

Years ago a woman entered one of the Alcatraz swim races and after 10 minutes in the water it was clear that she was having problems. Come to find out, she didn't know how to swim and thought this would be "a cool place to learn". ..."

I have to repeat, this is the hardest swim you will ever do.

Pier to Pier went off well - Swam a 52:40


Race organizers did a very nice job of receiving 880 people quickly, and respectfully getting us set up to race with numbers, wristbands and all the race info we needed all within an hour's time. Lifeguards were extremely plentiful, a Jetski, a rescue boat, and a flotilla of surfboards with life saving cans and a process. They were also very observant and courteous.

Constructive criticism: sending 880 people into the water all at the same time through a chute that's 25 yards or so wide should really be rethought. The first 600 yards were nothing but shoulder-to-shoulder, head-to-toe, writing bodies; (but not is a fun way), scrambling to find some clean water to swim in. Also, timing was done the old fashion way with volunteers using clipboards and pencils. If officials or lifeguards are reading this, I will pay $15 more to wear a RFID chip that denoted my exact time after running through a radio zone at the end of the race rather than relying on possible human error. A chip also could give a complete running record of missing swimmers as well.

I was swimming in between bodies for like 1o minutes till I was well past the pier. One fellow cut across my path swimming in the wrong direction and clobbered me in the face like a boxer' delivering a strong left jab and it hurt. For a second or two I wanted to retaliate. I was going to grab his suit and pull it between his knees but there is that little thing called a conscience so I gathered my "marbles" in time and moved on.

Oh, I placed 280th, I broke an hour in a time of 52.40, I saw Bill K. other SCAQ Swimmers, Paige, Anne, and others which was very pleasant and Anthony eat me by four minutes. There is always Alcatraz though.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Pier to Pier race tomorrow - hoping to break an hour

The stage is set: 900+ swimmers will begin a two open-water mile race in a mass start by heading into Hermosa water and subsequently exiting out of Manhattan water. No wetsuits allowed but "fleshsuits" are. I'm a bit nervous tonight; not at the prospect of finishing badly for this is not Alcatraz and I just want to have fun, but rather the 900+ mass start.

I have a feeling it is going to be a mess; or mass, for at least 1000 yards.

My plan is to start out fast heading out to the pier, then slow to a safe pace once I pass it to collect my breath. Then I will push it on the last 500 yards. I will watch out for cramping too. It's amazing how people start open water races. Most sprint for the first 50-100 once they are past the waves, but that is not enough, you have to go 200 yards. That worked for me and Anthony at Alcatraz. he finished 2nd in his division and I think I was 14th?

Hoping to see a lot of SCAQ swimmers like Dan L., Bill K., Kathryn, Will C., and many more. Anthony will be there. I think he is going to finish in the top 100.

CONTROVERSY: Jason Lezak disqualified and given no reason!

Jason gave us the heads up. (Thank you Jason!!!) Jason Lezak did not false start yet he was DQed. He was ordered to leave the area for asking why he was DQed. Sweedish, and Canadian coaches mystified. Lot of drama, lots of angst. The report at Lane 9 News, middle of the page: [Link]

Here is a link to the 'Omega Timing' results page for both US Nationals and the Open EDF de Natation, Paris

2007 Conoco Phillips USA Swimming National Championships:
Results by EVENTS - DAY 1 - DAY 2 - DAY 3 - DAY 4 - DAY 5

2007 Open EDF de Natation, Paris - France:
Results by EVENTS - DAY 1 - DAY 2 - DAY 3 - DAY 4

Direct Link to the Omega Timing swim results page: [Link]

Friday, August 03, 2007

Some fast swims in Paris right now.


Therese Alshammar of Sweden nearly set another world record in the 50 fly in a time 25.60. Look at her set the world record in the 50fly above. Her technique is so sublime that her shoulders and gluteus maximus are practically dry throughout the race. Her bones must be made of cork or something.

Britta Steffen won the 100m free with a 53:80. I can't wait to see Couglin, Lenton and Steffen together in the 100 free. I predict Steffen.

" ...Ukraine's Yuliya Pidlisna held off the United States' Amanda Beard, 2:28.65 to 2:28.68, for the bronze. ..." Amanda Beard is swimming faster now as compared to her 2:34.03 set a couple months ago. It's comparable to Recca Soni's prelim time of 2:28.37 set a a couple of days ago but she has some work to do. I wouldn't say her time is anemic but they certainly will not be a top three time at US Nationals either.

Lane 9 News for the full wrap-up [Link]

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Ian Crocker false starts in the 100 fly, Some guy named Phelps wins

I was afraid something like this would happen. Ian is faster than Michael Phelps in the 100 fly; some internal "noise" is holding him back psychologically because the 100 fly WR is one record Phelps hasn't broken.

Ian Crocker said he mistook a strobe light in the audience for the start light.

To go into detail as to what happened truly hurts; so just read it here at Lane 9 News: [Link] or The Independent Ledger [Link]

I have my eye on Britta Steffen right now

Britta is the world record holder 100m free. She is in France right now at the Paris Open and in her prelim for the 100m free she swam a 54.58 beating her best competitors by a second-plus.

Now, this was just a prelim and she nearly matched Dara Torres 54.45 swim. Craig Lord of Swim News is calling this swim "easy speed." I can't wait to see what she does in the final. It would e so cool if she matched Libby Lenton's faux world record of 52.99 she clocked against Michael Phelps. [Link]

Here is a profile of her in German. I got her picture from this site as well. It's what she looked like when she broke the world record in Budapest: [Link]

Let's talk about Dara Torres with Scott of 'Canuckswimmer'

On Timed Finals early this year I saw an anonymous post someone made accusing Dara Torres of taking performance enhancing drugs. (I won't link to it since I am mad at Timed Finals.) I subsequently wrote to the editor that he should close the thread because it was getting ugly, but the thread remained opened.

Dara Torres, as you may not know, is a 40-year-old mom making an Olympic comeback. Just yesterday she beat Amanda Weir in the 100 free which I thought could not be possible. Dara has been posting some incredible times lately, times faster than she did when she was in college. She ultimately credits it to modern training techniques which I have to agree is factual because I personally have experience with better coaching and better training techniques as well.

I too am faster now than when I was in high school. My best time in high school was a 1:08+ for the 100 free but this year and last year I have gone under a minute twice in the 100 free thanks to the coaching of Erik Hochstein, Bonnie Adair, Clay Evans, and Dimitriy. She is swimming slightly faster, I am swimming much faster.

Scott of Canuckswimmer thinks otherwise about Dar Torres and he puts up some compelling circumstantial arguments as to why he is suspicious of her achievements.

Inge De Bruijn was subject to the same accusations and she never tested positive, Dara Torres has never tested positive either but Scott, who I respect because he can swim faster and write better than I can has written a three part series with references regarding his suspicions of Dara Torres. It is called:

"I came to praise Dara Torres but intend to leave her drowned"

Part 1: [Link]
Part 2: [Link]
Part 3: [Link]

This photo was taken by By cnjerez who hosts his photos at Flickr.com

I don't know what is more amazing, Michael Phelps, or that 40-year-old, Dara Torres, won the 100m free?

Here is a quote by Michael phelps on pacing his 200m back: “Going into the last 50 I actually knew what the pace was – I knew it was 1:25 flat,” Phelps said. “The thing I wanted to see was a 1:24, so when it said 1:25 I thought, ‘This isn’t good.’ The last 25 I started to tighten up so, I didn’t get [the world record]. ..."

Then there was 40-year-old mom, Dara Torres who beat "...Olympians Amanda Weir (Lawrenceville, Ga.) and Dana Vollmer (Granbury, Tx.) finished second and third, respectively. Weir finished in 54.79 and Vollmer finished in 54.95. ..." An about.com wrap-up [Link]

I think she can win the 50m free this weekend.

The photo to the right is Dara Torres from a masters meet in San Francisco. The photo was taken by By cnjerez who hosts his photos at Flickr.com

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Bob's Memorial service

BOB GLOCKENMEIER MEMORIAL SERVICES: will be held on August 4th at 2:00 PM. Any members that would be interested in attending the service: his family will be chartering a boat out of Marina Del Rey heading towards the Santa Monica Pier to distribute his ashes.

If you knew Bob or swam with him, please go. Contact the SCAQ office for details: (310) 390-5700

Clay Evans just sent me this - It puts Kate Ziegler's swim in perspective

[Don] Schollander averaged only 1:04.1 to win the 1964, 400m in a 4:12+.

Burton averaged only 106.5 to win the 1968, 1500m with Kinsella averaging 107.8 for the silver.

They seemed like Gods to me back then but so slow now. I think in my prime with some more distance free I could have done those times? I think I made 7 out of a set of 10 x 100 @ 1:10 meters in 1980 and that was in a workout when I was going for only the 100 fly. Strange.

Kate Ziegler would kill them all. As a matter of fact she would "LAP" Burton and Kinsella in a 100 meter pool if we threw her back to the 1968 Olympics 1500m free. Think about that! WOW! Girl laps men and wins by over 100m. Looking at Masters, 45 year old Masters swimmer gets silver to Burton circa '68 by only 4 seconds in 1500m. 40-year-old men win gold by 10 seconds in 68. How is it possible? McConica is close to Burton's times now. Wasn't he almost there in '68?

It seems that the1972 Olympics is about like an elite 35 or 40-year Masters Swimming Age Group record.

I wonder about the girls?

Cullen Jones swam a sub 50-second, 100m free and did not make the final

I am astonished that a sub 50 second 100m free can't deliver you into a final; that is how fast American swimmers are.

I keep reading this paragraph over-and-over but my brain cannot grasp the fact that two South Africans swam today. I have no problem with it, I truly don't - but this is American Nationals? [Link]