Global Open Water Swimming Safety Conference

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Kaia Hedlund, President, Waikiki Roughwater Swim
John Dussliere, Olympic Open Water Swimming Coach
Joel Wilson of Santa Cruz
The Open Water Swimming Safety Conference is an annual meeting sponsored by U.S. Masters Swimming and Pacific Masters Swimming that focuses exclusively on the aspects of safety in the sport of open water swimming.

Speakers at the conference include United States Lifesaving Association experts, English Channel swimmers, renowned coaches, world open water swimming champions, professional marathon swimmers, race directors, officials and administrators from around the world. The conference is devoted to providing information about the latest trends, protocols, procedures, policies, contingency plans, techniques, equipment, organization, communication tools and safety practices used in the sports of open water swimming to ensure safety.

The Open Water Swimming Safety 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 safety in the growing sport. The conference offers different themes and networking opportunities between like-minded enthusiasts.

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 7-time world champion Shelley Taylor-Smith, U.S. Lifesavig Association President Chris Brewster, City & County of Honolulu's Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services Administrator Ralph Goto, San Diego Lifeguard Services Lt. Greg Buchanan, Big Shoulders Race Director Chris Sheean, la Traversee internationale du lac St-Jean General Manager Eric Juneau, Total Aquatic Management leader Jim Wheeler, U.S. Masters Swimming's Open Water Swimming Committee Chairperson Lynn Hazlewood, 2008 USA Swimming Olympic open water swimming coach John Dussliere, Sonoma County Aquatics Specialist David Robinson, renowned Dover Solo author Marcia Cleveland, RCP Tiburon Mile founder Bob Placak, International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honorary Secretary Dale Petranech, RCP Tiburon Mile Safety Director Mike Carr, Waikiki Roughwater Swim Committee president Kaia Hedlund, Maui Channel Swim Safety Director Malcolm Cooper, Santa Cruz Cruise Race Director Joel Wilson, U.S. Masters Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championship race directors Karen Burton Reeder, Dick Sidner, 7-time world professional marathon swimming champion, 7-time world professional marathon swimming champion Paul Asmuth, USA Triathlon Race Certification Manager Liz Tucker, renowned open water swimming physician Dr. Jim Miller, International Swimming Hall of Fame CEO Bruce Wigo, Daily News of Open Water Swimming's Steven Munatones and Fran Crippen Elevation Foundation's Maddy Crippen were part in discussions panels.

Background

The conference was first held in San Francisco, California in March 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 safety. Dozens of presentations cover every aspect of the vast and growing world of open water swimming where attendees can learn the latest trends, tactics, techniques, equipment, organization and safety practices for open water swimming.

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