Category: Articles

The dive watch – a history

The oceans have always held a powerful fascination for mankind, accounting for the fact that the history of diving may have started as early as 5,000 B.C., making it as old as human civilization itself. Even today, the sea holds so many secrets and it is doubtful that we will ever fully understand it.

“More people have walked on the moon than have been to the deepest place in the ocean.”

This statement by explorer Don Walsh describes perfectly how little we know about the sea – but as is the spirit of mankind, humans always try to satisfy their curiosity. In order to further explore the marvellous beauty of the sea, all those people who are brave enough to do so, share the need for reliable devices as without them, there would be no diving as we know it today. One of these devices is the diving watch.

Confronted with today’s overwhelming choice of dive watches, we might sometimes forget about the progress this special timepiece had to go through before it arrived at the point where it is today.

Compared to the time span that comprises the history of diving, the history of the diver’s watch seems ridiculously short. But being a mere hundred years in the making, the dive watch underwent an astonishing development, bringing it from a fragile novelty to a robust and reliable companion.

The very first diving watch

Nowadays, several big names of the watch industry claim to have been the first to develop a dive watch and so far no agreement has been reached. Rolex insists on having invented “the first waterproof and dustproof wristwatch [which] marked a major step forward” while Blancpain declares the year 1953 the “creation of the first modern diver’s watch” thanks to its Fifty Fathoms and Omega boasts about having “created the first true dive watch.

But let us have a look at the facts:
Although the first efforts to waterproof watches were already made in the 17th century, no real progress was made until three centuries later. In the beginning of the 20th century, water was still one of the biggest enemies of the watch (together with dust, shock, magnetic fields, and general abrasion).

Then Hans Wilsdorf appeared on the scene of the watch industry – the founder of Rolex, who would play a remarkable role in the development of the dive watch – and changed the course of history – it could be called the genesis of the modern diving watch. In 1926, the ambitious genius developed a wristwatch that was waterproof as well as dustproof thanks to its winding crown, bezel, and case back that could be screwed down against the middle case, heralding a new era: a century of unstoppable development that finally lead to the wide range of watches that accompany divers to the most spectacular and mysterious parts of the oceans.

This watch named Oyster – the forefather of today’s famous Rolex Oyster collection – was put to the test on 7 October 1927 when British endurance swimmer Mercedes Gleitze who attempted to cross the English Channel. During this daring swim, she wore the Rolex Oyster on a chain around her neck. The public was certainly surprised when the watch not only survived more than 10 hours in the freezing water, but still worked with a precision and accuracy that was astonishing, making it the first water-resistant watch in history.

Great minds think alike: Omega, Panerai, and Blancpain

Omega SA was the first company to industrially produce and commercially distribute a diving watch in 1932. Being the predecessor of today’s successful Seamaster collection, the Omega Marine was tested on the wrist of Charles William Beebe, a famous naturalist and explorer, and survived a water depth of 14 metres.

In 1935, at request of the Royal Italian Navy, Officine Panerai joins the ranks of those who dedicated themselves to creating the perfect dive watch and starts developing its own waterproof watch – the Panerai Radiomir. Its name derives from the radium-based powder that gives the numerals and markers of this watch its luminosity. Back then, only ten prototypes of the watch were made – all of them equipped with a Rolex movement that was protected from water with a case back and winding crown that could be both screwed down.

Two years after equipping the Royal Italian Navy with this water-resistant watch, Officine Panerai started mass-producing the Panerai Radiomir, which is today considered to be the first underwater military watch worldwide.

The well-established watch manufacturer Blancpain was not one to be left out in this race for the best water-resistant watch. In 1953, a watch was launched at the request of the French Navy: the Fifty Fathoms. This watch – one of the first timepieces waterproof up to 100 metres – can also be seen on the wrists of Jacques Cousteau and his team in the famous underwater film “Le monde du silence” (“The Silent World”).

The success story continues: Rolex dive watches in the 20th century

Rolex took another step forward when the Rolex Submariner was presented in 1953 – the first watch impressing with a water-resistance of up to 100 metres. This number would later increase to 200 metres and finally to 300 metres. Additionally, the Submariner is equipped with a uni-directional rotatable bezel, making it ideal and safe for measuring diving time.

The Rolex Submariner collection rose to fame, when it was featured in a number of James Bond movies, e.g. on the wrist of Sean Connery in “Dr. No”, the very first film about the British Secret Service agent. Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond book series, stated about the spy: “He could not just wear a watch. It had to be a Rolex.”

The French company COMEX (Compagnie Maritime d’Expertises) – a pioneer in saturation diving – let Rolex equip its divers with the Rolex Submariner. From 1963 onwards, the Rolex Sea-Dweller was the company’s dive watch of choice because of its innovative case with the imperative helium escape valve and its waterproofness of up to 610 metres – or 2,000 feet, earning the watch the name Sea-Dweller 2000.

From this point, the development continues with an unprecedented speed:
In 1978, Rolex develops the Sea-Dweller 4000 with a water-resistance of 4,000 feet (1,220 metres). 30 years later, the Rolex Deepsea is created: a watch that can survive 3,900 metres (12,800 feet) under the surface – 100 deeper than the human body.

Rolex’ diving adventures

Only seven years after the launch of the Submariner, Rolex entered unknown territory. Aboard the submersible bathyscaphe “Trieste”, the aforementioned Don Walsh and the oceanographer Jacques Piccard set out in 1960 with the intention of exploring uncharted waters: they traveled to the deepest point of the ocean, the Challenger Deep at the southern end of the Mariana Trench. On their way to the ocean floor – to a terrifying depth of 10,916 metres (35,800 feet) – the two pioneers were accompanied by the Rolex Deep Sea Special strapped to the outside of the bathyscaphe. Having successfully completed the adventure, Jacques Piccard sent a telegram to the Rolex headquarters that read: “Happy to announce that your watch works as well at 11,000 metres as it does on the surface.”

Half a century later, the next expedition gets under way, making 26 March 2012 a historic day for the world of diving: James Cameron sets out for the world first solo dive to the Mariana Trench – the first manned dive since the adventure of Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard. All alone in the submersible Deepsea Challenger, the famous film director is only accompanied by the experimental watch Rolex Deepsea Challenge on the outside of the boat. Reaching an incredible depth of 12,000 metres, Cameron and the Rolex watch go down in the annals of history.

Dive computers: the future is now

Dive computers (personal decompression computers, decompression meters) first arose in 1957 and have since then partly replaced the separate equipment needed for dives.
In the development of this device, the Finnish company Suunto holds a special position: founded in 1936, it started its success story with the distribution of liquid-filled compasses and half a century later, the first dive computer was launched: the Suunto SME-ML. Merely a decade passed until these essential devices reached the size we know today.

However, the dive computer has not superseded the diving watch – nor will it in the foreseeable future. Today, the diver’s watch is as reliable and popular as never before and the innovative drive of the watch manufacturers is in full swing. Their accuracy and functionality as well as their elegance is ever increasing, making the diving watch the ideal companion both under water and on land.

Top 6 dive watches today

The Rolex Submariner is probably the best-known dive watch – and not only for being worn by James Bond. The iconic design combined with the extraordinary quality that made Rolex famous makes for a reliable wristwatch water-resistant to 300 metres.
But the “Sub” is not the only celebrated dive watch by Rolex: the Sea-Dweller and its more expensive sister model, the Rolex Deepsea, are every bit as reliable and precise as the Submariner.

Having created the first modern dive watch, Blancpain has outdone itself with every Fifty Fathoms watch it has launched since presenting the first model in 1953. This collection of dive watches features a wide range of different designs, offering the right watch for everyone.

Paying tribute to the original Breitling Superocean, the Superocean Héritage is a popular choice for divers. The choice of different models – all of them equipped with a COSC-certified movement – of this collections satisfies every taste.

Its angular case makes the legendary Panerai Radiomir collection easily recognisable. But Officine Panerai has another ace up its sleeve: the dive watch Panerai Luminor is younger than the Radiomir, but that does not take away from its continuous success – especially after being seen on Sylvester “Sly” Stallone’s wrist in the movie “The Expendables”.

Introduced in 1967, the IWC Aquatimer has been reinvented numerous times and several special editions have been launched. The innovative IWC SafeDive System as well as a separate internal and external bezel make diving even safer.

Finally, the Oris ProDiver must not be forgotten. The version Oris ProDiver Date outperforms all watches for amateurs and aims directly at professional divers. Equipped with the Oris Rotation Safety System, this dive watch will never let its wearer down.

An honorable mention goes to: Suunto. Even though the Finnish company does not technically produce dive watches, no such list would be complete without a word about Suunto – especially as there is a whole range of watch-sized dive computers.

Le Clos doesn’t feel pressure ahead of World Cup defence

Chad le Clos (Getty Images)
Cape Town – South Africa’s Chad Le Clos insists there is no pressure on him to defend his FINA Swimming World Cup title this season.

This year’s World Cup promises once again to be a fierce battle between the sport’s biggest names.

“No pressure at all, the World Cups are always a good time, of course I always want to win any competition I race in but I feel the World Cups are always special for me,” said a very confident and relaxed Le Clos, who currently trains in Antalya in Turkey for about 30 hours per week.

Discussing the format of the series, Le Clos admits that although it can be difficult to train in between the events, he loves the ability to challenge himself.

“For me personally, I think short course swimming is more exciting when it is over a series of events. I’ve always enjoyed the concept of a circuit with many stops around the world, although sometimes the structure around the events makes it difficult to train in between, especially when travelling through time zones,” said the Olympic champion.

“The World Cup is an opportunity for me to work on my skills throughout the year with short course racing and I challenge myself to win the overall series. There are many great champions that have come through and will challenge, and I have huge respect for all of them.”

Positive thinking and winning attitude is definitely two ways to describe Le Clos – although the best advice he ever received was from his father Bert Le Clos.

“I have received a lot of great advice from numerous mentors but the best advice has usually come from my Dad, he is the greatest. He has always said to me to never give up in any race no matter how far behind or ahead you are, that’s why I’m always able to push through during tough wins or losses,” he said.

Le Clos also confirmed that he will attend the FINA World Swimming Championships 2018 in Hangzhou, China, in December this year with the objective to establish new world records

European Championships 2018: Adam Peaty wins 100m breaststroke in world record time

Great Britain’s Adam Peaty broke his own 100m breaststroke world record to retain his European title in Glasgow.

The 23-year-old Olympic and world champion finished in 57.00 seconds – 0.13secs quicker than his previous best time – as team-mate James Wilby grabbed silver following a late surge.

Peaty took a huge lead on the first 50m before pulling away further to win by 1.54secs from fellow Englishman Wilby.

“I can’t believe I beat what I did at the Olympics,” said Peaty.

“I was in perfect shape then – I’m not even in that good shape now. I didn’t try to be in that good shape.”

Britain then won a bronze in the mixed 4x200m freestyle relay after a stunning final leg from Freya Anderson, 17, who moved up from sixth to third.

Elsewhere on day three of the inaugural multi-sport championships, cyclist Ethan Hayter, 19, won omnium gold, defending champion Katie Archibald took silver in the 3,000m individual pursuit and the men’s four and women’s eights both won silver in the rowing.

Hayter’s gold in the final event of the day moved Britain up to third in the medal table with three golds, five silvers and three bronzes.

5 MOTIVATIONAL SWIMMING POSTERS TO GET YOU FIRED UP

1. UNLEASH GREATNESS.

Whatever greatness in the pool means for you, whether it is making your first sectionals or provincials cut, this poster will remind you to unleash your inner greatness every single day.

Swimming Motivational Poster 02 - Copy

It is produced on glossy, high quality paper, and comes in at 2 feet by 3 feet, which means it can not only remind you to be great, but also cover up any unfortunate holes or otherwise unsightly portions of your wall.

“Be not afraid of greatness.” — William Shakespeare


2. I ONLY FEAR NOT TRYING.

It’s shocking how many swimmers are more afraid of the hardship of the journey than of the regret they would face if they don’t try at all.

Don’t be that swimmer.

Swimming Motivational Poster 03

Be the athlete who gives it their all, and who can walk away from the pool knowing that they gave it their absolute best, and can do so without regrets or fear.

“In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.”


3. CHALLENGES ARE THE DOORWAYS TO EXCELLENCE.

How often have you stopped cold after a setback? Or been demoralized by a defeat? If you are like me, more than a couple times.

This poster is designed to remind you that all too often success is just on the other side of the struggle and grind.

Swimming Motivational Poster 01

In other words, if you want excellence, you gotta be willing to punch through a few challenges on the way.

“We don’t grow when things are easy. We grow when we face challenges.”


4. DREAM BIGGER.

It can be hard to create big goals when we are surrounded by small-minded friends, family, and swimmers. For every athlete that accomplished something worthwhile there was someone who told them it couldn’t be done.

That they should think smaller, and dream smaller. This is your reminder to think big. To dream big. And to act big.

Swimming Motivational Poster 04

“…with hard work, with belief, with confidence and trust in yourself and those around you, there are no limits.” –Michael Phelps


5. DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT.

The most freeing moment is making a firm and unwavering decision to after a goal. To have the end goal specified, a plan to get there, and the determination to see it through.

After all, it all begins with a decision. Once made, everything else seems to fall into place.

Swimming Motivational Poster 05

This poster is designed to remind you to live up to your decision on a daily basis.

 “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

9 SIGNS YOU HAVE A SWIMMER’S BODY

Swimmer’s bodies get love because we are lean, but not too lean. Usually tall, with long limbs, flexible, with broad shoulders, and a (mostly) defined abdominal area, the competitive swimmer look is one that is fashionable in all seasons.

Here are 9 signs that you have a swimmer’s body:

1. YOU’RE TALL. (FOR THE MOST PART.)

Swimmers at the top levels of the sport are inordinately tall.

As an example, the average height of male 100m freestyle world record holders is 6’4” dating back to 1976, with the United States’ Rowdy Gaines being the shortest amongst the group at 6’1”. (Which is also how tall Missy Franklin and Aussie sprinter Cate Campbell are.)

But fear not my vertically challenged friends, there is still room for those who weren’t born to NBA-sized parents.

The distance legend Janet Evans was 5’5. David Berkoff- the guy whose underwater dolphin kick was one of the stories of the 1988 Seoul Olympics- was 5’8.

More currently, Japanese superstar Kosuke Hagino is 5’8”, showing that while the general trend of swimmers is tall, it’s not a deal breaker if you aren’t.

2. YOU’RE FLEXIBLE.

Before the start of every race Michael Phelps gets up on the blocks and wrap-slaps his arms and hands behind his back. Phelps’ also has remarkably flexible ankles, and hyper-extending knees and elbows.

The overhead movement required for fast swimming means we have flexible lats, shoulders, and back. When swimmers aren’t in the pool we are usually flopping around on a foam roller, or stretching those double-jointed arms around our heads like contortionists.

After all, whipping our arms above our shoulders for thousands of meters on end requires them to be at least mildly flexible.

3. YOU’RE STRONG.

I’m not talking about being able to lift massive amounts of weight in the gym, but relative strength. (Although freestyler Nathan Adrian’s 160 pound dumbbell bench press—per arm—might have something to say about that.)

Michael Phelps could do over 30 pull ups at a time. Natalie Coughlin crushes both in terms of relative strength and when playing around with the dumbbells.

While you won’t see us lifting up cars, you will see us lifting ourselves up and over chin-up bars with relative ease.

4. YOU HAVE HILARIOUSLY LARGE LATS.

With all of that overhead work comes highly developed lats. Your lats stretch across the entirety of your back (latissumus dorsi means broadest back in Latin), from your spine to your shoulder.

From the kazillions of pulls we perform over the course of our swimming careers these muscles get rather, well, large. The large expanse of a back is a hallmark of the competitive swimmer regardless of your stroke or distance.

The big latty McLatty’s transition nicely into the next thing that gives a not-so-subtle hint that you are a swimmer…

5. YOU HAVE SWIMMER SHOULDERS.

Or as we call them…

…shoulders.

They are so pronounced that they are termed specifically for us.

Completing the V-shape common to swimmers are those boulder shoulders. Or, as we shall call them—bashoulders. (I’ll work on that one.)

The cumulative effect of a big back and big shoulders means that shopping for clothing is a bit tricky. Sitting on the aisle seat on a plane means you are getting body checked by the snack cart and bathroom-bound passengers no matter how far into your seat you try to tuck yourself.

And no matter where you are at in the world you can spot a fellow swimmer by the high shoulder to waist ratio.

6. YOU’RE BUILT LIKE A TORPEDO.

Despite all of our (relative) strength, and the shocking amount of time spent both in the pool and in the weight room, we are lean.

After all, success in the water demands it.

Unlike our land-locked sporting brothers and sisters we compete in a medium that is trying to slow us down at every turn. Water is thick to the tune of being nearly 800 times denser than air at sea level.

In order to combat this we need to assume a form that is less Diesel F350 and more Murcielago.

Swimmers who are built with sleekness are rewarded with much lower drag than their overly muscley compatriots.

The end result of this slender footprint in the water is efficient and fast swimming.

7. YOUR HAIR IS CONSTANTLY WET AND BEAT UP.

It’s not too hard to discern swimmers from the general population by just looking at the tops of their heads.

During the winter they are the ones who have water-logged heads for the first couple hours of the day, with the tops of the back of their shirts and sweaters becoming soggy.

Over summer months— when the outdoor pools provide a 1-2 combination of ultra-violet rays and chlorine—our hair gets particularly manky. Stiff, weathered-looking and border-line brittle, like you could break it off if you twisted it with too much enthusiasm.

Although there is the misconception that chlorine turns our hair green (the culprits there are “old brass fittings, gas-heater coils, trace copper in the water supply or residue from copper-based algicides that are dissolved in the water”), it’s more the perpetual sogginess, the tangles and the nearly surfer-boy look that our hair takes on that identifies us.

While a lot of swimmers will take care to remove chlorine from their hair with a swimmer’s shampoo, we don’t always have time do perform hair maintenance–especially when we are just gonna be back in the pool in a few hours time.

8. YOU HAVE ALL THE TRICEPS.

For a moment imagine this… A swimmer with large shoulders, and the expansive latissumis dorsi to go along with it… And then tiny triceps.

Seems a little weird, doesn’t it?

To go along with all the other backside muscular awesomeness swimmers are also gifted with bulging triceps.

For everyone except for those weird breaststrokers (I only call you guys weird because I never learned to master the stroke. So maybe I am a little jealous…) swimmers use their triceps to finish the stroke, meaning that over the course of their careers they do about 3.2 million tricep extensions.

With that kind of work they are bound to get huge.

9. THE AMOUNT OF BODY HAIR YOU HAVE IS ALWAYS IN FLUX.

Hair is part of your body, right? Yup!

This leads to some tortured and lengthy hotel shave down sessions for some of the more developed males, and lamentable amounts of ‘splaining by the ladies for why they have hairy legs between meets.

No matter how many times we hear—“but does it really make that much of a difference?”—we know that yes, it actually does.

We understand that it is impossible to replace that feeling when we first dive in after a shave and sensing as though someone had slapped a prop to our backside.

And that no matter how many times we nick ourselves, and how many times we shaved against the grain (can you tell I sucked at shave downs yet?) it was always worth it when we felt amazing diving into the water.

THE TOP 9 SWIMMING POOL GAMES

 – WATER POLO

It’s the standard swimming pool game, the official Olympic waterball sport.  If you swim or swam in California, you probably played the game. A few elite swimmers have achieved notable success in water polo. 11-time Olympic medalists Matt Biondi won an NCAA Team Title for his role on the Cal Golden Bears water polo team. Terry Schroeder is USA Water Polo’s resident icon, and 4-time Olympian Tony Azevedo is the sports biggest star. Internationally, Hungary is the water polo beast. Period.

– 7 players on each team

– two goals on either side of the pool

– an invasion game, one team strives to get their ball in the opposing team’s goal

1a. Murderball. Like water polo, but without much in the way of rules. One variation involves a standard water polo goal, others involve putting the ball in the gutter and holding it there for a 5-7 second count. Best saved for post-season, though, as this one can get a little rough.

2 – SWIMMING BATTLEBALL

Swimming Battleball is like water polo, but with more teeth and grit. Played in the 1970s and 1980s during first weeks of fall practice, this two hour marathon of war is an ideal way to get swimmers’ their feel for water back fast.

– Divide your swim team up, no matter how big.

– Split the pool in half. The deep end, if you have one, is the playing field. The back field is for two swimmers only from each team.

– Time on the clock? You play the entire workout, treading water the entire practice.

– The goal is a plywood board into which you cut a large hole.

– This is a two-ball game, ideally big balls, beachball-sized. The objective: get your big ball through the hole. Keep your opponent’s ball shutdown, or in the back field.

 – You can dunk the person holding the ball (but SwimSwam’s not responsibility if you do as we’re merely reporting the rules).

– Once your team scores, one swimmer from the goal-scoring team, jumps out, grabs the ball, throws it to their player in the back field. Repeat.

***NOTE, many teams win by dominating the opponent’s ball. Often a strong Swimming Battleball player can simply bear hug the ball and lay on it, suffering multiple dunks without releasing the ball. 

3  – SHARKS AND MINNOWS

Sharks and Minnows is as old as swimming. Cavemen painted it on walls… Ok, maybe it’s not that old, but swim teams and summer leaguers have been playing it since the 1950s  You know the rules, but why not make the rules work for your development and success. Try our version,  SwimSwam Sharks and Minnows.

– Always play the length of the pool, not the width, preferably in a 50 meter pool to test your skill.

– Pick your shark, the best swimmer on the team.

– Staying underwater isn’t enough for the shark not to get you according to SwimSwam Rules. You have to stay in a tight steamline position as you kick underwater to the other side. No streamline, you’re shark bait.

***Disclaimer: We use these rules to encourage tight underwater streamlines, but don’t push yourself too much. Swimmers can blackout if they hold their breath too long. Remember this is only a game. Breathe if you need to breathe. 

4 – WHALE

Whale is nothing more than running on deck and jumping over the swimmer in the pool. We’re not a fan of this game. It’s popular, but it is not safe, and, frankly, most swimmers, hardcore swimmers, aren’t that agile on land.  Whale is #4 on our list, but we if you play this game, be very, very careful.

5 – BEAN

Bean is famous…was made famous by SwimSwam co-founder Garrett McCaffrey, when he actually captured it on video many, many years ago… meaning 2007. Alas, the video is now gone from the web. (If anyone can find it, please forward the link.) The Rules? I don’t know the rules. They’re lost to time and the suckhole of the web. I know elite swimmers played it. I know Michael Phelps played it. I know it resembles a watery form of tag, though passive and sneaky, often executed during warmup or long distance sets. If you know the BEAN RULES, please educate us and share in the comments below.

6 – MARCO POLO

After enormous research, the evidence is fairly clear. This games suffers from more cheaters than any other in the world.  You know the rules. One person is it. They have to close their eyes and try to find the other players. They shout “Marco” while the other players are supposed to shout “Polo” in response, but that’s rarely the case. If someone’s close to the person yelling “Marco,” they stay silent. Moreover the person yelling “Marco” tyically sneaks a peek. This game is lame, though wildly popular, which is why it comes in at #6.

7 – CAPTURE THE CHANGE

This is easy and always a winner with kids.  Throw a few hundred dollars in change in a pool, and let your swimmers work on their underwater speed scooping all of it up.

8 – CAPTURE THE GOLDFISH

This game is even better for working on underwater speed, though peta might not approve. I played it at my summer league banquet party every year, and always got several goldfish for my fishtank.

vaseline-450x450_tcm72-2980219 – GREASED WATERMELON FOOTBALL

If you haven’t played this, or watched it, you’re missing out on a simple pleasure in life.  Lather up a watermelon with Vaseline and throw it in the pool. The first people to get it out is the winner. The game always gets bogged-down in a twist of arms, a pile of people, and typically the watermelon slips out and someone quickly rushes it to the edge of the pool or shoreline for the win.
Watch this video until the end to see what we mean:

 

STEVE LOCHTE RETIRES FROM SWIM COACHING

Steve Lochte, father of 12-time Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte, has announced his retirement from coaching at 66-years old. This ends a 44-year coaching career, including most recently at Daytona Beach SPEED.

Ryan Lochte is DBS’ most famous alumni, having swum for his father’s club as a child and frequently representing them nationally as an adult. Ryan Lochte‘s 12 Olympic medals (6 gold, 3 silver, 3 bronze), tie him with Jenny Thompson, Dara Torres, and Natalie Coughlin as the second-most of all-time for a swimmer, behind only Michael Phelps’ 23.

Theclub has produced a handful of other national and international-caliber athletes as well, though. That includes Rex Tullius, a 2016 Olympian representing the U.S. Virgin Island and NCAA All-American at Florida; three-time NCAA All-American at Florida Matt Norton; Florida All-American Julia Nagy; and Kentucky All-American Kendal Casey.

Steve Lochte was also formerly the head coach of Daytona State College’s men’s and women’s swim teams, where he was “reassigned” during the 2010-2011 swim season and eventually replaced as head coach by Don Gibb. A few years later, in 2013, Daytona Statte College dropped their swimming programs.

Steve Lochte announced his retirement via an email to team families, which was also posted on the team’s website.

To all DBS Families:

Yes, it is true! At the age of 66, with 44 of those years spent coaching swimming, I have decided to move on to the next chapter of my life and retire!

Some of you were disappointed I chose to tell my athletes first, and I understand your disappointment, however, I wanted my swimmers to hear of my retirement from me first, as they are the most crucial factor of DBS and my life’s work.

Tom McGibeny has been named the successor as head coach. McGibeny is also the National Team coach for the U.S. Lifeguard Association, which competes around the world in lifeguarding competitions.

I know everyone has questions and hopefully, I will be able to answer most of them:

  1. All day-to-day coaching duties for all groups at all pools will remain in the capable hands of our coaching staff.  Please see the website for assignments.
  2. The Senior coaching staff in Port Orange will continue to have a great coaching staff led by Coach Tom [McGibeny] and assisted by Coach Joey [Armellino], and Coach Dave. I am excited about the fresh ideas and youthful enthusiasm that this new group of senior coaches will bring to your kids.  All workouts and outline design of the programs have been pre-written for the remainder of the season.  The Fall season has also been formulated through the first of the year.
  3. Coach Tom has 20 years of my coaching log books and has been my Assistant for 20 years, not to mention he’s better looking HAHAHA!
  4. All meet coaching assignments are covered for the remainder of this summer.

As always there will be a continuous program for practices after the Championship meets between Ormond and Port Orange during our annual break (July 31-Aug 12)

Please feel free to reach out to me at srlochte2@gmail.com regarding your child’s program.

I honestly wish your swimmer, you and your family much success in this great sport of swimming.

Respectfully,
Steve Lochte
ASCA Level 5

Article by: Braden Keith

TWO GREAT PEARLS FOR A FASTER BACKSTROKE

Courtesy of Gary Hall Sr., 10-time World Record Holder, 3-time Olympian, 1976 Olympic Games US Flagbearer and The Race Club co-founder.

The fundamentals of backstroke are the same as for freestyle. However, the priority of those fundamentals differ for backstroke and there are certain nuances of backstroke that differ from freestyle.

Of all four strokes, backstroke is not the fastest stroke, but it is the most efficient stroke. That means that there is less change of speed in backstroke than in any other stroke. There are two principal reasons for that. First, the coupling of the body rotation comes at the very end of the pulling motion, which is the weaker part of the pull, as opposed to the stronger middle of the pull in freestyle. The result is the propulsive force of the arm pull remains more constant in backstroke.

The second reason that the velocity of the backstroker is more uniform has to do with the kick. When a swimmer is on his or her stomach, the down kick is typically much more propulsive than the up kick. However, when on the back, the weaker down kick becomes very propulsive because the foot pushes down against a larger vortex and gravity helps assist in the downward motion of the foot. As a result, the propulsive forces of the down and up kicks become much more even and the resultant velocity is more constant.

When it comes to taking advantage of these two nuances of backstroke, here are two important pearls in your technique that will help.

1)      On the backstroke arm recovery, throw the arm and hand hard to the water. Accentuating the speed of the hand entry on the recovery also has the effect of accentuating the body rotation. This will help maintain the swimmer’s speed toward the end of the pulling motion.

2)      Work the down kick hard on backstroke. During both the underwater dolphin kick and the backstroke, it is very important to press downward vigorously with the sole or bottom of the foot to take advantage of the large vortex formed from the stronger up kick. If a swimmer does this, he or she can get more propulsion and speed from the weaker down kick than from the stronger up kick. This downward motion of the feet will also help keep the swimmer’s speed more constant.

This week our Race Club members in Lane 2 will get classroom instruction on how the fundamentals of backstroke differ from those of freestyle. Race Club members in lane 3 will see a great dryland technique from world champion Junya Koga on how to teach swimmers the proper backstroke pulling motion.

Crocodiles, box jellyfish fail to deter 155 from swimming across Darwin’s Fannie Bay

By Emily Smith

Ed Archer stands at the beach in a green swimming cap and goggles

It was the thought of swimming 1.2 kilometres through a known crocodile habitat that had her feeling “very, very nervous”.

But today Ms Pursehouse, along with about 155 others, braved deadly sea creatures and a strong headwind to take part in the annual Fannie Bay Swim.

It is one of the few times swimmers set foot in the bay, given the presence of tentacles and toothy threats.

Yet the Darwin Surf Lifesaving Club, which organised the event, said safety was their number one priority.

It conducted scans for crocodiles, and said jellyfish were deterred by the cooler waters at this time.

While it was not enough to have Ms Pursehouse feeling completely confident, she and friend Yana Warrian made it into the water.

“It is always reassuring when they tell you they haven’t seen any crocodiles for two weeks,” Ms Warrian said.

“It’s probably out one chance to actually swim in the ocean.

“We’re surrounded by all this beautiful water and can never swim in it, so now’s the time to do it.”

As another competitor Ed Archer said: “there’s plenty of other people to eat.”

Liz Oliver, who recently moved to Darwin from Brazil, completed the 2.1 kilometre race while quietly hedging her bets.

“(I decided to) swim in the middle of the pack, and I never thought a crocodile would aim at me,” Ms Oliver said with a laugh.

“We all felt pretty secure, they had a lot of life guards.”

After the race, Ms Oliver hobbled up the beach to meet her family, who brought her crutches and a moon boot.

“I broke my foot on Wednesday so I was really disappointed I wasn’t going to make it,” she said.

“And I said, ‘you know what, I’m just going to try’.

“[I broke it] cleaning the house. I thought I was never meant to clean the house anyway.”

‘We’ve never lost a swimmer’

Despite the jitters of some swimmers, Darwin Surf Life Saving Club’s Bob Creek said the event was completely safe.

“We’ve never lost a swimmer and we don’t anticipate losing one in the future,” Mr Creek said.

“Our main focus is to make sure it’s a great event, everybody enjoys themselves, but it’s safe. That’s the first question people ask when they do this event.”

Mr Creek said the ratio of safety people to swimmers was about four or five to one.

He also said the area was scanned for crocodiles in the lead-up to the event, which he said were generally quite visible, and the water was too cold for jellyfish at this time of year.

Mr Creek usually swims in the event but skipped this year.

“There’s something iconic about swimming across Fannie Bay,” he said.

“The best part about it is just the participation.”

Tough training regime for competitors

The 1.2 kilometre event was taken out in 20 minutes and 22 seconds by 16-year-old Hamish Bjornskove Mcdonald, who was determined to beat his friend and defending champion Ryan Blenkinship.

Hamish said the most difficult aspect was the headwind, but was pleased his training (four to five kilometre swims six times a week) had paid off.

“Ryan is coming in second,” Hamish said, shortly after crossing the finish line.

“He won it last year so I was hoping to beat him.”

Ryan, who won the past two years, said he had been wary of his friend’s current form.

“I was nervous about Hamish because I know he’s been training heaps, and I haven’t been,” he said.

After downing a cappuccino and a Nutella sandwich, Giorgio Romano went on to win the 2.1 kilometre swim in 28 minutes and 18 seconds.

That gave him three wins in a row, although he said he still felt a little nervous beforehand because of the animals.

“But once you start swimming, it’s just keep steady, calm and try and maintain the pace and everything will be fine hopefully,” he said.

“It was cold enough not to have any dangerous jellyfish. I don’t like cold water but it’s better than being stung in the water.”

Mr Romano had been training for five and 10-kilometre races, swimming up to seven or eight kilometres six times a week.

‘This is pretty special’

Megan Gallagher was the woman’s champion in the 2.1 kilometres event, finishing in 32 minutes and 28 seconds.

In May she won the 10-kilometre race across Lake Argyle, which had seen her spend long hours training in the pool.

“This is pretty special being able to swim in the open water here, [I] felt totally fine,” she said.

“[There was] no threat of stingers at all. The water temperature is cool enough that they won’t be anywhere near here — I’d say it’s 27, 26 and we start to get a bit worried around 30 degrees.”

She also said a large number of interstate swimmers competed, some of which may have actually been encouraged by the events apparent risk factor.

“[Some come] to say they survived, definitely,” she said.

Mental Toughness Lessons From Olympic Champion Kieren Perkins

How Can I Learn to Swim by Myself?

The shallow end of a swimming pool is a good place to learn to swim by yourself. Swimming involves breathing, kicking with your legs and stroking with your arms. These are things you can practice one at a time in shallow water. Possibly the simplest stroke for a beginner is the forward crawl. Once you understand how to propel yourself across the top of the water, you can practice and learn other strokes.

Step 1

Stand with your back against the end of the pool, take a breath and bend forward at the waist until your face is completely in the water. Your ears should be at the water line. Hold this position for two seconds, slowly turn your head to one side and exhale into the water as you do. Return to a standing position.

Step 2

Hold your arms out from your side, palms down with your fingers together. Take a breath and bend forward as before. With your face in the water, bring your right arm up and out of the water, and reach in front of yourself. When your hand contacts the water, pull your arm straight down and make a circular motion underwater until your hand is behind you and at your right side. Your palm should be up at this point. Turn your head to the right and draw a new breath through your mouth without lifting your head. Turn your head back and exhale with your face in the water.

Step 3

Repeat the stroke and breathing exercise until you are able to make a stroke with each arm and one complete breath without lifting your head out of the water. Looping or irregular strokes underwater will cause you to work harder in order to cover the same distance when your swimming. The arms propel the front of your body and kicking your legs will prevent your torso from sinking.

Step 4

Face the side of the pool and place both hands on the edge. Extend your arms, lift both legs together until your arms, body and legs are in a straight line away from the edge. Turn your head to one side and draw a breath through your mouth. Do not lift your head straight up. Hold your knees straight and kick your legs from the hip. Kick relatively fast and make the smallest splashes possible. Your feet should not come out of the water. Exhale underwater, turn your head and draw a new breath. Continue your kicks and breathing until you are comfortable breathing while kicking.

Step 5

Stand with your back to the side of the pool, facing across the shallow end to the opposite side. Bend at the knees, extend your left arm in front, take a breath and push away from the side with your legs. As you move away from the side, your face should go in the water and your legs should begin to kick as you take a forward stroke with your right arm.

Step 6

Continue kicking as you make concentrated strokes, bringing each hand back until the palm is at your side as you reach ahead to stroke with the other arm. Make two strokes with each arm, turn your head and draw a breath, return your head to straight and continue. Practice this until you feel comfortable with the breathing and you are able to swim the width of the pool without having to stop.

Top Tips For Winter Swimming

Welcome to the world of cold water swimming!

Winter swimming communities famously thrive in northern European countries where an icy dip can be followed by a toasty sauna. There are many theories on the benefits of cold water swimming, amongst these are that as well as being surprisingly addictive, it’s said to give the immune system a kick start and gives an amazing sense of well-being which can benefit your mental state of being. What are you waiting for?

Tips on becoming a cold water swimmer

1. Authentic cold water swimmers around the world wear a regular swimming costume, a silicone swim hat and goggles. No wetsuit is worn, as this defeats the concept and benefits of feeling the cold water on your body, although a lot of people find that training in neoprene socks and gloves can help the extremities manage the cold better.

2. Most people stop swimming outdoors when it gets to October, but a cold water swimmer keep swimming throughout the year and just reduce the distance and time in the water. Your body will continue to acclimatise as the temp drops.  A top tip is to keep a log book of when you swim, how long for, how you felt and what your recovery was like.

3. Find a safe place where you can swim, ideally somewhere where you can park nearby or can use a changing room or sheltered area for changing.  You also want to make sure that you have easy access in and out of the water.

4. Find some others to dip with you, to make sure you are safe during and after swimming, and stay within your depth on your first cold water dip.  There should be people around when you come out of your swim to assist with your recovery or hand you a warm drink etc.  Basically cold water swimmers look out for each other, its as important part of winter swimming as the swim itself.

5. Swim safe. Swimmers need to be easily seen by boats in open water so at the very least avoid swimming in busy areas for boats, jet skis and ferries. It is also a swimmer’s responsibility to make yourself as visible as possible to other open water users: always wear a brightly coloured swimhat; consider buying a coloured swim tow-float (available from swimsecure.co.uk online shop); in dull or foggy conditions, or at night, attach swim lights or light sticks to the back of your goggles or swim costume.  You also want to make sure that you can be easily seen by any support team on the water on standing on the shore side.

6. The trick with cold water  acclimatisation is that there is no trick!  It’s all about going in the water regularly, daily dips, even for a very short period prepares the body to cope with the ‘cold water shock’ and the recovery.  Don’t rush to be a ice mile hero, become a winter swimmer first, go through a winter swimming regularly, so you understand how your body copes with different water temps.  Once the water is under 10 degrees it will feel very cold when entering the water, but once its under 5 degrees, event drop of 1 degree C makes a big difference.  Also the wind and outside temp makes a difference, and some days you just feel better than others.  It’s only by spending time in cold water that you get to know you limits.  Don’t push too far to quickly and ENJOY IT!

7. A thermometer is not essential, but can be helpful in knowing how you body copes and recovers in different temps, some people like to know before they go in the water and other just want to get in and swim and find out what it is when they get out. Keep a check on how long you swim for as the temperature drops and starts to rise again approaching the summer. You soon learn your limits and how much you should do each time.

8. Don’t try to be a hero in cold water, know your limitations, and get out as soon as you feel your body moving more slowly or if your hands start to become stiff. Try just a few minutes the first time. Breath slowly and calmly. Keep your head above water until you are comfortable putting your face in. If you begin to feel warm in cold water, you are experiencing the dangerous first stage of hypothermia so get out of the water immediately (see link below for a full definition).

9. When you exit the water, put on a hat, and get fully dressed immediately. Your body temperature will continue to drop for a few minutes after getting out of the water, so don’t delay! Set all your kit out ready before you go in the water, have it stacked in the order you will put it back on in. As soon as you are out, your only focus is getting out of your wet kit and into your clothes ASAP.  There’s plenty of time to chat afterwards with your friends whilst having a warm drink. Do not warm up the body suddenly with a hot shower or bath, gradual warmth with layers and a warm drink is much safer and more effective.

10. Hypothermia can be fatal, please see links below for more information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothermia