Chasing Healthy Living And A Healthy Ocean

Chasing Healthy Living And A Healthy Ocean

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

There are many different landmarks and memorials named after open water swimmers around the world including statues, clocks, coves and schools.

A global sampling of these memorials include the Jim Doty Memorial Clocks, Vicki Keith Point, Cliff Lumsdon Park, McConica Cove, Webb Crescent, Captain Webb Primary School, Webb House, Cape Lynne Cox, Marilyn Bell Park, Marilyn Bell ferry, Bert Thomas Monument, Jacques Amyot statue, Byron’s Stone, Byron’s Cave (La Grotta di Byron), Statue of Lord Byron, Lord Byron Memorial Stone, Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatics Center, Buddy’s Buoy, Dowling College, Gertrude Ederle Recreation Center, Memorial to Commander Charles Gerald Forsberg, Annette Kellerman’s plaque, and Des Renford Aquatic Centre.

Some of these memorials include pool swimming events such as the Keo Nakama Invitational in Hawaii, Marilyn Bell Swim Classic in Canada, and the Doc Counsilman Memorial Lecture Series at the American Swimming Coaches Association conferences.

But frankly it is quite rare for an open water swimming event to be named after an open water swimmer. One established ocean swim includes the Murray Rose’s Malabar Magic Ocean Swim. The Magic is a charity swim organised by the Rainbow Club Australia. The 1 km and 2.4 km ocean swims are held in Sydney, Australia and are named for Olympic swimming legend Murray Rose.

Another new ocean swim is named after a contemporary swimmer and American waterman Bruckner Chase [shown above]. The inaugural Chase Challenge is the brainchild of Pete Albers and Terry Bilbro and will be held at the Monterey Beach SportsFest.

The event will take place this weekend on October 4th – 5th in Monterey, California, south of San Francisco. The Monterey Beach SportsFest includes 0.5-mile, 1-mile and 2.5-mile ocean swims. Swimmer who take part in all three swim distances are eligible to win the Chase Challenge award.

But the the Monterey Beach SportsFest is reaching out to the larger community interested in ocean conservation, fitness, wellness and just flat-out fun. The October 4-5th weekend offers a variety of on-the-beach activities for everyone as well as ocean athletes of all levels and backgrounds.

The inaugural SportsFest event is focused on encouraging awareness of the beach and ocean through both athletic events and educational outreach. In addition to beach yoga, movement activities, outrigger canoe landings, food trucks, beach volleyball, Taiko drumming, massage, and face painting, there are 3 ocean swims, beach water polo and a Healthy People, Healthy Oceans Expo. There will also be “First Splash”, an ocean swim to inspire local youth to engage with the ocean, a strength and mobility flow class, an Open Water Clinic and Equipment Demonstration by Chase and FINIS, a Splash and Dash biathlon, and the Ikaika Challenge (full, relay and mini) that combines swimming, strength activities (push-ups, sit-ups and squats), and a beach run. Taiko drummers will be on hand starting at 10:00 am to pump up the runners in this challenging event.

Throughout the weekend, beach-goers can also visit booths to learn about The Wahine Project for girls’ surfing, Reef Check focused on healthy reefs, Camp Sea Lab, the Pacific Grove Hyperbaric Chamber, Surfrider Foundation, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, World Open Water Swimming Association and Healthy Oceans organizations.

The Healthy People, Healthy Oceans Expo exhibitors include the Monterey Sports Center, Monterey Pilates Project, Monterey Spine & Joint, Terrapin Physical Therapy, Monterey Bay Center for Integrated Health and KAATSU Aqua.

It’s all about connecting people to this awesome resource we are privileged to live around,” said Bilbro. “We hope that SportsFest serves as a first step to give people a better understanding of our connection to the ocean. Some will immerse, others engage, and hopefully all will be touched.

The Monterey Beach SportsFest is an event unlike no other on the shores of the Central Coast [of California]. It encompasses many aspects of human athleticism, but it is also an event in learning how to take care of ourselves and the ocean. SportsFest celebrates the beauty and majesty of the Monterey coastal and ocean environments through the importance of a healthy human mind, body and spirit.

For more information and registration, visit

Saturday Schedule, October 4th
8:00 am Opening Ceremony
8:15 am 2.5 Mile Swim Start, Beach Volleyball begins
9:00 am – 4:00 pm Exposition Area Open
10:00 am 1.0 Mile Swim Start, Ocean Water Polo begins
11:00 am – 12:00 pm “First Splash” with Bruckner Chase
11:30 am 0.5 Mile Swim Start
11:30 am – 1:00 pm Outrigger Landing
1:30 pm Swim Awards Presentation
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Family Activities and Movement with Jennifer Pilotti
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm The FINIS Open Water Clinic and Demo with Bruckner Chase
3:00 pm Water Polo Awards

Sunday Schedule, October 5th
8:00 am Opening Ceremony
8:00 am Beach Volleyball Start
9:00 am Splash and Dash Start
10:00 am – 3:00 pm Exposition Area Open
10:00 am Water Polo Start
10:00 am Full Ikaika Challenge/Full Relay, Taiko Drums
11:00 am Mini Ikaika Challenge
12:30 pm Splash and Dash/Ikaika Awards
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm Community Beach Yoga with Stacey Johnson
3:00 pm – 3:30 Water Polo Awards
3:00 pm “Last Splash” and Closing Ceremonies

The Monterey Beach SportsFest Facebook page is here.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones