The Past, Present And Future Of Open Water Swimming

The Past, Present And Future Of Open Water Swimming

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Chris Guesdon, an inductee in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, will present a talk at the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference entitled ‘Multidimensional Roles In The Sport’.

The Australian coach, administrator and visionary will talk about changing roles over the five decades he has served in the sport. With 53 years of continuous service to the sport between 1961 and 2014, he possesses one of the longest, continuously record of involvement in open water swimming.

As a swimmer, water polo player, surf life-saver, race organizer, behind-the-scenes administrator, national coach, strategist and race official, he has sat in boats, walked along coastlines, looked through binoculars, analyzed marine charts, given feedings and written well-regarded, comprehensive manuals based on his experience as a support crew, a lobbyist, historian and documenter.

He certainly has the experience, position and duration to understand and analyze the profound adaptation that has occurred since the 1960s. Not only is he credited with creating the modern format of the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim, he also was so involved in the sport that the number of countries he visited to promote or officiate in runs in the dozens and the number of athletes he oversaw runs into the thousands.

Among the highlights of his career where he raced or coached throughout Oceania, Asia, Africa the Americas and Europe,

• he founded Australia’s first and only national open water swimming organization, the Australian Long Distance Swimming Federation in 1973
• he managed open water teams and marathon swimmers from Australia since 1970 including many renowned swims from the 24 Heures La Tuque in Canada to the Derwent River Tasmania
• he was a bureau member of the International Long Distance Swimming Federation
• he was a director of the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation
• he was a member of the FINA Open Water Swimming Technical Committee
• he was Secretary of Swimming Australia Open Water Swimming Committee for 11 years
• he served on the International Swimming Committee of Swimming Australia
• he served on the Sports Development Committee Confederation of Australian Sport (now called Sport Australia)
• he is the Programme Vice President of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame
• he is an Honouree in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame
• he is a recipient of the Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award given by the International Swimming Hall of Fame

His reach has truly been global,” observed Dale Petranech who has worked alongside Guesdon since the 1980’s. “The success of the current open water swimming world has a solid foundation to continue growth while Chris has stepped back and mentored others to carry forth his mantle.

Chris is one of the treasures of the sport. He is selfless and passionate – and a futurist,” remarked Steven Munatones. “Because of his long history in the sport where he has served to document swimmers and events first in long hand, then on a typewriter, then on a laptop, and now on a multitude of mobile devices, Chris’ perspective is priceless. He can see what will happen in the sport before it does. What is occurring now in the sport of open water swimming, Chris has been talking about and envisioning for decades. But there is still more to come and Chris will continue to lay out the future at the Global Open Water Swimming Conference in Scotland.”

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones