Saildrone And Self-Sustained Swims In Open Water's Future

Saildrone And Self-Sustained Swims In Open Water’s Future

Self-driving cars are in mankind’s future…as is self-sailing and – quite possibly – self-traversing in open bodies of water.

Self-sailing, wind-powered marine craft like the Saildrone are controlled via satellite by operators at the Saildrone headquarters in Alameda, California. The Saildrone can carry up to 160 kg of equipment and travel at up to 5 knots which offers more than enough storage and speed for a solo swimmer in the future who may want to traverse some massive body of water on a self-sustained open water attempt.

We can imagine adventurers like Sean Conway might use something like the Saildrone in the distant future instead of a custom-made raft [see above]. Conway completed the World’s Longest Triathlon, a 4,100-mile, 85-day continuous stage triathlon that ended with a self-supported stage swim.

After his 3,250-mile cycle and 800-mile run, Conway went off on a 100-mile swim this June. He swam twice a day while sleeping onshore and pulling along his own support raft in the water that included all his gear.

Conway was nominated for the 2016 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year among the following nominees:

1. Toshio Tominaga (Japan) Tsugaru Channel Crossing
2. Craig Dietz (Kingdom Swim )
3. Sarah Thomas (USA) Lake Powell Crossing
4. Jennifer Figge (USA) Bermuda Triangle Swim
5. Pieter Christian Jongeneel Anderica (Spain) Double Manhattan Circumnavigation
6. Dan Canta (Romania) Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming
7. Sean Conway (Great Britain) Swim Leg of the World’s Longest Triathlon
8. Hudson Brothers (Great Britain) Into the Maelstrom
9. Cristian Vergara (Chile) Easter Island Circumnavigation
10. Jarrod Poort (Australia) Olympic 10K Marathon Swim
11. Javier Mérida Prieto (Spain) Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming
12. Patrick McKnight (USA) Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming
13. Spyridon Gianniotis (Greece) Olympic 10K Marathon Swim
14. Malvinas/Falklands Islands Challenge by Matías Ola (Argentina) and Jackie Cobell (Great Britain)
15. Stephanie Hopson (USA) English Channel Crossing
16. Carol Schumacher Hayden (USA) Catalina Channel Crossing
17. Vasilly Mosin (Russia) Winter Swimming

To vote for the WOWSA Awards, visit here. Online voting continues until December 31st 2016.

Conway started his swim leg on Day 69 of his triathlon (June 8th) and completed the swim leg and ultra triathlon on Day 85 (June 24th). This was a summary of his 17-day stage swim leg:

Day 1 (Day 69 overall, June 8th): After a 3,250-mile cycle and 800-mile run, Conway immediately started his estimated 100-mile swim. He swam twice: 9 miles early in the morning starting at 5 am and then again at 2:30 pm.

Day 2 (Day 70 overall, June 9th): Conway swam 8 miles, but his muscles continue to adjust after cycling and running for the previous 68 days straight.

Day 3 (Day 71 overall, June 10th): Conway fixed a leak on his self-supported raft and still swam 11 miles.

Day 4 (Day 72 overall, June 11th): Conway attempts to fish for fish while swimming.

Day 5 (Day 73 overall, June 12th): After another sleep on a rocky beach and shielding himself from the rain in a public restroom, Conway continues his stage swim.

Day 6 (Day 74 overall, June 13th): Conway fights chop and ocean swells while catching a mackerel and later eating it sushi-style.

Day 7 (Day 75 overall, June 14th): Conway is mistaken for an illegal immigrant while crossing The Solent.

Day 8 (Day 76 overall, June 15th): Conway became the second person to swim across Portsmouth mouth.

Day 9 (Day 77 overall, June 16th): Conway completes the first swim across Southampton harbour to complete 4,108 miles in his British Ultra Triathlon.

Day 10 (Day 78 overall, June 17th): Conway patches up his leaking raft with the help of Jeremy Rogers’ boatyard, and keeps on swimming.

Day 11 (Day 79 overall, June 18th): Conway rewards himself with seaweed stew after his 11th day in Britain’s southern coast.

Day 12 (Day 80 overall, June 19th): Conway is greeted with a brightly shining sun glassy water conditions.

Day 13 (Day 81 overall, June 20th): Conway swims another 5 miles in the pitch darkness around midnight.

Day 14 (Day 82 overall, June 21st): Conway jumps in the water just before midnight and swam into Day 82, coming on shore at Sandbanks.

Day 15 (Day 83 overall, June 22nd): Conway continues to swim along the Jurassic Coast.

Day 16 (Day 84 overall, June 23rd): A campfire and dinner on the beach are Conway’s rewards for swimming a choppy six miles in the English Channel.

Day 17 (Day 85 overall, June 24th): Conway finishes where he started, victoriously knackered at Lulworth Cove.

Copyright © 2008 – 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Steven Munatones