First Open-Water Swimming Safety Conference To Be Held In March

  • By Liz Hichens
  • Published Jan 31, 2011

With the sports of triathlon and open-water swimming growing every year, the need to make sure the proper safety standards are in place is at an all-time high. The issue of safety in the open water was brought into an International spotlight when U.S. Open Water Swimmer Fran Crippen passed away during a race in Dubai. A group of industry experts will be convening in San Francisco, Calif. for the first Open Water Safety Conference from March 18-20.

“The sport now has over 3,600 open water swims in the world – plus an ever greater number of triathlons, charity swims, solo swims and relays,” Steven Munatones, the conference co-host and editor-in-chief of the Daily News of Open Water Swimming, said in a press release. “Open water swimming presents significant challenges for participants, race directors, coaches and administrators. How do we keep everyone safe – and anticipate everything that might occur in the open water? That is what we are discussing at the conference.”

The conference will play host to several speakers including:

– Shelly Taylor-Smith and Steven Munatones, both members of the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee
– Jim Wheeler, a recognized aquatic safety expert
– Morty Berger, president of NYC Swim
– Dr. Jim Miller, member of the FINA Sports Medicine Committee
– Benoit Amyot, race director of the Traversée International du lac St-Jean
– Chris Brewster, president of the U.S. Life Saving Association
– Chris Sheean, race director of Big Shoulders and U.S. Masters Swimming national championship event in Chicago
– Bob Placak,founder of the RCP Tiburon Mile in San Francisco
– Yutaka Shinozaki, founder of the Japan International Open Water Swimming Association
– Marcia Cleveland, English Channel swimmer and Masters open water national champion
– Suzanne Heim-Bowen, marathon swimmer and Masters open water national champion
– Lori Bosco, race director for the Swim Around Key West
– Kaia Hedlund, president of the Waikiki Roughwater Swim
– John Tucker, FINA Open Water Swimming Referee
– Maddy Crippen of the Fran Crippen Elevation Foundation
– Dean Jackson, Executive Vice President of blueseventy
– Dale Petranech, Honorary Secretary of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame
– Malcolm Cooper, Safety Director of the Maui Channel Swim
– Nelson Vargas of the Acapulco 5K International Swim in Acapulco, Mexico
– Bruce Wigo, CEO of the International Swimming Hall of Fame
– Karen Reeder, race director of the U.S. Masters Swimming 6-Mile Championship in Colorado
– Dick Sidner, race director of the U.S. Masters Swimming 25K National Championship in Indiana
– Liz Tucker, Race Director Certification Manager of USA Triathlon

Click here to learn more about the conference.


Liz Hichens

Liz Hichens

Liz Hichens is the Web Editor of She is an Ironman and marathon finisher and fan of all endurance sports.

Sign up for our free e-newsletter, SBR Report!

Subscribe to the FREE Triathlete newsletter