Last weekend, we attended the Protecting Athletes: Open Water Safety Conference coordinated by Steve Munatones and had the opportunity to hear representatives from US Masters Swimming, US Lifesaving Association, Pacific Masters, USAT, marathon swimmers and race experts from around the world. It was very informative and eye-opening. Shelley Taylor-Smith is a great speaker! We really enjoyed her jellyfish stories! Also got to hear some of the extreme safety challenges of being behind the scenes of some world-class events. Applause to those who work and volunteer year round to make these events happen smoothly. It was a very collaborative atmosphere, with plenty of brainstorming on what can be done better. We hope to see this event grow and participate again in the future. Open water is a dynamic environment and there are so many variables. We want the athletes to be well-prepared and aware of these dynamics so they can enjoy the event and have a great race. That is the reason we have weekly training sessions year round and monthly clinics and crossings to fully prepare the athletes for the conditions they will be swimming in, and have fun at the same time.
Once they are available, the videos of the conference will be posted at the USMS website.