2015 Year in review with Pedro
Looking back on the year, what would you describe as the big highlight(s) of WWS in 2015?
Some highlights that made our swim season one of the most successful include managing major events here and abroad safely and efficiently. We gained worldwide recognition for our professionalism and are blessed to have our swimmers and athletes of all ages improve their open water swim performance with us. Internationally, we are very proud of David Rich and Romano Mombelli that we successfully guided to complete the Bonifacio Channel between the islands of Corsica, France and Sardegna, Italy.
You started expeditions to the Galapagos Islands this year. How did it go and what makes it so interesting for the participants?
Swimmers and lovers of nature and adventure took part and had the best experience swimming with nature not seen anywhere else. It is exciting for anyone to swim among friendly seals and turtles at a World Heritage site. Our mission in the Galapagos also is to show athletes, or visitors part of our groups, to experience the oceans surrounding the islands, the way they were thousands and thousands years ago - clean, healthy, full of marine life - and remind people why we must care about the planet to benefit future generations, so that they can enjoy it as we are right now.
After this year's success, you will not only repeat Galapagos but also add Cuba to the expedition list. Has Cuba attracted many swimmers to this maiden voyage?
We are proud to have been invited by the Cuba Swim Federation to participate in two major open water swim competitions. Planning and preparing this expedition to Cuba has not been an easy task as coincidentally the diplomatic relations between the two countries have authorities of both sides overwhelmed by lifting restrictions to travelers. When we received this invitation and announced it, we filled the trip almost instantly. We are working hard to get confirmations from the sports authorities to make this trip an exclusive swim experience. We firmly believe that once we will get this first trip ready, the next expedition will have a bigger number of swimmers interested in competing in a second Swim Cup tournament in Havana at the end of 2016.
But there are still few spots available for Galapagos in April and Costa Rica in May...
We have planned great expeditions to the Galapagos in April 2016 and Costa Rica in May 2016. These are great opportunities for lovers of open water swimming and nature. These swims explore places that the common tourist would never have the chance to experience. Especially after learning that the recent "Our Ocean" conference in Valparaiso, Chile celebrated the acceptance of more than 80 new initiatives on marine conservation and protection valued at more than $2.1 billion and a commitment to the protection of more than 1.9 million km2, creating a commitment for swimmers from U.S. and Chile to create awareness about this delicate balance of the oceans and coasts is important.
What else can people look forward to in the Bay Area?
The San Francisco bay is one of the most beautiful places in the world to swim and it is - in the opinion of many world class swimmers - one of most exciting places to train. The bay is not only one the safest places to train but because of the conditions and landscape surrounding the whole bay, it is able to help swimmers train for any distance, temperature, and conditions of many world class competitive swims.
And you have a great team of coaches to achieve all these positive results...?
I consider myself blessed by the team that has joined me in my vision. It is very well recognized not only here but also internationally for its techniques and training philosophies. This year WWS welcomed a number of new coaches with great professional and athletic experience that make our team one of a kind. We train children and adults and all levels of swimmers from the beginner to the professional, making us a very inclusive of all looking to shine in the open water.
Would you like to leave a message for the WWS family?
My message goes to swimmers from all over the world, and especially to our loyal and local swimmers who attended any of our swims. I wish each of them to keep track of their progress, to keep their passion alive, as by participating in any open water swimming event, they are contributing to awareness of the environment and the oceans. I wish everyone has a safe and healthy 2016 season.
And here the following workout to all our swimmers, to be prepared for a better and successful swim season…
- 100 yards of positive training x 365 days of passion for swimming,
- 200 yards of good health x 365 days of getting closer to your swimming goal,
- 300 yards closer to find your next feat x 365 days of love for the oceans.