This issue covers the biggest competition of the year, the 8th FINA World Swimming Championships.
Three of us travelled to Perth and were joined there by Paul Quinlan, our Australian correspondent, who normally lives in Brisbane but is on an around-Australia tour in his live-in trailer.
After spending 14-15 hour days over two and a half weeks covering this competition (second only to the Olympics in magnitude), the end was a welcome relief. We actually planned to stay an extra day to swim in the Indian Ocean, which was a wonderful relief after all the stress of the long days.
Following the Worlds, we returned to Sydney to cover the first of the nine FINA World Cups. After three days there, we returned to Canada on January 23rd.
Although most of the articles are credited to Karin Helmstaedt, it must be pointed out that the day-by-day stories of each race were a collaborative effort with Paul Quinlan doing the first draft of the men's races and Nick Thierry covering the women's events and the relays.
Karin was busy working for the Organizing Committee providing post-race flash quotes, which were duly added by her into the final version of the day-by-day stories.
Since we've returned, jet-lag (about 8-10 days) and sickness have taken their toll. Both Karin and Marco have been ill with assorted flu-like symptoms.
Cecil Colwin's commentary explains the frustration with the endless controversy around drug use in our sport. The issue drags us all down into negativism.
With so much material, written and photographic (about 1,000 images), producing this issue became an exercise in what could be made to fit. There is far too much material for the space available.
The balance of the issue is taken up with a brief coverage of the FINA World Cup in Sydney, the TOP program with 800 entries, and TAG, which is up-to-date including all competitions received. We were still getting November results in late January.
A reminder that the final 50-deep list in April can only include results through mid-March.
We think you'll enjoy our efforts.