Ted Sheppard's Record Leadership Service
Ted Sheppard, Waikiki Swim Club member and A-Wave swimmer and member of the WRS Committee took over the job in 1996 which was, by now, actually called President as well Race Director. He set the record by nearly double for years of service: Fifteen long years, carrying on through good times and difficult times. A real solid leader who fine-tuned the operation continually.
Ted Sheppard was Race Director during the years when Nautilus, God of the Sea, threw some challenging currents at the swimmers and when a Maui group decided to have their swim on Labor Day also.
None the less, under Teds reign, the Swim became superbly organized and run like a Swiss watch with multiple added features so that the Swim could justly be called the classic Jewel of the Pacific and more recently, the Jewel of the World based on reputation. He kept to the Swim's nearly sacred and nearly unique traditions of one big, low-cost, all-welcome, one-race, dramatic community swim. Here is Ted's Era in his own words
In Ted's Own Words
"Aloha! As President, Waikiki Roughwater Swim Committee, Inc. and race director, I was very fortunate to have a professional team to support the swim. Jim Anderson prepared me to assume the leadership from a long list of capable and generous previous Presidents.
The following observations highlight some of my memories as I reflect on the past. My first year as race director gave me many restless nights as race day approached.The burden and responsibility for the safety of the swimmers and volunteers weighed heavily in my thoughts as Labor Day drew near. The WRS team confidant can do attitude, along with preparation and professionalism provided me the assurance that we were ready. That team spirit continues today.
During my 15 years as race director the race evolved constantly to give the swimmers, sponsors, volunteers and spectators a better experience.The ocean on Labor Day cooperated every year except in 2003 and 2005.The key team members were ready and performed superbly every year.
The race web site was further developed and expanded to provide better information, colorful pictures of beautiful Waikiki and race memories.We transitioned from paper mail entries to a fully automated on-line registration process using Active.com.The new process increased our marketing capability, expanded our reach in the sporting communities, reduced our costs, allowed us to keep entry fees low and created an email link to all swimmers. Several national magazines including Outside, Sunset, USMS Magazine and United and Hawaiian Airlines in-flight magazines have promoted the race. Hawaii Tourist Authority links our web site under ocean activities. The social network sites will increase WRS exposure.
The Waikiki Roughwater Swim Committee, Inc. is a non-profit Hawaii Corporation formed to conduct the annual swim. WRS has no paid employees. Many individuals gave their time and expertise to the team. Ernie Leskovitz served as Vice President and Board member for many years. A nationally ranked age group swimmer, Ernie’s social network throughout the swimming community bridged new associations to mainland swimmers.
Blake, Rudolph, Anderson and Kaiser
Dennis Blake, Steve Rudolph, Jim Anderson and Linda Kaiser each served as treasurer keeping our fiduciary records in balance. George Kane, our starting line director, continues to manage the anxious swimmers with cool professionalism.
Hedlund, Lilekis, presley, Hetzel, Anderson
Our June, July and August swim clinics for preparing swimmers to compete in the swim were staffed year in and year out by Kaia Hedlund, Joe Lileikis, Todd Presley, Rick Hetzel and Jim Anderson. The Committee’s officers and board members gave graciously their time and deserve the true recognition and credit for the success of the swim.
Our outreach with the General Managers and staff at the Outrigger Canoe Club and New Otani Hotel (starting line), the Hilton Hawaiian Village complex and Hale Koa Hotel (finish line) cemented the goodwill and long term commitments the committee has nurtured over 40 years.Other sponsors who provided us invaluable contributions included TYR, Speedo, Blue Seventy, Power Bar, Cliff Bar, Bull Frog, McDonalds, Bump Networks, Nike and Hawaiian Airlines. Frank Smith from Island Triathlon Bike provided us a permanent distribution store in the past for pick ups of awards, shirts and applications.
Beaumont, Foster, Rust
Jim Beaumont at PrintProz our tee shirt supplier has given us years of great product. Steve Foster’s Time Line Company brought advance timing, real time results, and web site links for other events, improved swim course markers and buoys. Kenny Rust and his Pro Saving company staffed with professional lifeguards joined out team to improve the quality of our water safety capabilities and increment the 80 to 100 volunteers on surfboards, paddle boards, canoes and kayaks. Most importantly the support teams and sponsors created a safe umbrella for the swim.
Over the years we were fortunate to have the great voices and personalities of Lord Blair, Mickey Campagnolo, Steve Borrowski and our current announcer Joe Teipel. Their enthusiasm and knowledge created a fun atmosphere, excitement and great entertainment for swimmers, volunteers and spectators. . Recently we established a long term relationship with the Sydney Australia swims Big Swim, Cole Classic and Bondi Swim. Many of the winning swimmers earned spots at WRS after winning those swims.
The Rainbow Aquatic age group swim team has provided the beach volunteers for years. The parents and kids make race day an effortless experience for the swimmers at check in and at the finish line. Staring very early on race day, they gather and produce the infrastructure necessary to run the swim.The money collected from our tee shirt sales is donated by the Committee to Rainbow in support of age group swimming. The Committee has donated over the years $100,000 in support of age group swimming.
Anderson, Trask, Cotton
The swim created and advanced by Jim Cotton, Fred Task and Jim Anderson has evolved from local swimmers out for a Labor Day fun swim into a competitive and challenging business enterprise.
Oversight for water safety and legal regulations requires expensive insurance, comprehensive water safety plans, equipment and tents, set up and clean up crews, off shore water safety and course management, transportation, food and drink and patience. The permits from the City and County of Honolulu, the Department of Natural Land Resources, State of Hawaii, and the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard require close coordination and detailed planning. Our relationship with these agencies is based on trust, cooperation and personal contact, all essential for the future of the swim.
The years passed quickly and gave me many happy memories and new and continuing friendships. The opportunity to swim the race several times with my daughter Taylor was a thrill I will always cherish.
Kaiser, Hofwold, Blake
I owe special thanks and recognition to Linda Kaiser, Jerry Hofwolt and Dennis Blake. They were always ready to assist on short notice without question. The races were a successful event due to their dedication and behind the scenes activities.I thank them deeply for their support.