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The Crawl Stroke

leg, flip and kick


The great advantage and interest in the crawl stroke in Great Britain and America is un doubtedly due to the fine records established by the late B. B. Kieran, of Australia. Indeed, it is beyond contradiction that his fine performance was a revelation at the time, of what a properly executed leg kick could do, both in speed and long distance swimming. The writer's observations were taken during the time of practicing for the King Edward Trophy in 1905. Some personal remembrances are given of this young and bril lant swimmer, whose career in the swimming world was all too short.

The crawl stroke is an abbreviation of the over arm, combined with a leg kick adopted by Aus tralian swimmers from the aborigines of the South Sea Islands, who can, with this particular stroke, break through the heavy surf characteristic of these seas, the force of which would make many exponents of the art think twice before emulating their example.

The following points, taken from the style of the late B. B. Kieran, will no doubt make this somewhat difficult stroke more readily appreciated by the pupil and average swimmer than hitherto. The principal feature in the crawl stroke un doubtedly lies in the fact that it ensures good breathing, combined with the powerful leg kick, which is its chief characteristic, more so with this stroke than any other, as it is a continuous recip rocating motion or thrash of the leg from below the knee to the ankle, an extra flip being imparted immediately the leg commences its work, in ex actly the same manner as a fish gives the first impetus through the water by a sudden flip of its tail, the movement of the body being quite even until the extra flip is given, being so powerful in the case of salmon that they can leap over weirs twenty feet high.