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View Full Version : LD16 allowing wetsuits in all USMS sanctioned events



Paul Smith
September 22nd, 2008, 11:56 AM
LD16 303.6.3 SWIMWEAR p. 62 OWLDC Modify
303.6.3 Wetsuits may be allowed in all USMS-sanctioned open water events, at the
discretion of the meet event director. Wetsuits generally provide a competitive advantage. If
awards are given to wetsuit competitors they shall be awarded separately from those for nonwetsuit
competitors. Any published results or records must clearly indicate which swimmers
wore wetsuits.
Rationale 1: Because the OWLDC is aware that people wearing wetsuits are no longer allowed to be treated as
non-participants because they represent a major area of growth to our organization. In most cases, these
neoprene-clad souls would trade their eye teeth to go without but for whatever reasons they chose to look like
shark bait, they want/need/can’t live without it so by allowing this new rule, they can now wear their wetsuit in
our USMS races and get a prize from USMS. Also, members of the OWLDC are getting tired of extracting
naked, frozen people from the bathrooms where they are attempting to warm up by splashing themselves with
lukewarm water from the sink and recognize that if these folks had been offered an opportunity to wear a
wetsuit in their race, they would be having a much more fun time at this USMS event than experiencing
hypothermia and swearing on their mother’s grave to never swim in an open water race again.
Rationale2: This rule is leading our organization down the slippery slope to The Sanitization of Open Water
Swimming. We have regulated water temp, hot hats, buoys every so often, swim suits that help us float, and
more devices to take the element of nature out of the events, sort of like rock climbing with an elevator, so are
we “purists” now viewed as the extremists in our sport, the on the fringe element? But on the other hand at
least people are swimming and staying healthy, which is a wonderful thing for our society.
Rationale3: As purists spend time acclimating to less warm water temps and not spending time cycling 140
miles or running 26 at a stretch, do we get a motor on our bike? How about we start a “Buffet Event”, similar to
the 300IM: Pick a few choices you want and we’ll all compete together. This could lead to the “All Gadget
Olympics.”

Chris Stevenson
September 22nd, 2008, 12:38 PM
I should point out that wetsuits are already allowed in USMS sactioned events (as a separate awards category), just not currently in national championship events.

Although some such events (Big Shoulders are Reston are two that I know about) have gotten around this restriction when they were nat'l championships by having separate waves for wetsuits and nonwetsuits.

knelson
September 22nd, 2008, 12:45 PM
I think wetsuits are for wimps, but the way the proposed rule is worded I can't see why it shouldn't be enacted. Wetsuit and non-wetsuit swimmers are segregated for the purporse of awards, so what's the big deal? I see no reason to purposely turn away swimmers.

chaos
September 22nd, 2008, 12:46 PM
another catagory should be listed in the poll.

duplicating awards for wetsuits in every division would create an unreasonable burden for the event organizers.

wetsuits should be treated as something to overcome...like training wheels.

aquageek
September 22nd, 2008, 12:47 PM
I think if you wear a wetsuit in water over 64 degrees you should forfeit your USMS card.

The Fortress
September 22nd, 2008, 12:50 PM
duplicating awards for wetsuits in every division would create an unreasonable burden for the event organizers.


Really?! What a burden ... handing out a few more awards ... might be like a swim meet.

What's the beef if the wetsuit wearers are in a separate division where they can apparently be labeled and ridiculed as wimps by the OW swimming elite?

Why discourage participation?

nkfrench
September 22nd, 2008, 01:07 PM
I think meet directors should have the option of having wetsuit swimmers getting an official time but would be ineligible for an award or points (exhibition).

knelson
September 22nd, 2008, 01:09 PM
Really?! What a burden ... handing out a few more awards ... might be like a swim meet.

Not to mention the rule does say "if awards are given to wetsuit competitors..." so there is absolutely no requirement that non-wetsuit swimmers be given awards.

The Fortress
September 22nd, 2008, 01:14 PM
Is it remotely possible that a fast swimmer might choose to wear a wetsuit so as to not freeze and swim more efficiently? Or perhaps it's just a general preference? And do we really need to withhold medals or whatever to ensure they are a lower class of swimmer? Doesn't seem like a very good way to encourage triathletes to swim OW or pool swimmers to try something new ... I'm not a fan of "nature" if it includes freezing water and jellyfish ...

Allen Stark
September 22nd, 2008, 01:23 PM
I was going to make a disparaging comment about distance swimmers (vs the elite sprinters and the ultra elite breaststrokers)but I was taught if you don't have something nice to say,don't say anything.As long as they keep wetsuits out of the pool I don't care(and the Nero Comp is questionable.)

Midas
September 22nd, 2008, 01:24 PM
I voted to allow them AND that wetsuits are for wimps (since you can pick more than one selection). Having said that, I'm am such a wimp. One reason I've never swum an OW event is that the water around here is way to frickin' cold!

Leonard Jansen
September 22nd, 2008, 01:39 PM
As an avowed wet-suit avoider (death before dishonor), I can't see any reason that this is a bad idea. The more the merrier. I personally don't worry about the whole awards thing either, so have at it. As long as the championship events segregate the the real swimmers from the shark-trollers, no problems.

-LBJ

chaos
September 22nd, 2008, 01:42 PM
Really?! What a burden ... handing out a few more awards ... might be like a swim meet.

What's the beef if the wetsuit wearers are in a separate division where they can apparently be labeled and ridiculed as wimps by the OW swimming elite?

Why discourage participation?

ever been to the award ceremony at the bay swim? extremely long ...i can't imagine if they doubled it. (it would be longer than the swim)

as it is, many swimmers don't stick around until the bitter end at most events....and i attend a lot of them.

i don't know any swimmers that enter these events for the ribbons or hardware, but i have seen many a director sweat out the awards.

The Fortress
September 22nd, 2008, 01:47 PM
ever been to the award ceremony at the bay swim? extremely long ...i can't imagine if they doubled it. (it would be longer than the swim)

Why do they even need an award ceremony? Particularly if none of the "real swimmers" care? It's not like they have them at swim meets. Can't people just collect their medals if they want them?

aquageek
September 22nd, 2008, 01:55 PM
I never stay for the medal ceremonies for three reasons. First, it's rare I get a medal, second, I prefer to get home, third, most places just have a table where you make your own.

stillwater
September 22nd, 2008, 02:05 PM
Differentiate between the catagories.

Smart, warm, semi-comfortable wimps, vs. (you fill in the blank)

Kurt Dickson
September 22nd, 2008, 02:08 PM
I think if you wear a wetsuit in water over 64 degrees you should forfeit your USMS card.

...and your "man card."

I say encourage all to come--separate awards. I'm more of a minimalist, however. In one of my favorite races, the clocks broke or some such nonsense, they gave top 3 out of the water (and 3 for female) an award as we were coming out of the water, I went directly to my car, and rolled up just in time for my daughter's baptism.

Sitting around for awards while they call the top 3 in the 85-89 year-old transgender, african-american, shortie wetsuit division is caca--and therefore I generally do not stay.

mbmg3282
September 22nd, 2008, 02:42 PM
Another thought not voiced yet is that encouraging wetsuit usage allows for a longer open water season. We can offer more races if we expect people to continue to show up in October and November. I am directing a series of races in 2009 in Arizona. We will start in late March or early April and finish in November. Without wetsuits, half of the planned races wouldn't happen.

As an example, in the November 2.4 mile swim, we have a wetsuit and nonwetsuit division. There are swimmers in both. In previous years it has been along the lines of 370 wetsuit, 12 non-wetsuit. Without the wetsuit division, there would be no race. It wouldn't be economically feasible.

Paul Smith
September 22nd, 2008, 02:43 PM
I never stay for the medal ceremonies for three reasons. First, it's rare I get a medal, second, I prefer to get home, third, most places just have a table where you make your own.

I call BS and have a photo to prove otherwise...careful geek as you have allowed some of us into your inner sanctum and have ammo we can now use!

chaos
September 22nd, 2008, 03:16 PM
Why do they even need an award ceremony? Particularly if none of the "real swimmers" care? It's not like they have them at swim meets. Can't people just collect their medals if they want them?

i would prefer to just stick around and socialize. (unless they're giving away watches or bread!)

chaos
September 22nd, 2008, 03:19 PM
In previous years it has been along the lines of 370 wetsuit, 12 non-wetsuit. Without the wetsuit division, there would be no race. It wouldn't be economically feasible.

do they then present awards for the top three in every age group for men and women for those 12?.......they don't at chesapeake.

mbmg3282
September 22nd, 2008, 03:59 PM
When races are small, I have used larger than 5 year age groups. Otherwise, everyone who signs up is a winner. We have always award men and women separate, even in small races. As the event grows in size, we give more awards.

Chris Stevenson
September 22nd, 2008, 05:32 PM
I was going to make a disparaging comment about distance swimmers (vs the elite sprinters and the ultra elite breaststrokers)but I was taught if you don't have something nice to say,don't say anything.As long as they keep wetsuits out of the pool I don't care(and the Nero Comp is questionable.)

"Ultra elite breaststrokers?" :lmao: They are the ultimate example of the "live and let live" philosophy that supports a separate division for wetsuits...long after the stroke evolved into (far superior) butterfly, we still allow those bozos their ugly frog kick to compete...

The Nero Comp comment is interesting. I see a LOT of high-tech suits (Fastskins, B70s, and others) at OW events that are supposedly wetsuit-free. The ethical distinction between them and wetsuits (all are intended to enhance performance) really does escape me. Don't tell me it is a matter of degree, that's hogwash ("I only meant to steal A LITTLE BIT of money!")

At least the proposed rule separates wetsuits into a separate division at championships, unlike B70s, LZRs and the like.

So I'm curious how many wetsuit nay-sayers have never worn a tech suit in a meet? Very few of those at the last nationals, from what I remember.

Glider
September 22nd, 2008, 05:36 PM
Great question at the end, Chris. Why don't you conduct a poll????????

And yes, breaststrokers DO rule:bliss:


"Ultra elite breaststrokers?" :lmao: They are the ultimate example of the "live and let live" philosophy that supports a separate division for wetsuits...long after the stroke evolved into (far superior) butterfly, we still allow those bozos their ugly frog kick to compete...

The Nero Comp comment is interesting. I see a LOT of high-tech suits (Fastskins, B70s, and others) at OW events that are supposedly wetsuit-free. The ethical distinction between them and wetsuits (all are intended to enhance performance) really does escape me. Don't tell me it is a matter of degree, that's hogwash ("I only meant to steal A LITTLE BIT of money!")

At least the proposed rule separates wetsuits into a separate division at championships, unlike B70s, LZRs and the like.

So I'm curious how many wetsuit nay-sayers have never worn a tech suit in a meet? Very few of those at the last nationals, from what I remember.

chaos
September 22nd, 2008, 07:10 PM
"

At least the proposed rule separates wetsuits into a separate division at championships, unlike B70s, LZRs and the like.

So I'm curious how many wetsuit nay-sayers have never worn a tech suit in a meet? Very few of those at the last nationals, from what I remember.

there is a generally accepted rule of thumb that a wetsuit offers a 10% advantage. i wish the same were true for all those tech suits because they would never be permitted in competition.

another observation.... many folks wear wetsuits to increase their comfort level; no one would claim that squeezing into a fastskin or eq. would make them more comfortable.

stillwater
September 22nd, 2008, 08:29 PM
"another observation.... many folks wear wetsuits to increase their comfort level"

Guilty as charged. Anything below 67 degrees, I wear the rubber.

Chris Stevenson
September 22nd, 2008, 10:27 PM
there is a generally accepted rule of thumb that a wetsuit offers a 10% advantage. i wish the same were true for all those tech suits because they would never be permitted in competition.

another observation.... many folks wear wetsuits to increase their comfort level; no one would claim that squeezing into a fastskin or eq. would make them more comfortable.

Again, I don't think the degree of performance enhancement is a very good defense.

I've worn a wetsuit in competition twice (both during half-IM aquabike races). Speaking only for myself, 10% is a HUGE stretch, there is absolutely no way is it that much for me unless we are talking frigid water. Rob Jones, an excellent OW swimmer here in Virginia who has competed both with and without wetsuits, estimates the wetsuit advantage at about 1 minute per mile. That is slightly less than a 5% advantage.

Mark Schubert says that the LZR gives a 2% advantage, and a number of swimmers believe him.

So 2% is okay but not 5%? Where is the line, exactly? "Neutral buoyancy?" Give me a break, most swimmers I know who use tech suits say they feel buoyant, no matter what FINA claims.

USMS swimmers sometimes seem to view those who wear the LZR or B70 as "serious" about swimming fast. Some of those same swimmers look at wetsuit wearers with disdain, feeling that they probably couldn't even float without them.

This attitude makes no sense to triathletes (many of whom are quite good swimmers but wear wetsuits to go faster) and it makes no sense to me either.

jim clemmons
September 22nd, 2008, 10:39 PM
i would prefer to just stick around and socialize. (unless they're giving away watches or bread!)

Geek's looking for a watch - maybe he'll enter more often.

chaos
September 22nd, 2008, 11:20 PM
Again, I don't think the degree of performance enhancement is a very good defense.

its not a defense.
pool racing at every level is now a gear sport. open water is at a crossroad, blue seventy has now gotten fina approval for some of their wetsuits. once the pros start wearing them, its all over.

the olympic 10k was held in a rowing basin (not what i would call open water).
i understand the need to make it friendly for spectators etc, but take away the waves, wind, current, jellies, exposure???? why not just cover it over so we don't get the sun in our eyes and remove any offensive flora and fauna and chlorinate it and put lines on the bottom to follow and..............(see paragraph 1)

RobbieD
September 23rd, 2008, 03:07 AM
I think a lot of people just need a frame of reference for what cold actually is and what your body can endure. I did a swim this month where the water was a balmy 66 degrees and I was pretty frosty for about a minute and a half and then it was basically a non issue. A lot of people just build it up to be epically cold in their heads and never bother to try swimming without a suit even though they totally could.

Whenever I start thinking something is too cold I reflect on the dumbest thing I've ever done aquatically... on January 1st, 1996 I was living in Milwaukee and I found my way into Lake Michigan. I don't know how cold the water was that day but there were chunks of ice meandering about. The water was shockingly cold and then proceeded to burn, kinda weird. So whenever I feel like it's too cold to swim in the ocean, or a pool isn't warm enough I think about polar bearing in Wisconsin and I get over it pretty quickly.

If you're going to wear a wetsuit you're going to wear a wetsuit... it is what it is and I'll gladly compete beside you. But I think people on the fence about it should try an open water swim without one at least once, you might realize it's not that bad after all.

The Fortress
September 23rd, 2008, 11:06 AM
another observation.... many folks wear wetsuits to increase their comfort level; no one would claim that squeezing into a fastskin or eq. would make them more comfortable.

I'm more comfortable racing in a tech suit.

I have read no argument explaining why wetsuits should be banned if there are separate divisions. I've only seen the purist view that nature MUST be experienced. Why? Let people race the way they want.

And if B70 wetsuits are approved, why is it "all over?" Still in a separate division from the purists.

chaos
September 23rd, 2008, 11:24 AM
I'm more comfortable racing in a tech suit.

I have read no argument explaining why wetsuits should be banned if there are separate divisions. I've only seen the purist view that nature MUST be experienced. Why? Let people race the way they want.

And if B70 wetsuits are approved, why is it "all over?" Still in a separate division from the purists.

this proposed rule applies to usms events only.
many open water events are not usms sanctioned events. others offer non-usms waves, wetsuit waves, non-competitive swims, even costume waves, so there is a general desire to include as many participants in ow events as possible.

if usms requires all event directors to provide a separate division for wetsuits, i believe that many directors will simply find another insurance provider and forego the usms sanction. i have never been to an open water event (usms or otherwise) where anyone was told they could not swim with a wetsuit. (and i could name at least 150)

hell, i don't care if someone wants to swim with fins and paddles, but i would oppose a separate division. imagine on race day looking over the field and saying hmmm there are some pretty fast folks in the wetsuit division, but the fin and paddle field is a little thin...i guess its zoomer time! podium, here i come.

Blackbeard's Peg
September 23rd, 2008, 11:40 AM
I agree that the bay swim could use some trimming of the fat around the awards. To ease the pain, they can rattle off names and times, and hold applause to the end of each age group.

Also, I find it odd that Fort, sworn to never do OW, is weighing in on this.

Leonard Jansen
September 23rd, 2008, 11:46 AM
Also, I find it odd that Fort, sworn to never do OW, is weighing in on this.

Proof that even when a "good girl" hangs out with open water swimmers, she can be turned to the dark side. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

-LBJ

The Fortress
September 23rd, 2008, 11:55 AM
Also, I find it odd that Fort, sworn to never do OW, is weighing in on this.

Trying to shut me up, eh? I've enjoyed some OW swims, just no competitions. Swimmers who spurn tech suits weigh in on those threads, so I see no reason not to comment here. Plus, I find it elitist and anti-inclusive to continually rag on wetsuit swimmers.

Dave: Insurance goes up with 2 waves instead of one? If so, then have them all go off at once and score them separately. I was under the impression from prior posts that the wetsuit swimmers outnumbered the purists anyway.

chaos
September 23rd, 2008, 01:01 PM
Dave: Insurance goes up with 2 waves instead of one? If so, then have them all go off at once and score them separately. I was under the impression from prior posts that the wetsuit swimmers outnumbered the purists anyway.

insurance: i'm not sure how it all works, but if you look at the top ten list of open water events, you will find quite a few if not most, are not usms events.

some events have 50 participants; some have 2000; there is no simple format that would work for all.

when wetsuits are permitted/encouraged and no separation exists, (i will use the bay swim as an example) the vast majority of participants wear them, even when the water temp is in the mid 70's and the air temp is in the high 80's.
the result is:
the elimination of a competitive non-wetsuit field.

at some ow "national championship" events, the field can be fewer than 100. to add a wetsuit division would do more to divide the field in half than double the number of entrants

gull
September 23rd, 2008, 01:15 PM
I say let them wear wetsuits.

But make them wear flowered caps. Life is full of tradeoffs.

dwlovell
September 23rd, 2008, 02:07 PM
its not a defense.
pool racing at every level is now a gear sport. open water is at a crossroad, blue seventy has now gotten fina approval for some of their wetsuits. once the pros start wearing them, its all over.

the olympic 10k was held in a rowing basin (not what i would call open water).
i understand the need to make it friendly for spectators etc, but take away the waves, wind, current, jellies, exposure???? why not just cover it over so we don't get the sun in our eyes and remove any offensive flora and fauna and chlorinate it and put lines on the bottom to follow and..............(see paragraph 1)

Is open water swimming really about being forced to experience extreme tempertures or jellyfish stings? It seems like it would be more about swimming performance under waves/wind/current. Most OW events seem to be scheduled during the summer, so I can hardly imagine that temperature was supposed to be a factor for OW events. I haven't yet competed OW, so I am less experienced here, you tell me.

Eventually you have to decide what is reasonable and what is not. If wetsuits are taking the "nature" out of the event, then why allow goggles or any swimsuit at all? Ultimately there is some rational level of comfort afforded to competitors so they can focus on the the point of the competition. If temperature and possible jellyfish stings are a distinct part of OW swimming, then I say no wetsuits, if however OW events are not defined as overcoming those elements, then who cares, focus on the event, not the circumstances.

haroldbuck
September 23rd, 2008, 02:13 PM
As I read this forum, it seems like a lot of people need to disparage the use of wetsuits to make themselves feel better about themselves. You know, like the high school kid who has low self-esteem so he makes fun of another kid to make himself feel better.

Why the hell should you care if other people like and use wetsuits? That's worrying about stuff that you can't really control and which is none of your business. As long as it doesn't affect you--and it doesn't if there's a separate category for wetsuits--ignore it.

Now if these wetsuit people were swimming against people without and taking their awards, that would be a different story.

chaos
September 23rd, 2008, 02:41 PM
[QUOTE=dwlovell;153771]Is open water swimming really about being forced to experience extreme tempertures or jellyfish stings? QUOTE]


first off, no one is forcing anyone to do anything they are not comfortable doing.....period.

this proposed rule change would "force" event organizers to maintain a separate division for all catagories for wetsuit wearers if they are to run a usms sanctioned event. as i mentioned before; i have never attended an event where anyone was refused the right to participate because he/she wanted to wear a wetsuit.

some events are about overcoming adverse conditions and some are not.

the ederle swim is a 16 mile event being held oct 25 from lower manhattan to sandy hook nj. no wetsuits. no fastskins. no neoprene caps....
likewise for the english channel, the manhattan marathon, the catalina channel etc.

gull
September 23rd, 2008, 02:43 PM
Perhaps something could be done to address all of that water in the open water events. Might make them more appealing.

chaos
September 23rd, 2008, 02:54 PM
As I read this forum, it seems like a lot of people need to disparage the use of wetsuits to make themselves feel better about themselves. You know, like the high school kid who has low self-esteem so he makes fun of another kid to make himself feel better.

Why the hell should you care if other people like and use wetsuits? That's worrying about stuff that you can't really control and which is none of your business. As long as it doesn't affect you--and it doesn't if there's a separate category for wetsuits--ignore it.

Now if these wetsuit people were swimming against people without and taking their awards, that would be a different story.

regarding paragraph 1:
you're missing the point, kind of like the highschool kid who hands his math homework to his english teacher.

regarding paragraph 2:
i don't care if people wear wetsuits. i do care about how requiring separate divisions might effect the way events are promoted and run.

Chris Stevenson
September 23rd, 2008, 03:03 PM
if usms requires all event directors to provide a separate division for wetsuits, i believe that many directors will simply find another insurance provider and forego the usms sanction. i have never been to an open water event (usms or otherwise) where anyone was told they could not swim with a wetsuit. (and i could name at least 150)

hell, i don't care if someone wants to swim with fins and paddles, but i would oppose a separate division. imagine on race day looking over the field and saying hmmm there are some pretty fast folks in the wetsuit division, but the fin and paddle field is a little thin...i guess its zoomer time! podium, here i come.

I think most "OW purists" would disagree with you. If they allowed wetsuits but not in a separate division, then OW champs risk becoming like the Chesapeake Bay swim, where the majority where wetsuits. Even those who dislike them might feel compelled to wear them to be competitive. I bet such a proposal would have a hard time passing. I prefer the Big Shoulders model, myself.

Your prediction about what event directors would do sounds bizarre to me. The only thing the proposal requires is that, IF awards are given to wetsuit-wearers, it shall be in a separate category. Why would this affect insurance or the decision to seek USMS sanction? Directors can still refuse to give awards to wetsuits-clad swimmers...or refuse to allow them to compete. That's what the "at the discretion of the event director" part of the proposal means.

Sorry to repeat myself...all of this is allowed RIGHT NOW at all OW meets except national championships. All the proposal does is erase that distinction. I fail to see how the world will stop rotating on its axis as a result.

One may then argue, of course, that the proposal won't do much because its scope is fairly limited. I agree that, alone, it won't have much effect. It has to be accompanied by an effort to actually invite a broader community to OW races.

For me, ultimately, it depends on what we want USMS to be. I have always viewed us as promoting (competitive) swimming to people of a broad range of abilities and background. I think this proposal furthers that goal and is in line with the Rob Butcher's "Vision and Action Plan."

chaos
September 23rd, 2008, 03:49 PM
btw, i'm not yelling


I think most "OW purists" would disagree with you. If they allowed wetsuits but not in a separate division, then OW champs risk becoming like the Chesapeake Bay swim, where the majority where wetsuits. Even those who dislike them might feel compelled to wear them to be competitive. I bet such a proposal would have a hard time passing. I prefer the Big Shoulders model, myself.
as i have stated: i have never been to an event where wetsuits were not allowed except for a couple that function by channel rules.

Your prediction about what event directors would do sounds bizarre to me. The only thing the proposal requires is that, IF awards are given to wetsuit-wearers, it shall be in a separate category. my response was to the poll answer #1 awards to all divisions
Why would this affect insurance or the decision to seek USMS sanction? many ow event organizers do not seek usms sanctions now. this would do nothing to encourage them to do so in the future.

Sorry to repeat myself...all of this is allowed RIGHT NOW at all OW meets except national championships. All the proposal does is erase that distinction. I fail to see how the world will stop rotating on its axis as a result.

One may then argue, of course, that the proposal won't do much because its scope is fairly limited. I agree that, alone, it won't have much effect. It has to be accompanied by an effort to actually invite a broader community to OW races.i think if one wants to seriously promote open water swimming, one should also have a "supply side" effort....organized training IN open water, rather than just make the competition end cozier.

For me, ultimately, it depends on what we want USMS to be. I have always viewed us as promoting (competitive) swimming to people of a broad range of abilities and background. I think this proposal furthers that goal and is in line with the Rob Butcher's "Vision and Action Plan."
i agree that event organizers should (and for the most part do) promote openwater swimming to more than the competitive, and the proposal that allows usas swimmers to be on the course at the same time as usms is a good one. the addition of non-usms waves is becoming more popular as well. it takes a lot to put on an ow event and it just makes sense to offer as many people the chance to swim the course as possible.

dwlovell
September 23rd, 2008, 04:03 PM
first off, no one is forcing anyone to do anything they are not comfortable doing.....period.

this proposed rule change would "force" event organizers to maintain a separate division for all catagories for wetsuit wearers if they are to run a usms sanctioned event. as i mentioned before; i have never attended an event where anyone was refused the right to participate because he/she wanted to wear a wetsuit.

some events are about overcoming adverse conditions and some are not.

the ederle swim is a 16 mile event being held oct 25 from lower manhattan to sandy hook nj. no wetsuits. no fastskins. no neoprene caps....
likewise for the english channel, the manhattan marathon, the catalina channel etc.

While no one is "forced", I thought the prior rules essentially made wetsuit wearers be ineligible for awards. This essentially "forces" you to not wear one if you wish to compete for awards. (If am wrong on the prior rules, I apologize, please correct me.) I probably would never enter a competition where I didn't have a chance at winning something. I can understand it may be harder to plan events, ultimately each event planner should be able to dictate wetsuit/non-wetsuit or blended event. Supporting more swimmers of all types will get them more registrations anyway and that should be worth the extra overhead for planning. I dont think event directors should be forced to suddenly double the amount of events and I agree its not a level playing field for awards to be shared between the two types of swimmer. Having awards for wetsuit and non-wetsuit is just the only fair way to allow wetsuit swimmers to actually compete for awards without giving them an advantage over those that dont wear them.

I was mostly responding to the antagonism there seems to be that wearing a wetsuit is somehow not experiencing nature and that roughing the harsh temps and jellyfish is somehow a required part of the "real" sport.

gull
September 23rd, 2008, 04:19 PM
I would be in favor of Early Bloomer and Late Bloomer divisions also. Or Low VO2Max and High VO2Max divisions.

Chris Stevenson
September 23rd, 2008, 08:10 PM
i have never been to an event where wetsuits were not allowed except for a couple that function by channel rules.


I have. The Chris Green Lake swims -- site of several previous OW national championships -- never allow wetsuits, period.

I also agree with dwlovell that "allowing" wetsuits but making them ineligible for awards -- and in some cases not even listing them in results as finishers -- pretty strongly discourages the practice and is only "allowing" them to wear wetsuits in the broadest sense.



many ow event organizers do not seek usms sanctions now. this would do nothing to encourage them to do so in the future.


Okay. Why is that? Sounds like a separate problem.



i think if one wants to seriously promote open water swimming, one should also have a "supply side" effort....organized training IN open water, rather than just make the competition end cozier.

There we go with the macho thing again...OW diehards just can't seem to help themselves... :)

Sure, providing organized OW practices is a nice thing to do. But the local Richmond triathletes do significantly more OW training than I do, with organized river swims every two weeks (I trained exactly once in the river this summer, though I swam in 3 OW races).

Yet they still prefer wear their wetsuits in OW races. Why wouldn't they? That's how they race in triathlons, after all. Sure some of them are weak swimmers but most would do just fine without wetsuits, they just prefer to wear them and don't really care what any OW purist thinks about it.

aquageek
September 23rd, 2008, 08:56 PM
Are wetsuits legal at Trans Tahoe? I had a friend who did it a few times years ago and I think he said it was not allowed.

chaos
September 23rd, 2008, 09:20 PM
I have. Yet they still prefer wear their wetsuits in OW races. Why wouldn't they? That's how they race in triathlons, after all. Sure some of them are weak swimmers but most would do just fine without wetsuits, they just prefer to wear them and don't really care what any OW purist thinks about it.

they would probably also prefer to wear their wetsuits in the pool. why wouldn't they? and if a LZR is a 2% advantage and a wetsuit is a 5% advantage (your words, chris) that shouldn't be a big deal if it encourages more folks to participate. i'm sure meet manager could separate the results.

The Fortress
September 23rd, 2008, 11:04 PM
Sure, providing organized OW practices is a nice thing to do. But the local Richmond triathletes do significantly more OW training than I do, with organized river swims every two weeks (I trained exactly once in the river this summer, though I swam in 3 OW races).

Yet they still prefer wear their wetsuits in OW races. Why wouldn't they? That's how they race in triathlons, after all. Sure some of them are weak swimmers but most would do just fine without wetsuits, they just prefer to wear them and don't really care what any OW purist thinks about it.

Do most OW swimmers do organized in water swims? I'm not an expert, but the OW swimmers and tris on my team don't seem to. Hmmm ... and, I seem to recall, one of the last winners of the Reston Lake Swim (2007?) was who? An ultra elite breaststroker ... And 2d place was ... a 400 IM All American ... no water time.

Tris don't give a toss about what purists think. And why should they?

As I said before, making wetsuit swimmers "ineligible" for awards just puts them in lower class stature. Why exactly do we need to do that? And doesn't allowing awards for a wetsuit division at Nats probably increase participation? If there are two separate divisions, why is that a problem exactly? 100 swimmers ... 50 per race .. big deal? ... Or more in the wetsuit division? ... No big deal ... purists have their unsullied victory ...

david.margrave
September 23rd, 2008, 11:38 PM
I've never done an OW race without one. I think the warmest in any of my events was 68-70 or so. I like the safety margin of extra flotation from the wetsuit, just in case something did happen like getting knocked unconscious by an elbow or kick to the head.

One thing is for sure, people will never stop arguing about it.

jim thornton
September 24th, 2008, 12:54 AM
I swam:

1. the Chesapeake Bay swim with a wetsuit--water around 70 degrees.

2. The 10K Atlantic City Bay swim with an Aquablade kneeskin suit--water around 77 degrees.

3. And the 2.1 Mile Snapper Blue and Shark Feed Ocean City Open Water Rough Water Swim in my Tyr jammers--water 70 degrees.

The only one of these that I won was #3, and the reason I won it was that I was the only swimmer entered (I founded the race on Monday morning, and swam it Monday afternoon after finding out that the guest fee at the Ocean City rec center was $12.)

Notes:

the wetsuit swim did not feel like swimming to me. i am not a purist by any means, but the wetsuit felt more like a body kayak than a swim suit. I enjoyed it, and it definitely made the swim much easier, but I felt more like I was paddlng a craft than swimming

the aquablade 10k felt like a very, very long race in a very, very long pool. Think the hour swim multiplied by a factor of 2.5. it was recognizable to me as swimming, not paddling.

the 2.1 mile beach swim was also like swimming, though with a twist. I had to swim about a quarter mile or more off shore to get past the breakers, then do my best to parallel the beach, avoid parachute-surfers from scissoring off my head with their rapier-like surfboard rudders, and try not to panic every time a large dark shape (rays, most likely) passed underneath my vibration-inducing seal imitation of swimming.

only in scenario number 3 was there a fear factor to contend with. i knew it was irrational, but i would get little startles now and then, wondering if perhaps a rip tide might feed me to the Gulf Stream, which would, in turn, feed me to pelagic species with recursive teeth...

Final thoughts:

a. though some swimmers are magnificent triathletes and vice versa, most of us quasi-good/mediocre masters swimmers are much better at our sport than we are at tris, and most tris are much better at their sport than they are at swimming. i know it is absolutely petty of me, but there is something so satisfying about me, in my tubby dotage, being able to lap the average 6-pack OCD tri in the pool that just gives me a thrill down to my fatted marrow.

b. triathlons are so weighted against swimming in terms of total time spent, amount of training required, etc. that it just offends me as a swimmer. why should natural bikers or natural runners get such a weighted advantage in their activity? it shouldn't bother me--i don't even DO triathlons--but it seems undemocratic somehow. anyhow, wetsuits, in my experience, don't make swimming faster--they turn it into another sport, a paddling, boat-like sports. performance swim suits, again in my experience, let tubs of lard like me swim faster, but it is still SWIMMING!

c. i voted against sanctioning wetsuits in usms competitions, even if the wearers thereof are in a separate division. the reason: pure pettiness on my part. i know that the average person is not going to say, "Oh, that chiseled triathlete in a wet suit paddled a faster time than portly Jim Thornton swam in his FastSkin I, but I realize that the portly fellow actually 'beat' the chiseled demigod because he did not have the advantageous body kayak." No. The average person is going to conclude that the triathlete just made his way through the water faster than me, and that's all that truly counts.

I don't want that! I want my superiority not just acknowledged but celerated. As Conan once put it, I want to hear der lamentations of that muscular specimen's vomen!

I say face the cold, face the fear of drowning, face the potential of a school of snappers biting off your toes, and swim on. Do not insulate yourself in a body shaped boat, take heart in your unsinkableness, have confidence that denizens don't like the taste of neoprene, and paddle on.

And that explains my vote, which I trust all thoughtful readers will now unanimously conclude is the correct one, and join me in saying to all ineptly-swimming triathletes everywhere: I'm Spartacus!

Chris Stevenson
September 24th, 2008, 05:34 AM
they would probably also prefer to wear their wetsuits in the pool. why wouldn't they? and if a LZR is a 2% advantage and a wetsuit is a 5% advantage (your words, chris) that shouldn't be a big deal if it encourages more folks to participate. i'm sure meet manager could separate the results.

Now you're catching on, glad you're on board! (Alas, too bad meet managers DON'T separate the results from LZRs and the like...)


the wetsuit swim did not feel like swimming to me. i am not a purist by any means, but the wetsuit felt more like a body kayak than a swim suit. I enjoyed it, and it definitely made the swim much easier, but I felt more like I was paddlng a craft than swimming

I don't like the feeling either, at all. Plus I hate the chaffing/burns you can get with wetsuits. I'm going to enter the Chesapeake Bay swim raffle and if I get in and the water temp is at all reasonable, I'm going to do it sans wetsuit since I wouldn't enjoy it as much otherwise. Well, as much as one can enjoy such things. (I also don't enjoy freezing...possibly I'll wear my B70 Nero if the temp is low.)

But that's my choice, I'm not going to presume to make others' choices for them. I honestly would prefer swimming in the race as it is now then against the 8 other people who would do it if wetsuits were banned.

For me, swimming with the full body tech suits feel MUCH closer to swimming with a wetsuit than the way God intended swimming to be. Again not seeing the distinction. :)


...the triathlete just made his way through the water faster than me, and that's all that truly counts.

That's all that counts?

aquageek
September 24th, 2008, 08:40 AM
I would like to get rid of this purist notion. I just don't like wetsuits, has nothing to do with purity. People like to say they are purists to make themselves sound like they know how the sport was intended. To me, it just makes you sound snobby. I like when others wear wetsuits so I can crow even more after beating them.

chaos
September 24th, 2008, 09:14 AM
I would like to get rid of this purist notion. I just don't like wetsuits, has nothing to do with purity. People like to say they are purists to make themselves sound like they know how the sport was intended. To me, it just makes you sound snobby. I like when others wear wetsuits so I can crow even more after beating them.

the "purist notion" (at least on this thread) is tossed around more as an accusation.

if people want to wear wetsuits, let them. the question is: do you think there should be a separate division mandated by usms (separate waves? separate awards? separate records?)

why stop with wetsuits?

why not a pull buoy division?

why not a swim snorkle division? (doesn't it suck to have to turn your head to breathe?)

paddles?

fins?

kayaks!!!?? (its just like swimming, and you don't even have to get wet!)

now, if you'll excuse me, i have to go to the lake to freeze my ass off.

The Fortress
September 24th, 2008, 09:19 AM
I don't want that! I want my superiority not just acknowledged but celerated. As Conan once put it, I want to hear der lamentations of that muscular specimen's vomen!

I say face the cold, face the fear of drowning, face the potential of a school of snappers biting off your toes, and swim on. Do not insulate yourself in a body shaped boat, take heart in your unsinkableness, have confidence that denizens don't like the taste of neoprene, and paddle on.

And that explains my vote, which I trust all thoughtful readers will now unanimously conclude is the correct one, and join me in saying to all ineptly-swimming triathletes everywhere: I'm Spartacus!

So this is what happens when one passes from a middle age crisis into dotage? :eek:

Chris, no religious comments please! (And the tech suits that most wear -- FS I, FS II, Pros -- are not remotely like wetsuits.)

Dave, Randy Nutt's races have a fin division. :P

ddunbar
September 24th, 2008, 10:00 AM
What would we ban next? Would my BMI (beer mountain aka my personal floation device) be considered an unfair although unstreamlined advantage if I can haul it through the water and avoid hypothermia better in cold swim than my single digit body fat competitors?

Leonard Jansen
September 24th, 2008, 10:38 AM
What would we ban next? Would my BMI (beer mountain aka my personal floation device) be considered an unfair although unstreamlined advantage if I can haul it through the water and avoid hypothermia better in cold swim than my single digit body fat competitors?

No. Drinking lots of beer to gain mass is considered legitimate, even necessary, training. Clearly you've worked very hard at this. Job well done!

-LBJ

aquageek
September 24th, 2008, 10:50 AM
the "purist notion" (at least on this thread) is tossed around more as an accusation.


That's definitely correct and it seems the purist thing is often used arbitrarily.

What's up with all your posts lately? It was better when you'd just show up, toss a few grenades and back off for a few weeks. Now, we have to continuously watch out for the chaotic landmines you leave scattered about.

Glider
September 24th, 2008, 10:53 AM
Thanks for the chuckle - I found this very funny...:applaud:


No. Drinking lots of beer to gain mass is considered legitimate, even necessary, training. Clearly you've worked very hard at this. Job well done!

-LBJ

Chris Stevenson
September 24th, 2008, 10:59 AM
I would like to get rid of this purist notion. I just don't like wetsuits, has nothing to do with purity. People like to say they are purists to make themselves sound like they know how the sport was intended. To me, it just makes you sound snobby. I like when others wear wetsuits so I can crow even more after beating them.

I agree. I personally don't like wetsuits but don't mind others wearing them. I'm as competitive as the next guy, but honestly view OW events more as training or a diversion, rather than "serious" swimming.

Please forgive me for saying so, but lists such as yours, David, ("why not allow fins or kayaks or outboard motors") are a prime example of such snobbery. Heck, the OW Committee's rationale had numerous such examples...and they were ostensibly writing in support of the proposal! (I think so anyway, it was hard to tell at times).

Most OW "purists" are just failed pool swimmers anyway, looking for an event where your time is pretty meaningless or that doesn't require any fast-twitch muscles...:)...actually, now that I think about it, they are really just like triathletes in most respects...

The Fortress
September 24th, 2008, 11:07 AM
That's definitely correct and it seems the purist thing is often used arbitrarily.

What's up with all your posts lately? It was better when you'd just show up, toss a few grenades and back off for a few weeks. Now, we have to continuously watch out for the chaotic landmines you leave scattered about.

He's been freezing his ass off and he's cranky he has to get back in a pool.

"Purist" is used offensively by the purists when they wax rhapsodically about their beloved sport and denounce those using tech suits and pool toys for ruining it. It is used defensively by the latter when they are forced to defend their honor against snobby elitist noodling accusations.

aquageek
September 24th, 2008, 11:28 AM
Most OW "purists" are just failed pool swimmers anyway, looking for an event where your time is pretty meaningless or that doesn't require any fast-twitch muscles...:)...actually, now that I think about it, they are really just like triathletes in most respects...

Actually, while this is a rather bombastic statement, it is largely true.

chaos
September 24th, 2008, 11:30 AM
Now, we have to continuously watch out for the chaotic landmines you leave scattered about.

from you sir, that is a complement.

chaos
September 24th, 2008, 11:44 AM
so why bother?

I'm as competitive as the next guy, but honestly view OW events more as training or a diversion, rather than "serious" swimming. to be fair, you're more competitive than the next guy

Please forgive me for saying so, but lists such as yours, David, ("why not allow fins or kayaks or outboard motors") are a prime example of such snobbery. its not snobbery. i am all for including a "toy" wave if the director sees it as a means of increasing participation. i don't think a division for such accessories is necessary.

Most OW "purists" are just failed pool swimmers anyway, or never were pool swimmerslooking for an event where your time is pretty meaningless or that doesn't require any fast-twitch muscles...:)...actually, now that I think about it, they are really just like triathletes in most respects...the manhattan island foundation just opened up regestration for the ederle swim. see if your fast twich resume gets you in.

Chris Stevenson
September 24th, 2008, 12:31 PM
Actually, while this is a rather bombastic statement, it is largely true.

Admit it, "bombastic" is your Word of the Day (http://wordsmith.org/awad/).

chaos
September 24th, 2008, 08:12 PM
"Purist" is used offensively by the purists when they wax rhapsodically about their beloved sport and denounce those using tech suits and pool toys for ruining it. It is used defensively by the latter when they are forced to defend their honor against snobby elitist noodling accusations.

best paragraph of the thread (sorry jt)

Animal
September 24th, 2008, 09:17 PM
The only reason to allow wetsuits in an open water is to have more people swimming at the event. If this helps keep open water events going than that is great. I will not be swimming in an wetsuit.

Once while putting on my cap before getting in a gravel pond to swim here in Colorado. I joked with the people with wetsuits that the water was too warm for it. The temp of the water was 58 degrees. The then joked back why was I putting on a cap. My answer was so they could find the body.

It got real quiet from those with the wetsuits on. I jumped in and went for an hour. So, getting one use to swimming in cold water can be done, you just have to want to do it.

mermaid
September 27th, 2008, 03:37 PM
LD16 303.6.3
Wetsuits may be allowed at the discretion of the event director. Wetsuits generally provide a competitive advantage. If awards are given to wetsuit competitors, they shall be awarded separately from those for non-wetsuit competitiors. Any published rults or records must clearly indicate which swimmers wore wetsuits.

PASSED the House of Delegates

mermaid
September 27th, 2008, 03:44 PM
LD 16A 303.6.3
Wetsuits may be allowed at the discretion of the meet director when the water temperature doesw not exceed 78F. Wetsuits generally provide a competitive advantage. If awards are given to wetsuit competitors, they shall be awarded separately from those for non-wetsuit competitors. Any published results or records must clearly indicate which swimmers wore wetsuits.

PASSED House of Delegates

mermaid
September 27th, 2008, 03:47 PM
LD 16B 303.6.3
Wetsuits may be allowed at the discretion of the meet director. If awards are given to wetsuit competitors, they shall be awarded separetely from those for non-wetsuit competitors. Any published results or records must clearly indicate which swimmers wore wetsuits.

PASSED House of Delegates

SwimStud
September 27th, 2008, 04:22 PM
OK my view:

Tech suits change the way you swim via feel, buoancy, fat compression, whatever--they add speed.

Wet suits keep you warm and make you float better--who knew?

Swimming a fast 50 is painful but quick. The training is the hardest part--even just willing yourself to do the work.

Swimming OW is more challenging beyond proving how tough you are (a 200 fy is tough in it's own right) especially if the course is not marked well, or the kayakers like to ram you to get your attention. Plus there is all that current, sun-glare, wildlife and variable climate to contend with.

At the end of the day swimming is hard sport regardless, maybe USMS want to get more "poolies" into OW events and think allowing wetsuits will do this.

mermaid
September 27th, 2008, 04:39 PM
LD 35 305.7.5
Wetsuits competitors shall b excluded for the purposes of articles 305.8 through 306.1, except where noted. In addition, wetsuit competitors shall have a separate start time.

PASSED by the House of Delegates

Ken Classen
September 27th, 2008, 08:25 PM
Most OW "purists" are just failed pool swimmers anyway, looking for an event where your time is pretty meaningless or that doesn't require any fast-twitch muscles...:)...actually, now that I think about it, they are really just like triathletes in most respects...

Exclusive pool swimmers and those depending on wetsuit's are like a 11-year kid who still can't ride a bike without there training wheels. Sure they enjoy it but still........ ;)

CreamPuff
September 27th, 2008, 09:43 PM
You know, if you don't like the wetsuits, you can always go and swim USS. :)
Ya won't see 'em there! At least we have choice. That's always a bonus.


, but honestly view OW events more as training or a diversion, rather than "serious" swimming.

:rofl::rofl::rofl: Goes double for anything 25K or over.

CreamPuff
September 27th, 2008, 09:44 PM
My choice did not exist on the poll so I could not vote.
I select, "Geek is cool."

CreamPuff
September 27th, 2008, 09:52 PM
LD 35 305.7.5
Wetsuits competitors shall b excluded for the purposes of articles 305.8 through 306.1, except where noted. In addition, wetsuit competitors shall have a separate start time.

PASSED by the House of Delegates

Can a non wetsuit swimmer request to swim with the wetsuit swimmers in their heat?

haroldbuck
September 28th, 2008, 11:26 AM
LD 35 305.7.5
Wetsuits competitors shall b excluded for the purposes of articles 305.8 through 306.1, except where noted. In addition, wetsuit competitors shall have a separate start time.

PASSED by the House of Delegates

Could you post this a fifth, sixth, and seventh time for the people who didn't see it the first four times? :frustrated:

Chris Stevenson
September 28th, 2008, 11:58 AM
Those of you who read through what passed (and weren't at the Convention) might think that wetsuits-wearers are now allowed more freedom than before, which is not really the case.

Remember that under the previous rules, for all events except the national champs, event directors already had the option of allowing wetsuits and giving them awards, but they had to be in a separate category and in results lists the wetsuit-clad swimmers had to be clearly indicated.

Here is what passed that is DIFFERENT than what existed before Convention:

-- wetsuits cannot be worn above 78F (similar in spirit to the USAT rule, meant to be a health safeguard)

-- in national championships, event directors no longer have to provide a separate finish line for wetsuit competitors (if they allow them to swim the course).

Everything else is exactly the same as now. During committee meetings, the OW/LD Committee withdrew their recommendation that wetsuit-clad swimmers be allowed to compete for national championship awards or be listed in the results. Mark Gill introduced an amendment of an OW/LD motion that would have allowed wetsuit wearers to have the whole shebang (results, awards, All-American, All-Star, separate records for the cable swims).

This was, by the way, more ambitious than the proposal the VA LMSC originally sent to the OW/LD committee last fall; we simply asked for results and awards for wetsuit-wearers (and club scoring, which is not usually an issue in OW champ events), not all-american or all-star.

The amended motion needed a two-thirds majority to pass -- since it was not an OW/LD recommendation -- and didn't get it (the voting was roughly 50-50 and debate was lively).

The OW/LD committee did listen to two other suggestions we made: to limit the temperature wetsuits could be used, and to ask for seed money to develop cable swims in other parts of the country. (They may have planned to do these things anyway, of course.)

To answer (S)he's question, IF USMS OW event directors allow wetsuits at a race, it is up to them how to run it (co-mingle all the swimmers, separate heats, etc). The only exception is OW National Championships where the event directors MUST have separate heats (again, if s/he chooses to allow them to compete at all).

(Kind of funny you asked this, because the delegate in front of me joked that wanted exactly this situation -- she wanted to be able to draft off wetsuit swimmers. :) )

CreamPuff
September 28th, 2008, 12:41 PM
(Kind of funny you asked this, because the delegate in front of me joked that wanted exactly this situation -- she wanted to be able to draft off wetsuit swimmers. :) )

My thoughts exactly! :wiggle:

Thanks for the clarification Chris!

ourswimmer
September 28th, 2008, 01:06 PM
I sure don't know why you'd want to draft wetsuit-wearers, though, (S)he. I don't think I've ever done a race that included both wetsuit and non-wetsuit divisions where the wetsuit-wearers were anywhere among the overall leaders.

To take my most recent 5K as an example, the first male wetsuit-wearer finished in 1:16 and the first female wetsuit-wearer finished in 1:26. You would not have wanted to draft them. You would have wanted to swim with the first male non-wetsuit-wearer, who finished in 1:05, or the first female non-wetsuit-wearer, who finished in 1:09. (I think the course was maybe a little long, because both of those people are very, very strong distance swimmers.)

Most if not all of the overall leaders in that race were wearing "technical" suits. For instance, the winning woman wore a B70; the second woman wore a Fastskin I; I don't know what the third woman wore; and the fourth woman wore an ankle-length Finis suit.

mermaid
September 28th, 2008, 09:35 PM
Could you post this a fifth, sixth, and seventh time for the people who didn't see it the first four times? :frustrated:

OMG!
Please note the subsections "A", "B" & I was posting "real time" convetion vote results. Since this was a hot topic - not only in the convention but here - I wanted to make sure your voice was heard and you got instant feedback.

do you really want to tango???

mermaid
September 28th, 2008, 09:37 PM
Can a non wetsuit swimmer request to swim with the wetsuit swimmers in their heat?

I don't think we addressed this --- hmmmm.

The Fortress
September 28th, 2008, 11:03 PM
I don't think we addressed this --- hmmmm.

Why would you have to (S)he? Wouldn't you know by times whether you whupped them good?

Uh, yeah, Mermaid, I hadn't seen that before!

gull
September 29th, 2008, 08:44 AM
Allowing wetsuits is a step in the right direction, but we are still excluding those that want to participate but cannot swim without even more flotation. Clearly there is more work to be done.

CreamPuff
September 29th, 2008, 09:34 AM
I sure don't know why you'd want to draft wetsuit-wearers, though, (S)he. I don't think I've ever done a race that included both wetsuit and non-wetsuit divisions where the wetsuit-wearers were anywhere among the overall leaders.


9 times out of 10, what you state is the case. I, however, have encountered swimmers right here in GA where when they whip on the wet suit and we go head to head pretty hard for entire practices.

We've been in the same lane and in lanes next to eachother -
and it's a draft-fest like no other!!!

CreamPuff
September 29th, 2008, 09:37 AM
Why would you have to (S)he? Wouldn't you know by times whether you whupped them good?


First, I get my butt kicked plenty - by the USS kids, masters with equipment, and ex NCAA Div 1 swimmers - that's about everyone. ;)

2nd, it's more fun to race head to head. I learned that with the kids. And w/ masters who wear wet suits and additional devices.

So for example in the 200 fly, I've been to meets where either there are no female entries OR the couple of other female entries are 1 minute slower than I am.
In that case, I ask to swim with the men so that I can race/ pace myself off of them (doesn't always happen based on the referee's decision). Same applies for OW. Look at the field and assess the racing situation.

I've seen swimmers whip on wet suits (and even other equipment), and they are significantly faster - like 5 seconds per 100 faster with wetsuits. I learned this in swimming with some of them on a daily basis. If there's someone my speed in a wetsuit vs. some guy who is 5 minutes faster than me over a 5K, it would be more fun to race someone at my level. (What I've really enjoyed with USS is swimming in entire heats with gals my speed.) It's about the process for me. The outcome (looking at the times at the end) is what it is.

CreamPuff
September 29th, 2008, 09:40 AM
Allowing wetsuits is a step in the right direction, but we are still excluding those that want to participate but cannot swim without even more flotation. Clearly there is more work to be done.

I see what's coming. Looks like a natural progression to me.

chaos
September 29th, 2008, 07:27 PM
Allowing wetsuits is a step in the right direction, but we are still excluding those that want to participate but cannot swim without even more flotation. Clearly there is more work to be done.

are those shorts inflatable?

haroldbuck
September 29th, 2008, 09:55 PM
are those shorts inflatable?

Just happy to see you.