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Swim_McG
June 7th, 2011, 06:36 PM
I'm doing the Chesapeake Bay swim on Sunday. I have no idea what to expect. I'm planning to not use a wetsuit but I noticed most swimmers had wetsuits last year...not sure why. If anyone has done this swim I'd appreaciate any tips/advice. This will be my longest OW swim to date.

ViveBene
June 7th, 2011, 09:51 PM
Here's a thread from 2009. Major posters are still around, and active. Could also check their blogs. Hope this gets you started in finding the answers.
http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=14218&highlight=chesapeake+bay

Here's a detailed blog post:
http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?b=10185

Search using "Chesapeake Bay" and you'll come up with other first-hand reports in the blogs.

gregoc
June 8th, 2011, 09:16 AM
Most swimmers wear a wetsuit because there are no separate divisions and the wet suit increases your speed. The water is usually warm so there is no need to use a wet suit for insulation. There is usually a cross current (left to right) that is created by the outgoing tide (ebb). This current increases near the end of the swim.

You'll have fun. It is a well run swim. Good luck.

Swim_McG
June 8th, 2011, 12:28 PM
Thanks for the responses. I read the postings from 2009. They are very helpful and provided me with some insight on the whole wetsuit vs. non-wetsuit issue. I tend to over-heat in wetsuits and since the water is currently in the mid-70s I think I would cook myself in a wetsuit. It is too bad they don't seperate the divisions...that seems a little unfair.

E=H2O
June 8th, 2011, 12:35 PM
Thanks for the responses. I read the postings from 2009. They are very helpful and provided me with some insight on the whole wetsuit vs. non-wetsuit issue. I tend to over-heat in wetsuits and since the water is currently in the mid-70s I think I would cook myself in a wetsuit. It is too bad they don't seperate the divisions...that seems a little unfair.

I agree. I am a supporter of using wetsuits to open up our sport to more people, but mid 70's? Yikes. There should definitely be a separate division. From USAT rules:

4.4. Wetsuits.
Each age group participant shall be permitted to wear a wetsuit without penalty in any event sanctioned by USA Triathlon up to and including a water temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water temperature is greater than 78 degrees, but less than 84 degrees Fahrenheit, age group participants may wear a wet suit at their own discretion, provided however that participants who wear a wet suit within this temperature range shall not be eligible for prizes or awards. Age group participants shall not wear wet suits in water temperatures equal to or greater than 84 degrees Fahrenheit.

So even for the super skinny 78 is considered hot.

Ken Classen
June 9th, 2011, 10:25 AM
I agree. I am a supporter of using wetsuits to open up our sport to more people, but mid 70's? Yikes. There should definitely be a separate division. From USAT rules:

4.4. Wetsuits.
Each age group participant shall be permitted to wear a wetsuit without penalty in any event sanctioned by USA Triathlon up to and including a water temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water temperature is greater than 78 degrees, but less than 84 degrees Fahrenheit, age group participants may wear a wet suit at their own discretion, provided however that participants who wear a wet suit within this temperature range shall not be eligible for prizes or awards. Age group participants shall not wear wet suits in water temperatures equal to or greater than 84 degrees Fahrenheit.

So even for the super skinny 78 is considered hot.Not only separate divisions but equal awards as well. For years I was thinking of doing this race however until they make separate and equal divisions, I will not. If and when I go east to race open water it will likely be NYC Swim event. I know that wetsuit use in triathlon have exposed many people to open water swimming, far more then without, however I wish the sponsors of the Chesapeake swim would recognize the growing movement of English Channel rules swims. But then why would they care, they sell out every year.

FYI The Ironman corporation has already adapted to the new International Triathlon Union (ITU) rules of competitors can wear a wetsuit up to and including 76.1F which is a little lower then 78. USAT is expected to follow but not until 2012, apparently they want to keep there wetsuit company sponsors happy as long as they can. Athletes can still wear a wetsuit up to 83.8F but won't be eligible for awards, after that no wetsuits allowed.

Chris Stevenson
June 9th, 2011, 10:33 AM
Athletes can still wear a wetsuit up to 83.8F but won't be eligible for awards, after that no wetsuits allowed.

Is that the rule being used at the Bay swim too? I freely admit that I am a cold-water wuss and will don a wetsuit when the conditions are cold (by my reckoning).

But at my last OW swim when the water temp was announced in the mid-to-low 70s, I took that thing off in a hurry. Wearing it at (say) 83 degrees sounds positively dangerous, especially in a swim as long as the Bay swim.

Good luck to everyone.

swimmieAvsFan
June 9th, 2011, 12:21 PM
Not only separate divisions but equal awards as well. For years I was thinking of doing this race however until they make separate and equal divisions, I will not. If and when I go east to race open water it will likely be NYC Swim event. I know that wetsuit use in triathlon have exposed many people to open water swimming, far more then without, however I wish the sponsors of the Chesapeake swim would recognize the growing movement of English Channel rules swims. But then why would they care, they sell out every year.
...
Athletes can still wear a wetsuit up to 83.8F but won't be eligible for awards, after that no wetsuits allowed.


Is that the rule being used at the Bay swim too? I freely admit that I am a cold-water wuss and will don a wetsuit when the conditions are cold (by my reckoning).

But at my last OW swim when the water temp was announced in the mid-to-low 70s, I took that thing off in a hurry. Wearing it at (say) 83 degrees sounds positively dangerous, especially in a swim as long as the Bay swim.

Good luck to everyone.

ken, you've hit the nail on the head with your bolded statement. until there's no need for an entry lottery (not likely to happen in the foreseeable future), or heaven forbid, someone croaks because of hyperthermia, there's absolutely no incentive for them to have separate and equal awards. i believe this is the first year they even mentioned that warm water + wetsuits = maybe not the best idea. they're quite content to discourage wetsuits in order to pack people into the event.

chris, there's no water temp rule for this swim. the only division of awards is top 3 overall by gender, top 3 overall no wetsuit by gender, and then top 3 age group by gender. so unless you plan on being either top 3 or top 3 with no wetsuit, there's zero competitive reason to forego the wetsuits. and i think the no wetsuit awards are relatively recent (as in within the last 7 years, as i don't remember that category the first few years jeff did the swim).

aquageek
June 9th, 2011, 01:59 PM
I'm packing a wetstuit, a jammer, and my old B70 so that all options are covered.

matysekj
June 9th, 2011, 02:16 PM
I'm packing a wetstuit, a jammer, and my old B70 so that all options are covered.

You are definitely going to be too hot wearing all three of those!

aquageek
June 9th, 2011, 02:24 PM
You are definitely going to be too hot wearing all three of those!

Yeah, real funny, old man. I'll be waiting on the beach with JayHawk for your arrival, beer in hand.

matysekj
June 9th, 2011, 03:01 PM
Yeah, real funny, old man. I'll be waiting on the beach with JayHawk for your arrival, beer in hand.

I hope you enjoy your boat ride in to the beach, and be sure to make mine a nice cold Blue Moon. :chug:

aquageek
June 9th, 2011, 03:06 PM
I hope you enjoy your boat ride in to the beach, and be sure to make mine a nice cold Blue Moon. :chug:

That's it, it's official, we are gridging now. And, no, you can't include your support staff of 9 brothers, 5 cousins, 3 dogs, and 2 pigs in your official race results. Jazzdrip has been training hard with me and will accompany me the last 8 yards and give you kidney shots if the race is close.

I do need to pack a cooler but no cold blue Natty Lite ICE this time. I got sucker-punched by ICE beer a few weeks ago and am off the stuff.

mermaid522
June 9th, 2011, 03:19 PM
I'm doing this for the first time. I'm kind of freaking out about it. I've done several OWS's but the most I've done is 2 mi. Any words of advice/encouragement? Also, is it supposed to rain that day? Weather.com is showing a 60% chance...

Speedo
June 9th, 2011, 03:26 PM
I do need to pack a cooler but no cold blue Natty Lite ICE this time. I got sucker-punched by ICE beer a few weeks ago and am off the stuff.I hope you recover quickly from the sucker punch.

Ken Classen
June 9th, 2011, 04:05 PM
Is that the rule being used at the Bay swim too? I freely admit that I am a cold-water wuss and will don a wetsuit when the conditions are cold (by my reckoning).

But at my last OW swim when the water temp was announced in the mid-to-low 70s, I took that thing off in a hurry. Wearing it at (say) 83 degrees sounds positively dangerous, especially in a swim as long as the Bay swim.

Good luck to everyone. Chris, There is no rule uniformity in open water events. Many events don't follow any sanctioning body and there are many race production and sanctioning organizations from; private non-profit to for profit corporations etc. FINA, USA Swimming, English Channel Associations, USMS, USAT, ITU, Ironman Corporation just to name a few and many local programs that go there own way. The most important thing to do is read the rules, categories, ask race directors questions for clarifications etc.

And have a good race to all entrants.

mermaid522
June 9th, 2011, 04:07 PM
Does anyone have an idea of what the conditions will be like Sunday? Weather and water? thanks!

Grappledunk
June 9th, 2011, 06:09 PM
Not only separate divisions but equal awards as well. For years I was thinking of doing this race however until they make separate and equal divisions, I will not.

I can completely understand the sentiment - non-wetsuit swimmers are at a definite disadvantage in this race. Maybe they'll catch up to the rest of the open water community and split the divisions one day. Maybe not. But I still do it every year I can, without a wetsuit, simply because it's one of the most fun open water races I've swum.

However, if the jellyfish start coming out earlier because of the warm water, I may have to reconsider...

chaos
June 9th, 2011, 10:16 PM
For years I was thinking of doing this race however until they make separate and equal divisions, I will not.

ken, this is a very well run event, and lots of fun too. i recommend it highly even though the results are nonsense due to the lack of separate divisions..... who needs a silly ribbon anyway.

there are hundreds of people walking around in 90 degree heat in full rubber before the swim to make fun of too..... an added bonus.

but if that is not your cup of tea; by all means, come to NY! (we had a nice 5k at Coney Island in november last year.... 54 degrees!)

ALM
June 10th, 2011, 09:14 AM
That's it, it's official, we are gridging now. And, no, you can't include your support staff of 9 brothers, 5 cousins, 3 dogs, and 2 pigs in your official race results. Jazzdrip has been training hard with me and will accompany me the last 8 yards and give you kidney shots if the race is close.


Here's part of the support staff...

http://tv.swimmingworldmagazine.com/shows/the-morning-swim-show/morning-swim-show-episodes/11308

mermaid522
June 10th, 2011, 11:03 AM
Hey everyone! Does anyone have an update on the conditions - weather and water - for Sunday? This is my first one, and I'm nervous! I hate hate HATE wetsuits but I've been told I should probably wear one for this race, that it makes it easier. (I'm not trying to win or anything, just make it across :) Would you agree? thanks! CW

ALM
June 10th, 2011, 12:03 PM
Water temperature:
http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=tplm2

Weather:
http://www.weather.com/weather/today/Annapolis+MD+USMD0010

jackieg
June 11th, 2011, 11:22 AM
Mermaid - don't feel pressure to wear one if you hate it. I've done once with and once without, and swimming without was so much nicer. Especially if the temps keep up - water temperature is currently around 79!

Good luck!

aquageek
June 12th, 2011, 04:56 PM
I puked, almost on muppet. He swims super fast when confronted with that spectacle.

ALM
June 12th, 2011, 07:56 PM
I puked, almost on muppet. He swims super fast when confronted with that spectacle.

Were you puking because you saw Jim in his tie-dyed suit? :bolt:

aquageek
June 12th, 2011, 08:24 PM
H
Were you puking because you saw Jim in his tie-dyed suit? :bolt:
I am still not sure what to say about that suit.

ALM
June 12th, 2011, 08:33 PM
I puked, almost on muppet. He swims super fast when confronted with that spectacle.


Were you puking because you saw Jim in his tie-dyed suit? :bolt:



I am still not sure what to say about that suit.

It's not often that Aquageek is speechless...

ViveBene
June 12th, 2011, 08:54 PM
Pixies, oh, pixies!:drool:

ALM
June 12th, 2011, 09:01 PM
Here's a little tidbit on this year's 4.4-mile winner:

"The winner was Frederick Hviid with a time of 1.35.57. (He also swam in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics for Spain."

sarah_q
June 13th, 2011, 08:37 AM
http://www.eyeonannapolis.net/2011/06/12/2011-great-chesapeake-bay-swim-photos/

Apparently someone had a heartattack. I hope he's okay. Does anyone know how many swimmers got pulled from the end of the race?

I got stuck in a current in the shipping channel and lost a lot of time fighting my way out of it. I was one of the last they allowed to finish.

thewookiee
June 13th, 2011, 09:48 AM
Here's a little tidbit on this year's 4.4-mile winner:

"The winner was Frederick Hviid with a time of 1.35.57. (He also swam in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics for Spain."

Fred won the 1997 European championship in the LCM 400 IM.

jackieg
June 13th, 2011, 10:35 AM
I was close to puking for a solid two miles, because of the lovely combination of chop and super warm water.

And I also got caught up in the current in the first channel, losing a lot of time.

I was maybe a quarter of a mile shy of the 4 mile buoy when a kayaker approached me shouting that we had to get out. I was really bummed until, from the power boat, I actually saw a bolt of lightning strike the water in between the bridges. There were 6 swimmers on board the boat commiserating, and we all fell silent when we saw that. Better safe than sorry ...

It seemed like they were taking things very seriously, and working really hard to pull the over 100 swimmers still in the water. We could hear on the radio that they were arresting people who refused to get out, and that a few swimmers in the last stretch had interpreted the command to get out of the water by climbing up on the embankment to walk to the finish. Word on the radio was that those swimmers would not be allowed back in the race in the future, but I don't know if they are going to enforce that.

All of that made me feel pretty good about the fact that I swam right for the power boat when I was told to get out. But then last night, when I looked at the results, I saw that a lot of people were allowed to finish long after I was pulled. I was pulled around 2:20 pm, and it looks like people came in until about 2:45. So now I'm back to feeling bummed.

aquageek
June 13th, 2011, 02:08 PM
I would be really interested in jim matysek's overall impression of yesterday's swim. I went to dinner with two guys who have done it 9 times each and they were 15 minutes slower than last year and said this was probably the third hardest they'd done. I have nothing to compare it to but I'm glad I didn't wear my wetsuit (I did wear my beloved B70, which is now toast).

matysekj
June 13th, 2011, 04:41 PM
It was my 2nd slowest swim there in 24 years, but only the 4th time I didn't wear a wetsuit. I was REALLY glad I didn't, because I thought it was miserably warm for the first 1.5 to 2 miles. It also felt to me like we were swimming into a current over that stretch, but the conditions from about 2.5 miles to the finish were fine.

I went a full half hour slower than last year, but I had a big problem due to my own stupidity. I was cramping from about mile 1.5 through to the finish. At nearly 4 miles I couldn't swim free or back any more due to the cramps and had to resort to a pseudo-breaststroke for about 4-500 yards with a really funky kick due to the fact that I couldn't really control my left leg any more. Luckily it finally got better for the final 400 yards, so I was able to re-pass a few people that had gone by me. I fiigured out later that the problem was that I had only eaten a small bowl of cereal in the early morning and an apple on the beach leading up the swim that ended for me at 2 pm. Stoopid, stoopid, stoopid. :afraid:

ALM
June 13th, 2011, 08:44 PM
We 1-mile swimmers all pulled out our caps and spent a few minutes trying to figure this out. See the attached photos.

Finally someone did. Her guess was that when the volunteers wrote the numbers on the caps, someone told them to "write the number on both sides." The caps must have been folded in half, so they did flip them over to write on the back side. Only they were still writing on the same side of the cap...

ALM
June 13th, 2011, 08:50 PM
This is posted on the Lin-Mark web site:



Why The Event Was Interrupted

The Great Chesapeake Bay Swim is known to be one of the safest open water swims in the Nation. The decision of the U.S. Coast Guard to halt the event, based on the threat of the impending storm was made to insure maximum safety for all participants.

Swimmer Accountability

620 Individually Scanned and Confirmed 4.4 swimmers entered the water at Sandy Point State Park.

78 Total Swimmers DNF (Did not Finish)

Of the 78 swimmers who did not finish,

16 DNF were pulled prior to event interruption
62 DNF were pulled as a result of the event interruption.

While the early end of the event was a disappointment to everyone, the Race Director and all of the advisory agencies of the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim count swimmer safety as their number one priority.

swimmieAvsFan
June 14th, 2011, 07:49 AM
so no mention of the 43 year old man who suffered a heart attack and died?

BruceGianniny
June 14th, 2011, 11:55 AM
YouTube - ‪Jim M preps for the Bay swim‬‏

sarah_q
June 14th, 2011, 12:07 PM
http://broadneck.patch.com/articles/hundreds-take-the-challenge-at-the-great-chesapeake-bay-swim

This article has good coverage of the event, including information on the man who had a heart attack during the swim. Hopefully he died doing what he loved. My condolences to his family and friends.

RuffWater
June 14th, 2011, 01:51 PM
Tough day for everyone. Hot air temps. Hot water temps. Wicked ebb current between mile 1 and 2. Lightening. Yikes. Regardless... Another great event by Chuck, Linda and crew.

Sad: Grahame Rice (age 43, from Annapolis) died during the race. He had done the swim in 2008 - not fast but he completed it.

BruceGianniny
June 14th, 2011, 02:22 PM
Oh you shy guy Matysek...

YouTube - ‪MSS: Jim and Joe Matysek‬‏

mermaid522
June 14th, 2011, 03:45 PM
Congrats to everyone who did the swim! It was tough, but a great experience for me. I went a LOT slower than I expected...but at least I got to finish, which was my goal.

On a side note, does anyone know where to get those "4.4" stickers (or it might be a magnet....) for your cars? Or were those given out only in years past or something?

Thanks!!

Swim_McG
June 14th, 2011, 04:08 PM
I was one of the lucky finishers (actually 44th place 1:55.59). I am very thankful that I decided to go without a wetsuit- I was hot in a regular suit and I was really de-hydrated and cramping up that last mile. They told us before the race that the the currents were not bad this year but everybody I talked to afterward said they swam slower than previous years. I definitely felt the current in the middle - lots of folks were swimming diagonal/sideways at one point.

Hate to beat a dead horse but I think I could have placed higher if they did not allow wetsuits. Oh well. It was a fun event and I might even do it again next year. I might even wear a wetsuit and see if I can jump up a few places. If you can't beat them, join them.

I recommend this race to anyone looking for a well orgainized, safe and challenging swim.

Julie Roddin
June 14th, 2011, 04:44 PM
Congrats to everyone who did the swim! It was tough, but a great experience for me. I went a LOT slower than I expected...but at least I got to finish, which was my goal.

On a side note, does anyone know where to get those "4.4" stickers (or it might be a magnet....) for your cars? Or were those given out only in years past or something?

Thanks!!

Congratulations on your swim! This year was my 6th time and definitely the most challenging conditions.

They have sold the 4.4 stickers at the race in previous years along with previous years shirts, etc. I have no idea if they were selling them this year because we took off shortly after I finished when the storm came through.

Franco P
June 14th, 2011, 04:55 PM
They have a number you can call on this page.
http://www.bayswim.com/merchandise.html

They had plenty at the table Sunday so I imagine there are more available.

Grappledunk
June 14th, 2011, 06:54 PM
Remember that cheer that went up when they told us the current wasn't going to be strong? Suckers... :D I was one of the diagonal swimmers, though - I wasn't paying enough attention and had a moment of panic when I looked up and realized how close I was to the bridge.

It was so sad to hear about the man who died... my thoughts are with his family and friends.

mermaid522
June 15th, 2011, 09:29 AM
Thanks for the info, guys - I guess I'll have to call. I didn't get a chance to go to the merchandise table either.

LSJ
June 16th, 2011, 02:51 PM
Congratulations to everyone who did the GCBS, especially my very fast husband, Rob. I'm thinking that my being nine minutes slower than the last time I did it three years ago isn't too shabby. (Both non-wetsuit.)

This was the first time in foru crossings that I stopped and took a gel (at mile 3 food boat)- and it was worth it, I think. The people on the boat were nice enough to take my gel wrapper so I didn't have to litter the Bay. That made my day.

Tough day, sad day, but as always, also an amazing day.

ALM
June 16th, 2011, 03:01 PM
I did the one-mile swim. I was in Wave 3. While standing in the start corral I noticed a guy in my heat who was wearing a center-mount snorkel on his head. They called our heat and we walked over the start pad. When I got to the water I saw another Wave 3 participant, already standing in the water, putting on scuba fins. This person also had a snorkel.

Are snorkels and fins really allowed in this swim?

chaos
June 17th, 2011, 10:28 AM
Are snorkels and fins really allowed in this swim?

if you're going to allow wetsuits, what difference does it make!

(let the bullets fly......)

thewookiee
June 17th, 2011, 10:48 AM
if you're going to allow wetsuits, what difference does it make!

(let the bullets fly......)

Probably not much. I get the snorkel, if the person has medical reason that pertain to the neck area. I know of several people that swim with open water groups that wear snorkels because of damages to the neck area that prevent them from turning their head to breath. The snorkel allows them to participate in the swims with the rest of the group.

If someone is wearing a snorkel, odds are that that person won't be near the lead pack.

E=H2O
June 17th, 2011, 10:51 AM
I think everyone should be able to wear fins that are the same overall size as Michael Phelps feet.

Swimmy
June 24th, 2011, 07:52 PM
I think everyone should be able to wear fins that are the same overall size as Michael Phelps feet.

I agree...haha....I have little feet, so I am at a disadvantage....
:cheerleader:

Swimmy
June 24th, 2011, 07:55 PM
I did the one-mile swim. I was in Wave 3. While standing in the start corral I noticed a guy in my heat who was wearing a center-mount snorkel on his head. They called our heat and we walked over the start pad. When I got to the water I saw another Wave 3 participant, already standing in the water, putting on scuba fins. This person also had a snorkel.

Are snorkels and fins really allowed in this swim?

Hi Jayhawk,
I saw that guy with the snorkel too. I was wondering if he was allowed to wear that. I did not see the fin guy. It was nice seeing you at the race.
:cheerleader:

evmo
June 13th, 2012, 07:03 PM
Does anyone know if there was any sort of investigation into the death (http://www.wjla.com/articles/2011/06/grahame-rice-43-dies-during-chesapeake-bay-swim-62360.html) of the swimmer in last year's GCBS, or if it was made public?

Reading this thread in retrospect, it's interesting how three facts were mentioned:

1. Someone died of an apparent heart attack during the race
2. Almost everyone wears wetsuits in this race, because of the incentives created by not separating wetsuit/non-wetsuit results
3. Water temps were quite warm - 78F.

Yet all were mentioned in isolation. I'm curious if the heart attack may have been related to over-heating.

Interesting, also, because this occurred less than 8 months after Fran Crippen's death in very warm water.

BruceGianniny
June 13th, 2012, 09:50 PM
we observed a moment of solemn silence fir graham before this years race

BruceGianniny
June 13th, 2012, 09:52 PM
don't think water temp was 78 last year either...certainly not in the main channel.

evmo
June 14th, 2012, 07:12 PM
don't think water temp was 78 last year either...certainly not in the main channel.

Good point. According to some, it was more like 80.