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View Full Version : ESPN article that discusses OW safety and temperature limits



Ken Classen
July 19th, 2011, 03:37 PM
http://espn.go.com/blog/olympics/post/_/id/995/open-water-safety-still-an-issue-at-worlds
The release specifically informs open water swimmers that national team officials may advise them not to compete because of extreme temperatures or other issues, such as poor water or air quality. If they race anyway, they're on their own legally. And the criteria used by USA Swimming officials may be different than FINA's. USA Swimming's independently commissioned investigation also recommended a 31-degree standard, but added an index that takes air temperature into account. Any combination of air and water temperature exceeding 63 degrees has been deemed unsafe.

What's wrong with this picture? It's hard to know where to start.

Top open water swimmers have made it clear they think 31 degrees Celsius is far too high a maximum temperature. A petition signed last winter by numerous elite athletes that called for a 28-degree (82.4 degrees Fahrenheit) ceiling was ignored. With the pace and exertion of this race -- a men's 10K takes roughly two hours -- just a few degrees can affect dehydration and heat exhaustion. I agree with the petition signed by the athletes. I think USMS should adopt the 28-degree (82.4 degrees Fahrenheit) max temp limit for all USMS OW Championship races. As part of the bid the promoters would need to submit historical temperature data for the time of year that the event is to be held. If there is a history of say once in every four years of exceeding that limit (25% chance or more), then that bid should not be accepted.

Lump
July 19th, 2011, 04:39 PM
http://espn.go.com/blog/olympics/post/_/id/995/open-water-safety-still-an-issue-at-worlds I agree with the petition signed by the athletes. I think USMS should adopt the 28-degree (82.4 degrees Fahrenheit) max temp limit for all USMS OW Championship races. As part of the bid the promoters would need to submit historical temperature data for the time of year that the event is to be held. If there is a history of say once in every four years of exceeding that limit (25% chance or more), then that bid should not be accepted.

Then you would rule out about all of Florida in Spring/Summer.

Ken Classen
July 19th, 2011, 05:11 PM
Then you would rule out about all of Florida in Spring/Summer.Yes, If they can't meet the temperature limit and I'm talking for National Championships not other sanctioned races. And I think it would be nice to have Championship OW races in Florida during the cooler months, it would be a good excuse to go.

ALM
July 19th, 2011, 11:01 PM
Attached is the 2010 Gulf water temperature data from near where I live in Florida. The NOAA has a buoy in Venice (Station ID VENF1), which is about 10 miles south of here.

Water temperature readings are taken every hour, 24 hours a day. To get the file size under the limit for these forums I only included one reading per day (the noon reading).

swimthegoodfight
July 21st, 2011, 07:18 AM
Texas, for all intents and purposes, has zero open water swims in June, July and August. We have very few to begin with...

A primary organizer of Texas open water swims is ASA in Austin, TX. They have the good sense and patience to manage around high water temperatures.

swimthegoodfight
July 21st, 2011, 07:35 AM
thanks jayhawk - Both general and precise buoy location is very important. For example, I use 'general' in reference to offshore, nearshore and inshore.

Florida has such a fantastic and extensive shoreline. It seems to reason that open water swim events might nearly be hosted year-round. Some organizers simply need greater awareness in scheduling June, July and August swims.

There is good reason that the Tampa Bay Marathon Swim is conducted in the spring.

Ken Classen
July 21st, 2011, 07:35 PM
http://www.dailynewsofopenwaterswimming.com/2011/07/marcel-wouda-pulls-world-champion-from.html
Swimmer Linsy Heister won't defend her world title in Shanghai on the 25 km open water. Coach Marcel Wouda pulled the 23-year-old from Eindhoven Thursday back. According to the coach, it is medically irresponsible to swim the longest distance at a water temperature of around 30 degrees Celsius.

Wouda believes that the world swimming federation Fina should take their responsibility. "Given the death case last year, also under very hot conditions, you would think that FINA has learned an important lesson. I as coach have the opinion that the FINA should cancel the event under these circumstances. It is irresponsible." Hopefully USMS Open Water National Championship awards committee is taking this seriously. There is no reason that all USMS OW championships need to occur in the summer months. As this thread and data show, the southern states could host events in Spring and Fall. Early and late summer the mid west and central Atlantic states. At the height of summer look to the upper midwest, the northwest, the mountain states, the California coast and New England.

E=H2O
July 21st, 2011, 08:29 PM
http://www.dailynewsofopenwaterswimming.com/2011/07/marcel-wouda-pulls-world-champion-from.html Hopefully USMS Open Water National Championship awards committee is taking this seriously. There is no reason that all USMS OW championships need to occur in the summer months. As this thread and data show, the southern states could host events in Spring and Fall. Early and late summer the mid west and central Atlantic states. At the height of summer look to the upper midwest, the northwest, the mountain states, the California coast and New England.

I agree

gdanner
July 22nd, 2011, 05:57 PM
To be honest, I'm a little surprised the swimmer petition max was 82.4. I was very comfortable throughout a 5k in Ft. Lauderdale in June when it was 82 degree water and I was working hard. I am used to 78-80 degree pool water and rarely swim outdoors in the sun. Though, one of the top female competitors passed out immediately after finishing the race. Would that have happened if the water was cooler? Hard to say.

I'm not saying I would want to go much higher than 82.4 (28), but I think 29 degrees C might be more appropriate. Either way, I agree that 31 is way too high. Projecting how temperature and exertion will lead to problems cannot be an easy task. What is safe for one person might be unsafe for another...people have to take some personal responsibility if they choose to compete. 82.4 just seems low to me.

swimthegoodfight
July 25th, 2011, 11:28 AM
does anyone have a link for results... I thought I saw more than 1/4 of the competitors, men & women, dropped out during the race.

swimthegoodfight
July 25th, 2011, 04:52 PM
JINSHAN CITY, China (AP) — Unsafe water temperatures created chaos in the 25-kilometer races at the open water world championships Saturday, prompting most of the American team to withdraw before the start and one swimmer to accuse organizers of acting irresponsibly.
Defending men's champion Valerio Cleri (http://www.seattlepi.com/?controllerName=search&action=search&channel=sports&search=1&inlineLink=1&query=%22Valerio+Cleri%22) of Italy withdrew after four hours, saying it was "too hot and too dangerous" to continue.
"There's not enough attention on the athletes," Cleri said. "There should not have been a race here. The jury was irresponsible."
Teammate Edoardo Stochino (http://www.seattlepi.com/?controllerName=search&action=search&channel=sports&search=1&inlineLink=1&query=%22Edoardo+Stochino%22) was pulled from the water about 50 minutes later and taken away on a stretcher as officials poured cold water over his chest. He was checked out and returned to the venue a short time later.
Germany's Thomas Lurz (http://www.seattlepi.com/?controllerName=search&action=search&channel=sports&search=1&inlineLink=1&query=%22Thomas+Lurz%22) and American Alex Meyer were among those who decided not to start the race.
The men's and women's races were moved up two hours to a 6 a.m. start in an attempt to stage them in cooler conditions, but the water was already 87 degrees — just under the suggested "unsafe" point of 88.
As the morning wore on, the water temperature reached 88 and the sun began beating down on the course. The air temperature was 90 with 68 percent humidity by the time the race finished.
Safety has become a major concern in open water swimming following the death of American Fran Crippen in the United Arab Emirates last year. Crippen, a six-time U.S. national champion, died in October near the end of a 10K World Cup event in warm temperatures. No one noticed him slip beneath the surface and his body was not found until two hours after the race.
Meyer, Crippen's close friend and the only U.S. man scheduled to swim Saturday, blasted FINA officials for deciding to hold the race in the first place.
"What's the point in making rules and recommendations if you're just going to blow them off at events like this," he said. "I'm deeply disappointed that they're continuing to hold this race.
"It's like, did you not learn your lesson? Do you not remember what happened last time?
"And if these FINA guys, they say, 'Oh you're not in good shape. You're not a good enough swimmer' ... No, it's not because I'm not a good swimmer, it's because it's too hot."


Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/sports/article/Heat-plays-havoc-with-25K-open-water-races-1545970.php#ixzz1T9WX9goC