View Full Version : Great Chesapeake Bay Swim

February 20th, 2004, 10:16 AM
I am planning on doing the CHesapeake Bay Swim in June. I noticed from previous pics that most wore wet suits. I know last year the water was one of the coldest (64) but normally hovers around 70 when the race is. Do they wear these do to jelly fish (someone said that). I have a wet suit as a "saftey net" but normally don't wear it unless the temp is under 60. Any thoughts from those that did it?

As a side note, this is double the mileage than I have done in 60 degree water.


February 20th, 2004, 03:56 PM
I've done it both with and without a wetsuit. Since they don't split results, people who want to compete for awards have to wear a wetsuit, the time advantage is real. It also attracts a lot of first time open water swimmers, and the timing people strongly encourage one.
2 years ago I did it without one and the temperature was fine, last year was abnormally cold. But there is a lot of scummy stuff in the water, some of it stinging, that got in under my suit and I found myself wishing I had more on! It was a little gross and I had to stop a couple times to deal with it, which slowed me down even more. The Bay is just dirty. I'll be wearing a wetsuit this year unless it's really warm.

February 21st, 2004, 11:28 AM
I did the swim last year without a wetsuit and maybe I'm not representative but I did not find the water bothersome for clarity or for temperature. 64 degrees is not cold water for an open water swim in mostly salt water, in my experience.

Regarding competitiveness, however, the time difference from wearing a wetsuit is substantial, and if you are hoping to place in your age group you need to wear one. Over 4.4 miles you really have no choice unless you are truly outstanding relative to your competition. I think the race is 90 to 95 % wetsuit competitors, with seemingly very few non-wetsuit swimmers.

It is a nice swim, well organized and worth doing. Have fun.

February 21st, 2004, 05:16 PM
I wore one last year as a first time swimmer. Water was actually kinda tasty and the temp really didn't bother me which was a surprise considering that a couple weeks earlier I did a lake swim 1/2 the distance but 3 degrees colder.

I guess it was the salty water or the pollution or .....

As for the stingers in the water. Wear one if it is warm too.