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cjolsen
May 16th, 2005, 11:06 PM
I've heard it's legal. Any strategies that work? How do you know that the person you're behind is helping you or holding you back?

BriRunner
May 16th, 2005, 11:22 PM
I have wondered that myself. I have tried it a few times, and have felt that I was moving too slow, based on perceived exertion. As far as I know, that's all you've got to go on. If you feel that you are going too slow, pass that person, and try to pick up another. The guy you were drafting will probably try to get on your feet.

Leonard Jansen
May 17th, 2005, 08:05 AM
You can draft from two positions:
1) Directly behind the person. This is the most efficient.
2) Alongside the person, with your head at about their waist and no more than approx. 1 meter away. Less efficient, but still works.

Ideally, you want to "hitch a ride" with someone who is passing you and is just a little faster than you. After they pass, you swerve into their wake and let them break the still water and even do the sighting for you - just hang onto to those feet. You do have to be careful though that they can sight reasonably well and aren't taking you on a zig-zag course. Also, don't touch their feet since this might earn you a kick in the face.

Another strategy, if you are with people who are about at your level, is to "leapfrog" people: Swim behind one person until you see someone just ahead and then go hard until you get behind them. Then let them tow you until you have caught your breath and then repeat.

-LBJ

MetroSwim
May 17th, 2005, 12:54 PM
On the legality of drafting:

I was always under the assumption that drafting in USMS open water events was forbidden, however a search of the USMS rulebook does not explicity address drafting outside of a pool, other than being forbidden to draft behind an escort craft.

The only reference is in the Disqualifications:
303.8.8—Draft off another swimmer in long distance pool events.

FINA rules only mentions that "pacing of a swimmer by another person entering the water is not permitted"
(http://www.fina.org/openwaterrules.html).

Leonard Jansen
May 17th, 2005, 01:10 PM
Concerning legality of drafting, it is pretty hard not to draft in some of the shorter races where there are packs of people all moving from point to point. Also, I've seen 2 FINA 10k races and there was drafting in those, so it's probably legal. Some races (e.g. MIMS and Atlantic City Marathon) do expressly forbid drafting.

Besides, at least in shorter races, drafting is one of the things that makes them so much fun - you try to draft and they try to drop you; they draft and you try to drop them. Sometimes temporary drafting "alliances" form almost by psychic agreement and then you get to a point where you try to break each other.

Good, clean fun for kids.

-LBJ

BriRunner
May 17th, 2005, 09:14 PM
I have done the Cayman 1 mile swim a few times, and the rules for that race were very clear that drafting was illegal, and if caught you could be disqualified.

cjolsen
May 17th, 2005, 09:38 PM
One race I'm doing is a Alcatraz swim, and the other is a triathlon. I'm sure that drafting is legal in both cases.

auto208562
May 18th, 2005, 03:23 PM
I know for sure drafting during the swim leg in triathlons are legal.

In regards to if he's helping you along or not, if you keep hitting his feet or legs, he's too slow for you.

geochuck
May 18th, 2005, 03:41 PM
Drafting I love to get between two of the fastest swimmers in the race. The beauty is that you no longer have to use your own energy. Let them drag you all through the race. I drafted off Herman Willemse the Nederlands and Haratio Iglesias http://www.ishof.org/03higlesias.html of Argentina for 20 miles of a twenty eight mile race. After the first 20 miles I felt great and they wore down. Easy going for me.

auto208562
May 18th, 2005, 05:32 PM
So did you beat them?


Originally posted by geochuck
Drafting I love to get between two of the fastest swimmers in the race. The beauty is that you no longer have to use your own energy. Let them drag you all through the race. I drafted off Herman Willemse the Nederlands and Haratio Iglesias http://www.ishof.org/03higlesias.html of Argentina for 20 miles of a twenty eight mile race. After the first 20 miles I felt great and they wore down. Easy going for me.

geochuck
May 18th, 2005, 06:31 PM
That particular race they both got out. However I was beaten by Tom Bucy from Texas, I came 2nd. That was the year I had a car accident in May and did not swim until the day of the race July 9th. To let every one think I had been training, I used Man Tan to look tanned and to make goggle marks on my face, as if I had been training. Just to let you know I raced in 90 marathon races in 8 years.

auto208562
May 19th, 2005, 11:57 AM
You are in a different league than us regular people

2go+h20
May 19th, 2005, 04:58 PM
George,
That's absoultely incredible. Almost mind boggling!
I agree, you are in an elite class. There should be a hall of fame for swimmers like you.
Any thoughts on coming over and doing my 26.2km on Aug 12th??? Should be a walk in the park for you.
I am sure exercise physiologists would love to get their hands on you and record all sorts of data.
In the races that I do, drafting is illegal. There are course marshalls, and they will issue a warning if you are in a slipstream. The second warning and you are DQ'd. However in triathalon, drafting in the swim is legal, but not on the bike.
Kiwi

geochuck
May 19th, 2005, 05:22 PM
To be in a hall of fame does not interest me, I have been asked to submit info to three of them.

You have to understand I am writing mostly from the past, I am 72 years old today. I will definately be at that race but not to compete. New knee coming in July.

We are moving to Duncan, Vancouver Island on June the 15th. See you at the pool. Say hi to Bonnie Pronk and Marylou Whitwell for me I think they are also in Duncan area.

George

Maryyyyyy
May 22nd, 2005, 11:50 AM
Just want to add my name to the George Park fan club here!

I love reading George's posts - always down-to-earth and to-the-point. Need some of that with all the techy and chemy stuff in sports...

About drafting, personally it's been allowed in every open-water swim I've ever partecipated in. I thought it was a part of the sport, along with navigation, nutrition breaks, etc etc... :confused:

Ciao!

geochuck
May 22nd, 2005, 12:09 PM
I just wish I was as good as my brother Tom who got credit for the first marathon swim that I won. The headlines in the news papers front page in Quebec TOM PARK comes out of retirment and wins The Chicoutimi to Port Alfred Race. It was good to know the currents in that river he told me.

My brother paved the way for me, when I swam in Egypt the room attendent treated me like Royalty because I was Tom Park's brother. He told me he only picked the bed bugs out of my bed because he knew my brother Tom.

Thanks for the good words.

u352
June 17th, 2005, 06:36 PM
Damn!! Add me to that fan list. I did a short open water swim recently where I drafted like crazy off this awesome woman. I felt bad because near the finish I just wheeled right by her.

Lakespray
June 24th, 2005, 05:50 PM
Did the same in a 3 - mile event several years ago. The women was a strong swimmer and lead for 2 1/2 miles. I dutifully followed her right on her feet. A couple of occasions I pulled along side essentially trying to indicate we could trade off leads but the hint wasn't taken. At the 2 1/2 mile turn bouy I noticed she was taking a wide line so I sprinted into the bouy and about another twenty five yards or so after the turn and looked back. I noticed she was about 10 yards back and she never closed the gap into the finish. I thought all was good however she started crying on beach after the finish and some her friends came over to accuse me of playing dirty pool. My not agains't rules and where would Lance Armstrong be without drafting agruement didn't play with them. Oh well.

u352
June 27th, 2005, 11:26 AM
Wow-Crying after losing to you...Bummer. I read a story about a cross country racer that was tailed the entire race by someone only to pull ahead at the last 1/2 mile to 1/4 mile. Oh well, such is life.

Kevin in MD
June 28th, 2005, 01:57 PM
Originally posted by Lakespray
My not agains't rules and where would Lance Armstrong be without drafting agruement didn't play with them. Oh well.

If Lance Armstrong made a habit of sitting in and then outsprinting people for whom he had done no work, then he would have found himsef often the victim of crashes long long ago. There is definitely an etiquette to the drafting that goes on in bike racing.

What you did might have been bad form, the issue is clouded by the fact that she took the wrong line. If she had been straight on, then it is defintely bad form to just sit in and then outsprint her at the end and a nice way to earn a kick in the face at the next race.

geochuck
July 8th, 2005, 09:50 PM
Hey 2go+h20

Do you swim with the Duncan Masters? I just moved to Duncan and have not been in the water for 6 weeks. Are you swimming in Lake Cowichan yet? I am thinking of joining the masters group in Duncan??? I know the pool is closed from July 29 til Sept 5th.

Maryyyyyy
July 10th, 2005, 03:54 AM
I did a 2KM in the sea last Sunday, and had someone touching my toes the whole way. I don't mind someone drafting (and I definitely took advantage of drafting a few people the first KM), but I HATE having my toes touched! Stay in my wake, but DON'T TOUCH ME!!

Guvnah
July 11th, 2005, 03:37 PM
Originally posted by Maryyyyyy
I did a 2KM in the sea last Sunday, and had someone touching my toes the whole way. I don't mind someone drafting (and I definitely took advantage of drafting a few people the first KM), but I HATE having my toes touched! Stay in my wake, but DON'T TOUCH ME!!

I absolutely HATE having my toes touched (for instance when circcle swimming.) So I really work to avoid doing that to others. In a circle swim I have two options when someone touches my toes -- speed up or stop and the next wall and let them pass.

The thing about drafting is that you swim faster than you normally would. So if I stop and let the swimmer pass, I can find myself in the position of touching his/her toes. Now the swimmer who has passed me isn't as fast as when they were drafting, and I am a little faster... Two swimmers of equal capability are going to find themselves in this frustrating leapfrog.

In open water, were I to find myself on the back end of that toe-touching leapfrog, I would move a bit to one side or the other. If the draft helps me gain on the front swimmer, I can move up all I want without touching anyone's toes. And if I move up so much that I lose the draft, it's up to me to supply the power to stay next to the other swimmer, else I'll fall back into the draft again. But at least I won't be touching anyone's toes! And if someone is touching my toes, I can move to one side or the other and let the other swimmer move up on me without touching me. If he moves over too and insists on touching my toes, then I will do something drastic like a momentary slowdown followed by a strong kick next to his ear (or, if it happens to work out that way, a strong kick to his head.) I gave him a gentlemanly chance to change the situation, so what happens after that is fair game.

Maryyyyyy
July 18th, 2005, 07:08 AM
Did a 2KM race yesterday. The young kids (up to 44 years-old) did the race in the morning, and us ol' folks (45+) did it in the afternoon. We were lucky because the wind picked up (as usual in the afternoon) so we got some waves and currents to play in out there! Gorgeous day!

Anyway, in the morning 2 male friends of mine vied for 1st place overall... One lost by 9 seconds. When I asked him about it he told me that the winner had totally cheated him by using his drag for the first 1500m, then pulling out and sprinting the last 500. I said, "hey, that's OW swimming" ie: don't complain, loser!
He moaned at me, "no! I gave him the sign to change positions, we should have changed positions! He should have dragged me for awhile!!"

OK, I'm with the winner on this one. All's fair in love, war, and using drag in OW swimming.

What do you all think?

Guvnah
July 19th, 2005, 01:18 PM
Originally posted by Maryyyyyy

... He moaned at me, "no! I gave him the sign to change positions, we should have changed positions! He should have dragged me for awhile!!"



What is "the sign" to change positions?

Seems to me, if I want to get behind someone, I should swim slower than he is (or just stop outright) and get behind him!

Damage Inc
August 8th, 2005, 04:38 PM
Last year I did two open water events 1 week apart. The Alcatraz Sharkfest and the OW Championships in Oregon. After a good showing at Alcatraz, and the travel stresses up and down Oregon, I was toatly wiped out for the Oregon swim and drafted behind one guy for all but the first leg. I tried a couple of times to get in front of him to take my turn at the front but could never gain any ground. At the final sprint a third guy who was drafting behind me tried to overtake both of us. I was thrilled that the guy who led us in stayed ahead and beat us both. I would have felt way to guilty if i passed that guy who pulled me along.
Moral: Be a good sport and take a turn at the front (if you can), if you plan to challenge at the final.

geochuck
August 8th, 2005, 05:07 PM
You are a gentleman, if it were me and I was racing for money, I would draft off anyone I could but to let somone draft off me, not a chance... Abou Heif asked me to let him draft off me and of course I refused. But you being a tri athlete you have to reciprocate because of the other two legs, bike and run.

Guvnah
August 9th, 2005, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by Guvnah
What is "the sign" to change positions?



Still waiting for the sign.

Need to know by this weekend, else someone might give me "the sign" and I ignore it out of ignorance.

geochuck
August 9th, 2005, 01:51 PM
Hey Guvanah

If you ignore the sign swimming near me I'll give the same sign I give to careless drivers when they pass me and cut in.