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Thread: So open water swimmers can now hold the boat to rest?

  1. #21
    Very Active Member guppy's Avatar
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    Re: So open water swimmers can now hold the boat to rest?

    I can imagine some instances of contention over whether a kayak engaged in forward movement while being held onto. Though perhaps I'm too pessimistic about human nature.

  2. #22
    Very Active Member flystorms's Avatar
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    Re: So open water swimmers can now hold the boat to rest?

    The more I think about it and read others thoughts, the more I don't like this rule at all. It gives a crutch to those who haven't put in the time or training to do whatever distance they're doing. It also puts those in jeopardy who actually do need a kayaker to help them out. These people are there for safety - to keep an eye on all of us. If someone hangs on the boat, they should be DQd. This isn't a safe sport where you can just stop for a moment to rest or recover. It's one where you are not only one with the elements, but you're also possibly going to be part of the food chain. I definitely have issues with the new rule and hope that RDs announce that they'll not allow it. It'll be interesting to see stats on how many declare it nor not over time.
    "If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to meet it." - Jonathan Winters, actor and comedian

  3. #23
    Very Active Member SwimDogs's Avatar
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    Re: So open water swimmers can now hold the boat to rest?

    This seems like a GREAT OPPORTUNITY for Race Directors to promote their events to the "purists" and swim under English Channel Rules. If an RD wants to pursue the Tri-market, so be it. But, if they want to remain true to the sport of open water swimming, they still may.

  4. #24
    Very Active Member guppy's Avatar
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    Re: So open water swimmers can now hold the boat to rest?

    Agree with flystorms 1000%.

  5. #25
    Very Active Member Sumorunner's Avatar
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    Re: So open water swimmers can now hold the boat to rest?

    I agree with Flystorms too. I would never consider it a success if I had to stop and hold on and it would concern me that by paying attention to me, they might be jeopardizing someone else's safety. Let me talk about one of our masters team members though. 2 yrs ago she took a couple swim clinics as a newbie. She was a competent biker and runner, but was deathly afraid of open water and wanted to try a Tri. Even in the pool she was very nervous for quite a while, could not put her face in. Fast forward 2 years, she was competent in the pool but still got panic attacks in open water. She entered a sprint Tri with a 1/2 mile swim, got panicky in the water and completed almost the entire thing back stroke. Next week at swim practice on the same lake, I told her I would swim with her and make sure she got it done right. She got it done. And the next week, and the next. By end of summer she completed IM 70.3 in Lake Placid. Never hung on to anything but her self-esteem.

  6. #26
    Very Active Member flystorms's Avatar
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    Re: So open water swimmers can now hold the boat to rest?

    Sumo, what a great success story. Good job helping that lady get past the fears
    "If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to meet it." - Jonathan Winters, actor and comedian

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    Re: So open water swimmers can now hold the boat to rest?

    You seem to be a "purist" when it comes to swimming. You'll probably be in the front of the pack. There are many new swimmers who would like to venture past their comfort zones. This give them thatc additional "scaffolding." (to use the educational parlance.) I believe the race director could qualify it as a finish if no forward progress was made. Similar to that used wiith the weaker Tri swimmers. They usually wean off of it quickly.

    I would caution sounding "elitist" and other "-its's" as well. This is not a private country club and we do want to encourage people to join, develop skills and have fun in the water as you do. For many the Open Water can be the affordable option for people of limited means yet can be intimidating. Let's use this rule change as a start off a growth mindset in the recreational activity of swimming.

  8. #28
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    Re: So open water swimmers can now hold the boat to rest?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Scott View Post
    You seem to be a "purist" when it comes to swimming. You'll probably be in the front of the pack. There are many new swimmers who would like to venture past their comfort zones. This give them that additional "scaffolding." (to use the educational parlance.) I believe the race director could qualify it as a finish if no forward progress was made. Similar to that used with the weaker Tri swimmers. They usually wean off of it quickly.

    I would caution sounding "elitist" and other "-its's" as well. This is not a private country club and we do want to encourage people to join, develop skills and have fun in the water as you do. For many the Open Water can be the affordable option for people of limited means yet can be intimidating. Let's use this rule change as a start off a growth mindset in the recreational activity of swimming.
    You don't have to be a "purist" to swim at the back of the pack. You also don't have to be a purist to hope that everyone in your age group is swimming by the same rules as you.

    If new swimmers need scaffolding, they can continue to practice in open water with their coach and/or other open water swimmers (who are always willing to take out newbies, I've found) until they are comfortable enough to not have to rest on the side of a boat.

    Your comment doesn't even address all the safety issues of having swimmers hanging on the side of a kayak, piloted by a person who is supposed to be in the water for the safety of all the swimmers, not just one who isn't ready yet for open water.

    And if you think an RD has the time to monitor every single swimmer hanging on the side of a kayak to determine if that kayak at that moment is making forward progress or not, I'd have to tell you your outlook is clouded with rosy goggles. What about a swim that naturally has forward progression due to naturally occurring currents? Is the kayaker banned from putting his/her paddles in the water to ensure s/he doesn't propel the swimmer forward faster than the current? Maybe in your view the RD should only accept pairs of volunteers, each pair in a kayak. One responsible for safety of the course, and the other an observer should a swimmer latch on. This kayaker could have a phone with a special app that'll track the current of the river against the movement of the kayak to determine if the unprepared swimmer is getting any forward propulsion or not. (See how silly this gets?!)

    There is absolutely nothing elitist about people swimming an open water race under their own power from point A to point B.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Scott View Post
    You seem to be a "purist" when it comes to swimming. You'll probably be in the front of the pack.
    I think evmo asked the perfect question related to your comment above, which was not answered:

    Quote Originally Posted by evmo View Post
    Perhaps I misunderstand... are you saying cheating is OK as long as it's not for a podium finish?
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  9. #29
    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
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    Re: So open water swimmers can now hold the boat to rest?

    Quote Originally Posted by mjtyson View Post
    Your comment doesn't even address all the safety issues of having swimmers hanging on the side of a kayak, piloted by a person who is supposed to be in the water for the safety of all the swimmers, not just one who isn't ready yet for open water.
    True. But I rather have swimmers hanging on a designated rest boat than have my lifeguards performing active rescues on those same drowning swimmers.

    As for "cheating is OK as long as it's not for a podium finish?" It isn't cheating if it is legal.
    Last edited by Rob Copeland; October 11th, 2017 at 12:00 PM. Reason: per request of a forum member
    The opinions expressed in the above post are mine and not those of U.S. Masters Swimming.

  10. #30
    Very Active Member chaos's Avatar
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    Re: So open water swimmers can now hold the boat to rest?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Copeland View Post
    True. But I rather have swimmers hanging on a designated rest boat than have my lifeguards performing active rescues on those same drowning swimmers.
    As if it were an either/or situation.....

  11. #31
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    Re: So open water swimmers can now hold the boat to rest?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Copeland View Post
    True. But I rather have swimmers hanging on a designated rest boat than have my lifeguards performing active rescues on those same drowning swimmers.
    First I've heard of designated rest boats. Are those different from the safety cover boats? I searched throughout the LD proposed changes and didn't see anything about race directors having to designate some boats as rest boats vice safety.
    --Mike Tyson (yes, my real name)
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  12. #32
    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
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    Re: So open water swimmers can now hold the boat to rest?

    Quote Originally Posted by mjtyson View Post
    First I've heard of designated rest boats. Are those different from the safety cover boats?
    Mike,
    In an event I volunteered with last month we had 6 levels of on water support, not all are specifically mandated in the rules. 1) Waterfront certified lifeguards on kayaks as first responders, 2) lifeguard supervisors on jet skis as overwatch, 3) Fire and CG rescue in motor boats with AED and medical supplied as second responders/ rapid evacuation, 4) course monitors on canoe/kayaks/paddleboards to assist swimmers and keep them on course, 5) anchored watercraft for traffic control and feeding, these boats also have AEDís and medical supplies and swim spotters, and 6) I have other accommodations for special needs swimmers.
    I could see designating my anchored watercraft and some of my course monitor watercrafts as rest boats. But, Iíd want to review any change to the safety plan with our event water safety committee to ensure that any modifications improve event safety.

    Quote Originally Posted by chaos View Post
    As if it were an either/or situation.....
    Hi David!
    I completely agree there isnít a 1 for 1 correlation. Iíve been running open water events for over 30 years and I still canít tell before the swim which swimmers will experience some level of distress during the swim. And of those swimmers I donít know before the swim which ones should be removed from the water and which ones might just need to stand up or rest for a few seconds. I guess Iíd rather err on the side of safety.


    Apparently my last post offended some forum members. Iíve edited the post. And I apologize for my offense.
    Last edited by Rob Copeland; October 11th, 2017 at 01:14 PM.
    The opinions expressed in the above post are mine and not those of U.S. Masters Swimming.

  13. #33
    Very Active Member FindingMyInnerFish's Avatar
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    Re: So open water swimmers can now hold the boat to rest?

    Re standing or walking in standing depth water, a question: I've been in races in which there are sandbar or very shallow water in low tide. In one swim, the water at one point was calf deep, meaning that it was pretty much inevitable that the hand would hit the ground at every stroke. In this case, swimmers pretty much all got up and walked to deeper water (no DQ, as the race in question didn't forbid the practice). I can understand not allowing swimmers to put their feet on the ground if the water is swimmable, although different races have different rules even on that score. But what to do if the water is so shallow as not to allow much, if any, forward progress via swimming? Granted, I'm guessing that races not allowing contact w the ground likely set courses with swimmable water all the way, even if some areas are of standing depth. Thanks for clarifying.

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  14. #34
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    Re: So open water swimmers can now hold the boat to rest?

    I had something similar occur, FindingMyInnerFish, in a triathlete-organized 4k open water swim some years ago. It was a 4-loop course, and on one leg of the loop there was a sandbar that was at about mid-thigh level. Definitely swimmable, but many of the triathletes (self-identified at the start) just got up and jump-ran through that section, which was of a significant length. No DQ by the RD.
    --Mike Tyson (yes, my real name)
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  15. #35
    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Re: So open water swimmers can now hold the boat to rest?

    Quote Originally Posted by mjtyson View Post
    There is absolutely nothing elitist about people swimming an open water race under their own power from point A to point B.
    Pretty hard to argue this point. Well said.

  16. #36
    Very Active Member FindingMyInnerFish's Avatar
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    Re: So open water swimmers can now hold the boat to rest?

    Quote Originally Posted by mjtyson View Post
    I had something similar occur, FindingMyInnerFish, in a triathlete-organized 4k open water swim some years ago. It was a 4-loop course, and on one leg of the loop there was a sandbar that was at about mid-thigh level. Definitely swimmable, but many of the triathletes (self-identified at the start) just got up and jump-ran through that section, which was of a significant length. No DQ by the RD.
    Mid-thigh, I'd keep swimming. The section I encountered was more like mid-calf or less. It would be the depth where if I was close to finishing would be my signal to stand up and walk/run in. Usual instruction from coach: swim until your hand touches sand.--which pretty much happened in this particular sandbar. So I must confess, I did walk until I had swimmable water, as I was aware that the race rules didn't prohibit contact w ground or kayak escort.

    Walking in swimmable water actually seems counterproductive, b/c unless we're talking puddles on the road, water slows a person down (even running in puddles makes for waterlogged shoes which slows the pace). I couldn't wait for it to deepen enough for swimming. I like running and swimming--each in its own venue.

  17. #37
    Very Active Member srcoyote's Avatar
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    Re: So open water swimmers can now hold the boat to rest?

    On the broader issue, I think mjtyson has said it best. The expectation that someone swim from point A to point B as a condition of the race is not being elitist.

    By way of example and elaborating on the more narrow issue of touching the ground, I often swim some OWS that are tacked on to triathlon events. The event coordinator told me that he knows there are precious few OWS in our area, and because he already has a course and equipment laid out, he adds a 3K and a 5K swim to his multi-distance triathlon/duathlon events. I swim the 5K's almost never missing one. In his format, we 5K's go off with the 1/3 Tri's. As it is a circuit, I will encounter swimmers in all tri distances including Olympic, Sprint, and Beginner. Often the shore side of the rectangular course is through hip deep water. I swim. But often I'm navigating Sprint and Beginner triathletes who are walking. It's annoying. If they're going to do that, just run on the shore.

    One of my favorite swims is Swim to the Moon. On that course, there is a channel that depending on lake levels can be only shin deep. At that point, there is only to stand up and walk until one can at least sink a pull deep enough to swim.

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