Bootleg / bandit / unsanctioned marathon swims

evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
edited March 8 in General Discussion
This discussion was created from comments split from: MIMS 2016 Swimmers.
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  • GarbageBargeGarbageBarge NY (Hudson Valley)Charter Member

    So, what's to stop someone from bootlegging Manhattan? I mean, if you got a boat, crew, and kayak, it's an open waterway, right? People kayak around it all the time. People swim parts of it occasionally. The EC bootleg was shown to be illegal, but no one responded to the Manhattan bootleg question. Just wondering. http://www.outsideonline.com/1917781/swimming-new-york-city-survival-guide

    suziedodswendyv34
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  • suziedodssuziedods Charter Member

    Part of the issue is the 11 ( !) agencies that APPEAR to be in charge of obtaining permits. Why a swimmer needs a permit and kayaker does not , I do not know. In addition, the rivers ARE tricky, three rivers, ebbs, floods, back eddys and Morty DOES know the logistics of that. I finally caved and realized it was easier to pay him to figure out my tide than for me to spend another 6 yrs trying to learn the tides. But you are right.. it's a free river. Just like in SF bay.. no one owns the water. It just seems that way in NYC.

    wendyv34

    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com

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  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member

    One needs a permit so every boat that can potentially kill you knows what is going on. Ferrys, cruise ships, commercial and recreational vessels, etc. if you hire the right people to get you around safely.... It probably won't be cheaper.

    If it's about $$$, rent a pontoon boat and go for a nice long swim in a lake somewhere. Plenty of opportunities.

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • GarbageBargeGarbageBarge NY (Hudson Valley)Charter Member

    What's the agency that you need a permit from? You can't swim anywhere around Manhattan without a permit? Boat Basin? If you can, then what would stop you from just keep going? The tides aren't some unknowable secret that only NYC Swim has access to. I can't find anything on Google about permits.

    Ferries, cruise ships, barges, etc. are all something a kayaker or dinghy sailor would have to be alert to and follow the rules of navigation for. They don't need a permit. If one of these were escorting you, what would be the difference? Just asking.

    suziedods
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited January 2016

    I think it's kinda bad for the sport when people try to bootleg swims that already have well-established sanctioning bodies. Recent difficulties notwithstanding, NYC Swim is still the governing body of record for the Swim Around Manhattan. As @j9swim says, they got quite a few people around the island this year, safely and successfully.

    "Well-established sanctioning bodies" is admittedly a bit subjective. The EC orgs are the only ones I'm aware of whose legitimacy is backed by law (possibly ACNEG/Gibraltar too). But just because it's not-illegal to bootleg a certain swim, doesn't mean it's right.

    SBCSA & CCSF occasionally have people try to bootleg Channel Islands swims, and frankly, I think these people are assholes. We put a lot of work in, on a volunteer basis, supporting, advising, observing, and documenting these swims, so our successful swimmers can say they legitimately swam the channel. People doing their own thing - it confuses things, and undermines our efforts.

    Maybe someday some other org will step up and offer the same high standards that Morty has maintained over the years. Until then, I wouldn't recognize a claimed swim around Manhattan that wasn't done through NYC Swim. Just my personal view.

    slknightdavid_barragregocDanSimonelliTheoCamille
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  • suziedodssuziedods Charter Member

    I have to agree w @Niek and disagree w @evmo. Isn't having rules, ( such as MSF rules) kind of the point of trying new swims ? OR .. in this case doing a work around an organization that is somehow unable to effectively communicate with its applicants? IF the swim were done within the rules set out by MSF or MIMS rules ( which are nowhere to be found) then the swim is done. If someone swims, say Alcatraz, it doesn't matter which organization does it.. you start and you finish and you state the rules by which you are doing the swim.. it's a swim. If I choose to swim , say Lake Memphremagog and Phil wasn't the organizer ( although why I wld want to swim that far in fresh water escapes me at this point) and I followed MSF rules, or EC rules or Phil's rules.. the swim would be a completed swim. It is beyond my comprehension , how and why MIMS is allowed to continue to NOT communicate with its applicants. I've said it before and I'll say it again.. I am sorry he is ill ,truly. But, as an event organizer you need to have plans in place , assistants or co-workers to help. You can not, in good conscience just let people hang. ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU HAVE ALREADY TAKEN THE MONEY! I understand that Morty has grown, beyond belief open water swimming in NYC and that is a hugely commendable accomplishment. It does NOT however, absolve one of current and future responsibilities.

    rosemarymintGarbageBargeHelbeDanSimonelliIronMiketortugaCamille

    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com

  • GarbageBargeGarbageBarge NY (Hudson Valley)Charter Member

    evmo said: SBCSA & CCSF occasionally have people try to bootleg Channel Islands swims,

    Those Associations/Federations don't have people try to bootleg Channel swims; people try to bootleg, aka swim, the Channels, on their own. If I started a White Pond Circum-Swim Association and had a protocol for official recognition from my Association for swims around the perimeter of White Pond, I would still expect people to swim around White Pond without my permission and to claim that they had swum around White Pond. No certificate for them, and no problem from me. We're just talking about a bigger stretch of water and self-proclaimed "official" recognition. I get your desire for protocols for official marathon swims, and I'm fine for those who want them, but I also think there's people who are more into open water swimming for it's own sake. That doesn't mean they won't be drawn to the same challenges/stretches of water.

    LGOWS is doing a length of Lake George swim this year. Does that mean no one else can now do it unless they sign up with LGOWS? I don't think they would make that claim, but if you want to do their event, you sign up with them.

    What if you don't want recognition? You just want to do the swim and be self reliant about it. We all do our own open water swims without a sanctioning body's approval. I don't see the problem if someone has the means to do a channel swim, and if there's no law against it. What's the problem? Who is asking you to recognize it exactly? Safety may be an issue, as it is in mountain climbing and many other outdoor activities. People still do them without asking anyone for permission, much less applying, much less writing an essay. Hopefully they do these activities with full knowledge of safety issues and proper precautions, but sometimes they don't. I don't think the mountain climbing community gets too worked up. No one's gonna stop you from climbing that mountain, but you might get charged and look foolish if you need to be rescued off it. What's the hangup about recognition? If I did bootleg Manhattan (not MIMS, MIMS is a NYC Swim event, Manhattan is an island surrounded by water), I wouldn't bother with an observer. I'd know what I did. That would truly be enough for me. If I wanted recognition for any swim, I'd get an observer. If I wanted the MIMS certificate, I'd do the essay, etc. I'm not planning to bootleg it or NYC Swim it, but I wouldn't throw shade on anyone who did it either way. I'd be willing to crew for someone for either way.

    suziedodswendyv34tortuga
  • GarbageBargeGarbageBarge NY (Hudson Valley)Charter Member

    Banditing? Why don't you just close the discussion à la Lone Swimmer? Bootlegging (like ice swimming) is not marathon swimming!

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited January 2016

    @GarbageBarge it never occurred to me to close the discussion. I think it's a great topic! Why do you think it should be closed?

    We do occasionally split off threads that have meandered beyond the original topic, and to promote searchability.

    gregocDanSimonelliChrisgreene
  • swimmer25kswimmer25k Charter Member

    I don't have a problem with someone going out and doing an "established" swim on your own like Manhattan, EC, or Key West. If you're going to claim success, just show that you've done it honestly through some sort of documentation, witnesses, etc. I think you'd be somewhat foolish to stand on Shakespear Beach and go for it with only your best drinking buddy (as if there were any other kind) in a "borrowed" kayak with a busted oar. There's something to be said about the establishment whether or not you like their policies or procedures.

    I inadvertently got mixed up in something like this back in 2002 on Ft Lauderdale Beach. I trained in the ocean every Saturday. My swims were about 8-10K all alone. I swam north and would then turn around and come back. There was a 1.5 mile swim on the beach that morning that started north and went south finishing on 17th street in front of the ISHOF, which was my start/finish line. I stuffed a 10 dollar bill in my suit, so I could register and do the race on my way back south. Well, the race went off before I was back from my turnaround. I said the hell with it and kept going all while dropping the hammer. I passed everyone and "won" a swim that I wasn't part of. (I did not exit the water through the finish chute, but rather to the side beyond the finish area). Some people shouted "bandit" and the race director confronted me about sneaking into his swim. I explained that I swam there every weekend and it happened that his race coincided with my workout. Was I right or was I wrong?

    With that said, I would have an issue with someone deliberately jumping into an established event solely to usurp paying an entry fee or use others knowledge and experience with the logistics of the event. (Unless it's a 1.5 mile swim on a public beach.).

    IronMikesuziedodstortugaCamille
  • FlowSwimmersFlowSwimmers Polson, MontanaMember
    edited January 2016

    Anyone ever wonder why there are two associations covering the same thing:

    • Channel Swimming Association vs. Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation

    • United States Masters Swimming vs. American Swimming Association (Master Segment)

    • American Swim Coaches Association vs. International Swim Coaches Association

    • FINA vs. World Swimming Association

    The money associated with many of these organizations can be significant, and the competing organizations are often formed because they feel they can do it better.

    It's not just in swimming...it's in life: Follow the $$$.

    suziedodsJenAlakespray
  • GarbageBargeGarbageBarge NY (Hudson Valley)Charter Member

    I don't think the discussion should be closed, but I do think it should be around MIMS or at least Manhattan. I also don't think it should be labeled as something inherently dishonest.

    I don't think anyone has suggested that you should try to pull off your own Manhattan circumnavigation during MIMS. That would be impolite at best. But I am suggesting, and I think others are as well, that MIMS does not own the NYC waterways, and anyone should be able to swim around Manhattan on a date of their choosing with the proper safety precautions and common sense (assuming it is in fact legal) . There have been responses that you need permits, but no one has said from whom. What permit do you get for 8 Bridges @David_Barra? Who do you apply to? Doing it during the event would be like dropping in on the NYC Marathon without registering. I'm sure it happens, but it's not cool. On the other hand, there would be nothing to stop anyone from running the NYC Marathon route on another day, except for the Verrazano Bridge crossing for which there is no pedestrian walkway. I'd agree to calling it banditing if you did it during MIMS. Any other time is just swimming around Manhattan. You also wouldn't be able to claim you swam MIMS any more than the NYC Marathon route runner could claim to have run the marathon, but you could claim to have swum around Manhattan or to have run the marathon route.

    Top Gear once raced a marathon runner vs. a car over the London Marathon route during rush hour. The runner won! He didn't win the London Marathon though because he wasn't in that event.

    As for the Catalina Channel "assholes," what is the problem if they took proper precautions? Whose recognition are they asking for? I really see that as the same as climbing a mountain. If you want official recognition or to establish a record, there is probably an organization you can go through, but if you just want to climb it, what's the problem exactly? Whose toes are you stepping on?

    suziedodswendyv34IronMikeJenAKate_Alexanderrosemaryminttortuga
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  • Leonard_JansenLeonard_Jansen Charter Member

    Since I tend to agree with Jean-Paul Satre that "Anarchy is a valid form of government", then one should be able to swim nearly anywhere. However, there are several caveats:

    1) You must have the proper support.

    2) Should you need help during the swim that is beyond your support's ability, you should be prepared to pay for that help, even if it's a government entity. No one else should have to foot the bill for your adventure.

    3) Likewise, your estate should reimburse anyone, including government entities, for the recovery of your body should something go very wrong. (N.B. I have $2000 allotted in my will for this since I almost always have to swim by myself when I can do open water training.)

    4) If there is a law expressly forbidding said swim and there are one or more "official" events on the same routes, you should respect it if only so that people in official events don't suddenly find that the authorities are canceling the official events because they perceive the OW community is callous toward the law. Legislative action and law change is the proper course.

    5) No "ghosting" a race. EVER. ("Ghosting" is the same as banditing, but is used in running circles.) The reason is that if you get in trouble, someone in race support may have to risk their life, and possibly the lives of the official swimmers, in order to help you.

    Number 4 really frosts my shorts since PA is so insanely restrictive about where you can swim legally (basically nowhere). Although there aren't many OW swims in the state's lakes, there are a good number of triathlons and I won't try to sneak a swim in those lakes for fear of ruining it for the triathletes, miserable swimmers that many of them are...

    -LBJ

    gregocpavlicovswimdailysuziedodsSpacemanspiffKate_AlexanderLynnkubdpm50

    “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” - Oscar Wilde

  • phodgeszohophodgeszoho UKSenior Member

    Very interesting topic. Should definitely not be closed.

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited January 2016

    GarbageBarge said: I am suggesting ... that MIMS does not own the NYC waterways, and anyone should be able to swim around Manhattan on a date of their choosing with the proper safety precautions and common sense

    As for the Catalina Channel "assholes," what is the problem if they took proper precautions? Whose recognition are they asking for?

    A sanctioning org doesn't "own" a body of water, I agree. So in the abstract, I have no problem with anyone swimming in public waters as an "individual expression of freedom" (in @Loneswimmer's words).

    The reality is a bit more complicated. My experience suggests that:

    • Prospective bandits typically don't want to swim the channel anonymously (without public recognition);
    • Prospective bandits typically don't know what they are doing, in terms of safety, logistics, or planning, either swimming-wise or boating-wise;

    They want to use the boats/pilots we have developed relationships with; they want to use our advice on route planning, currents, swim logistics, and training; and they want to be recognized in the media as having accomplished the same thing as all the sanctioned swims.

    They want all these things -- but they don't want to pay the sanction fees or use the processes we have established for authenticating swims.

    "What is the problem if they took proper precautions" -- sure, but what if they don't? A competent swimmer & boater & support crew can pull off a channel swim safely, without a sanctioning org. It's just that usually the people who feel inclined to do this, are not the competent ones. Safety incidents lead to a less friendly environment for channel swimming generally, sanctioned or unsanctioned.

    My position is that well-run, well-established sanctioning bodies are a GOOD THING for the sport of marathon swimming, and that swim bandits undermine them. Not every sanctioning body (or even most) qualify as "well-run" and "well-established" -- there really are only a handful in the world.

    If a previously well-run sanctioning body declines in quality, then of course their moral status in the sport does not last forever.

    lakesprayTheo
  • malinakamalinaka Seattle, WACharter Member

    To add to @Leonard_Jansen's Number 4, I've gotten very protective of open water swimming in the Northwest. While I'm not required to file any permits for an individual's solo swim, I've coordinated very closely with one state, two federal, and two foreign government agencies to keep on their radar, out from beneath their boats, and stay squeaky clean. One of my biggest concerns is that some renegade jumps in for a short swim in the Harbor without doing their due diligence and jeopardizes not just my plans for the future, but the future of the entire sport in the area. Sanctioning bodies work hard to develop good rapport with the powers-that-be, as NYC Swim has done, and David and Rondi (through CIBBOWS) do with 8 Bridges, which enable them to pull off events that would be otherwise be stopped in the planning stages.

    It is ignorant to take the view: "I don't need anyone's help to do an established swim." While you may not be seeking recognition, your name will certainly be known when you're the guy that ruins it for the rest of us.

    That said, do I think NYC Swim holds the patent on MIMS swimming, or that CCSF owns Catalina, or that I get exclusive rights to the Northwest? Not at all. Like @flowswimmers said: "ever wonder why there are two associations covering the same thing?" (Although I'm not sure I follow the bit about significant money.)

    evmoChrisBgregocsuziedodsslknightdavid_barraKate_AlexanderTheorosemarymintdpm50Camille

    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.

  • LynnkubLynnkub Member
    edited January 2016

    Bootlegging is a GREAT topic and it's not all about MIMS! I want to share this from FB. Under my post about Dan Simonelli's then-upcoming Catalina Swim, "Douglas of Avalon" posted:

    Did it twice back in 77 and then again in 79 but we never told anyone we were doing it. There were 3 of us in our first crossing but we did not have a big enough follow boat (18 foot whaler) and an official licensed captain. We also swam from Newport Beach to two harbors mostly under the cover of darkness to avoid detection. It's about 36 miles I think and took us a LOOOONG time because the currents pushed against us. The second time was from Huntington Beach and only myself and one other mate that I swam with at SoCal aquatics swam and we had a nicer boat. I doubt anyone has done this before or since because it was crazy. All we had was a compass, flashlights and a few waterproof watches. Lots of water, bananas, oranges, apples and a huge bag of cookies one of the mom's made for us! I remember a large container of gatorade as well on the second swim but everything else is kinda hazy. I hope I don't get thrown in jail by the channel police for posting this...we did get a stern verbal spanking by the harbormaster the second time because someone saw us a few miles out and radioed our location and they made us get in the boat so we had to go back later and jump back in and swim the rest of the way to the beach. In those days, it was a LOT different.


    I know contemporary bootleggers who have wanted to do it to fundraise $ for causes and felt the $ to the sanctioning agency was better spent elsewhere. Also bootleggers that had difficulties with the ummm...not-user-friendly application processor. Finally said, screw this and just did the thing. (kind of sad for the organization)

    evmoTheo
  • malinakamalinaka Seattle, WACharter Member

    I'm reminded of a USMS Forums post from 2013 called "Swimming across the Hudson River." Some guy named "chaos" had the right response to it.

    david_barrarosemarymint

    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.

  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member

    Let me be on record here as one who believes it is the responsibility of every sanctioning organization to provide reasonable access (and friendly service) to the routes they oversee. Indeed, I can think of a few that fall short.

    suziedodsslknightwendyv34JenATheorosemarymintdpm50evmo

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • suziedodssuziedods Charter Member

    And, frankly... "friendly service" is NOT what MIMS supplies. on the other hand EVERY OTHER event that I have swum, ( more than some, less than others".. has been more than welcoming, communicative and helpful. Again.. none of those has ever applied to MY interaction w MIMS. Just sayin.

    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com

  • GarbageBargeGarbageBarge NY (Hudson Valley)Charter Member

    evmo said:

    They want to use the boats/pilots we have developed relationships with; they want to use our advice on route planning, currents, swim logistics, and training; and they want to be recognized in the media as having accomplished the same thing as all the sanctioned swims.

    It seems that the first problem would take care of itself. People committed to a channel association would simply decline to participate in a non-association swim. That would seem self evident. But, it sounds like the relationship that you've developed with pilots/boats is just that, a relationship, and not an exclusive agreement. Would you have a problem if a mountain guide took someone up a mountain outside of the hiking association that they had a "relationship" with? I'll grant you the second point. You can't turn on the tv without having someone's channel crossing being thrown in your face. The parades must make the traffic unbearable out there.

    I honestly don't get the want or need for media attention. I'm also not advocating that anybody should attempt a swim that they are not capable of or informed about, or don't know how to organize adequate support for. I'm saying that if you do know that you're properly trained and capable, do know how to organize adequate support, and if there's no restrictions on the waterway, then I have no problem with anyone going for it. Many people on this site have swum bodies of water where they had no choice but to do it all on their own (support-wise). Maybe NYC needs a Manhattan Circumnavigation Association so individuals have someone to contact and plan with more like the EC on a case by case basis. Maybe a little competition would cause NYC Swim to get their act together.

    david_barraKate_AlexanderFlowSwimmers
  • ttriventtriven Senior Member

    I briefly looked into producing my own swim around Manhattan. Whatever I found (I can't remember it all) convinced me I needed a permit. I did find the agencies I thought were necessary. I did find an experienced person to help me. There are experienced people out there who could help you produce it and are willing. You could do a swim without hiding it that would be accepted by many others.

    GarbageBargeFlowSwimmers
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited January 2016

    GarbageBarge said: People committed to a channel association would simply decline to participate in a non-association swim. That would seem self evident. But, it sounds like the relationship that you've developed with pilots/boats is just that, a relationship, and not an exclusive agreement.

    Yes, but when it is the Association that has taken the effort to search, recruit, and develop suitable, channel-worthy escort pilot options, it feels rude (at best) for a swimmer to go directly to one of our listed pilots to avoid paying sanction fees.

    And it's not just about being "committed" to the Association out of ethics or good will. The pilots rely on the Association to vet the swimmer's ability to undertake the swim.

    Maybe NYC needs a Manhattan Circumnavigation Association so individuals have someone to contact and plan with more like the EC on a case by case basis.

    I wouldn't be surprised if that happened. And fine if it does. My argument is about individuals bootlegging swims that already have established sanctioning orgs -- not about swims with legitimate, well-organized alternative associations.

    gregocdavid_barra
  • swimmer25kswimmer25k Charter Member

    suziedods said: And, frankly... "friendly service" is NOT what MIMS supplies. on the other hand EVERY OTHER event that I have swum, ( more than some, less than others".. has been more than welcoming, communicative and helpful. Again.. none of those has ever applied to MY interaction w MIMS. Just sayin.

    Not all that friendly for sure. I was accepted to swim the 2006 race, but got bounced out because I didn't have my essay and a week of workouts submitted. I was overseas in an area where internet access was a little sketchy, so my wife entered me by filling out the online application. I was the first to get it in. A few days later I was knocked down to first alternate because of my essay and training log. They had no problem charging my Visa card (subsequently refunded). What miffed me was that I had done the race twice (1998 and 2004). I won in 2004 and was third in 98 (due to a navigational error by the skipper of "Captain Paul" who had me out of the Hudson current. I was 20 feet off the Intrepid. Am I still a little bitter? Maybe!

  • Leonard_JansenLeonard_Jansen Charter Member

    Regarding what official blessings it takes to swim in the Manhattan area, you might want to contact Deanne Draeger, the RD for the Pitonof swim. Since that since starts in the East River and then goes into the Hudson, she probably has had to find this out. I think she also puts on a few more swims around NYC.

    -LBJ

    gregoc

    “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” - Oscar Wilde

  • GarbageBargeGarbageBarge NY (Hudson Valley)Charter Member

    I disagree about the restrictions @evmo would hold pilots to, but your problem sounds more like a pilot problem than a bootlegger problem. They are the ones betraying the relationship that you think you have. The bootleggers have no relationship with you to betray. Do you feel the same about mountain guides? Limo drivers? Can they contract outside of pre-existing arrangements?

    Fear not for the pilots of the Big Apple. If you wanted to bootleg Manhattan there is no list of sanctioned pilots that you could "poach" from to begin with. Again, while I have no problem with channel swimmers who poach your pilots and use the tidal info you post online, that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about doing it yourself, self organized, self supported and safely.

    NYC Swim established an event. MIMS. They haven't established a swim. Is the waterway free or not? So if I start a Manhattan Circumnavigation Association, MCA, register myself and swim it, that's OK with you, but if I just make all of the very same arrangements and swim it, I'm a bandit?

    malinakalakespray
  • gregocgregoc Charter Member
    edited January 2016

    I don't think @evmo is saying pilots that have been vetted and approved by a channel association or local governing body can only be hired by sanctioned swimmers. He is just saying that the association has done a lot of work identifying good, experienced pilots for a given swim and that it is bad form to get the contact info along with other useful info from the association and not apply for formal sanctioning with the association. Plus, most of these pilots rely on the association to determine if a swimmer is prepared for the swim. I personally think the definition of a bandit is someone who joins in a sporting event/race without paying the entry fee. They are making use of the course, safety support and organization without paying. They are stealing. A swimmer who swims a body of water, outside of and organized event, isn't a bandit (even if there is an organization in place to support the swim), but if the swimmer makes use of the info that the organization has compiled on the swim and tries to save money by circumventing the application/sanctioning process then they are a dick (personal opinion).

    malinakaevmoflystormsTheojendutCamille
  • GarbageBargeGarbageBarge NY (Hudson Valley)Charter Member

    Agree to d, @gregoc, but your scenario has never been what I've been proposing. I don't think any pro bootleggers have proposed that here either. NYC Swim has nothing for a prospective poacher/bandit/asshole/dick (marathon swimming police terms, not mine) to "make use of."

    I can't help but notice that, to my knowledge, the mountain climbing community has no such qualms about building on prior knowledge without expecting a payoff, or an application, or permission to hire private contractors.

  • gregocgregoc Charter Member

    @GarbageBarge, in your very specific example you shouldn't be considered a bandit (or a dick). If you somehow swam a MIMS without paying the registration fee then you'd be a bandit.

    You are free to organize your own solo circumnavigation of Manhattan (find a willing pilot and boat on your own, set a date, plan the tides, plan a start/finish point, get the necessary gov. agencies to approve/permit the swim, and even find an independent observer). As a curtesy I would contact NYCSwim and inform them of your plan (not to ask permission) and see if they want to help. I would guess that Morty has his hands full and would just wish you luck.

    malinaka
  • GarbageBargeGarbageBarge NY (Hudson Valley)Charter Member

    I'll pass on the independent observer myself. I'm not looking for official anything. I'd contact NYC Swim if I wanted to swim MIMS, but not if I'm not. I still haven't seen a post saying what permit you need and from whom. Did Kramer have a permit? Bootlegging dick.

    My very specific example is the exact same as every swim that every person here has ever organized for themselves. There just happens to be an organization that runs a once a year event on the same body of water for which they will give out of towners up to 3 days notice. That is a truly NYC organization right there (I say that with love as a former resident still in the metro area). It's the objectors who keep coming up with very specific examples of scenarios that they find objectionable. Let's see some links to all the stories on the epic failures of these glory seeking misadventurers who weren't prepared and put their rescuers in grave danger while stealing some channel association's hard earned proprietary tidal info and list of approved pilots ("stealing" info posted online, presumably). The pilots clearly do not share the association's views on non-association swims, but the epithets are directed at the fictional very real asshole swimmers. I'll defend those assholes even though that's not what I'm proposing, but keep the straw men coming.

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited January 2016

    @GarbageBarge, we are coming at this issue from different experiences and perspectives, and that's fine.

    I am one who believes local governing bodies can add value to popular solo marathon swim routes, above the self-organized model of swimming. Not every swim route can sustain a governing body, but if an organization does step up and provide good service, I think it deserves a certain respect, in the form of preferring to go sanctioned rather than unsanctioned.

    I believe there is value in standardized rules for a given swim, so achievements can be meaningfully compared. I believe there is value in true independent authentication of popular swims, which is rarely the case in self-organized swims. I believe there is value in independently maintained records of those who have completed a given swim.

    If one doesn't value these aims, then I'd imagine one is less likely to object to bootleg claims on established swim routes.

    @GarbageBarge said: The pilots clearly do not share the association's views on non-association swims

    Which pilots and association are you speaking of? I haven't found that to be true.

  • GarbageBargeGarbageBarge NY (Hudson Valley)Charter Member

    @evmo, I respect governing bodies, and I think they add a lot of value, but I don't think respecting them means I _have _to abide by them because I happen to want to swim the same stretch of water. MIMS is an event and NYC Swim is the only place to go for that event. I respect their jurisdiction over MIMS. Manhattan is an island. They can't claim year round jurisdiction on the water around it. I'm not sure that they do. You and some others seem to be making that claim for them, but have they made that claim themselves? The NY Road Runners Club holds official races in Central Park. Can I only run in Central Park if I'm registered in one of their races on the days that they hold those races? Why doesn't your standard apply in this case?

    Bootlegging claims would never be posted on lists of official association swims, so I don't see how that's a problem for you. Your last point seems to be making my point. No reason to be bothered.

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited January 2016

    No one's saying you can't swim in the East, Harlem, and Hudson Rivers without NYC Swim. Only the government can do that. I wouldn't, however, agree with any bootlegger's claim to be listed alongside all the other sanctioned Manhattan circumnavigations, given the existence of NYC Swim (or future alternative association).

    NYC Swim isn't claiming "jurisdiction" over the physical waters around Manhattan, given the many other swims which use the same waters. But they do maintain the only list of recognized Manhattan circum-swimmers, having organized MIMS since the early 1980s. For many (perhaps not you), this is equivalent to jurisdiction over the swim route.

    But it sounds like you don't care about lists or recognition -- so good luck, godspeed, hope you don't get arrested.

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  • FlowSwimmersFlowSwimmers Polson, MontanaMember

    Is there any irony that this discussion is happening on the Marathon Swimming Federation forum?

  • lakespraylakespray Senior Member

    Was naming this thread Bootlegging / banditing marathon swims an attempt to create controversy or click bait? As it succeeded. However I think those terms in the context there being discussed is a misnomer. Bandit, implies theft, bootlegging doing something illegal. In sporting events to piggyback on those who have paid the fee's such, jumping into a running event un-registered, not paying event fee's for the La Jolla Rough Water swim but entering the water on the side and joining the race is indeed theft. Getting your own pilot, safety crew, permits "if needed" etc., sanctioning body or not, is not thievery. A better headline might have read "Swimming un-Sanctioned on a Sanctioned route"

    gregoctortuga
  • gregocgregoc Charter Member

    @FlowSwimmers, I fail to see the irony.

    @Niek, there is nothing stopping individuals from getting the proper permits/permissions from the required government agencies. It is required here in the USA. This country is very controlling and litigious. First and foremost, you need a permit from the US Coast Guatd (post 9/11 made that agency part of US Homeland Security). You don't want to get on their bad side. For Manhattan I am guessing that you also need a permit from the State Police, Dept of Conservation and Rec., maybe the City of NY, etc.

  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member

    Sorry, a swim around Manhattan is too complex an undertaking. The questions: Do I need a permit? And from whom? are red flags to anyone who can answer those questions... Or in other words: If you knew how to model the tides for a swimmer, dates/times/locations of the shifting security zones, ferry and cruise ship schedules., how to negotiate swimmer passage with commercial traffic, which 4 Vhf channels to monitor and which to use to communicate with which agency, where to evacuate a swimmer if necessary, how to compile a comprehensive safety plan, etc..... You would already know the answers to your questions.

    I'm not willing to answer a question on a public forum that might be interpreted as an endorsement to do something that could have a very negative effect on the entire NYC open water community if done cavalierly.

    evmodpm50swimrn62swimdaily

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • GarbageBargeGarbageBarge NY (Hudson Valley)Charter Member

    @david_barra, do you get a permit from the coast guard every time you swim in the Hudson? Kayakers & SUPers don't get permits. You can swim at Coney Island without a permit. Rockaway. Staten Island. City Island. NYC Waterways all. No permit. I wouldn't be surprised if you need a permit, but I'd like to find out the facts rather than guesses.

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  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member

    No, not every time. But certainly anytime a swimmer will be in or near a commercial lane. For 2 bridges, we always apply for a permit from the coast guard.... Sometimes they issue one, sometimes they defer to local authorities since we don't interfere with shipping channel. Sometimes they assign CG aux personnel. We need permits and or permission from city of Poughkeepsie, Ulster county and Dutchess county sheriffs marine patrols.

    A favorite little swim of ours is from the Chelsea boat ramp to long dock in beacon..... About 1.5 hours . We usually do this with high visibility buoys and/or a kayaker or two.... Nothing more.

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member

    Niek

    Can all be learned. Isn't rocket science.

    Neither is tuning a piano..... But it takes a bit more than just knowing what size wrench you might need. Try it some time.

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • GarbageBargeGarbageBarge NY (Hudson Valley)Charter Member

    So a kayaker can go out with just his eyes open, but if he's going next to a solo swimmer you need a mountain of paperwork? Not buying it. I think you are describing the amount of work needed for a mass event like MIMS. And that'd understandable for an event like that.

    suziedods
  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member

    Buy it or don't buy it. Proves my point..... A little information is a dangerous thing.

    gregoc

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • GarbageBargeGarbageBarge NY (Hudson Valley)Charter Member

    Proves nothing. I've qualified my idea every single time with a swim that takes adequate safety precautions and legal steps (if they exist, your half answer is no answer). You seem to be assuming that no one else, unless they are of the press release bent, could plan and execute adequately. I don't think it would be all that hard. The training would be hard. Everyone who is against non-sanctioned swims keeps throwing up requirements that mass organized events would surely need to meet. A solo kayaker can just start kayaking around NYC. How is it different if he's kayaking next to a swimmer? Legally different. If you don't want to answer the question, that's fine, but don't try to obscure the question.

    tortuga
  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member

    Maybe you should ask a kayaker. Do you know the difference between function and performance between hand held and hard wired marine radios?

    And this isn't a question of legality.... It was legal to set up camp next to a group of Kodiak Grizzlies fattening up for winter, but Mr Treadwell discovered it wasn't such a good idea.

    Damn the experts!

    DanSimonelli

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

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