Ben Lecomte Pacific Ocean swim

evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
edited May 15 in General Discussion

It will be very interesting to see how Ben and Steve/WOWSA and Guinness define the "goal posts" for this event.

http://thelongestswim.com

Thankfully he is upfront about using wetsuit / flippers / hood / paddles / snorkle / gloves / booties / etc.

The more intriguing question is whether he will allow himself extended dry trips on the boat, with the prevailing currents, without returning to the position of the previous exit from the water.

Is this a swim across the Pacific? Or a boat trip with occasional swimming?

http://dailynews.openwaterswimming.com/2018/04/the-discoverer-has-departed-traversing.html?m=1

Related thread:
http://marathonswimmers.org/forum/discussion/1535/ben-hooper-swim-across-atlantic-ocean

IronMike
Tagged:

Comments

  • WarmWaterWarmWater SingaporeMember
    edited May 4

    It shouldn't even be considered, it's illogical from every angle.

  • HelbeHelbe Senior Member
    edited May 5

    The swim webpage states that 'Ben Lecomte was the first person to swim across the Atlantic Ocean without a kickboard in 1998'. Is this documented somewhere? Thanks.

  • KarenTKarenT Charter Member

    So does that mean someone swam it with a kickboard? Of all the swim aids I could choose from, I'm not sure that would be the one I'd go for.

    pavlicovphodgeszohogregocKatieBunrosemarymintswimdailythelittlemerwookiedpm50IronMikeCKswimsSydneDBridget
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin

    https://www.nytimes.com/1995/02/12/world/for-french-long-swim-is-not-enough.html

    The main criticism of Mr. Delage was that he had used a 15-foot raft, in prevailing winds and currents that kept him moving west even when he was asleep. Mr. Delage said he swam for up to ten hours a day, but some experts quoted in French newspapers this week raised suspicions over even that claim.

    "Since it was out of the question for the swimmer to tow the raft, it had its own mode of propulsion, a kind of sail controlled by an automatic pilot," wrote Jean-Michel Barrault in Le Figaro on Friday. "Was it in front of, behind, or beside the swimmer?"

    "Any object put into the sea in the Cape Verde Islands will arrive on the other side of the ocean after a few months," said Mr. Barrault, a veteran sailor.

    KarenTdpm50IronMike
  • KarenTKarenT Charter Member

    So I guess it depends on the size of the kick board....

    Solopavlicovphodgeszohorosemarymintdpm50AnthonyMcCarley
  • LynneLynne Member

    Another Ben?

  • KatieBunKatieBun CornwallSenior Member

    Huge groan...... yet another one.

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited May 7

    Precious few non-swimming media seem to be capable of critical thinking about ocean swimming.

    A happy exception - Deadspin's coverage of a claimed Atlantic Ocean swim in 2009 by Jennifer Figge:

    https://deadspin.com/5149960/woman-swims-across-the-atlantic-ocean-except-when-she-doesnt

    Figge left the Cape Verde Islands off the cost of Africa on January 12 and arrived in Trinidad last Thursday. That's about 2,500 miles in 24 days. It didn't take long for some of the hundreds of people using the internet to realize that depending on where you measure from, that's about 90 miles a day, at a pace of about 10 miles an hour. According to one tipster, the world record in the 1500m is about 3.5 m.p.h. Plus, Cape Verde is like 500 miles off the coast of Africa, so that's like a two-lengths of the pool head start.

    And that's before you even hear Figge's side of the story. She only swam on 19 of the 24 days and on one of those days she only spent 21 minutes in the water. So it seems completely obvious to anyone paying attention that currents—and her accompanying sail boat—carried Figge a rather substantial portion of the route. But you wouldn't know that from reading the stories that appeared in many newspapers and websites, most of which did not include this choice quote:

    ""Nobody could swim across the Atlantic. It's physically impossible. It would take literally years."

    That's her friend, who was steering the boat that accompanied her along the way. She never planned on swimming the full length and didn't come close to doing so. In other words, she didn't actually swim across Atlantic Ocean; she swam a long way while being in the Atlantic Ocean. But it sounds better the first way, so the AP (and others) just went with that. Nice work, boys.

    david_barraslknightthelittlemerwookieStephenssthomasdpm50
  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member

    Kickboard sets in swim practice just FEEL that long. :D

    KarenT said: So does that mean someone swam it with a kickboard? Of all the swim aids I could choose from, I'm not sure that would be the one I'd go for.

    SolophodgeszohoCamilleSydneDAnthonyMcCarley
  • andissandiss Senior Member

    If i did my math right - he needs to average 6.2km/h to make the swim in 180 days

    180days * 8hours * 6.2km / hour = 8928km (Roughly 5580k miles)

    Maybe he needs bigger fins?

    Carbon-Tornado-monofin-small-600x600

    Colting swam across Sweden with a mix of gear - 640km in 41 days (15km a day)

    But in fairness it looks like a good project - specially the research element.

  • phodgeszohophodgeszoho UKSenior Member
    edited May 23

    http://dailynews.openwaterswimming.com/2018/05/the-rules-governing-longest-swim-by-ben.html

    As he lists a load of equipment (wetsuit, snorkels, fins, kick-board etc.) is this not a contradiction as the MSF rules do not allow for assisted swims and point 3 says he must follow the rules?

    Among many of the "rules" listed was this:

    1. This attempt must be undertaken under the auspices of a registered marathon swimming monitoring body such as either the Marathon Swimmer's Federation or the World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA).
    2. The challenger must register with the federating body in advance of the attempt.
    3. The attempt must follow all rules as stipulated by the federating body.
    evmo
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited May 24

    This attempt must be undertaken under the auspices of a registered marathon swimming monitoring body such as either the Marathon Swimmer's Federation or the World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA).

    MSF is not involved with this event, so I guess he is taking advantage of the "either/or" aspect of the rule (which is stipulated by GWR). Since these rules were written by Ben/Steve/WOWSA specifically for this event, I guess it follows that they are "following all the rules." They wrote the rules that they wanted to follow.

    As I suspected, one of the key "rules" is this one:

    e. The journey must be continuous, with each leg of the journey beginning at the point at which the previous leg ended wherever practically possible in the Pacific Ocean.

    ...which allows for an unlimited proportion of the route distance to be covered while resting on the boat instead of swimming. The crew simply needs to decide on a given day it's "not practically possible" to return to the location of the previous stage finish.

    So, this appears to share the same underlying issue as Ben Hooper's swim, and all the other spurious claims to "swim across an ocean" - they're not actually swimming the full distance. It relies on a misleading re-definition of "stage swim," which already has a clear definition in open water swimming.

    Per MSF Rules:

    Each stage after the first should begin at or behind the finish location of the previous stage.

    phodgeszohorlm
  • phodgeszohophodgeszoho UKSenior Member

    So it feels like they are name dropping the MSF to give themselves credibility but they would already know that they could never do this "swim" registered with the MSF...

    rosemarymintevmothelittlemerwookie
  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member

    Article about him in the Boston Globe today.

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • flystormsflystorms Memphis, TNMember

    I saw the article this morning... 8 hours a day to do 40 miles a day. That’s some interesting math and speed... just sayin’....

  • DeemaDeema Member

    I saw that he’s doing an AMA on Reddit this evening if anyone has questions for him.

    flystormsJaimie
  • curlycurly Issaquah, WAMember

    flystorms said: I saw the article this morning... 8 hours a day to do 40 miles a day. That’s some interesting math and speed... just sayin’....

    Wow! That's some Olympic caliber swimming right there...

    flystorms
  • ByronBoyByronBoy New Member

    Saw on the news this morning he is off.

    Clearly swimming for a great cause, but 6 months? Does he get Netflix out there? Are the people with him on the boat spending 6 months at sea as well? And how much fuel will the boat use trailing him?

    It just seems epic and stupid at the same time. Good luck to him

  • JustSwimJustSwim Member

    day 1 9.6 nautical miles in 6 hours 4 minutes. It is going to be a bot more than 6 months at that rate.

  • SoloSolo B.C. CanadaMember
    edited June 6

    JustSwim said: day 1 9.6 nautical miles in 6 hours 4 minutes. It is going to be a bot more than 6 months at that rate.

    From his website I found this:

    Start position: 35°43.220N
    Stop position: 140°52.208E
    Start time: 09:00am local / 00:00 UTC
    Stop time: 03:00pm local / 06:04 UTC
    Duration: 06h04
    Miles covered: approx 9.6nm

    Not sure how the mileage was calculated, seems like only half of the position was given? Am mildly interested in this stunt, but it seems like a lot of marketing hype and not a superlative endurance challenge.

    KatieBunlakespray
  • andissandiss Senior Member

    Has something happened? No further updates or positions?

    Had a look at MarineTraffic and couldnt see any ship in the area.

  • HaydnHaydn Member

    Nobody ever said or implied a person rowing the Atlantic 'cheated' because they drifted with the boat when they rested, and therefore didn't really row all the way. Nobody expects the rower to row back to an earlier gps point at the start of each day. So we shouldn't really claim so harshly that swims like Guy Delage's was worthless or he cheated, or he only swam half the way. He did something very special.

    It is obvious some attempts whether rowing or swimming the Channel will and must take advantage of helpful prevailing conditions and accept also some conditions will hinder. We would all try to maximise the one and minimise the other . We should not attempt to judge all swims according to channel swimming rules.

    I am sure Ben Lacomte will not be able to ensure perfect accuracy when trying to maintain gps positions for the start of every swim but that does not rob him of the integrity of what he is attempting. It simply makes his swim more difficult (even impossible) to be 100% pure but nevertheless he is doing what he can despite the impossibilities.

    Then we have Ross Edgely swimming around the UK at the moment, also using gps to try to ensure every mile is swum. He seems to be doing ok at the moment. His swim is different and should ensure he will be far more accurate then Ben Lacomte.

    However, both Ben & Ross are using wetsuits and therefore 'cheating', as far as MSF or Channel swimmers rules might consider. I guess Ben is 'cheating' more than Ross because Ben is also using fins. But then Sean Conway used wetsuit & fins doing his Lands End to John O'groats, so he 'cheated' too. Also three of them got on support boats whenever they fancied.

    We should not be using terms such as 'cheating' for these swims as many of the posts here seem to imply. We shouldn't consider these swims in the same light as DN's. Yes, we can compare them with those of Ben Hooper and Jennifer Figge in order to see what works and what fails. But these swims are a different sport.

    It is clear (at present) the limit for skins swims lasting no more than the duration of one swim, is around 100 miles and therefore any much longer swim must be a staged swim. Many such staged swims can be achieved by Channel swimming rules over a few days, maybe even 500 miles. But, some swims perhaps 1000 to 5000 miles are a whole new concept. They require making up the rules as we go, we live and die by the sword. The swimmers are pioneers.

    There are a whole bunch of us out here working on swims that might take months rather than hours and we will learn from each other.

    The one thing that we have in common is a burning desire to do a swim upon the same foundation that was set in stone over 150 years ago by Capt Webb. It's just that some of us our building towers whilst others are building flower gardens and have to apply (even invent) rules as best we can to achieve the result. All of it progresses the whole sport of open water swimming.

    IronMikeBridget
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited June 8

    @Haydn said: Nobody ever said or implied a person rowing the Atlantic 'cheated' because they drifted with the boat when they rested, and therefore didn't really row all the way.

    Drifting in a rowboat still falls within the general definition of the activity - rowing.

    Floating on a boat in a favorable current does not fall within the definition of "swimming." This is the reason for returning to the finish of the previous stage - so the claimed distance is actually swum.

    The swimming equivalent of drifting in a rowboat would be treading water.

    david_barra
  • HaydnHaydn Member

    No, resting on a boat, does not fall within the definition of 'Channel swimming rules' only. Channel swimming rules can never be applied to swims much over 150 miles because such swims would be utterly impossible to achieve in one stage. Therefore, a new standard of rules or methods need to be applied in order to achieve such multiple stage swims. If not we might as well tell these pioneers to hang up their Speedos. Channel swimming rules quite rightly apply to swims that can be achieved in a an effort that requires only one swim from start to finish. It is pointless to apply a rule that makes the rule impossible to keep. In the case of Ben, Ross and others, the possibility of achieving their goals relies on them breaking multiple rules associated with Channel swimming. This is why new rules need to be developed for this new (albeit related) sport. I am quite accepting of wetsuit and fins, and resting on a floating log, tow float, life jacket, raft , kayak etc and drifting in a favourable or unfavourable current for six months at sea. Of course, If the swimmer does have a support vessel and crew, there may well be an objective to meet gps points for each stage (assuming sufficient fuel can be stored or sailing is successful). But if such a vessel or crew is not chosen ( i.e for an unsupported stage swim), then the only way is to accept that resting on a floating object has to be ruled in.

    The question of rules can relate tightly to a specify activity. Take an English Channel relay. Both officiating bodies insist each swimmer must swim for 60 mins and a relaxing of this rule has been refused by both. Neither bodies would accept the swim if the rotations were 30 minutes. Therefore an otherwise successful swim would be disqualified. The rule is accepted for the English Channel relay, but would be impossible if the event was for a similar distance relay in Antarctica. Indeed, probably a highly dangerous rule to comply with for an English Channel relay in February. Therefore if we want to do a relay in Antarctica we have to redefine the rules. Just as much as if we want to swim oceans.

    But importantly, we should not deride those swimmers trying to accomplish such swims. Swimmers who find themselves bound by a rule set by those who are only interested in short distances and short durations. We should encourage and embrace them and allow them the space to achieve their goals, without their peers claiming they cheated (according to our rules) so it doesn't count if they succeeded according to theirs.

    Kate_Alexandersuziedods
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited June 8

    It's not an issue of rules. The issue is the accuracy/integrity of claiming to swim a body of water without actually swimming the distance. If some of the distance is covered while resting on a boat in a favorable current, without returning to the previous stage finish, then it's a misleading claim.

    suziedodsKatieBun
  • HaydnHaydn Member

    Except when you float on a boat in an unhelpful current or wind. Especially when the boat has no means of self propulsion or control over direction unless powered by the swimmer. Fact remains, MSF rules do not provide for swimmers wishing to undertake swims longer than a few days. So it's no surprise they have to write their own. Remember, most swimmers do claim to have swum a body of water and most swim way more than the miles required due to adverse tides. With todays tech it is relatively simple to measure the distance swam, as well as the assisted distance by a favourable tide, as well as a negative distance by an unfavourable tide. But, as I said (and the main purpose of my posts ) is not the issue of the rules but one of supporting these pioneering swimmers. Or I guess they need their own forum, and that would be a real shame.................Actually, no it wouldn't, it would be fantastic.

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited June 8

    @Haydn said: Fact remains, MSF rules do not provide for swimmers wishing to undertake swims longer than a few days.

    Yes, they do!

    From http://marathonswimmers.org/rules/11_special-swim-types/


    Stage Swims

    A stage swim consists of two or more “stages,” between which the swimmer rests on shore or on an escort vessel.

    Each stage after the first should begin at or behind the finish location of the previous stage.

    If the resting location is in open water, the observer must record the GPS coordinates of the stage start and finish locations.

    slknightIronMikeKatieBun
  • brunobruno Barcelona (Spain)Member

    evmo said: It's not an issue of rules. The issue is the accuracy/integrity of claiming to swim a body of water without actually swimming the distance. If some of the distance is covered while resting on a boat in a favorable current, without returning to the previous stage finish, then it's a misleading claim.

    100% agree. I think it's a matter of definition. It the title of the swim was "A very long stage swim", "Swimming and drifting" or "Two years' vacation" (oh wait, this one is already taken), nobody would discuss Lecomte's claims. But "Crossing the Pacific"... That is not an overstatement, it's simply a lie. Who cares if we know it's for marketing's sake? It's a lie, compared to "Crossing the EC" or even "Crossing Gibraltar", which you can do in a wetsuit and still get a "certificate".

    And most important, that lie diminishes the great achievements we see accomplished every season (EC, double EC, North Channel, Lake Champlain, any fly marathon swim...; you name it!)

    Add to this the publicity and media attention and coverage most some of us see as non-deserved (or rather, there are dozens of anonymous swimmers who would deserve more attention than Lecomte). Who can blame us for being so sceptical (even outraged?).

    evmo
  • HaydnHaydn Member

    But what if the stage swimmer simply cannot get back to the gps point because his craft has no directional or propulsive control, other than by swimming? So during a rest period of 3 hours, the swimmer could be drifted 6 miles. He then has to swim back the 6 miles against the wind and tide. This means he might spend the next 3 hours trying to swim against the tide and getting nowhere. This would then be compounded every rest period.

    I would suggest the idea of swimming across a body of water 1000 miles wide has to recognise the swimmer must rest and at such times is at the full whim of the conditions good or bad. He can try to make the best of them and mitigate against the worst, just as a rower, kayaker or sailor does. But as long as the only propulsive force is from the swimmer, rather than a motor or sail or paddles etc, I don't see the problem (unless you think the problem is the element of drift being in the right direction and giving a few free miles. But nature has a way of countering a favourable drift and next night it will be an unhelpful one), and the probability of it being favourable is very low. If you want to swim 1000 miles at 180 degrees, it would be very helpful if the wind was within 10 degrees either way and blew you along, But clearly the likelihood is the wind will take you off course than keep you on it.

    Yes, there are some great swims every year but most are done on the best day of the swimmers life, trained to be done in one go, then its over. One day for swimming and a week or two to recover. Many Channel swimmers not getting wet for weeks or months after their swim. Ben & Ross are doing similar distances, every day for six months without a break. 10 miles is just another session. The weather ? Who cares, they swim anyway. These guys are looking at 2000 or 5000 miles.

    MSF happily rate dozens of ordinary or world class swimmers doing 10 or 20 or 60 miles more highly for swimming a channel or lake once or twice. They despise other swimmers who want to swim an ocean because these swimmers cannot comply with a rule requiring each stage after the first beginning at or behind the finish location of the previous stage.

    Just re write the rule.

    But as I said, my posts are not about the rules, it's about supporting these swimmers who are trying to push a few boundaries.

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited June 8

    @Haydn said: I would suggest the idea of swimming across a body of water 1000 miles wide has to recognise the swimmer must rest and at such times is at the full whim of the conditions good or bad. He can try to make the best of them and mitigate against the worst, just as a rower, kayaker or sailor does. But as long as the only propulsive force is from the swimmer, rather than a motor or sail or paddles etc, I don't see the problem

    There's no problem - as long as you're not claiming you swam 1000 miles. This sounds similar to the Guy Delage Atlantic Ocean swim/rafting endeavor. Just be honest and call it a "swim-raft," or equivalent phrase which acknowledges that some/most of the distance is not actually covered via swimming.

    Sounds like an interesting and challenging endurance event, and I'll cheer you whole-heartedly, as long as you're honest about what you're doing.

    rlm
  • curlycurly Issaquah, WAMember

    evmo said:

    ... as long as you're honest about what you're doing.

    And that's really the argument in a nutshell.

    rlmevmosuziedodsthelittlemerwookieKatieBun
  • AnthonyMcCarleyAnthonyMcCarley Berwyn, PACharter Member

    @Haydn, respectfully, you appear to be suggesting that this event is a new type of swimming endeavor. It is challenging for me to see it as such. It may be a new type of sport or event. But any swim, whether pool or open water, traditionally means the swimmer, without question, swam the distance stated.

    For example, I cannot properly claim to have swam a 400 IM without swimming the entire distance under standard rules. If I were to do the first few butterfly strokes of the 400IM, then use a surf board waiting for me mid-pool for the next 6 or 7 lengths (or is that laps?), and finish up with a little freestyle at the end, I don’t believe anyone would be so gracious as to acknowledge any claim by me for this to have been a successful “swim”. The same would be true if I stopped part way through a length and turned back the other direction.

    If channel rules, MSF rules or typical swimming rules cannot be reasonably modified to address this type of endeavor then it may be an indicator that this isn’t a “swim”. It may be respectable and it may not be cheating, but it may also not be a “swim”.

    Where I see this type of event being hurtful to others is that it takes away from those who do accomplish amazing swims. I have been asked about this event 20 times over the last week or so. Every single person called it a swim. In my area, it has received an immeasurable amount of more attention than all other swims (pool, OW, marathon) in the world combined. I admit that I could be wrong on this point, but I believe the general public only has so much band width for open water swimming. So, the publicity taken by this event (or events that are fraudulent) most likely takes from and negatively financially impacts people such as @ssthomas or @chloemccardeldotcom. @chloemccardeldotcom makes a living helping others swim, so any additional fame would be financially helpful. And sponsorship funds might be more available for a 100 mile swim or 8 EC swims in a single season… if the claim of swimming the Pacific Ocean weren’t consuming all attention from the sport of marathon swimming.

    I do not intend to be critical of anyone - especially anyone open to an honest discussion of facts and exploration towards truth. Please know I have tremendous respect for all adventurers.

    evmosuziedodsKarl_KingeryHaydnIronMikerlmSolothelittlemerwookiekejoyceKatieBun
  • HaydnHaydn Member

    I need to back off this post as my thoughts are generally in opposition to most here and I am not wishing to alienate my friends and peers with opposing views. It seems sometimes these adventure swims are so far away from the accepted norm, they have to become a new sport, with new rules and new governing bodies. I just think the existing rules simply do not enable the swimmer to abide by them because these swims are miles away from having the slightest chance of meeting them. This is why the rules must change if you want to embrace these swimmers. However, if you cannot find a way to make the changes, the swimmers will do what they do anyway. When I swim with my raft, I clip on and (if I do nothing ) it is blown or drifts in the tide, generally in an unhelpful direction. To give it direction I have to swim (i don't row, sail, paddle or drift). Likewise if rest on the raft after a few hours, some of my work is wasted as it drifts the way nature chooses. If I lay on the raft, I can start kicking with the fins to find some helpful miles. And in no wind, no tide conditions, it doesn't go anywhere. Nothing happens....unless I swim and tow it behind me, or hold it out in front (or lay half on and half off) and do leg kicks. So whilst I might not have swam using gps for accurate positioning, the chances are I will have been forced none the less, to swim further to compensate for being drifted off course, far more than the few times the drift might have been on course. At the same time as completing more distance than had I been able to swim back to gps points, I have had to tow my raft with a few weeks or months of supplies etc (weighing around 100 lbs). I think such an endeavour can fairly be called a swim. Comparisons for pool swimming are not so helpful because the rules can always be met by all swimmers. Even the new rules, brought about because the swimmers started doing things that were otherwise disallowed, were drafted especially to enable them. Like a backstroker being allowed to do one arm pull of freestyle per length at each turn. The argument can easily be suggested the backstroker did not do backstroke for the whole 100 metres. Indeed it is accepted that all competitive swimmers now do 15 meters per length underwater, so in a shortcourse 100m fly swim, the swimmer will do less than half the distance using their arms. (no wonder our arms got so heavy in the old days doing every yard of 100 fly). So suggesting a swimmer uses a kickboard in a pool race is unrealistic. But a swimmer might well use one when swimming a few thousand miles (indeed my raft is a giant kickboard) and this is the whole issue. We need rules that enable these adventure swims to have fair recognition rather than derision. So I guess next years swim could be called a 1000 mile voyage rather than 1000 mile swim (actually it might be nearer 750 miles) but I have to add a couple hundred miles to compensate for getting back on track after drifting in my sleep (if indeed I can sleep and not fall off). So far I cannot sleep on my raft.....it's a bit of a problem. Anyway, at risk of highjacking this thread, which should be about Ben, not me. Lets give Ben some support for his stretching of the boundaries.

    Solo
  • emkhowleyemkhowley Boston, MACharter Member
    edited June 12

    The publicity taken by this event (or events that are fraudulent) most likely takes from and negatively financially impacts people such as @ssthomas or @chloemccardeldotcom. @chloemccardeldotcom makes a living helping others swim, so any additional fame would be financially helpful. And sponsorship funds might be more available for a 100 mile swim or 8 EC swims in a single season… if the claim of swimming the Pacific Ocean weren’t consuming all attention from the sport of marathon swimming.

    For me, this is the discussion in the nutshell. And you know what? It's been the same debate for eons in the world of open water swimming/floating. I would classify Lecomte's efforts here in the same category as Capt. Paul Boyton's, not Capt. Matthew Webb's. I wrote about Boyton's career floating for Outdoor Swimmer this month and the attention he got for demonstrating what was essentially the world's first wetsuit in lengthy floats down the world's river, galled Webb and other swimmers who valued getting there under their own steam. I also had recently come across a newspaper article (attached below) about a Boston swimmer who had announced a 400-mile swim from Boston to New York. He got lots of publicity and attention for his anticipated month-long endeavor, which actually only lasted a week and about 16 miles. It was reported that he'd spent most of that week at seaside resorts.

    And @AnthonyMcCarley I, too, have been asked repeatedly about this event and received numerous articles from casual acquaintances about it, often without commentary. I'm left to assume that these individuals believe I'm a) living under a rock and unable to see that this event is occurring or b) suggesting that I should alert the world as to when I intend to follow suit. I'm well aware that this event is going on and I won't ever attempt something like this. It's the same answer when a new acquaintance finds out some of the things I've done and inevitably follows up with "so when are you going to swim from Cuba to Florida like that woman, what was her name?" (It happens frequently enough that I now try to hide the fact that I'm a marathon swimmer until we're a little further into the relationship, as no one likes to be told that they've been taken in by a fraud by someone they've just recently met.) This sort of event doesn't interest me personally and I don't see the appeal. With the kind of funding that this clearly is requiring, I could complete several other massive marathon swims that have been on my list for years, languishing there for lack of funding to complete them.

    Personally, I don't find this event to be an adventure--I find it to be a publicity stunt. I think it's great that Lecomte is getting attention for his cause--wait, what is his cause? That's gotten lost in the shuffle here, I think. But, I wish him well and hope that he achieves whatever it is he's trying to achieve. I just wish that the general public were as adept at making the fine distinctions the marathon swimming community does about the way certain events go down. If there were more bandwidth for recognizing all the swims, instead of certain ones soaking up all the limelight, it would all seem a little less bought and paid for to me. Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 08.21.13 DismalFailure

    IronMikeevmoAnthonyMcCarleyKatieBun

    Stop me if you've heard this one... A grasshopper walks into a bar... https://elainekhowley.com/

  • WarmWaterWarmWater SingaporeMember

    Haydn said: No, resting on a boat, does not fall within the definition of 'Channel swimming rules' only. Channel swimming rules can never be applied to swims much over 150 miles because such swims would be utterly impossible to achieve in one stage. Therefore, a new standard of rules or methods need to be applied in order to achieve such multiple stage swims. If not we might as well tell these pioneers to hang up their Speedos.

    I can't agree when folks suggest we create new rules to make the impossible possible. Many of us can't run an ultra marathon but sure would help if they changed the rules to allow us to go down hills on skateboards and up hills on mountain bikes.

    And no, Lance Armstrong wasn't a cycling pioneer either.

    Sorry to be flipant but swimming the pacific is not the holy grail.

    KatieBun
  • HaydnHaydn Member

    Last point and I am out of here. Then the adventure swimmers will happily organise their own governing body. We will make our own rules to keep our sport safe. We will see relays in the Antarctic that have 30 minute sessions (because 60 minutes per swimmer is too dangerous), even though Channel swim rules will disavow. We will see swimmers swim 1000 miles stage swims wearing stinger suits, wetsuits and other safety aids to avoid being killed (eventhough Channel swim rules would disqualify). We will see swimmers sleeping on the rafts and kayaks which they tow. Despite it being physically impossible to swim against the wind and current to find their previous GPS point. Their swims, voyages and athletic endeavours will be done in the teeth of their peers who will mock them and who cast their enthusiasms and vitalities to the dogs. These swimmers may well have come from your ranks, having previously swam Channels, raced with champions, stood on podiums, represented their countries (like me). Many will have held national records and course records in a number of aquatic sports (like me)........Maybe some might even have a couple world firsts in the English Channel (like me). Many will be the quiet unsung heroes of yesterday looking to expand their swimming horizons. We, adventure swimmers, are you. We just no longer find it sufficient to train all year to do one swim for one day and get out. Or train all year for a dozen or so races, where we come mid range in a field of 200. Other types of swimming now chews away at our bones. And we do them, with full realisation that (so it seems) our peers couldn't care less and do not see fit to help us resolve those issues in order to retain full fellowship. Anyway, I need to go now, I have a 30 mile open water training swim to plan for next week and I don't need an angry head. By the way its a legs only session if any of you fancy 20 hours kicking. You are all welcome to join me in the UK.... Lyme Regis to Portland and sleeping on the beach about half way.

    flystormsBridget
  • AnthonyMcCarleyAnthonyMcCarley Berwyn, PACharter Member

    @haydn, respectfully, it was not my intention to give you an angry head. My intention was dialogue, not to mock. I wish you all the best and success.

    Haydnemkhowley
  • HaydnHaydn Member

    Thanks Anthony, I know my thoughts are uncomfortable for many (myself included sometimes). I just had this thought which I think highlights the point how and why some sports could have modified their rules to make the impossible possible, but chose not to. In the UK, the Great British Diving Federation was formed to separate from the Amateur Swimming Association in the early 90s. Then some divers needed to dive outside the established parameters of the GBDF because they needed more height than 10m to perform their dives. Such divers needed feet first entries. Have you ever seen an Olympic diver do a feet first entry? Of course such divers also wanted to do more 'tricks' on the way down. But really, they wanted height, which the established sport could not provide. I do not know why the established governing body did not embrace high diving (maybe it was seen as not pure enough, I don't know). Anyway, a few years later, the cliff divers founded a new governing body and largely due to Red Bull this 'new' version of their sport (most having started in the traditional route, which MSF espouses) is hugely popular. I am yet to see a popular voice from the traditional outdoor swimmers MSF, CSA etc to embrace their new breed of swimmers, largely I suppose, because they need to wear wetsuits, fins, rest of support vessels, cannot return to gps points etc etc (unless their swims are funded more expensively than Everest expeds). Maybe due to the DN affair. Either way, it's not just about the rules but also to embrace and welcome these swimmers. Goodness, just look at how Martin Strel inspired the world. Anyway, this thread was supposed to be about Ben, so I musn't hijack it.

    flystorms
  • curlycurly Issaquah, WAMember

    I was thinking about how these are actually different sports with a similar background. For example, water polo and synchronized swimming both require water treading skills with fast bursts of swimming. They both involve precise teamwork and the training is intense. However, nobody would suggest that the two sport federations be combined and maybe modify the rules to accommodate the inherent differences in the sports.

    It seems to me that adventure swimming and marathon swimming are different sports with different aims. As evmo commented earlier, I would cheer on anyone doing an amazing and interesting adventure swim, just as I would cheer on amazing accomplishments in other sports. But just as it would be a mistake to allow synchronized swimmers to try to drown their opponents, it would be a mistake to modify the sport of marathon swimming to accommodate alternate sports.

    It's probably time to create a different thread with the appropriate title. It seems like a valid subject for discussion.

    ssthomasflystorms
  • AnthonyMcCarleyAnthonyMcCarley Berwyn, PACharter Member

    curly said: But just as it would be a mistake to allow synchronized swimmers to try to drown their opponents

    I could not disagree more... that is a sport I would love to watch! Water Ballet meets MMA.

    curlyssthomas
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited June 17

    @Haydn said:
    This is why the rules must change if you want to embrace these swimmers. However, if you cannot find a way to make the changes, the swimmers will do what they do anyway.
    ...
    Then the adventure swimmers will happily organise their own governing body.

    I endorse the idea of separate swim-rafting governing body. Qualitatively different sports should have different rules, different governing bodies. No need to force square pegs into round holes. It will be easier to explain to the media and Guinness people why a trans-Pacific sail/swim is different from stage swimming.

    MSF's focus has always been promoting the existing discipline (marathon swimming), reinforcing it with more rigorous standards, rather than creating a new discipline.

    Marathon swimming is doing just fine. All around the world -- new waters being swum, new events popping up, participation growing consistently. I already have more work than I can handle, trying to keep track of it all.

    IronMikerlmssthomaslotechnotech
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