Who's on crew?

JonMLJonML Member
edited October 2012 in Beginner Questions
I'm getting more serious about tackling a long (10-16 mile) Great Lakes swim next August. The farthest I've gone so far is 4.3 miles, Lake Mendota in Madison, WI. That was great and whetted my appetite for something more substantial.

I've got a good friend who knows the waters and has volunteered his 26' power boat at cost. I also have friends who are kayakers and are willing to crew. Boats seem covered and I'm majorly grateful.

So here's the question: Who else is normally on a crew? I know I'll need a feed mixer and it seems like most people have someone to photograph and video. What about medical personnel? An observer from a swim club? Other functions that need to be covered?

Thanks for your help,

Jon

Comments

  • My preference/advice is: another long distance swimmer who knows what's going on, know how to feed, how to change the timing of feeds as required, and what's likely to be going on your head. Multiplied by whatever number you feel comfortable with. They should have experience on slow-moving boats, because experience of fast moving boats is not necessarily useful or relevant. Once your crew can stand up without getting sick, all other functions are possible. If the swim is under the auspices of an association they will probably organise the observer.
  • Thanks Loneswimmer. :) This one isn't under the auspices of an association, just something I'd like to do. If possible I'd like to have it also serve the function of a qualifying EC swim--any idea if that's possible?

    Jon
  • evmoevmo Admin
    edited October 2012
    +1 on @loneswimmer's advice. Other swimmers, especially other OW swimmers, especially other OW swimmers who are experienced crew - are most likely to have a good attitude and be an asset to the swim rather than a liability.

    Beginners may be tempted to put friends & family on their crew. Sometimes this works out OK, but especially in times of adversity you need people who can stay clear-eyed and objective. Crewing isn't a pleasure cruise.

    Having an independent observer is a good idea if you're planning to make any claims about "firsts" or "records."

    I don't see any need for medical personnel unless you have existing health issues.
  • NiekNiek Member
    edited October 2012

    If possible I'd like to have it also serve the function of a qualifying EC swim

    Than you certainly need an independent observer. Check with your intended Channel organisation in advance if your observer is acceptable by sending his/hers credentials to the Channel org.

    I don't see any need for medical personnel unless you have existing health issues.

    I second that.

    I've got a good friend who knows the waters and has volunteered his 26' power boat

    Does your friend know how to cruise slowly with such a powerful boat? A steady pace is the best for you. Him throttling the motor and than giving gas again to keep a steady pace won't work well. Let him practice with a drogue behind the boat. For a drogue one can use a one cubic meter bag of a DIY with two 10 meter lines tied behind the boat.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • evmo said:

    Beginners may be tempted to put friends & family on their crew. Sometimes this works out OK, but especially in times of adversity you need people who can stay clear-eyed and objective. Crewing isn't a pleasure cruise.

    I've learned this the hard way, a bit. My fiance paddled for me in my 25km swim this spring, and she did well for me.

    My mom was along for that and another swim, and she seemed pretty tone deaf to how I was feeling, and seemed to add to my nervousness.
  • david_barradavid_barra Charter Member
    evmo said:


    I don't see any need for medical personnel unless you have existing health issues.

    It is a good idea to have a safety plan that considers things like: evacuation of conscious swimmer, evacuation of unconscious swimmer, transportation to emergency facility, etc.

    A good first aid kit and AED (with someone who knows how to use it) should also be considered desirable equipment to have on board.

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
  • Niek said:


    Does your friend know how to cruise slowly with such a powerful boat? A steady pace is the best for you.

    I was picturing having the main direct support come from the kayak, with the boat used to resupply the kayak and in case of needing to abort the swim. In that instance, the motorboat wouldn't have to pace me. Does that work or is there a reason that the boat should pace the swimmer?
  • NiekNiek Member
    edited October 2012
    Here are a few reasons:
    1/. A big boat can give shelter from wind and waves.
    2/. In the EC you won't have a kayak.
    3/. You can ride the bow wave. (see http://loneswimmer.com)
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    Niek said:


    2/. In the EC you won't have kayakers

    You can't have kayakers in the EC? How about swimmers?
  • If it's up to the Frenchies: NO :)
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
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