Not to start World War III, but...

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Comments

  • bobswimsbobswims Charter Member
    As I read through the postings I've conjured up my knowledge of physics and fluid dynamics. Unfortunately while I used to have a good command of the subject, now that I am an old fart it involves a lot more heavy lifting than I care to do. So let me look at it a level I could understand if I was in the water swimming a marathon.

    I don't know what the equation is for calculating the energy save by drafting alongside or behind a swimmer, but I can sure tell it helps. The bigger the swimmer the better even at the speeds I swim these days. So if I pretend the huge boat next to me is a swimmer I sure as heck want to swim as close as I can to it. As study shows the best place is along side at the hip, but anywhere gives you a great advantage.

    It's been done historically. Maybe more now than ever before, but that is irrelevant unless you think its abuse calls for it being banned. I think a greater aid for most of us is the ability to swim alongside the boat so it can shield you from the wind and surface chop.
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer Admin
    edited November 2012
    This discussion (and my blog post) have been raised on Daily News of Open Water Swimming, without referencing either source (other than my name) nor the valid contrary opinions here nor the dual nature of the discussion:

    1: Trent's swim and the place of boat-assistance, of any kind, including wind shelter, in the English Channel (which is what I've tried to address) and people should be given the chance to see that others disagree, and that my view of the science may be disputable.

    2: The wider issue of assistance from bow or displacement waves in marathon swimming elsewhere which is a valuable discussion and of equal or far greater and longer-lasting import.
  • @bobswims @loneswimmer I think, Bob, you are on the right track there. In my humble opinion, whatever assistance you might get from swimming in the bow wave is pretty much negligible in comparison the assistance that you get in terms of shelter from wind and chop by swimming anywhere in the lee of the boat! The whole debate seems a little pointless, in that light...
    http://fermoyfish.com – Owen O'Keefe (Fermoy, Ireland)
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    So when I'm swimming a marathon, say a 10K or Swim the Suck, and one of the support boats comes by and I have to swim into mini-waves for the next few minutes, do I get any credit for that?
  • oxooxo New Member
    edited November 2012

    ... whatever assistance you might get from _________ is pretty much negligible ...

    a) not swimming the last 100 meters and clearing the water
    b) hanging on a boat during feeds
    c) ________________
    d) swimming in the bow wave
  • ChickenOSeaChickenOSea Charter Member
    evmo said:

    JenA said:

    I don't recognize Trent's record.

    Problem with that is, Trent wasn't the first to ride the bow wave.

    And the person before him - he wasn't the first, either.
    I was wondering why Trent's was the only swim being criticized here and not the records prior to his
  • It's frankly disrespectful to all Channel swimmers to equate following agreed Channel rules and what others have done previously with hanging onto a boat or not actually finishing a swim.

    @ChickenOSea. Makes you wonder, doesn't it.
  • JenAJenA Member
    edited November 2012

    I was wondering why Trent's was the only swim being criticized here and not the records prior to his

    I figured it was the availability of information (newsgroups, YouTube, etc).

    We could talk about this instead:
  • SharkoSharko Sonoma County, CAMember
    I think if you talk to the experienced EC pilots in a pub in Dover or Folkstone you will find that they are aware that there skill at piloting is sometimes used to assist the swimmer...
    "I never met a shark I didn't like"
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    JenA said:

    We could talk about this instead:

    You mean, about what a great swim it was?
  • oxooxo New Member
    edited November 2012

    I think if you talk to the experienced EC pilots in a pub in Dover or Folkstone you will find that they are aware that there skill at piloting is sometimes used to assist the swimmer...

    Makes you wonder, doesn't it? As an indication of the contribution of the pilot's skill, at the elite level it can be costly to start an EC as little as 15 minutes past the "best start time", which is to say that one's pilot needs to be able to determine the 'best start time' with an accuracy of at least 15 minutes. Here is a link to this analysis and analyses of other factors. Moreover, consider the last three registered EC's record holders to date:

    06:55:??   Grimsey     2012-09-07   M. Oram   Gallivant
    06:57:50 Stoychev 2007-08-24 M. Oram Gallivant
    07:03:52 Wandratsch 2005-08-01 M. Oram Aegean Blue

    Same pilot, but at different levels of experience. Wandratsch produced his world record when Oram had 7 fewer years of experience, and was piloting Aegean Blue, a 5.5% shorter boat with a 10% shallower draught, which is to say, speculatively, a smaller bow wave.

    EDIT:
    For completeness, compiled from here, a list of the 9 fastest ECs:
    06:55:??   Grimsey      2012-09-07   M. Oram       Gallivant
    06:57:50 Stoychev 2007-08-24 M. Oram Gallivant
    07:03:52 Wandratsch 2005-08-01 M. Oram Aegean Blue
    07:05:42 Kudinov 2007-08-24 unavailable unavailable
    07:16:25 Rostislav 2009-08-14 M. Oram Gallivant
    07:17:00 Hundeby 1994-09-27 R. Brickell Helen Ann Marie
    07:20:00 Wandratsch 2003-08-20 R. Brickell unavailable
    07:21:08 Stoychev 2006-08-22 M. Oram Aegean Blue
    07:22:00 Meca 2005-08-29 R. Brickell unavailable

  • KNicholasKNicholas ArizonaMember
    edited December 2012
    I appreciate the history on it Oxo.
  • KNicholasKNicholas ArizonaMember
    edited February 2013
    evmo said:

    There's beauty in the simplicity.

    I couldn't agree more.
  • @oxo You seem to have completely missed the "in comparison" after "negligible". My point is that some people are questioning a possibly tiny assistance, i.e. swimming in the bow wave, while accepting a much greater assistance, i.e. swimming in the lee of the boat. Please, read sentences right to the full stop before you attempt any interpretation.
    http://fermoyfish.com – Owen O'Keefe (Fermoy, Ireland)
  • oxooxo New Member
    edited February 2013
    @owenswims93 - Sorry for the confusion. I did not miss your comparison. In fact, that comparison prompted me to comment.

    The comparison, if I understand it correctly, is that A is smaller than B, and in that light, discussion of A is pointless. My comment was that there exist some issues that are smaller than B that are so worthy of discussion that there are explicit rules governing them. From there one might conclude - as I do - that the relative size of two issues cannot be used to determine which are worthy of discussion.

    If the chairman of a given Swim Association tells the swimmer where to swim, and the swimmer does so, then I would think that the swim will not violate that SA's rules in that regard in either letter or in spirit. But an SA's self-written set of rules are not rules for the route. They are the rules for getting your name on that particular SA's list. If you get on an SA's list and your swim was more X than anyone else on that list, then that SA will probably say that you hold that SA's course record in terms of X.

    People assign other meaning to a given SA's set of rules, and people have their own ideals. These three - rule set, assigned meaning, personal ideals - are independent of each other. That independence, to me, has been the, er, nourishment of this thread's history.
  • bobswimsbobswims Charter Member
    Of course one could argue that the rules should be reexamined for possible change and developing a consistant set of rules.. Remember the speed suit controversy? Records set with stood despite the advantage it gave the swimmers at the time.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    The SBCSA voted at its recent board meeting to add the following item to our Swim Rules, which are read aloud by the observer before every channel swim:
    9. The swimmer may not intentionally draft off either the escort boat or the support swimmer.
    http://santabarbarachannelswim.org/rules.html
  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsMember
    So how are they measuring that?
    How far has the swimmer keep from the boat?
    Is the distance the same for every boat?
    Does the boat have to get to a full stop before the swimmer can approach it for drinks, feeds, etc. ? Every (forward) motion causes a draft.
    In what position can the support swimmer legally swim without enabling a draft?

    I believe the rule is impossible to comply to and therefore impossible to enforce.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    I disagree. The rule is written very carefully, with two aims:

    1. To discourage swimmers (or boat pilots) from implementing a deliberate, intentional drafting strategy in order to enhance speed.
    2. To allow for "incidental" drafting, in and out of feedings, or if the swimmer temporarily or accidentally swims close to the escort boat.

    As with any swim rule, the observer is in charge of interpretation. The observer decides, based on the circumstances, if any drafting is intentional or incidental. A warning will precede any disqualification.

    In my opinion, the distinction between accidental drafting and drafting-as-deliberate strategy will be obvious. Hopefully, the mere existence of the rule will discourage anyone from trying it.

    Plus, kayak support is allowed and encouraged in Santa Barbara Channel swims. If a swimmer uses a kayaker (and they should), there is no need or excuse to swim too close to the escort boat.
  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsMember
    edited February 2013

    if the swimmer temporarily or accidentally swims close to the escort boat.

    I prefer that the swimmer swims close to the boat (1-2 m) for safety reasons.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited February 2013
    Niek said:

    I prefer that the swimmer swims close to the boat (1-2 m) for safety reasons.

    Like I said, if the swimmer has kayak support (and he/she should), there is no reason to be so close to the boat.

    Is that all you've got, then, @Niek? :)
  • AquaRobAquaRob Charter Member
    edited February 2013
    If we're talking zodiacs or other very small boats in SBCSA swims I'd say 1-2m would be ok, but for the boats and conditions typically encountered on California Channel Island crossings I prefer the swimmer more like 3-5m from the boat for safety purposes.

    When I'm in the water I generally feel the boat is the most dangerous thing to me as a swimmer.
  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsMember

    When I'm in the water I generally feel the boat is the most dangerous thing to me as a swimmer.

    That's for most swimmers so.
    To overcome that fear is one aspect they train for. 1-2 meters is ideal but 3-5 meters is oké.
    On flat water one could use kayaks but here in the Netherlands they are not considered suitable for safety. If a swimmer goes under how fast can the kayak-er get to him from 2 meters and retrieve the swimmer to the surface?
    Rescue diving from a boat is faster and the diver probably has a better idea of the last location of the swimmer then someone sitting low as in a kayak.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited February 2013
    Niek said:

    1-2 meters is ideal but 3-5 meters is oké.
    On flat water one could use kayaks but here in the Netherlands they are not considered suitable for safety.

    The two most commonly used escort boats for Channel Islands swims are, respectively, 50 feet and 62 feet. It is simply not safe for a swimmer to stay 1-2m from this large of a boat. It's difficult for the pilot to even see the swimmer at that close of a distance.

    What's suitable in the Netherlands is irrelevant. What's suitable in the English Channel is also irrelevant. The topic is a SBCSA rule, for swims in the Santa Barbara Channel.
    Niek said:

    If a swimmer goes under how fast can the kayak-er get to him from 2 meters and retrieve the swimmer to the surface?
    Rescue diving from a boat is faster and the diver probably has a better idea of the last location of the swimmer then someone sitting low as in a kayak.

    In our swims here, a kayaker is in a much better position to rescue the swimmer than people on the boat. They are closer to the swimmer, they are already at water level, they are most likely already wearing a wetsuit. The people on the boat are fully clothed, are 5-6 feet above water level, and not in a good position to do "rescue diving."
  • Boat sizes vary. The swimmer's distance from the boat will vary with boat size. For me I want to be able to see the Captain at the helm because then I know he can see me.
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