Marathon Swimming Rules Survey

evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
edited February 2013 in General Discussion
The SBCSA is conducting an opinion survey on rules in marathon swimming.

http://bit.ly/SBCSAsurvey

When is something a "marathon swim," and when is it... something else? If a swimmer uses a jellyfish-protective "stinger suit," is it still a marathon swim? What about a neoprene cap? Or a shark shield?

We want to hear from you! Everyone on this Forum is encouraged to participate. The survey takes less than five minutes to complete.

Thanks for your help!
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Comments

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    Follow-up note: The survey will remain open through February 25th, and the results will be published publicly.
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    edited January 2013
    Some comments on my "votes":

    I voted for GPS device and HR monitor as long as the info is not in any way transmitted to the swimmer or coach during the swim. Good for metrics after.

    "Physical assistance out of the water at the end of a swim"

    One can read this two ways: swimmer approaches shore, goes vertical, some good Samaritan or someone from his/her crew grabs his/her elbow and helps swimmer walk to dry land. Or: Once they clear the water (or are "out of the water" so to speak), someone helps them, emotionally, medically, whatever. I assumed you meant the former and not the latter. And yes, I realize I'm probably over thinking it.

    I don't know what a bubble cap is, so I said no.

    What's the big deal with caffeine? Jeez. If your body is used to it, but then you're prohibited from it for X-number of hours, that's one more headache (literally) to deal with. ;)

    Interesting. From the sales pitch for this survey, I thought I'd be asked what the definition of a marathon swim is, distance-wise.

    edited to clarify the two ways the phrase out of the water could be translated.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    IronMike said:

    I voted for GPS device and HR monitor as long as the info is not in any way transmitted to the swimmer or coach during the swim. Good for metrics after.

    OK, but the question was specifically written that the devices DO transmit data.
    IronMike said:

    "Physical assistance out of the water at the end of a swim"
    One can read this two ways: swimmer approaches shore, goes vertical, some good Samaritan or someone from his/her crew grabs his/her elbow and helps swimmer walk to dry land. Or: Once they clear the water, someone helps them, emotionally, medically, whatever. I assumed you meant the former and not the latter.

    Yes, the former. Physical assistance out of the water means the assistance commences while the swimmer is still in the water. If the swimmer has cleared the water, than they wouldn't be assisted "out of the water," because they are already out of the water.
    IronMike said:

    I don't know what a bubble cap is, so I said no.

    image
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    evmo said:


    OK, but the question was specifically written that the devices DO transmit data.

    Doesn't mean the coach has to see it, right? ;)
  • NiekNiek Member
    edited January 2013
    The survey lacked the choice of who you are an official and/or observer

    They are the ones who guard the rules.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited January 2013
    [Below is a comment from @Niek that accidentally got split off to the Tiger Balm discussion]
    IronMike said:

    One can read this two ways: swimmer approaches shore, goes vertical, some good Samaritan or someone from his/her crew grabs his/her elbow and helps swimmer walk to dry land. Or: Once they clear the water, someone helps them, emotionally, medically, whatever. I assumed you meant the former and not the latter.

    @Niek said: Both would be illegal. The swimmer has to clear the water all by himself. And if its a multiple crossing: "The swimmer must, as soon as his feet touch the ground, land as directly as possible. Where he may stand or sit for up to 10 minutes. During this time he must not be touched by any person, but may be handed food, grease, medicines or swimming apparel to be administered by himself." http://www.channelswimmingassociation.com/swim-advice/regulations
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    Niek said:

    The survey lacked the choice of who you are an official and/or observer. They are the ones who guard the rules.

    @Niek, that's what the "Other" option was designed for. So far you are the only one to use it! :)

  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoMember
    edited January 2013
    Niek said:

    The survey lacked the choice of who you are of: official and/or observer. They are the ones who guard the rules.

    I think the purpose is to collect your personal opinion on what the rules should be, not what the rules are.
    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer
  • NiekNiek Member
    edited January 2013

    I think the purpose is to collect your personal opinion on what the rules should be, not what the rules are.

    If I as an observer/official say no it won't help what you think.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoMember
    Niek said:

    I think the purpose is to collect your personal opinion on what the rules should be, not what the rules are.

    If I as an observer/official say no it won't help what you think.
    but if the governing body changes their rules based on the survey, then perhaps it will :)
    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer
  • I think that it has to be recognised that one set of rules cannot be applied to every marathon swim, each has its own particular challenges and the rules must take this into account.

    I would, however, like to say that, on any swim, information should not off limits. It is not an unfair advantage to know where you are or what your heart rate is.
    http://fermoyfish.com – Owen O'Keefe (Fermoy, Ireland)
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin

    I think that it has to be recognised that one set of rules cannot be applied to every marathon swim, each has its own particular challenges and the rules must take this into account.

    And the purpose of the survey is not to suggest that there should be an absolute set of universal rules, without allowing for local exceptions (though that may be @ScottZornig's personal view).

    Whatever rules local governing bodies decide on, it is useful to know where the marathon swimming community stands on the use of specific swim aids.
  • SharkoSharko Sonoma County, CAMember
    edited February 2013
    I was just discussing this issue with our swim commissioner, this am, as it relates to what we call "nutcracker" swims which are special and more extreme swims. We discussed these swims and swim aids... We agreed that the rules for these swims can be outside of the anything goes theme for South End club swims...but when you have 49f water it seems that it might be wise to allow some thermal head protection for a swim that may exceed an hour or more....besides warm headgear does not really make a swimmer go faster unless the less protected gets hypothermia and slows down...we both agreed that these swims are not geared to wet suite or finned swimmers but that they may swim in a second catagory (not lumped with the skins...as they are usually fast swimmer that cannot tollerate cold water the their swim fee helps defray the cost of hiring the boat)....I think about Ted Erickson swimming from the Farallons and wearing a thermal cap and still getting hypothermia.....in September when it is the warmest time of year...it is one thing to swim in 60f+ water in Southern California in the summer and 54F (or less at the Farallons) or less on a Farallons swim...so I think swim attire has to be a local consideration....and decision by experienced local swimmers. A one size fits all seems foolish and even can be unsafe....so the questions posed may need to be somewhat qualified....maybe swimming with box jellyfish would require a special suit like the lifeguards wear down-under....thoughts???
    "I never met a shark I didn't like"
  • On behalf of a swimmer who was nervous to ask the question I asked CSA this past year if they allowed bubble caps and CSA had no idea what they were. Not knocking CSA but bringing it up in relation to this discussion on rules and the survey. Things are changing quickly in this sport and it is difficult for the Federations to keep up with new technology/creations and swims are being done and recognized when no one has really decided if the new device/contraption is really legal.
    Along the same lines the first time I ever heard of a streamer I did an informal poll asking what swimmers thought about streamers (9 out of 10 said they should be illegal). I also wrote to several federations asking what their rule on the subject was and each federation had no idea what I was talking about. My point to them was they had better decide one way or the other on the subject because 'their here!'
  • @firebah Does a streamer have much the same effect as shining a spotlight directly down into the water during the night part of the swim so that the swimmer can maintain their position in relation to the support boat?
    http://fermoyfish.com – Owen O'Keefe (Fermoy, Ireland)
  • A streamer affects the water flow. A light doesn't.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • @firebah @Niek Then, I'm not entirely sure what it is or how it works... (I hadn't even heard of it before today.)
    http://fermoyfish.com – Owen O'Keefe (Fermoy, Ireland)
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    firebah said:

    On behalf of a swimmer who was nervous to ask the question I asked CSA this past year if they allowed bubble caps and CSA had no idea what they were.

    Wow.
  • NiekNiek Member
    edited February 2013
    @owenswims93 The Voyager escorts Diana as she swims. The long boom carries a streamer (a long piece of white cloth) that Diana swims above, giving her a path to swim, just line a lane line at the bottom of a pool


    at 1:34 you can see it in the water under Diana
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • Thanks @Niek! I get it now and it seems a bit pointless to me. I could see something similar being useful at night, but a bit silly really during the day.
    http://fermoyfish.com – Owen O'Keefe (Fermoy, Ireland)
  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoMember

    Thanks @Niek! I get it now and it seems a bit pointless to me. I could see something similar being useful at night, but a bit silly really during the day.

    If you have a preferential breathing side I could see it being useful if putting the boat downwind resulted in it not being on your preferential side.
    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer
  • The drag it creates isn't that of a shark cage but still it creates a drag.
    Make the cloth bigger and you get more drag.

    @owenswims93 At night you could even attach lights to it.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • @dc_in_sf Yes, that is a good point. @Niek If you make it just a string with two or three small lights on it then surely the drag would be practically non-existent...
    http://fermoyfish.com – Owen O'Keefe (Fermoy, Ireland)
  • Music by means of a headgear is disallowed during a Channel swim but music coming from the boat isn't forbidden.

    So how small and how long is allowed?
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • ssthomasssthomas Charter Member
    So a streamer under you that creates minimal drag should be illegal, but riding the bow wave is fine?
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    @ssthomas, this is why we're doing the survey. We'll get to see what people actually think! (as a community)
  • So a streamer under you that creates minimal drag should be illegal, but riding the bow wave is fine?

    YES.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • ssthomasssthomas Charter Member
    edited February 2013
    @niek: honest question, but why? I truly don't understand why one form of drafting is ok, but the other is not. Seems that either both are fine or neither are fine. And, if you had to pick one, wouldn't drafting a boat give you more of an advantage than drafting a piece of fabric? How are some artificial speed aids acceptable, but others are not? And how do we draw the line? No wonder we're all confused...


    Edit: Responses to @ssthomas 's comment were split off to this thread:
    http://www.marathonswimmers.org/forum/discussion/366/kayaks-and-boat-drafting-in-the-english-channel

    --Evan
  • firebahfirebah Member
    edited February 2013

    Does a streamer have much the same effect as shining a spotlight directly down into the water during the night part of the swim so that the swimmer can maintain their position in relation to the support boat?

    I have never used a streamer, have never seen one in actual use (only via video) and have no intention of using one so cannot compare it to anything else. As far as I can tell it is like having a black line below you in a pool.
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer Admin
    edited February 2013
    Here's another new technological possibility that we should discuss: Hydrophobic coverings.

  • bobswimsbobswims Charter Member
    edited February 2013

    Here's another new technological possibility that we should discuss: Hydrophobic coverings.

    There's nothing new about that kind of technology.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_in_the_White_Suit

  • bobswimsbobswims Charter Member
    Evan

    Great poll. For a few of questions I really had to think about my answer, which as my friends know, is totally out of character for me.
  • bobswimsbobswims Charter Member
    edited February 2013
    IronMike said:

    I don't know what a bubble cap is, so I said no.

    Bubble caps have been around for years. Paul Asmuth used to wear one for his marathon swims in the 1980's.

  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member

    Here's another new technological possibility that we should discuss: Hydrophobic coverings.

    The film/company says I can coat anything. Can I coat my dog with this stuff?

  • I found that there were answers I wanted to qualify. For example, getting out of the water temporarily for sharks in Maui or South Africa seems like a reasonable local rule. Getting out of the water for fish in Tahoe seems absurd.

    Also, neoprene caps in certain temperatures seem fine (sub 50, for example). Neoprene caps in other temperatures water seem absurd (i.e. 70). If people had the opportunity to explain their answers, I think it would make the survey more informative to event organizers and governing bodies.

    There's also a difference between what I find to be an acceptable rule for the general swimming population and what I'd personally do... the survey didn't really capture that distinction, either.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited February 2013
    Last day to vote on the Marathon Swimming Rules Survey.

    If you have an opinion, please let it be known!

    http://bit.ly/SBCSAsurvey

    Results will be published in the March 1 SBCSA newsletter, and an analysis will be published on my blog.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited February 2013
    The results are in!

    Here is the TL/DR summary of findings from the Marathon Swimming Rules Survey (sponsored by the SBCSA):

    I. We received 175 responses from a representative sample of marathon swimmers – current, former, and aspiring.

    II(a). Marathon swimmers agree on basic channel-rules attire: traditional porous textile swimsuit (including jammers), goggles, one latex or silicone cap, ear plugs, and nose clips.

    II(b). Marathon swimmers agree that substances or devices that protect the swimmer against dangerous marine life (e.g., sharks & jellyfish) – but unambiguously do not enhance performance – are acceptable.

    II(c). Marathon swimmers agree that devices or substances that unambiguously enhance speed, buoyancy, or heat retention should NOT be allowed on marathon swims.

    III. Controversial items include stinger suits, swim streamers, bubble caps, and shark divers.

    IV. The more marathon swimming experience a person has, the more likely she/he is to embrace a minimalist approach to swim aids.


    For additional details, analysis, and charts, please see my full report:

    http://www.freshwaterswimmer.com/2013/02/rules-survey-analysis

    Thank you to all the forum members who participated! We welcome any thoughts or feedback.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    Quick follow-up:

    In the March SBCSA newsletter, just published today, there is a opinion essay by @PennyPalfrey on her view of marathon swimming rules. Check it out:

    http://santabarbarachannelswim.org/news/news130301.html
  • SharkoSharko Sonoma County, CAMember
    edited March 2013
    I think Bubble caps got a "bad rap"!!! a lot of the younger generation didn't know what they were so they said no....err toward the yes!!!
    I agree with most of what Penny wrote...very pragmatic comments...

    Sharko is crying
    :((
    "I never met a shark I didn't like"
  • SharkoSharko Sonoma County, CAMember
    Pretty well done story....on the infamous bubble cap....now someone tell me what a stinger suit is????
    "I never met a shark I didn't like"
  • JonMLJonML Member
    Sharko said:

    Pretty well done story....on the infamous bubble cap....now someone tell me what a stinger suit is????

    See http://www.stingersuits.com/
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    @evmo's analysis is featured in the latest H2Open magazine. Congrats!
  • heartheart Member
    Great survey. I suppose tempo trainers would fall for everyone into the category of music? (of the Philip Glass kind, alas?)
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited March 2013
    From H2Open Magazine. Subscribe here.

    image
  • Interesting question, and I don't have the answer, but the thought that came to mind is, "Is it still sex if you're wearing protection?"
  • JonMLJonML Member

    Interesting question, and I don't have the answer, but the thought that came to mind is, "Is it still sex if you're wearing protection?"

    It's Russian Roulette if you're not. :(
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