New FINA rules on wetsuits

evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
edited May 10 in General Discussion

http://www.swimvortex.com/wetsuits-to-be-worn-in-olympic-marathon-says-fina-as-draft-rules-rushed-through/

Jan-Anders Manson, the chairman of the FINA Swimsuit Approval Commission, has been asked to draw up draft rules on the wearing of wet suits in Open Water competitions where water temperatures are (or are likely) to be less than 18-20C.

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Comments

  • rosemarymintrosemarymint Charleston, SCCharter Member

    I would like to know what wetsuit company is funneling money into FINA to make this such an issue. Wasn't London about the same temperature range? Didn't only one swimmer have to DNF because of the cold?

    IronMikeDanSimonelliNoelFigartdrewbird
  • swimmer25kswimmer25k Charter Member

    Ridiculous nonsense. What a bunch of wimps. Let's strip it down even more. Peloton-style pack swimming on a rowing course over a 10K (25K is the true international marathon distance) has always been somewhat lame to me IMO. What makes open water marathon swimming (versus closed course BS) so great are the intangibles like: weather, temperature, waves, getting a manowar wrapped around your head, and about how tough you can be. I was a nobody in the pool, but did pretty good because I was more willing to be cold, miserable, and fight the pain more than most over an 8-hour swim. Hopefully, NBC will schedule rhythmic gymnastics over on another channel so I'll have another way to waste my time for 2 hours.

    DanSimonelli
  • Leonard_JansenLeonard_Jansen Charter Member

    Every time I think that FINA can't get any more corrupt or stupid, they find a way to up the ante. Worse is that this will have a ripple effect since it will be argued that people should qualify under the same conditions that they are going to compete in at a major race. Feh!

    -LBJ

    DanSimonelli

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

  • Kate_AlexanderKate_Alexander Cayman IslandsMember

    Isn't 20C/68F still in the warm range for OW swimmers?

    suziedodsNoelFigartwendyv34drewbird
  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member

    Good Christ. This will have ripple effects.

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  • gregocgregoc Charter Member

    Just let them swim a 10K in a pool for Christ's sake.

    suziedodsKate_AlexanderrosemarymintNoelFigartAnthonyMcCarleydpm50jbswendyv34ssthomas
  • suziedodssuziedods Charter Member

    Agree , this is insane. Let's look beyond griping here or what company is funneling money into FINA. This forum made news w the DN swim. How do we as marathon swimming community get our voice heard? I don't know the ins and outs of publicity but if we can do it once...

    JenArosemarymintDanSimonellidpm50SoloIronMike

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

  • lakespraylakespray Senior Member

    If I remember correctly there were many suit manufacture $henanigans during the polyurethane speed suit era. It actually took a boycott threat from Michael Phelps for FINA to ban those. I'm sure the wetsuit manufactures are lobbying for a higher water temperatures.

    rosemarymintIronMike
  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member

    DPAP! As John H would say.

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member
    edited January 2016

    Ok if this were an open water swim for the general public, sure. But Olympic level swimmers? Of course I have to wonder if the wetsuit thing is intended not so much for cold as for disease protection, given the water quality. ... but in that case, maybe hazmat suits should be the attire du jour. ;)

  • NoelFigartNoelFigart Lebanon, NHSenior Member

    facepalm I was told I was brave for swimming without a wetsuit in the 2015 Boston Sharkfest. The water was 21C.

  • This forum seems to be made up of several leaders in the OW world. Is there a way to have a coordinated effort put together that would unite the OW swimmers, and the current governing bodies, such as the English Channel, Catalina Channel, Lake Erie, etc.... into one voice to continue the sport as it has been? I agree that the entire reason that OW swimming is so incredible is all of the obstacles that are involved in open water. I consider myself both a pool swimmer and (beginning) OW swimmer- and both disciplines require very different skills and abilities. IMHO this is what makes them both interesting. Along with the fact that the type of "speed" suit swimmers wear indoors is very regulated because they do not want swimmers to have an edge due to gear- we all know that wet suits give swimmers an edge that goes beyond keeping warm, why wouldn't this be banned as well. Not sure why any sport would want to change the established accepted rules to make it "less" challenging on the Olympic stage- seems contrary to the aim of the Olympic spirit.

    Anyway, I will climb off the soap box and back into the water now...

    dpm50NoelFigart
  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member

    Ugh! FINA: Taking the open water out of open water swimming.

    dpm50

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

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  • GeochuckGeochuck Delta BC CanadaMember

    I wore a reg size thermal swim trunk when training in a river when the ice broke up. Had to avoid the ice flow and logs coming down the river water temp was 33 degrees. Never wore any wet suits in any race. It was considered illegal

    Solo
  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member

    Camille said: Not sure why any sport would want to change the established accepted rules to make it "less" challenging on the Olympic stage- seems contrary to the aim of the Olympic spirit.

    Because FINA.

    Chrisgreene
  • JenAJenA Charter Member
    edited January 2016

    This quote came from a Dec 2014 FINA press release, by the same guy leading the wetsuit review:

    "World records were slaughtered and the high-tech 'shark skin' swimsuits were the new and controversial hot topic; the sport's credibility was at stake. Then, five years ago, the suits were banned and the FINA swimwear approval commission was set up."With our work today we will not be caught unprepared again," commission chairman Jan-Anders Manson told AIPS during the FINA World Aquatics Convention in Doha."

    That makes me more optimistic. :) I tried to use the FINA website's contact form to get more information, but got the ol' 404 ACCESS DENIED. Sigh.

    FINA's offices are in Switzerland (Central European Time). However, FINA's business hours are my quality sleeping hours. :)

    Anyone want to call? Someone from the UK/Europe?

    Tel: (+41-21) 310 47 10, Mo-Fri: 8h30 - 12h30, 13h30 - 17h30

    This is the information that I think we should ask for:
    - list of participants on the technical committee reviewing the decision, their roles, contact information, and their qualifications. (Here is the same information from 2009.)
    - what process will the committee be following?
    - who are the stakeholders in this process? (FINA partnered with blueseventy back in 2008...)
    - what motivated this initiative?
    - what are the timelines for the decision?

  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member

    @JenA, I managed to get through the contact form without the ol' 404. I'll let you know when/if they respond to my "media" enquiry. ;)

    JenA
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  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member
    edited January 2016

    gregoc said: Just let them swim a 10K in a pool for Christ's sake.

    Given the pollution at the o.w. swim venue, they might better do that! Maybe install a wave machine for some open water simulation. ;)

    Kate_Alexander
  • FINA announces new rules on wetsuits

    http://h2openmagazine.com/news/fina-announces/

    gw

  • I had written FINA about the damage this wetsuit regulation would do to the already low self esteem triathlon bashing OW swimmers but they didn't listen. Hopefully they will contact the mental health hotlines around the world to let them know Aquathon, paddle board, and Bass fishing sports can be bashed as also as a means ego boost and jealousy.

  • Between 16°C and 18°C, wetsuits + bathing cap are mandatory. Are they nuts?!

    wendyv34suziedods
  • tortugatortuga Senior Member

    OK, I'm gonna advocate for the devil for a minute. There are lots of folks, like myself, who live in climes further from the poles, middle earthers you could call us, where acclimating to water 18degC really isn't feasible. This ruling will allow us tropicallers to participate in more events. I like it.

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  • tortugatortuga Senior Member

    Niek said: @tortuga And how can non middle earthers get used to your >20°C ?

    Double wetsuit? Geriatric indoor pools? (Seriously, they keep those things about 30degC)

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  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member

    @tortuga, are you FINA-level speed?

    Or are we all saying that local events, "Bob's 5K"-type of events, will be required to follow this wetsuit crap?

  • gregocgregoc Charter Member

    A non-FINA/USMS event can do as they wish. Correct me if I am wrong, but USMS tends to follow FINA rules.

    tortuga
  • WarmWaterWarmWater SingaporeMember

    Regulatory bodies inevitably introduce ever increasingly draconian measures to justify their existence and only real leadership is brave enough to deregulate and allow greater freedom. In sailing they killed the America's Cup and Whitbread race, they killed Formula 1, Champions League killed the romance of the European Cup. The common theme through all these of course is money. Why should football, basketball, tennis players and F1 drivers make fortunes but athletes and swimmers be separated out as 'amateurs'? Its the slippery slope, whatever sponsors want, they will eventually get.

  • USMS will follow FINA rules which means that those of us who do live climes nearer to the pole but don't/won't wear wetsuits will be locked out of our local open water races. I already got locked out of one of the races I paid for last year when it went wetsuit mandatory based on the current USMS cold water rules.

  • suziedodssuziedods Charter Member

    change.org petition??? venting here does no good.

    JenAIronMike

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

  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member

    USMS had already added some rules about minimum temps and wetsuit requirements, but fortunately our two Puget Sound (sanctioned) races had the option of submitting a wetsuit waiver. Hopefully that will continue. Personally, I think I swim faster without a wetsuit. I can't engage my kick in a wetsuit and my times are equal to or better swimming without one. Obviously I'd prefer to swim on a level playing field, so to speak, with others who are equally clad in just a swim suit. It changes the race for me when I'm constantly getting clobbered by the big, strong guys who are getting 2-5 minutes/mile out of their wetsuits and would've been in my dust <30 seconds out of the start without them.

    I was thinking over the FINA rule yesterday and wondered if they are trying to widen the field in the elite races. Wetsuits would allow more people to compete. Those who aren't quite as skilled at swimming (but equally fit) may get enough of an advantage to possibly qualify/compete against more skilled swimmers, who don't benefit as much from a wetsuit. It could definitely shake up the standings.

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • JenAJenA Charter Member
    edited February 2016

    In skiing, if you are used to fluffy powdery snow and end up competing in awesome-snowman-making packing snow, you just suck it up and change your ski wax, no? No one does (that I'm aware of) a song and dance about how snow conditions will make them slower and expose them more to the cold.

    When heat and pollution threatened performances in Beijing, people went over early to acclimate. Jamaica has a bobsled team, and I'm sure there are other examples of "cold country" athletes training to perform in hot conditions.

    I can't think of any other sport that offers thermal accommodation that happens to be performance enhancing.

    Ooh. I found information for Jan-Anders Mason, the Chairman of the FINA Swimsuit Approval Commission: CV and contact information: jan-anders.manson@epfl.ch

    I think I might write an inspiring email. :)

    pavlicovsuziedodsdpm50ChrisgreeneDanSimonellidrewbird
  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member

    While I get asking inexperienced swimmers to wear wetsuits at a certain point in temperature, in an elite competition, it doesn't make much sense. Elite swimmers have trained for all kinds of conditions. Interestingly, though, in my first ocean race in 2005, the race organizers were urging people to wear wetsuits--expected water temp, mid-60s--and I worried b/c I didn't own one and my masters coach at the time was recruiting us to swim. I didn't really want to use a wetsuit b/c I wasn't used to swimming in them, and didn't think renting one would work for me. Thankfully, the coach was the voice of reason. He swam every year without a wetsuit and told me I'd be fine--and he's the kind of guy you just believe.

    As it turned out, he was right. I never once felt too cold--occasional pockets of cooler water, but the air temp being 90something degrees, I welcomed those pockets.

    I wouldn't like to be required to wear a wetsuit, although I did break down and buy one for transitional training and getting used to cold water; won't race in it, and haven't ever raced in a wetsuit, advantage or no advantage, even if there's no separate wetsuit division. Overall, I think it makes more sense to not allow wetsuits than to require them. I find them constricting and shed them as soon as I can.

    wendyv34NoelFigartDanSimonellisuziedods
  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member

    Wish I could like your comment twice!

    dpm50

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member

    wendyv34 said: Wish I could like your comment twice!

    Thanks! You sort of did by liking it and complimenting it... so I return the favor! :)

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  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member
    edited February 2016

    wendyv34 said: I was thinking over the FINA rule yesterday and wondered if they are trying to widen the field in the elite races. Wetsuits would allow more people to compete. Those who aren't quite as skilled at swimming (but equally fit) may get enough of an advantage to possibly qualify/compete against more skilled swimmers, who don't benefit as much from a wetsuit. It could definitely shake up the standings.

    I don't think so @wendyv34. I get the impression those FINA 10Ks and 25Ks around the world are limited in the numbers of starters. Same with the Olympics. All this is going to do is ruin OW swims for us amateurs. Oh, and make the Olympics a bit more boring.

    DanSimonellisuziedodsdpm50
  • tortugatortuga Senior Member

    Niek said: Yes but that's not openwater.

    You think that we can swim in <18°C without some training? No even we have to gradually increase our time in cool/cold water starting around end April to be ready for the first official meets in half June.

    It's easier to train for warm circumstances.

    I'm just saying that if we don't have access to cold water, it's difficult to train for it. Didn't mean to get you all riled up.

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  • gregocgregoc Charter Member

    Swim slower, or better yet get out and sit on the beach with your favorite frozen drink. Your in the tropics after all.

    tortugadpm50FlowSwimmers
  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member

    gregoc said: Swim slower, or better yet get out and sit on the beach with your favorite frozen drink. Your in the tropics after all.

    Perfect! And get practice hydrating too! :) .... although your race fluids likely aren't served with mini-umbrellas or in a glass w a salted rim. ;)

    gregocFlowSwimmerssuziedods
  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member

    Penguins love drinks served in a glass with salt on the rim! PM

    tortugagregocdpm50suziedods

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member
    edited May 10

    https://swimswam.com/fina-bylaw-changes-modify-ow-team-races-mandate-wetsuits-18/

    Apparently they are making them compulsory for events below 18c/64f. Based on the article, at least, no mention of how thick the wetsuits are allowed to be. While I suspect I can anticipate the reaction, I'm curious what everyone's opinions are.

  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member

    64 seems kind of high for a mandatory wetsuit.

    I find this mildly disturbing...and sexist:

    •Bylaw 8.8 adds some extra restrictions on swimwear for men in synchronized swimming, noting that those suits can’t extend above the navel or down past the upper thigh and that men are not allowed to wear makeup. But don’t worry, synchro men: hair gel and mustaches are still expressly permitted under the new bylaw.

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • HelbeHelbe Senior Member

    This basically means all SASA open water events in Scotland will be wetsuit compulsory :(

  • andissandiss Senior Member

    You wonder why it's not more progressive, like considering the distance or air temp and etc.

  • edited November 2016
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