110 miles, 53 hours: Questions for Diana Nyad

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  • ZoeSadlerZoeSadler Charter Member
    edited September 2013
    Initially I ignored this because I thought it was nothing to do with me and didn't affect my swimming. However, I've realised it affects us all involved in marathon swimming.

    At least 10 different people have said to me this week - and I paraphrase "How far was your English Channel swim?" "21 miles! That's only a warm up compared to the 103 miles done by that 64 year old lady".

    The next time someone says that to me I will spontaneously explode in a mass of pink jelly and goo.

    My point here being that people may be less willing to sponsor or support a 21 mile EC swim (or any marathon swim) given that a 64 year old lady can do 103 miles.

    And ultimately that does affects many of us involved in marathon swimming. That's why we want to see independent verification and data to support this extraordinary swim. It's not about "hate". I actually want to believe this is true.
  • smithsmith O-H-I-OMember
    It might be worthwhile to point out that Diana Nyad failed in all of her English Channel attempts, albeit under reportedly very rough conditions.

    Lactate is for wimps.

  • jendutjendut Charter Member
    At least 10 different people have said to me this week - and I paraphrase "How far was your English Channel swim?" "21 miles! That's only a warm up compared to the 103 miles done by that 64 year old lady".

    I am up in Magog QC to bring blankets, buoys, etc to the finish of Search for Memphre and when I crossed the border from VT the Border Guard was happy to bring up how that older lady did a much longer swim than 25 miles! "She is something," he said. Yup.
  • malinakamalinaka Seattle, WACharter Member
    From an @evmo Facebook thread just now:
    Diana Nyad: Ron et al...Please allow me to join all of you and respond with each and every question and concern you have. I will post soon as I can to our site (diananyad.com) a blog to introduce the Navigator John Bartlett, who has point by point GPS readings from start to finish, and to our two Independent Observers (Roger McVeigh and Janet Hinkle) who took turns making copious and accurate notes all the way across. I of course intend to be 100% open to any of your and others' valid probing into the accuracies of our historic crossing. I am confident you will find us high-minded, ethical people. Thank you
    I'm holding my breath, Diana. Literally, holding my breath. Please hurry.

    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.

  • IronMikeIronMike Arlington, VACharter Member
    Looking forward to this! Want to read the observers' logs.

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • bobswimsbobswims OregonCharter Member
    At this point, I'm willing to hear her out with a completely open mind. She's earned that..
  • I had to fix the lawnmower today, which gave me some time to think about this rat's nest. Here is what is bothering me: If we assume that Ms. Nyad did ride in the boat or something similar, we would be talking about a conspiracy of approximately 35 people to cover this up. Given that:
    1) Why would they do that? I have a hard time believing that the financial rewards for this swim are that good.
    2) How do you find 35 people who would participate in that level of deception? I tried to come up with a dozen people I felt would participate in this level of deception for me and even if I assumed that it was to keep me out of prison, I couldn't make 12, let alone 3 times that.
    3) Likewise, I have a hard time comprehending that there might be a small subset of the 35 who were plotting this and were able to keep it from everyone else. If they are that good, I'm sure they could get jobs with the CIA.
    4) Question for one of our Legal Eagles: If we assume that there is some financial payout to everyone for a successful swim and the money comes from, say, a third party/corporation, would the entire 35 have potential vulnerability to prosecution under the RICO law?
    5) I realize that the name "Lance Armstrong" might be used as an answer to the above, but it seems to me that the circumstances and money involved were vastly different.

    I am not defending Ms. Nyad, but I am trying to wrap my meager brain around this and maybe trying to play devil's advocate while I'm at it. A strange tale from a strange time.

    -LBJ

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

  • b9chrisb9chris Member
    edited September 2013
    Hi open water swimmers, this is Chris Moschini from Diana Nyad's web team. I was directed to this forum by a few fact checking discussions, and this thread in particular. First of all, I love that someone picked apart the website for the /currentswim json! Glad it was helpful. But, it doesn't have timestamps - so, here is a direct dump from our site of the GPS Spot checkins, with timestamps, in UTC no less:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AilYbJcFwZD4dEFLS3ZhcDVJclRRTmp1eGRfaTVvemc&usp=sharing

    I'm going to post this to the blog as well once I've finished converting it over to GPX format for people to be able to mess around with it in Google Earth or whatever they'd like - I'm sure a spreadsheet is interesting here, but probably less so to Diana's wider audience.

    The checkins come from 2 GPS Spots, one orange and one black. In Track mode they checkin every 9-11 minutes, so together we get between 5 and 11 minute resolution on their position (depending on their skew). They sat on one of the boats that tracked along with Diana. The site polled the 2 Spots as she swam.

    The spreadsheet begins the swim at the bottom, and row 3 is the final checkin. The second row (the final point) is the only entry that didn't come from the Spots - it's an approximated point on shore, because obviously the boats couldn't follow Diana up the beach.

    So, one important impact of that time skew is it means the timestamps are very much not uniform, as you'll see in the data. Here's a concrete, hypothetical example. Say I hit Track Progress on Orange at 10am, then 5 minutes later I hit it on Black. On the site I'll see 10am and 10:05am checkins. If they then checked in consistently every 10 minutes, I'd see 10:10am, 10:15am, so forth.

    This is not what happens. Instead Black might go every 9.5 minutes for a while, because that's what it decided to do today, and Orange might go every 10.5. So it'd look more like this:

    10:00am, 10:05, 10:09, 10:16, 10:19, 10:26, 10:28, 10:37, 10:38...

    See how they're coming together? So you end up with this stutter-stepped timestamp sequence for a while - then after a while the skew continues and spreads them nicely apart into ~5minutes again, and over and over like that.

    Hope this helps.
    -Chris Moschini,
    Brass Nine Design
    http://brass9.com/
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited September 2013
    Very cool - thanks Chris! So what I'm getting from this is, the dataset Andrew found on the website is the combined data from two separate SPOT trackers operating at the same time.

    Since Andrew's chart (and my subsequent re-formatting of the same chart) was smoothed over 6 intervals, I'm guessing the big picture of Diana's speed across the channel will look almost identical. But we should confirm this...
  • I kind of agree with Leonard somewhat. Especially if this forum is implying Diana slept on the boat for the 7.5 hours (and while she slept she took no feeds), and the boat traveled a few faster miles per hour than her normal swim speed. That would be downright fraudulent. With 35 team members there is bound to be a whistle blower. It is easier to accept the info will come forward to try to answer our questions, or Diana will simply say "stuff you". So far, I reckon she did the swim, but used a few methods we might disapprove of but in reality don't add up to much. I for one, would forgive the help in getting in and out of the jelly suit, the streamer etc. But would not accept her resting on the boat or holding on to a kayak.

    Most of all, under the circumstances, I would expect much greater dialogue coming back from Diana to settle these questions and maybe she is planning to do just that, but wants to make sure her replies (which no doubt will be picked to pieces) stand up to scrutiny.

    If she has done a genuine swim, this forum has taken the shine off it for her, and that is a horrid thought. I wish she had let the right people into her team, so we could trust the reports. Chloe and Penny would have been perfect observers.
  • evmo said:

    Very cool - thanks Chris! So what I'm getting from this is, the dataset Andrew found on the website is the combined data from two separate SPOT trackers operating at the same time ... I'm guessing the big picture of Diana's speed across the channel will look almost identical. But we should confirm this...

    Yeah, basically. Here's how the site works:

    Both GPS Spots are running on the boats, and Spot provides a public API where you can get the last several checkins. The server checks both API endpoints every minute, and when it sees a new one in either it adds it to the database. The Spot data includes a UTC timestamp, so there's no time skew between the spot and the server.

    People who have the map open during the swim have a little Javascript you guys discovered running that keeps pinging /swim/currentswim on Diana's site. That URL returns a JSON dump of what's in the database. If this is the first time someone opened the map, the entire JSON dump is used to draw that red line on the homepage. If the map has been open a while and it's just polling for new data, it checks the length of the JSON dump, and if it's longer than what it has on the map, it draws the new points it found.

    Now that the swim is over, some of that complexity is switched off - the server isn't polling anymore, and the homepage doesn't poll the server anymore. You just see the single static dump of that data on the site.
  • danslosdanslos Los Angeles, CAMember
    edited September 2013
    I have a hard time believing that the financial rewards for this swim are that good.
    Perhaps not for the whole crew, but there is a lot riding on the swim's success (or lack thereof) for Ms. Nyad:

    • Her movie, The Other Shore, arrives in less than three weeks.

    • Her upcoming 48-hour swim in New York will be much more interesting to the public and the press if Ms. Nyad arrives as a channel-conquerer.

    • Her site lists some major sponsors which might be much more inclined to stick around (and even invite their friends) to celebrate a barrier-shattering hero.

    I look forward to seeing the logs.

    -Daniel Slosberg
  • paulmpaulm Senior Member
    edited September 2013
    Hi Chris, Welcome and thanks for sharing the information. As Spot saves the tracks for 30 days- Is it possible for you to share the actual spot tracking page of the swim from the Spot site ??

    http://www.findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=111
    Save Your Tracks
    Tracking not only allows personal contacts to follow you on your adventures in near real-time, but also provides the ability to create your own personal adventure log. Simply use Tracking during your activities or travels and reference your route later on your own personal Google Maps™ page inside your SPOT account. Each recorded SPOT waypoint includes the date, time-stamp and GPS coordinates in addition to showing your location on the map.

    Keep in mind: SPOT archives your data for only 30 days, we encourage you to save your Tracks with SPOT Adventures where you can create an adventure and save it forever, or download your data to your desktop for use outside of your SPOT account.
  • malinakamalinaka Seattle, WACharter Member
    @b9chris I'm so excited right now. I just peed myself a little.

    (Not to make you feel too special, I get like this whenever I get a long list of numbers to look at.)

    Thank you.

    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.

  • bobswimsbobswims OregonCharter Member
    Here are my questions for Diana:

    1) Who are Roger McVeigh and Janet Hinkle?
    2) What is their experience with marathon swimming or acting as an official observer on a marathon swim?
    3) Who selected them?
    4) What criteria were used in selecting them?
    5) Did they receive any compensation, or have their expenses paid for?
    6) If they did, who paid them?
    7) How much we're they paid if they were?
    8) What were they told to record?
    9) Who gave them instructions on what to record?
    10) What rules were they told would apply?
    11) Who told them?
    12) Can we get a full copy of their logs? ( digitally scanned is fine, preferably as a PDF file)

    I'm sure Diana can appreciate the importance of having these questions answered.
  • edited September 2013
    @malinaka Looking forward to an update of your previous post with the new data.

    To the forum members, as someone who loves open water swimming but has little experience in the deep ocean;

    1) What's it like swimming in a strong ocean current that transports you at twice the speed as the data suggests Diana was? Is it a bit like being in a high speed train where you don't really notice it?

    2) Are they very common and where? I can imagine being in a strong river current that could cut my usual swim pace of say 1:40sec/100yds to 0:50sec/100yds but such a push would almost be scary.
  • malinakamalinaka Seattle, WACharter Member
    @tricoachmartin The train is a good analogy. Things are scary in fast rivers because you get a lot of turbulence from the bottom and sides and you definitely feel the little eddies jostling you about. When you get away from the shore and the bottom, you are just in a mass of water, doing your own thing. On my SJDF swim this past July, my forward speed ranged from 3mph to 0.4mph as the tides changed despite my pretty consistent swim pace and I didn't notice it at all. At least not until I started asking how far from shore I was.

    If you looking for one, these currents are found in two general places. 1) Where a large body of water is forced through a small deep opening, typically anything labeled "Strait" (Strait of Florida, Juan de Fuca, Gibraltar, Cook, etc); 2) In the major ocean circulation currents, like the Gulf Stream. Check out marinebio.org/oceans/currents-tides.asp for a pretty cool set of charts and videos.

    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.

  • edited September 2013
    @malinaka - You're meant to be mapping that data not watching Downtown Abbey or responding to my posts!

    That is a cool vid. Thank you.

    So what has you baffled about Diana's swim? Your speed during that race had fluctuations of greater than a factor of 3 from your slowest to fastest paces at the same perceived effort. Is it not possible that one of these currents could carry a swimmer at world record 1500m pace for 7 hours?
  • paulm said:

    Hi Chris, Welcome and thanks for sharing the information. As Spot saves the tracks for 30 days- Is it possible for you to share the actual spot tracking page of the swim from the Spot site ??

    So, 2 problems there:

    1) Both were lent to us, meaning they'll be reused by those who lent them, so they'll be reused for their own private adventures through the world - it's not really my place to post on a public forum how to track these kind lenders.

    2) The Spots were both left on after the swim was completed, following the boats and then the people carrying them. It appears one went so far as to go all the way home with one person, not so great as privacy goes. I didn't notice this until now when I was considering posting them here, so I've reached out to the relevant people to have them switched off.

    So, perhaps if there was one person here you all felt was trustworthy not to pass the URLs on, I could PM them to that person, with an understanding that there's a lot of extraneous, sensitive data besides the swim on there and to keep things isolated to just the fact-checking task. But since this is a public forum, it's not that I don't trust members here, but the internet has plenty of roaming jerks, and a public forum isn't the right place to just paste and say go for it.
  • Super interesting. Please post the new graphs with the new data with timestamps up on twitter as well as this forum when they become available. I think the server will probably crash here soon after you do. The force and assistance of this current (or, as some have suggested something more sinister) will be of great general interest.
  • IronMikeIronMike Arlington, VACharter Member
    @bobswims, answers to some of your questions from the AP article:
    Janet Hinkle, a Key West boat captain and acquaintance of Nyad's, was called to be an observer for the swim when Steve Munatones, a former U.S. national open-water coach, was unable to make it. "I can say unequivocally she swam every stroke without question," Hinkle said.

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited September 2013
    "I can say unequivocally she swam every stroke without question," Hinkle said.
    So by that statement, are we to assume Ms. Hinkle remained awake and watching Ms. Nyad for 53 hours continuously?

    I'd also note there is still no information about Ms. Hinkle's previous experience observing open-water swims.
  • @evmo. The charts you provided look to me fairly "macro" in detail so at this stage I'm more likely to believe Mitch Roffer's assessment from the AP article that the currents were indeed south to north and assisting DN.

    These currents bring a different perspective to the feat to the layperson endurance athlete. For example, there's no wind on earth that can move a cyclist at three times the speed for the same perceived effort.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited September 2013
    @tricoachmartin - I don't recall providing you any charts about currents. Do you mean the SECOORA chart in @malinaka's analysis?
  • I'm enjoying the data and charts. Slowly but surely the data is coming in.

    One thing I can't shake from my head is the image of DN swimming at hour 33 (video from her blog http://www.diananyad.com/blog/645pm-bonnie-update). This was reported to have been shot at 6:14pm on the second day of her swim.


    By the looks of the charts that have been created, she was moving at 6km/hour at hour 33 (down from 10km a few hours prior). Even if it was current aided, I can't make it make sense in my head.
    We also have video of her 9 minutes prior at 6:04pm stopped, chatting and goggles up.

  • @evmo. Yes the SECOORA charts. Do you think Mitch Roffer had access to something different or more detailed?
  • suziedodssuziedods Charter Member
    Sorry, I am not a numbers person. I do have a hard time believing that a $200 spot tracker was not bought. What with the 100's of thousands of dollars spent. It's just one more piece that doesn't make sense. If it's a record there has to be proof. And ... One more thought ... It's okay to leave some swims undoable.

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

  • The video looks like she has a following swell, which would increase her speed, but her swimming looks nowhere near fast enough. She also sounds tired and inward, not a speedy disposition, more a plodding phase. But maybe the swell, current and swim direction all match up......I wouldn't know. But I feel that if the conditions do support a faster swim, you still have to swim faster to make the best speed, not just allow the water to carry you faster. How fast did Trent Grimsey look for the seven hours he covered the EC on the bow wave? Diana just looks slow, as is her normal way. I would like to see some film of when she was supposed to be swimming at the highest speeds.

    But I think we must accept Ms Hinkles' observation that Diana "swam every stroke" which implies Diana stayed in the water, but does she recognise the implications of holding onto a kayak for instance during a feed or being undressed by helpers? Would an untrained swimming observer, still say "swam every stroke"? I think perhaps they might.

    Such 'offences' in my opinion do little to make Dianas' swim disqualified. She never professed to honour EC rules, so I can (only just) live with holding onto a boat during a feed, but not holding on for a rest, nor getting out for a sleep.

    This swim is not a matter of crossing an ocean like Ben Lacomte or Guy Delage or how Dan Martin planned, where rules have to be invented. It is very much a single event long distance swim which (in my opinion) needed to embrace much of the foundation of EC rules.

    We could simply ask Diana to list all the things in this swim, which bent EC rules. She will be well aware of those areas which lose the integrity of the swim when comparing with EC rules. We could then make our minds up as to how they affect the integrity of this swim.
  • sylmarinosylmarino San FranciscoMember
    I stated this earlier to evmo but for what it's worth... My 2 cents (which aren't worth squat since I haven't done any amazing swims as many of you have in this forum) - is the swim legit? Most likely yes. Should it be in the World Book of Records? Only if an official observer from that organization was on the boat, otherwise, no.

    More than anything - any and ALL instances varying from channel rules (did someone else apply her sunscreen, did a doctor touch her while listening to lungs, the swim line/streamer, people pushing jellies out of the way, stinger suit and mask) all need to be documented for the NEXT person.

    DN tried to promote her last attempts as "the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida" and it was only pressure (?) on the media for it to get changed this time to "first person to swim it without a shark cage".

    The person who swims this next without a jellyfish mover, swin line/streamer, etc. ---- until we get to Channel "clean" ---- will be making the new firsts. By not disclosing WHAT she did is trying to keep her "first" by omission.

    And I agree with suziedods... rather amazing that for such an epic/historical swim, one did not own and manage their own Spot?
  • bobswimsbobswims OregonCharter Member
    edited September 2013
    Haydn said:

    But I think we must accept Ms Hinkles' observation that Diana "swam every stroke"

    Frankly I'm not sure what that phase means. Swam every yard, meter or mile, but every stroke? We all understand it wasn't a relay. Ms Hinkles' use of the phase indicates a less than accurate use of words. Sloppy prose, sometimes reflects sloppy thinking. With all of the questions raised, I would hope to hear more than "swam every stroke" from the person Diana designated as one of her 2 official observers. These are the 2 people she place the success or failure of her entire swim on. Just doesn't make sense. It sounds more like they were only observers in only a ceremonial sense of the word.
  • bobswimsbobswims OregonCharter Member
    "Nyad's navigator and one of the swim's official observers told The Associated Press this weekend that Nyad didn't cheat and that she was aided during the rapid part of her swim by a swift current. And neither Nyad nor her team ever said she would follow English Channel rules, developed for swimming the waters between England and France. Those rules outlaw protective wetsuits and contact with a support boat."

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57601879/diana-nyad-team-becoming-sensitive-to-skeptics/

    Navigator and official observer? That's a no-no in my book
  • bobswimsbobswims OregonCharter Member
    "The data collected by Bartlett and two observers will be submitted to three open-water swimming associations and the Guinness World Records for verification, Bartlett said."

    Now which associations is she talking about?


    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/09/08/20387406-diana-nyads-team-responds-to-skeptics-doubting-her-swim?lite
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited September 2013
    RuffWater said:

    One thing I can't shake from my head is the image of DN swimming at hour 33...
    By the looks of the charts that have been created, she was moving at 6km/hour at hour 33 (down from 10km a few hours prior). Even if it was current aided, I can't make it make sense in my head.

    @RuffWater, thanks for saying this. I believe this is a key issue underlying much of the skepticism about this swim. A slightly awkward issue that some are reluctant to acknowledge explicitly.

    Which is: Experienced swimmers know what good swimming looks like. Fast swimming. In videos of Diana swimming, it seems obvious that she is making very little self-propelled forward progress. It raises alarm bells when GPS tracking data show the same swimmer progressing faster than the fastest marathon swimmers in the world.
  • suziedods said:

    I do have a hard time believing that a $200 spot tracker was not bought. What with the 100's of thousands of dollars spent.

    I think you're responding to my mention of the 2 GPS Spots being lent to us. So, to explain that - think of Diana's team less as a paid top-down team and more as a chaotic relatively unmanaged group of volunteers that once a year hears "RED ALERT!" and scrambles to do what they can, falling somewhere inside their role from the year prior.

    2 years ago we wanted to track the swim somehow, and the only obvious method was the boat's navigation system. That was woefully inadequate. In the following year, some kind employees of CNN were nice enough to point us to a long list of GPS tracking solutions. Notably we didn't just want tracking though, we wanted to send data off the boat including that position, to get some kind of interesting web experience during the swim - no one looks at the site other than during that swim, and if we have no data leaving the boat, no one's getting any of what they came for. See our stats showing that traffic pattern here:

    http://www.diananyad.com/blog/web-stats-2013

    We dealt with a long list of vendors who were generally looking forward to our spending thousands and thousands on solutions with no promises they'd perform. Some definitely felt they were doing us a favor if they cut it to fewer thousands with fewer promises and some DIY asks. None of it was doable on budget. Time was getting tight for the 2012 swim - Diana had already delayed it once even though the currents were right to give us a shot at figuring this out. Finally, someone was nice enough to lend us these Spots, and CNN lent us a way to get data off the boat (satellite data connection). Installing the connection was... non-trivial. We ran several trial runs with the GPS Spots over a couple days then off to Cuba Diana's team went, and the 2012 swim began. Our 2013 solution was essentially unchanged, and I have to thankfully say, far less stressful.

    So, I realize that thinking of just the final solution we landed on and its cost seems like very little, but there's so much more to it when you're trying to find a solution, including asking "Hey will this work in Cuban national waters?" as part of that conversation. Research costs a ton in time and can be pricey in terms of money.

    As a side note, for those suspecting the cost of a GPS Spot to be a one-time fee, if you want to do real-time tracking like we were doing there's also a monthly fee involved. If you decide to send messages off the boat with them, you're in for a ride... generally I'd just recommend you don't bother. Their best feature is definitely their core feature - you could be a little crazy and get ~1-minute resolution with 5-10 of them all set to Track Progress. You'd need a lot of spare rechargeable batteries and some chargers with you.
  • edited September 2013
    This is what 6km/hour swimming looks like:



    DN team does not contest this was the speed she was moving (Barlett says 4mph which is ~ 6.5km/hour)

    But, again, I knew nothing about these currents and their power. I sure am impressed by them now.
  • I'll just answer's @Haydn's question about Trent for the speed and "composure" examples, though it was "only" a seven-hour swim.

    Trent went on with a usual flooding tide, on neap. The tide gate flow-rate on neap well outside Dover Harbour is about 2.5 knots ( 4.6 kilometres per hour) at the low end. (E.g. for neaps this coming week, it is never less than 2.5 knts). Trent's speed is that of top Gran Prix FINA swimmers, ~5k per hour unassisted.

    With that tide, at the start of his swim, the 2012 World Number 1, covered 6.5 kilometres, in his first, freshest hour.

    The theoretical max speed, combined Trent with tidal flow rate, is 10.5 kilometres, than which he was 4 kilometres lower. I can only assume because he was going slightly east across the tide, the first leg of the reverse-S you've all seen, and not perfectly aligned with the tide.
    So after 30 hours, DN swam faster than the 40-year-younger, 24 year old Gran Prix winner in his freshest hour in a tidal current that is notoriously fast even on neap & he was in the much-debated boat wave.

    As to how he looked: He was completely mentally and physically focused, except for a dip in the fifth hour, when the recovery phase of his left arm deteriorated and he started to straight-arm his recovery for a short while, maybe 10 minutes, until Harley his coach called him on it. He later said he was feeling frustrated with himself. He otherwise always looked composed, and both driven, and driving. Both a long stroke and a fast stroke rate. It was phenomenal to watch for the entire swim. This is a short video from 3 hours in.

    Another comparison. I recently observed forum member @Owenswims93 on his new 60k down the Blackwater river swim, total swim time 12 hrs 8 mins; 5 hours down river, 1 hour against tide, 6 hours with ebb tide. @Owenswims93 is very fast and sickeningly young ;-) (Round Jersey Record last month) I had RunKeeper giving me audio GPS-based pace & distance travelled updates while I kayaked in the upper river. In the upper river, lower summer rate, but still the fastest part of the flow/swim, about 4 hours into the swim, his fastest speed was 8 minutes and 45 seconds for the one fastest kilometre. Which is an average speed of ... 5 kilometres per hour for 60 kilometres, 11 hours with a flow.

    http://www.loneswimmer.com The World's Most Popular Open Water Swimming Blog

  • To give you all some more quantitative data to look at, I've recalculated Diana's speed using the GPS data kindly provided by @b9chris. I used the same routine's to calculate the distance between GPS points and her bearing that @malanika used in his plot http://www.movable-type.co.uk/scripts/latlong.html. There was a bit of scatter in the dt's between the coordinates, but the main features in the plot are pretty much identical (such as the sustained 3mph to 4+mph hump in the middle of the swim).

    image

    I've been following this thread with quite a bit of interest, both as an aspiring marathon swimmer and a physicist. I'm hoping to compare some of the GPS data against local surface current data/models from SECOORA (or other sources if there are any other places people recommend), but that might take a bit more time.

    The numbers that went into this plot are shared in this google spreadsheet:
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AuPBnlGWL25cdENzcXhfMm1sVF9PSFdMUHllTWp5a1E&usp=sharing

    and if anyone has questions or wants more details I'd be happy to provide them.

    John Royer
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandAdmin
    edited September 2013
    A forum member has privately asked me to submit this question:

    Who is submitting the data/entry/application to the Guinness Book of World Records? Will it be @Munatones as it was apparently intended to be on previous occasions?

    The application process starts at least 6 weeks in advance, and a Record Adjudicator is specified.

    The process for Guinness World Record Application is here and includes this:
    "Record Adjudication is the verification process Guinness World Records undertakes to confirm whether a world record has been achieved. A Record Adjudicator is the official Guinness World Records judge who performs the verification.
    You are not required to have an Adjudicator present when you attempt a record - but if you do not, you must carefully document and record your attempt so our team of Adjudicators can assess the evidence you send to us and verify whether your attempt has been successful."

    Under what heading/record/description would this thing be entered?

    The criteria for a GWR are: Measurable / Verifiable / Breakable / Based on a single variable.

    All are essential. That last one means you can have the longest swim, the fastest swim, the first, the greatest distance etc. But you can only claim a record for ONE variable.

    We know @PennyPalfrey; (longest unassisted Cuba-Florida), Suzie Maroney; (first assisted Cuba-Florida), Kevin Murphy; (longest unassisted swim).

    http://www.loneswimmer.com The World's Most Popular Open Water Swimming Blog

  • owenswims93owenswims93 Dublin, IrelandMember
    b9chris said:

    So, I realize that thinking of just the final solution we landed on and its cost seems like very little, but there's so much more to it when you're trying to find a solution, including asking "Hey will this work in Cuban national waters?" as part of that conversation. Research costs a ton in time and can be pricey in terms of money.

    As a side note, for those suspecting the cost of a GPS Spot to be a one-time fee, if you want to do real-time tracking like we were doing there's also a monthly fee involved. If you decide to send messages off the boat with them, you're in for a ride... generally I'd just recommend you don't bother. Their best feature is definitely their core feature - you could be a little crazy and get ~1-minute resolution with 5-10 of them all set to Track Progress. You'd need a lot of spare rechargeable batteries and some chargers with you.

    Sandycove Island SC and all of the CS&PF pilots have SPOT Trackers. These cost only about €100 to buy new and there is an annual (not monthly) charge of about €140 for the real-time tracking feature. Not an outlandish cost by any means!

    They require three AAA batteries and will work perfectly for 50+ hours on one set of batteries: Lance Oram has one on "Sea Satin" and it worked from 10:00 am on Saturday, 19 September 2009 through Lisa Cummins' English Channel 2-way solo and my 1-way solo finishing at 12:00 on Monday, 21 September 2009...

    According to this map, the SPOT Tracker should have full coverage right across the Florida Strait. Why shouldn't it?

    The Sandycove Island SC SPOT Tracker has covered two of my long swims on the River Blackwater, a Lake Zurich swim, a Strait of Gibraltar swim, many English Channel swims, my Tory Sound swim and a multitude of others. It has never given any problems.

    http://fermoyfish.com – Owen O'Keefe (Fermoy, Ireland)

  • This is a topic that just keeps giving.

    So pretty much Diana Nyad didn't really make it across in her 5th attempt.

    Her team also can't prove it. Which I find amazing given the cost involved to attempt such a challenge.

    But it doesn't seem like she even cares.

    Out of interest as someone who plans on doing an English Channel crossing in the next season, has Diana Nyad ever attempted swimming the English Channel, as I can't see on the crossing roll of honor that she's done something that should be so simple for someone of her claimed ability?

    It's just weird.
  • bobswimsbobswims OregonCharter Member


    The process for Guinness World Record Application is here and includes this:
    "Record Adjudication is the verification process Guinness World Records undertakes to confirm whether a world record has been achieved.

    The criteria for a GWR are: Measurable / Verifiable / Breakable / Based on a single variable.

    All are essential. That last one means you can have the longest swim, the fastest swim, the first, the greatest distance etc. But you can only claim a record for ONE variable.

    Maybe I should submit mine:

    Shortest period of time between 2 unsuccessful English Channel attempts where one was with CSA and the other with CS&PF.

    This is easily verifiable.
  • suziedodssuziedods Charter Member
    Nyad attempted the EC three times. No success. Jabez Wolff attempted 47 times , no success.

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

  • rosemarymintrosemarymint Charleston, SCCharter Member
    I was not following the excruciating detail of the swim as it was happening online, nor do I have a TV (or cable.) I do know that CNN had a huge amount of involvement in the swim, even offering their satellite link for the data to the website (per the post by Diana's web team.) Did CNN have a reporter (staff or freelancer) on any of the boats with the flotilla? This could become a credibility issue for them if they did.

    Second: does anyone know any Florida Strait current experts that were NOT involved with the swim? We have now seen the brief visual analysis of the GPS/timestamp info, but there still is a big missing piece. Is there proof from an independent scientific source (and is not commercial in nature) that the currents could have moved the way Diana's camp says they did and could explain the swim speeds? And could they have moved that way during those exact moments?

    Have to admit, I'm more than a little surprised by the pervasive lack of skepticism among the media. Yes, we all love a good heart-warming story where a human being achieves something absolutely extraordinary, but the initial data do not pass the smell test. I can't have any conclusions yet because there still are not enough data points to fully answer questions, but my flags are more than waving in the air. The fact that Diana's swimming peers have such intense skepticism should be enough for a lot of people, but apparently not.
  • sylmarinosylmarino San FranciscoMember
    edited September 2013
    @owenswim93 - thank you. I find it odd to point out but getting Spot tracking was difficult to arrange and stated to be costly but having a PR firm was not?
  • b9chris said:

    So, I realize that thinking of just the final solution we landed on and its cost seems like very little, but there's so much more to it when you're trying to find a solution, including asking "Hey will this work in Cuban national waters?" as part of that conversation. Research costs a ton in time and can be pricey in terms of money.

    ... SPOT Trackers. These cost only about €100 to buy new and there is an annual (not monthly) charge of about €140 for the real-time tracking feature. Not an outlandish cost by any means!
    Again, we were looking at the larger problem of GPS + getting data off a boat, not just GPS. It took a lot to get to the finish line. If you imagine the cost as just "Buy 2 Spots" it seems very simple, but where we started we had a long list of possibilities and no guarantees that any would work. It took a lot of research to get to an answer, and some spending. That's my point - it's the research, not the cost of the Spots we finally ended up with.

    It's a bit like telling someone who's never bought a car before to just go get one, then knocking them for buying something overpriced. We'd never tried to get data (and as a subgoal, live GPS) off a boat in Cuban national waters, where they're known to interfere with connectivity. That there was someone out there somewhere that would've told us the answer is fine hindsight information, but it doesn't change the challenge it presented at the time.
  • LisaLisa Temporary Suspension
    edited September 2013
    Peter71 said:

    Out of interest as someone who plans on doing an English Channel crossing in the next season, has Diana Nyad ever attempted swimming the English Channel, as I can't see on the crossing roll of honor that she's done something that should be so simple for someone of her claimed ability?

    Before everyone starts slamming Diana's previous feats, and claiming she can't be a real swimmer because she didn't manage the Channel, it can be noted, with absolute certainty, that she completed a tougher swim than the Channel, 52km across Lake Ontario in 1974. She was the first to successfully do a north-south crossing, a direction made far more difficult because of the strong Niagara River current that would have been against her for the final third of the swim. Her 18 hour time still stands as the record for this direction. Also, it was overseen by the irreproachable ISHOFer Cliff Lumsdon, so don't bother questioning it.

    Amazing how small-minded some of the comments are in this thread...
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited September 2013
    Lisa said:

    Amazing how small-minded some of the comments are in this thread...

    On the contrary, I think the thread has been remarkably high minded. Keep in mind this is an internet forum. An internet forum that has now made national news for engaging in fact-checking that actual journalists didn't bother with.
This discussion has been closed.