110 miles, 53 hours: Questions for Diana Nyad

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  • goldfishgoddessgoldfishgoddess Temporary Suspension
    I've done a lot of multi day endurance events and find you guys way off base with the questions on her nutrition. Ultra athletes often train their bodies for fatburning.. because you CANNOT eat and digest enough carbs after a few hours to continue to supply you with energy. She was sipping fluids and I think if her body was rejecting solid food, then the body was showing its wisdom. I've seen enough ultra athletes who push too many electrolytes and solid foods after the first 18 hours or so, and they're the ones vomiting uncontrollably on the sidelines.

    Diana has done a wonderful thing for endurance sport. You guys are really coming off like a bunch of curmudgeons. I think Diana Nyad is a courageous and dedicated athlete and her single-minded determination to conquer this Cuba-Florida swim is really inspiring. Let's see some of you going out to beat her time!

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin

    Yes. I would be very happy to clear up any misconceptions, Loneswimmer.

    ...

    Ask these questions of Steven Munantones, Roger McVeigh, or Janet Hinkle. Or, if you have the connections, talk to Diana yourself.
    http://dailynews.openwaterswimming.com/
    There really are a lot of sour grapes in this group.

    Alrighty then...
  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member
    @goldfishgoddess, that's exactly the point. Some of us (not me) want to replicate this. But for that to happen, we have to know EXACTLY WHAT WAS DONE. Until we have complete transparency, how will we ever know what the next person has to do?

    For example, say another person attempts it and completes it in 56 hours, but does it without the jelly suit, or the streamer, or the jelly make-up? Does s/he now own the record, because s/he did it in a more restrictive way?

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member
    evmo said:

    Yes. I would be very happy to clear up any misconceptions, Loneswimmer.

    ...

    Ask these questions of Steven Munantones, Roger McVeigh, or Janet Hinkle. Or, if you have the connections, talk to Diana yourself.
    http://dailynews.openwaterswimming.com/
    There really are a lot of sour grapes in this group.

    Alrighty then...
    I thought the same thing!

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member

    There really are a lot of sour grapes in this group.

    There are cynics, I agree. I'd cop to being called one of them. However, given the history of the claims made by Ms. Nyad, I think a little skepticism is appropriate. Indeed, your claim that:

    At NO TIME DURING THE SWIM, did Diana EVER get support from her mothership (Voyager), her handlers, her medical team, her shark divers, her kayaks or kayakers.

    Is rather absurd. Without the support of her boat, there's no way she would have made it. Plus the pictures from her website of her receiving assistance into her suit, and having salve spread on her face.

    I understand your admiration for Ms. Nyad completing this incredible swim. I have trouble with you seeming to take it as a personal attack that there is doubt over her claims. I agree that the tone of these threads has been rather negative, but I don't think that the questions raised in them are unfair questions.
  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoCharter Member
    @goldfishgoddess - in my (admittedly limited) experience, the term "feed" when applied to a swim applies to anything (liquid, solid, water) that is ingested, hence the concern when it was reported that Ms Nyad took no "feed" for 7 1/2 hours i.e. it would imply taking nothing (even water) during that time period, which seems unlikely.

    This may simply be a confusion in terminology, if the term "feed" here meant "solid food", then not taking solids for 7 1/2 hours would not be considered unusual on a swim - though it would beg the question why it was reported on.

    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer

  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member
    From her blog entries:
    Diana has gotten very cold, so the handlers were not stopping her to eat and drink overnight in the hopes that swimming would keep her warm. Additionally it was difficult to get her oriented to the boat and where to go in the dark.
    and
    Diana’s Condition Report, First Light
    Monday, 7:30 a.m., Swim time: 46:31

    When the whistle blew for Diana’s first feeding stop since before midnight...

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member
    timsroot said:

    Indeed, your claim that:

    At NO TIME DURING THE SWIM, did Diana EVER get support from her mothership (Voyager), her handlers, her medical team, her shark divers, her kayaks or kayakers.

    Is rather absurd. Without the support of her boat, there's no way she would have made it.
    To clarify: No swimmer makes it across a channel without boat support. Diverting traffic, making the swimmer "visible" to boats, safe haven should the swim need to be abandoned, mixing and storage of feeds are all done on the boat. I am picking on your wording a bit, but just wanted to make sure the correct point was coming out of that post.

  • goldfishgoddessgoldfishgoddess Temporary Suspension
    dc_in_sf said:

    @goldfishgoddess - in my (admittedly limited) experience, the term "feed" when applied to a swim applies to anything (liquid, solid, water) that is ingested, hence the concern when it was reported that Ms Nyad took no "feed" for 7 1/2 hours i.e. it would imply taking nothing (even water) during that time period, which seems unlikely.

    This may simply be a confusion in terminology, if the term "feed" here meant "solid food", then not taking solids for 7 1/2 hours would not be considered unusual on a swim - though it would beg the question why it was reported on.

    I think that's probably the case. She took no solids but was taking fluids.

    I really doubt any of you could have done this challenge. It took years of research -- finding someone to make the jellyfish mask to combat potentially fatal stings, finding a way to swim without a cage, the works. Anyone who does ultra events needs a crew to hand them drinks, help verbally re-orient them when they are having hallucinations, etc. Diana did this solo-- there were no other athletes to follow, no flags, no THIS WAY signs. No pool.

    I've been following her with admiration for years. What she did took a lot of guts. Shame to see people here trying to chip away at a legend in our time.
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member

    I've been following her with admiration for years. What she did took a lot of guts. Shame to see people here trying to chip away at a legend in our time.

    I agree, it did take a lot of guts. We would share in your admiration if she would answer some questions and release her observer's report.
  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member


    I think that's probably the case. She took no solids but was taking fluids.

    Not according to her team's blog posts, quoted above.

    I really doubt any of you could have done this challenge.

    Um, excuse me? How the hell do you know? You don't know any of us. You just arrived here.

    Diana did this solo-- there were no other athletes to follow, no flags, no THIS WAY signs.

    Streamer=THIS WAY sign

    I've been following her with admiration for years. What she did took a lot of guts. Shame to see people here trying to chip away at a legend in our time.

    Your first line is one of the reasons I (at least) have a problem with communications that come out of DN crew(s) before/during/after her swims. Too sycophantic for me.

    Not doubting your second line at all.

    Your third line: we're not trying to chip away. We are asking for extraordinary evidence for an extraordinary claim. It boggles my mind that DN and her crew don't want to make her swim as transparent as possible!

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoCharter Member


    I really doubt any of you could have done this challenge.

    To be fair I don't think anyone on this thread is claiming that they could. The thing that is unclear in some folks minds though is what are the specific details of this particular challenge.

    Diana did this solo-- there were no other athletes to follow, no flags, no THIS WAY signs. No pool.

    You do realize that this forum is in fact dedicated to people who either have swum or aspire to swim long distances under the same sorts of constraints you are mentioning?

    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer

  • For the moment, I'd ask you all to not divert this thread into a to-&-fro with @goldfishgoddess, whose comments indicate she may have either no relevant experience or knowledge of marathon swimming. I am currently investigating.

    Regardless of belief or doubt or disagreement on either side about Diana Nyad's swim or credibility this is a forum for those involved in some way with marathon swimming and not a soapbox for others.

    We will welcome @woodkayaker's responses to any of the reasonable questions being asked and would like to give him time to so do.

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

  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member


    I really doubt any of you could have done this challenge. It took years of research --

    I think there are at least a dozen members of this forum who could have done this.... 110 miles with a 2mph current assist much of the way (still would love to see the flow chart)
    All those years of research still didn't yield an accurate time estimate for the crossing, so, all the more reason we'd (i'd) like to know more about the "monster eddy" (a DN supporters term from fb)

    You'll find an unprecedented amount of support and sharing of information on this forum regarding planning and researching swims... likewise the celebration of successful swims and heroic efforts that may fall short seem to me to be on equal terms.

    Take your coat off and stay a while....

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • Listen - you want clarifications on rules and observations, then go to the persons that are qualified to discuss the rules. If you want to know if she cheated by holding on to a boat, kayak, or person, then ask me about it, and I'll set you straight. If you want to say that she was towed by some boat, or whatever, then I will tell you EXACTLY what I think of YOU. One hint... you're not going to like it.

  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member

    If you want to know if she cheated by holding on to a boat, kayak, or person, then ask me about it, and I'll set you straight.

    Plenty of questions have been asked in this and other threads. We still haven't heard answers. Are you going to answer any of the posed questions (As you indicated that you would)?

  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member
    Awesome! I finally got a non-family member, non-friend to comment on my blog! Here's what I got from the mysterious wow from wow@wow.com:
    I feel sorry for you. You must have wasted a lot of time writing this blog post that is based off of what people have said on a message board. Why don't you do something useful with your life.

    People are out doing amazing things in this world and you're at home sitting on a computer crying about it.
    Jeez, I didn't think my blog post was that negative...

    So I am announcing right now that I will quit work, quit being a father, quit working for the military, and do something useful in my life: I'll be contacting The Extreme Dream and see if they need any new true believers crew members.

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • You want me to read this whole list of negativity, from top to bottom? No. There are some jerks on here that have said that Diana must have been towed. To those people, I say, F-U. There are questions about solid food. I don't understand what this has to do with it, but I will tell you - yes, she ate solid food. Bananas in bite-sized pieces that she would swim up and bite out of her handler's hand. Same thing with bite-sized pieces of sandwiches. Don't you all do this? Is this against your rules? What is the big deal? There may have been a 7 hour period when she did NOT take in solid food. With the summer squall that we experienced out there, with the wind and waves, it's not surprising that she got sick and couldn't eat. Yes, she was puking. She did that a LOT. The jellyfish mask was a difficult thing for her to use, because she was constantly taking in salt water as a result of wearing it, but as Chloe MacArdle found out, it was NECESSARY. Her non-buoyant suit, designed by Finis, was a difficult thing for her to put on, and it slowed her swimming, but again, it was NECESSARY. Deal with it. Accept it. Otherwise, go ahead and try this swim without it, and see if you can get farther than Chloe did. Diana drank cool water from both bottles and camelback bladders. The bladders were elevated over the water, and she would put the tube in her mouth and drink. When she wanted something to help her warm up, she would drink coffee out of a water bottle, or else it would be some other form of hot liquid. Is this against your rules? When I say that she received no support from her boat, divers, kayaks, or kayakers, I am telling you that she got no lift, no physical support to hold her in the water. Are people so dense that they can't understand this simple concept? Why must so many people in this group want to pick apart every little thing? Take a look at yourselves... you are an embarrassment. Accept the FACT that she did this swim. Get a LIFE.
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member

    There are some jerks on here that have said that Diana must have been towed. To those people, I say, F-U.

    Not neccessarily. There are people who are saying that with the speeds they have calculated based off of the data provided on Ms. Nyad's website, there are questions raised. We have not seen the captain's log or the navigator's log to confirm or refute these calculations.

    There are questions about solid food. I don't understand what this has to do with it, but I will tell you - yes, she ate solid food. Bananas in bite-sized pieces that she would swim up and bite out of her handler's hand. Same thing with bite-sized pieces of sandwiches. Don't you all do this? Is this against your rules? What is the big deal? There may have been a 7 hour period when she did NOT take in solid food. With the summer squall that we experienced out there, with the wind and waves, it's not surprising that she got sick and couldn't eat. Yes, she was puking. She did that a LOT.

    The questions are surrounding the claim that, 31 hours into a 52 hour swim, she was not stopped to eat or drink anything. It is not against any set of rules to eat solid food, but it seems to be quite extraordinary that she could last that long, that far into such a long swim, without any source of nutrition.

    The jellyfish mask was a difficult thing for her to use, because she was constantly taking in salt water as a result of wearing it, but as Chloe MacArdle found out, it was NECESSARY. Her non-buoyant suit, designed by Finis, was a difficult thing for her to put on, and it slowed her swimming, but again, it was NECESSARY. Deal with it. Accept it. Otherwise, go ahead and try this swim without it, and see if you can get farther than Chloe did.

    I haven't seen too much disagreement on that point, although I know plenty of people would rather try such a swim in a traditional (one cap, traditional suit) attire. My contention is that she did not put the suit on by herself, but received help from her crew, as pictured here:

    image

    Diana drank cool water from both bottles and camelback bladders. The bladders were elevated over the water, and she would put the tube in her mouth and drink. When she wanted something to help her warm up, she would drink coffee out of a water bottle, or else it would be some other form of hot liquid. Is this against your rules?

    No problem with this. Suspicious and counterintuitive that her crew would rather have her keep swimming when she's cold, for 7 hours, than to stop her and give her coffee, which was the reason cited for the long period without a feeding.

    When I say that she received no support from her boat, divers, kayaks, or kayakers, I am telling you that she got no lift, no physical support to hold her in the water. Are people so dense that they can't understand this simple concept? Why must so many people in this group want to pick apart every little thing? Take a look at yourselves... you are an embarrassment. Accept the FACT that she did this swim. Get a LIFE.

    Again:
    image

    If her swim were able to stand up to the scrutiny, then we would join in the adulation of such an impressive accomplishment. So far we haven't seen answers to questions. @IronMike has put together a relatively comprehensive list of questions in his post above, posted since you offered to provide some answers.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    @Woodkayaker, you seem to be pretty emotionally invested in this. Which is useful information in the forthcoming, objective evaluation of what happened out there.
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandAdmin
    edited September 2013
    @Woodkayaker, I am trying to keep things focused and respectful toward your coming on here and remain appreciative of your involvement.

    Your not liking the questions or not responding to the specifics, which are based on years of marathon swimming, doesn't help however.

    Chloe DIDN'T find a suit was necessary, she found that the swim couldn't be done unaided, which is a different thing and Penny & Chloe said what rules they would be following beforehand and were utterly transparent. Diane insulting them hasn't helped. Diana allegedly calling some volunteers traitors, volunteers presumably like yourself, is a shocking thing, because none of us can swim without volunteers and helpers. I can't imagine saying such about the people who helped me.

    We are all of us here, swimmers and others, those who swim without aids, who abide by Channel rules. We take them quite seriously and hold them close to our hearts, and hold to a tradition that hearkens back 138 years and has seen swimmers lost whilst adhering to them.

    For example, no, most of us don't used solid food bites, because when you are in salt water for a long period of time, swallowing becomes painful or almost impossible. My maximum swim time is only around 18 hours, and I have no desire to swim longer. But I know Chloe & Penny and Kevin Murphy, whom I consider amongst the greatest open water swimmers ever, and many other great swimmers who are same . It's also a slow and inefficient way of delivering nutrition. So specifics are actually important. Marathon swimmers are consumed, as it were by the act of consumption, we discuss it ceaselessly. We have feed schedules that account for every single feed beforehand, every interval , every morsel and drop. It's not nit-picking, I could answer any of these questions about my own English Channel swim from three years ago almost immediately. I could tell you how much liquid I drank at the 14th hour, what it contained, and how long I took to do so.

    Why do we pick things apart?

    A standard Observer's Report, like this one, includes every single detail. I can (and have) read a two-page English Channel Observer's report and required 15 pages to write it out, so much detail is packed therein for those who can read one and that was a swim that lasted only 11 hours.

    So, that's why they and I ask.

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

  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoCharter Member
    Niek said:

    -Medical help for the allowance, if by prior arrangement with the Federation, of the minimum additional aids or contact as is deemed necessary for the safety of the swim on medical or other agreed grounds. Not allowed is to listen to someone's chest like done with Diana. If one thinks they need non-prior-agreed medical help than the swimmer is hauled out of the water and the attempt is over.

    Personally (as a hurler on the ditch) I think the EC rules on physical contact are a little draconian - the fact that you can theoretically swim the entire width of the channel and then be disqualified because you stumble clearing that final 6 inches of water and some random third party assists you up, frankly doesn't pass the sniff test for being reasonable (someone more versed in EC lore can let me know if this has ever happened).

    That said I understand why the rules are that way; they remove the a source of need for discretion (and thus variability) in the role of the observer, and in most cases such rules would not be the difference between the ability to complete a successful crossing or not.

    For these crazy extreme events it really doesn't seem unreasonable in any way shape or form to me, unless you fetishize the EC rules, to allow the medical support folk to conduct their exams with physical contact.

    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer

  • mpfmarkmpfmark Teesside England Charter Member

    You want me to read this whole list of negativity, from top to bottom? No. There are some jerks on here that have said that Diana must have been towed. To those people, I say, F-U. Take a look at yourselves... you are an embarrassment. Accept the FACT that she did this swim. Get a LIFE.

    Woodkayaker... Are you being serious with that post. Oh to be a moderator.
    You are doing nothing more than showing your lack of knowledge and experience in the field of marathon swimming. What exactly embarrasses YOU on this thread, and who EXACTLY are you calling a jerk.

    Understand the rules. YES Read the thread in its entirety very carefully and you may actually begin to understand the doubts and concerns raised by some VERY qualified individuals some of whom I know personally and admire. They are not embarrassing nor are they jerks.
    Thankyou

  • The guy that first swam from Cuba to Florida in fins.........What a great swim. The girl that did the same in a shark cage.........What a great swim. Not quite sure whether to describe Dianas as the one who got helped along the way, got on board to change, held onto the back of the boat for a rest, or the one who swam all the way and did some of it in a jelly suit but just got touched up a bit along the way. But if she did the swim in a way which most swimmers would expect.........then it was not only a great swim, but maybe the greatest of all swims.

    Dianas' will never be the first, two people have done it already. Just maybe the first without a cage, with a jelly suit, without fins etc etc. One day someone will swim it according to EC rules, that will also be a first.

    The problem is simply all about the rules. Some of which are so precious to open water swimmers they should never be messed with. Simply we must never be helped once in the water otherwise the swim doesn't count. No matter how brave, far, fast or long, the effort.

    We accept historical and traditional assistance from pilots, shelter in the lee of an escort boat, take advantage of gps and computers, take feeds and coaching from helpers on board and a few minor other helps according to a variety of rules from various governing bodies.

    But, Diana comes up with a few more assistances, gadgets and methods, and many of the swimmers around the world don't like them. But I believe we can all understand and accept them under the circumstances of the swim, (apart from the ones that relate to or interfere with the swimming). Being touched and helped as much as Diana was (forgetting whether she took rests on board or held on to the boat, or not) seems a little too much assistance for the swim to retain the level of integrity this forum demands. And of course, holding on to a floating object or getting out for a rest.......well that is just cheating.

    World firsts and record attempts need the highest level of integrity. Scrutiny is also important in order to honour previous swimmers records. Scrutiny also demands the challenger to give their absolute best to win the day. Diana has way too many critics after her last attempts, and Diana knew it. Maybe more thought to answering those critics and allowing scrutiny, should have been considered in this swim. Maybe she should have had Penny, Chloe or Evan on board.

    But where do we go from here? Do we rob Diana of her swim (we are already robbing her wonderful day, by casting such doubt)? Or do we rob the next swimmer who may be the first to swim under EC rules, but has to settle for being second or third because Diana claims first? And what of Sue Maroney, has she been relegated?

    Either way, it is unsatisfactory and messy, much the same as Julie Bradshaw swimming fly in MIMS. It is not fair on the swimmer nor the challengers and I am disappointed at the uncertainty.

    That is why Diana needed greater scrutiny, more transparency and why she should have swum against the strictest of swimming rules to retain the integrity.




  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    @dc_in_sf - your post reminded me of the wonderful film On a Clear Day, in which Frank, the hero, almost clears the water, and then his son, with whom he's had a troubled relationship throughout the film, reaches out to hug him. The observer in the film, moved by the personal story, pretends to not have seen the hug. :)
  • Here's an eye-opener for those of you that think you might be doing a similar swim. Niek makes the claim that there was no need for the suit, proven by the fact that she was not stung. That is circular logic if I have ever seen it. The fact is, that Dr. Angel Yanagihara netted a number of box jellies along the way, including one that was within 2 miles of Key West, in the bright morning sun. Before you start to question her too, maybe you'd better google the lady. She is the world's foremost expert on jellyfish, and you open water swimmers should be praising the work that she has been doing for YOU. She spotted that box jelly so close in, that she felt that it was scientifically important to verify that fact. She grabbed that jelly with her bare hand, so she wouldn't lose it. Angel told me it was like grabbing a hot coal and holding onto it. After the swim, Angel went to meet with, and help the Special Forces group that is based at the Naval base there on Key West. They have been experiencing some bad stings recently, so she was there to ID the culprits. Like it or not, Diana and Angel are paving the way for the future of warm-water open water swimming. Maybe you should re-focus all of this negativity into a little bit of gratitude, for 2 of the people that may be helping your sport to continue into the future. Maybe your stodgy little rule book needs to be edited.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    Just wanted to pull this part out. So very, very well said, @Haydn.
    World firsts and record attempts need the highest level of integrity. Scrutiny is also important in order to honour previous swimmers records. Scrutiny also demands the challenger to give their absolute best to win the day. Diana has way too many critics after her last attempts, and Diana knew it. Maybe more thought to answering those critics and allowing scrutiny, should have been considered in this swim.
  • suziedodssuziedods Charter Member
    I truly would like to believe that Diana did this.... really I do.... but her history has not shown us that she could have.
    I just need proof. My two little swims had PAGES of documentation. PAGES...
    The dearth of documentation, combined with the history of non- transparence... well, it's just telling.

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

  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    edited September 2013

    Like it or not, Diana and Angel are paving the way for the future of warm-water open water swimming. Maybe you should re-focus all of this negativity into a little bit of gratitude, for 2 of the people that may be helping your sport to continue into the future. Maybe your stodgy little rule book needs to be edited.

    My definition of paving the way would have been to offer the good Dr’s expertise to the other swimmers attempting the crossing....
    My guess is this would be considered a traitorous act by DN? Can you guess how I might have come to that conclusion?

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • Now that she has completed the swim, I am sure that she will be sharing that info. But yes... the people that had once been on Diana's team, and then took the knowledge gained from Diana's efforts and expense, and GAVE that hard-won info to a competitor... YES. That was traitorous.
  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    edited September 2013

    YES. That was traitorous.

    Forgive me now if I view everything you’ve posted here through my Koolaid colored goggles.

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • GordsGords Salt Lake City, UTCharter Member
    edited October 2013
    I really hesitate to get involved but I noticed something.
    Niek said:

    Those rules can be found on both CSA and CS&PF websites before you start a crossing.
    -Hand feeding a swimmer is not allowed. You can hand over the feeding by pole or attached to a rope and nothing else. Nor is someone positioning oneself between the swimmer and the boat to prevent the swimmer from touching the boat allowed because touching someone else is not allowed, period.

    Unless the CS&PF rules changed for 2013 and they haven't been updated on the website. It isn't illegal to take a feed handed to you directly from someone on the boat.

    "During a swim no physical contact with the swimmer shall be made by any person other than to pass food and drink or secure such items as light sticks for safety reasons." - http://cspf.co.uk/cs-and-pf-rules

    In Trent's video from last year it shows him taking feeds directly handed to him, and his crossing was ratified.

    But besides that point, there seem to be plenty of other deviations with DN's swim, when comparing to English Channel rules. But she hasn't ever claimed to be following English Channel rules right?
  • Here we are, 3 days after Diana completed this swim, and you don't have any idea why Diana hasn't dropped everything to gather every little scrap of paper to give to all of you. First of all, with the things that you all have been saying here, if it was up to me, I wouldn't give you doodly-squat. Who do you think you are, to make all of these allegations, and then making these demands, expecting Diana to come to you, begging for your approval? She knows she did it... the team knows she did it... the observers know she did it. The WORLD knows she did it. Diana does not need approval from you. You all want to make up your conspiracy theories, and pick apart every word that is said... who CARES? You remind me of Trekkies, dressing up in costumes and arguing about what color Tribble Captain Kirk first picked up. Who cares. I'm outa here.
  • danslosdanslos Los Angeles, CAMember
    I've read every post in this thread, and I've sensed no negativity from those asking for verification of Nyad's swim, just a desire for independent confirmation that she swam the thing under her own power. Most of us channel/marathon swimmers labor in relative obscurity. When a public figure like Nyad appears, the public figures that she represents all of us. So it makes sense that we would want to make sure that Nyad's swim is an actual swim and not another thing.

    In one of Woodkayaker's earlier posts, he or she states that "I was on the water with Diana for approximately 1/3 of the swim, while working as the kayak team Captain," and that, to paraphrase, Nyad swam under her own power for that time. I don't doubt that's true. But that leaves 2/3 of the swim unaccounted for, at least by Woodkayaker.

    Acquaintances of mine who know little about marathon swimming and who hear about this swim naturally assume that it's legitimate. How could it not be if Hillary Clinton texted her congratulations and David Letterman made it the butt of a few jokes? I'd love to tell them that I'm as excited as they are that she completed the swim. And I will--once I see or hear the evidence from an independent, qualified source.

  • bruckbruck San FranciscoMember
    edited September 2013
    "Independent" observer #2, Roger McVeigh:

    image

    Some quotes from his publicly-accessible Facebook profile:
    waking up from the Dream; nice team celebration last evening; time to get back to training!
    feeling especially grateful for family, friends and good luck to be able to be part of the Nyad Swim
    was one small part of a cohesive team supporting one of the most amazing people you could ever meet
    She summed it all up when she popped out of the water after almost 53 hours of swimming and said she only had three things to say; (paraphrasing) she has learned, 1) To never give up, 2) You are never too old, and 3) Though swimming seems like an individual sport, it is all about the team
    Thank you Diana Nyad for your inspiration
    In fairness, I wouldn't expect even a truly independent observer to be immune to some emotions on witnessing this event.

    But I'll ask what I hope is a fair and straightforward question:

    Did either of the observers, Roger McVeigh or Janet Hinkle, have any previous experience observing a long distance open water swim? Any at all?
  • Good point. Woodkayaker. I too have had a few secrets. I accept it would hurt if they were divulged too widely and another swimmer took advantage. World firsts are like that. In four hours time, it is twenty years exactly, (and after a year of some horrid training sessions), I started my attempt to swim the English Channel, it was the worlds first backstroke. Another swimmer had already failed a few weeks earlier and I was pressured to get my swim done before he had a second attempt. I got across, but the other guy was devastated by the news.

    Next week I have another Channel swim (it's been twenty years, I am so excited). I will attempt to swim the English Channel 'The Undone Way'. The thing is, once I announce exactly what 'The Undone Way' actually is, anybody could try to have a go before me.

    But once I take my chance (succeed or not), there are no more secrets. I have absolutely no intention of hiding my data. Indeed, if I don't make it, I will actively encourage others to try (indeed this is my motivation), even if I no longer get to be first. I just want to be the first to try. I will then lay down the gauntlet.

    One thing is certain, I expect if Diana has recovered by now, she could simply turn up and do it (as could many other swimmers). I would hate that. It just seems that Diana has continued to try to make her failed swims successful by introducing elements that are designed to make it easier for her to get across. There are too many (accepted) elements already that assist us.

    The English Channel 'The Undone Way' is my way of saying: "Why should we try to make swims easier?" I don't want to 'Do a Nyad'. 'The Undone Way" is doing the Channel the hard way. And in some degree, it will balance off those accepted elements that otherwise make it 'easy', if 'easy' can ever be used to describe the English Channel.

  • bruckbruck San FranciscoMember
    edited September 2013
    Follow-up on previous post:

    If anyone thinks my use of scare quotes is mean, I'd simply note that "Official Observer" Janet Hinkle uses them too:

    image
  • pennypalfreypennypalfrey Member
    edited September 2013
    If an athlete claims to have broken the record of another athlete, surely both events should have been conducted under the same set of rules.
    During my Cayman Island swim in 2011 and my Cuba-Florida attempt in 2012 I was not touched at any time by any person. I applied my own sunblock and grease during my swim. I changed suits unassisted by treading water for up to 20 minutes while struggling to get my stinger suit on in the evening and off again in the morning after 12, 20 and 36 hours of swimming. I also adhered to marathon swimming rules of wearing only one porous, none buoyant suit at any time. Yes that did mean being, as one person on my boat likes to put it, “head down and butt naked”!
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandAdmin
    edited September 2013
    I think that is was an unfortunate pause diversion to the discussion. I had genuinely hoped @Woodkayaker and others would be able to discuss some of the specific questions.

    Additionally, just to confirm @goldfishgoddess was apparently a troll account and the account has been removed. Nothing of value was lost. She has "very many experienced marathon swimmer friends", and claims she was "asked to be part of the [Diana Nyad] crew but couldn't make it in time". She claimed to be a marathon swimmer, when pressed for details that was changed to "swam on a high school team". She thinks I will be embarrassed by a threat of posting my reasonable correspondence to her to protect the forum from trolls and to verify any relevance on her Facebook account so you all have a look for some fun there.

    Members of Diana Nyad's team have been approved in the past 24 hours, by both @evmo & I. We have seen a big surge in page views and member applications and are having to introduce some short-term changes to sign-up as a consequence. We are wary of troll accounts signing up just as provocateurs instead of those genuinely interested in the discussion, regardless of opinion. The behind-the-scenes stuff doesn't normally have to make it out front-of-house but I feel these are relevant here.

    All the questions being asked are out in the open by people who don't hide behind anonymity. But remember what happened when @david_barra and others accepted DN's invitation to discussion the famous heat-drip device on DN's blog?

    *

    Hadyn's swim will be astonishing, he may have forgotten he kind of hinted what it was to me. No, I'm not telling, aand I can also say there's yet another amazing swim to be attempted hopefully in the next two weeks by another forum member. (I've been using those words a lot this year, it's good that it's nearly always positive).

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

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    Copying over this comment by marathon swimming legend Ted Erikson @SdogV, from the National Geographic website:
    Marathon swimmers desire critical information on any successful swim in order to assess it and consider whether they may try to beat it. If in fact, Ms. Nyad spent ~53 hours in the water, proceeded ~100 miles, by swimming, even if aided by tides, at age 64 it is remarkable.

    But this information should not come from only public relation sources. I must await reports of those who were in charge of navigation (captain), feeding (foods employed and how administered), handling (face mask, etc..) Her past records in Cuba, Channel, and LaTuque swimming have left some things to be desired.
    Contra @Woodkayaker, the folks with questions aren't exactly hurlers on the ditch...
  • ninkasininkasi mill valley, caMember

    There are questions about solid food. I don't understand what this has to do with it, but I will tell you - yes, she ate solid food. Bananas in bite-sized pieces that she would swim up and bite out of her handler's hand.

    obviously no true boat people were in charge. bananas are damn near the top of the banned list of items to bring on a boat. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sailors'_superstitions

    someone snuck a couple on the boat and it ended our 1st farallon relay.
  • paulmpaulm Senior Member
    edited September 2013

    Now that she has completed the swim, I am sure that she will be sharing that info. But yes... the people that had once been on Diana's team, and then took the knowledge gained from Diana's efforts and expense, and GAVE that hard-won info to a competitor... YES. That was traitorous.

    ....To date I have chosen to stay away from this discussion....Any comment coming from our camp would be perceived as sour grapes.....BUT WOODKAYAKER- If you are talking about Chloe's attempt-your comment is an ABSOLUTE LIE....its absolutely crap. Maybe you should go back and talk to Luke Tipple (Diana's previous head shark diver- who didn't join our team ) and get him to fill you in on our call with him back in early January this year- where we made it very clear to him that we didn't want him or anyone else that may have been on Diana' or Penny's previous swims sharing any information with us that was proprietory or confidential ) Every single person who joined our team had the same conversation with us . Similarly we asked the same of them for future- but also encouraged them to use their skills to assist other swimmers in the future.

    In closing not once during the 6 months leading up to Chloe's attempt -did any member of out team make any Negative comment about Diana or her previous swims
  • Leonard_JansenLeonard_Jansen Charter Member
    edited September 2013
    Wilt Chamberlain once claimed to have had sexual relations with 10,000 different women, albeit not at the same time. That works out to a different woman every night for 27.4 years with no days off for things like Christmas or getting your male appendage splinted to heal, let alone time needed to recover from various STD's and crab lice infestations. This is widely doubted because he did not have, or did have and refused to share, the proper documentation for claiming such a record. This has three negative affects:
    1) It makes his record unratifiable, which is certainly a shame if he did it. I mean if I had a different woman point and laugh at me every night for 27.4 years, I certainly would want to get SOMETHING out of it other than psychiatrist bills and long scrubs with barbeque grill brushes and kerosene.
    2) Those who wish to set such a world record are always faced with being told "Yeah, but Wilt Chamberlin's record is 10,000" This means that the only way to claim said record free-and-clear is to beat 10,000. God knows I'm trying, but my current best estimate of when I'll do it is about 100 years after the universe collapses back in on itself under its own gravity. Maybe longer. ("Never give up!" is my motto.)
    3) Wilt Chamberlin may be my father and I didn't get anything from his will.

    With that in mind I suggest that the marathon swimming community keep asking polite and appropriate questions while being at least a little patient in having Ms. Nyad and/or her crew produce believable documentation. This will have four effects:
    1) We won't look too rude, jealous or nibby.
    2) We will eventually know if this is a real "record" or a Wilt-The-Stilt record.
    3) We will know if those coming after her have a real target or not.
    4) Most importantly, we will finally find out if Wilt Chamberlin is Ms. Nyad's father also.

    In the words of Frank Zappa "Maintain your aristocratic coolness."

    -LBJ

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

  • bobswimsbobswims OregonCharter Member

    Who cares. I'm outa here.

    We care, and we will be here a long time to come.

  • bobswimsbobswims OregonCharter Member
    edited September 2013


    2) Those who wish to set such a world record are always faced with being told "Yeah, but Wilt Chamberlin's record is 10,000" This means that the only way to claim said record free-and-clear is to beat 10,000. God knows I'm trying, but my current best estimate of when I'll do it is about 100 years after the universe collapses back in on itself under its own gravity. Maybe longer. ("Never give up!" is my motto.)

    10,000 in 100 years? That's 100 different woman every year. I am still going to demand appropriate documentation. Otherwise you are just using Wilt's imaginary record to try to prove that your own imaginary record is valid. I stand ready with my barbecue grill brush.
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member
    edited September 2013
    @Leonard_Jansen - That may be the best analogy I've seen on this forum. Close second to @loneswimmer's quacking Armstrong from yesterday
  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member
    @Leonard_Jansen, I missed you.

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • MvGMvG Brussels (BE) and Lith (NL)Charter Member
    @Leonard_Jansen, utterly brilliant! :-)
  • CraigMozCraigMoz Member
    edited September 2013
    For me the discussion is finished. The photo in this thread of DN being ASSISTED out of her suit, provides all the proof anyone needs.
    So we all should congratulate DN & her team on a fantastic ASSISTED swim, bloody brilliant & amazing.
    But it does not break @pennypalfrey record.
This discussion has been closed.