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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Speedo Announces Swimwear Faster Than Ever Before

A few years ago, the main issue in the swimming world was the extraordinary number of world records set in the latest technical swimsuits. Issues of buoyance and compression and unfair advantages led the international coaching community to push FINA to outlaw the technical swimsuits.

"Swimming in plastic bags" was the term often used as swimmers of all ages were swimming times that were previously unheard of.

Swimmers were even swimming with two technical swimsuits on in order to swim even faster. In a wink of an eye and the goal to swim faster, the term "Speedo" - the generic term used for swimming briefs of the 20th century - morphed into highly technical swimming equipment that was quickly banned.

The channel swimming organizations around the world, governing bodies and FINA worked to better define the swimwear, enabling the sport returned to some sort of a level playing field.

But Speedo announced yesterday another revolution in swimwear - a swim cap, goggle and swimsuit that work together as one integrated racing system, promoting maximum efficiency in the water. The Speedo FASTSKIN3 Racing System, that has obtained FINA approval, helps reduce body drag and improve swimmers’ oxygen economy. The world's most well-known and accomplished swimmer, Michael Phelps, said: "Speedo FASTSKIN3 makes me feel completely at one with the water. I feel confident, I feel comfortable and I feel like I am wearing the fastest [suit]."

While suits, caps and goggles are conventionally designed separately, Speedo has engineered the three elements together to generate a unified system that serves to reduce body drag forces. Using technologies that go way beyond a sewing machine and stitching, Speedo is offering a Super Elite version for professional swimmers, an Elite version for advanced swimmers and a Pro version for intermediate swimmers.

The FASTSKIN3 Super Elite Goggles and Cap use 3D global head scanning data to make the fit to swimmers's head and face contours while the FASTSKIN3 Super Elite Swimsuit uses compression fabric to sculpt the body with the aim to reduce skin friction drag.

And Speedo and its most visible athletes are confident that the new system will be even faster than the previously outlawed swimsuits. With that expectation, world records and faster swimming than ever before are predicted for the upcoming Olympic year.

Back in 2009, the outcry against the "plastic suits" was loud and global. But the elite swimmers, including Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Natalie Coughlin, are confident they are now back in the game with Speedo's latest efforts to help them swim faster than before and produce more world records during the Olympics. Michael believes the records set in the now-illegal tech suits will be old news. "You're going to see a lot of fast swims and hopefully we're going to see a lot of new records in the next year and I think we will."

With FINA's approval of the new system, the issue for the pool swimming world is "Does the FASTSKIN3 live up to its name?". But for the open water swimming world is, the issues include "Does the new Speedo system aid in buoyancy? Is there any neoprene involved? Does the system aid in heat retention? Does the system comply with the established rules at the governing bodies in terms of cut and compression panels? Will the new system - and the inevitable competing systems that will be produced by Speedo's competitors in the marketplace - be accepted by the governing bodies of the open water swimming world?"

Depending on what those answers may be, sales of the systems may take off as the Olympic year brings some really fast swimming for swimmers of all ages and abilities.

Men's FASTSKIN3 can be seen here.

Women's FASTSKIN3 can be seen here.

Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source

2 comments:

  1. The problem is now competitive swimming has become more about the equipment (swimsuits, caps etc) than who is fastest. Should they all have to wear the same? That way we would know who is really fastest.

    ReplyDelete
  2. When this technical swimsuit issue came up a few years ago, the leading coaches lobbied and led the movement to ban such swimwear. American, European and Australian swim coaches were quite adamant about leveling the playing field. In a relatively quick turn of events, they were successful in eliminating the technical swimwear from FINA and national governing body competitions. It will be interesting to see if when the leading coaches will collectively and globally lobby to change the current direction. The swimmers, it appears, simply want to swim with the best and fastest swimsuits. At the elite level, everyone has access to the current suits (notwithstanding the cost issue) so they have the CHOICE to wear the same suits. However, it will be difficult to mandate that all athletes have to wear the same suits. With so much on the line in the coming Olympic year, it will be interesting to see the developments and decisions among the swimmers and coaches.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you very much for your interest in the world of open water swimming.

The Staff of the World Open Water Swimming Association

2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference

Learn more...
Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE

The Global Open Water Swimming Conference is a conference on the sport of open water swimming, marathon swimming and swimming during triathlons and multi-sport endurance events.

The conference which has been attended by enthusiasts and luminaries from 6 continents, is devoted to providing information about the latest trends, race tactics, training techniques, equipment, psychological preparation, race organization and safety practices used in the sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons.

The conference's mission is to provide opportunities to listen and meet many of the world's most foremost experts in open water swimming, and to meet and discuss the sport among swimmers, coaches, administrators, event organizers, sponsors, vendors, officials, escort pilots, and volunteers from kayakers to safety personnel.

Dozens of presentations at the 2014 Conference at the Mount Stuart House cover numerous aspects of the vast and growing world of open water swimming where attendees can learn and share the latest trends, race tactics, training modalities, swimming techniques, equipment, race organization, logistics, operations, and safety practices for open water swimming as a solo swimmer, competitive athlete, fitness swimmer, masters swimmer, triathlete, multi-sport athlete, administrator, race promoter, sponsor or referee.

The conference was first held in Long Beach, California as part of the 2010 USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships. It has since been held on the Queen Mary in California, at Columbia University and the United Nations in New York City, and in Cork, Ireland. This year in September, it comes to another iconic location, the Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute in Scotland.

"The Global Open Water Swimming Conference was started due to the desire and need for athletes, coaches, referees, administrators, race directors, promoters and sponsors from around the world to share, collect and learn information about the growing sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons," said founder Steven Munatones. "Other swimming conferences usually offering nothing on open water swimming or perhaps a speech or two, but we thought open water swimming deserves its own global conference. It is great that the community shares its information via the online social network, but there is nothing like meeting other open water swimming enthusiasts face-to-face and talking about the sport from morning to night."

Speakers at the conference include English Channel swimmers, ice swimmers, record holders, renowned coaches, world champions, professional marathon swimmers, renowned race directors, officials and administrators from the Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.

"Because the audience is passionate and educated about the sport and its finest practitioners, the Global Open Water Swimming Conference is also the location of the induction ceremonies for the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and the annual WOWSA Awards that recognize the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year, and the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year. Special Lifetime Achievement Awards are also occasionally presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport over their career."

The 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference Programme

Wednesday, September 17th
Leave Glasgow to commence 2-day tour of Scotland [closest international airport is Glasgow]

Thursday, September 18th
Stay Mainland, North of Scotland

Friday, September 19th
14:00 - Swim Loch Lomond
17:00 - Head to Isle of Bute
19:30 - Scottish Banquet
21:30 - Dinner Dance

Saturday, September 20th
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
12:20 - Lunch and WOWSA Awards
13:40 – Speeches
15:40 - Round Table
19:00 - International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony

Sunday, September 21st
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
14:30 - Swim in St Ninian's Bay on the Isle of Bute

The luminaries of the open water swimming world who will be honored in Scotland will include:

* Sandra Bucha (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Jon Erikson (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Claudio Plit (Argentina), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Judith van Berkel-de Njis (Netherlands), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* David Yudovin (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Mercedes Gleitze (Great Britain), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* George Young (Canada), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Dale Petranech (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Contributor
* Melissa Cunningham (Australia), 2013 Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award winner
* Vojislav Mijić (Serbia), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* James Anderson (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Dr. Jane Katz (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Indonesian Swimming Federation, , International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Organisation
* Elizabeth Fry (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Pádraig Mallon (Ireland), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year
* Olga Kozydub (Russia), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year
* Bering Strait Swim (international team), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year
* International Ice Swimming Association (Ram Barkai, founder, South Africa), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year

For additional articles on the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference, visit:

* Olga Kozydub To Be Honored In Scotland
* Pádraig Mallon To Be Honored In Mount Stuart Castle
* Mount Stuart House, Splendid Setting For Swimming
* Colleen Blair To Kick-off Global Open Water Swimming Conference
* The Man Who Swims Better Than He Walks
* Joining In The Sea Goddess At The Hall Of Fame
* Mercedes Gleitze To Be Honored In Scotland
* The Incredible Career Of Merceded Gleitze
* Jon Erikson To Be Honoured In Florida
* The Incredible Career Of Mercedes Gleitze
* St Ninian's Bay To Host International Swim Conference

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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