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Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Open Water DQ - What Happened In New Zealand?
Grimsey won the 2.9km open water swim across the Waitemata Harbour by more than a minute. It was a clear victory, but event director Scott Rice rules that Grimsey obstructed fellow competitor Troy Prinsloo at about a third of the way through the race.
Video evidence of the infractions will reportedly be posted by the New Zealand Ocean Swim Series soon.
"Trent is an outstanding swimmer in superb form, but we have to ensure that every competitor is given an equal opportunity to win, and in this case that didn’t happen," explained Rice.
According to a pres release issued by Rice, "Such behavior is illegal under the rules of the New Zealand Ocean Swim Series."
So what are the rules of the Series and the sport of open water swimming in general?
Grimsey commented on the disqualification, "I dispute the allegations made...it is my understanding that no complaint was received by the race director from any competitor in the race to bring about this action. Unfortunately I am in a position where this race is not run according to FINA, Swimming New Zealand or Surf Life Saving rules."
The details of the disqualification will be evident once the video is made publicly available, but the swimmers believe the disqualification was called because of the physicality between Grimsey and South African Troy Prinsloo before the halfway point during the race. When Grimsey, one of the most experienced open water swimmers in the world, stopped and swam off the rhumb line, Prinsloo was behind him. Reportedly, Grimsey's vertical position in the water caused Prinsloo come to a sudden stop. Prinsloo into Grimsey and then swam on, as did Grimsey.
While the rules of the New Zealand Ocean Swim Series may differ, there are two possible rules that may apply in this situation under standard FINA international rules:
FINA OWS 6.3.1 "If in the Opinion of the Chief Referee, any swimmer ... makes intentional contact with any swimmer, the following proceeding shall apply: 1st infringement - a yellow flag and a card bearing the swimmer's number shall be raised to indicate and to inform the swimmer that he is in violation of the Rules. 2nd infringement - a red flag and a card bearing the swimmer's number shall be raised by the Referee to indicate and to inform the swimmer that he is for the second time in violation of the rules. The swimmer shall be disqualified. He must leave the water immediately and be placed in an escort craft, and take no further part in the race."
FINA OWS 6.3.2 "If in the opinion of a Referee, an action of a swimmer is deemed to be 'unsporting' the referee shall disqualify the swimmer concerned immediately."
Under FINA OWS 6.3.2, it has been the established understanding among international referees that 'unsporting' conduct usually consists of a punch, elbow, kick thrown in the direction of another swimmer or a pull back of the ankles or legs of another swimmer.
It is much less clear - and very rarely called in any amateur or professional open water swimming competitions - when a swimmer in front comes to a gradual or sudden stop and causes a trailing swimmer to swim into the lead swimmer. The reasoning is because the swimmer behind has the responsibility to look where they are going. Just as they would avoid jetsam and other obstructions in the water, the trailing swimmer should logically avoid a stopped swimmer in front of them.
Even if their forward progress is impacted, swimming into another swimmer from behind is rarely called. This occurrence frequently happens during races around buoy turns or at feeding stations. It occurs at the elite level and at the amateur level frequently, especially in large races. It also occurs among triathletes and it occurs among fitness swimmers in races, especially at the start of races. The physicality of competition is an accepted part of the sport, even when a swimmer suddenly stops to clear their goggles of water or to look up at the turn buoys ahead.
The more difficult and subjective judgment is whether or not the action by Grimsey - or any swimmer - is intentional during the course of the race. That is, did Grimsey purposefully stop with the intention to make physical contact with Prinsloo in order to specifically hamper, slow or stop Prinsloo or another athlete? According to the rules, unintentional contact between swimmers is acceptable, but intentional contact among swimmers is not. This judgement has always been difficult for referees. It is always controversial when a referee makes a disqualification call because of intent.
Like many others, we look forward to seeing the video of the race and the reasons for the disqualification.
Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source
2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference
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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