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Thursday, March 14, 2013
Proper Measurement Of Water Temperatures In The Open Water
But there were different water temperatures taken:
Barkai’s measurements included Magellan (9°C), Beagle (8°C), and Horn (7°C). In contrast, the Chilean Navy measurements include Magellan (3.9°C), Beagle (7°C), and Horn (8°C).
As every extreme swimmer knows (in both very cold and warm water), every 1°C difference can increase the level of risk.
And this is also true on the other (warmer) end of the heat scale. In other words, just as risky is swimming in very cold water, so is swimming in very warm water. In fact, there are more people who have passed away in warm water and victims of hyperthermia than have passed away in cold water and victims of hypothermia in mass participation swims around the world over the past decade.
What caused the difference in the water temperature measurements? The Navy uses a laser gun to measure the water temperature. (Note: these devices are not approved by the International Ice Swimming Association because a laser has a tendency to measure a few meters below the water surface where the water temperature is lower.) Barkai and the International Ice Swimming Association uses a wireless floating temperature sensor made by Oregon Scientific (shown above).
There are, of course, other manufacturers that also make reliable, good water thermometers. Most race directors and many people use various forms of measurement to determine the temperature of the water: pool thermometers, boat thermometers, permanent offshore buoy marine thermometers, and infrared thermometers that instantly produces water temperatures readings when pointed at the water from the lead boat at different points in the race. However, these are not always reliable or accurate. A professional thermometer with a reliable accuracy of +/-0.1°C is recommended.
Barkai explains the possible differences, “When I swam [and ice mile] in Ireland with Anne-Marie Ward and Nuala Moore, we took a bucket of ice, filled it up with water and submerged all types of water thermometers we had. From my Suunto watch, a pool thermometer and the Oregon Scientific wireless floating temperature sensor. The difference between thermometers was between 1 to 2°C in water temperatures above 7-8°C and around 1°C in lower temperatures.
In the sea, it is very different. If the usual current is cold, like in Cape Town, the water temperature a few meters below the surface will always be cold. In some places, the difference is around 4°C, even in the middle of the summer. For example, on the Atlantic side, there is the icy Benguela current. However, if the normal current is warmer and the air temperature is very cold as in northern Europe, then the water below the surface will never get very cold.
A swimmer gets cold mainly in his or her chest, neck and core body. The hands and legs freezes, but that does not take the core body temperature down so quickly. So the consistent water temperature at around surface to 20" below the surface is the critical one. Additionally, when swimming with a boat, the propeller can create eddies and an upwelling of cooler water around the swimmer."
Some race directors depend on the official water thermometers that are anchored on permanent offshore buoys or that are reported by the lifeguards. The advantages of these methods are that the water temperatures are measured consistently throughout the year with the same equipment. The disadvantages are that these measurement devices may be off.
Personal water temperature devices are useful also. That is, if you use a Garmin, Suunto or Casio watch thermometers, you will become familiar with its range of temperatures in various conditions. But these watches can vary not only from each other, but also from other methods of measurement.
While ice swims are at the extreme end of the open water swimming spectrum, the athletes in this spectrum are usually well-prepared and trained to swim in water under 5°C without wetsuits or neoprene caps. However, most swimmers find water under 15°C uncomfortable at best, and water temperatures above 28°C have directly led to all kinds of problems in open water swimming competitions.
In FINA-sanctioned races, the water temperature should be a minimum of 16°C and can be called off if the water temperature remains over 31°C for 30 minutes in a race. FINA officials follow the procedure that the water temperature is checked 2 hours before the start in the middle of the course at a depth of 40 cm. However, FINA does not stipulate what kind of water thermometer is used or how long the water thermometer is placed under the water. That is up to the FINA Delegate to determine. Even in the pool environment, FINA does not regulate or stipulate how its pool water temperatures (required to be 25-28°C) are measured.
Open Water Source believes and recommends that the highest-end professional-grade water thermometer is used. It is a wise long-term investment for race directors, especially those who organize races in what can be considered extreme water or air temperatures by the least prepared athletes in their competitions (e.g., below 16°C or above 25°C).
Additionally, it is always in the best interests of a race director and the athletes for the safety personnel to measure the water temperature at several places along the course - not just in the middle of the course. If the water temperature is consistent throughout the course, the athletes should be informed of this fact in the pre-race instructions. Conversely, if there are colder (or warmer) spots throughout the course, the race director should alert the swimmers of these areas and warn them of the possibility of swimming into cold spots. Generally, an experienced local swimmer will be able to identify these cold spots. Any and all water condition and water temperature hints and latest pre-race information that can be given to race participants is a prudent investment of time and effort on the part of the race organization.
Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming
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
Swim Across the English Channel...
Who else is looking for a qualified open water swimming coach to help them swim across the English Channel?Chloë McCardel is a 6-time English Channel Swimmer who inspires and instructs. Access featured content by Chloë in this month's issue of the Open Water Swimming Magazine. Published monthly by WOWSA, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a digital, interactive publication made available exclusively to WOWSA members. See what you've been missing! Become a WOWSA member today!
Open Water Swimming Magazine
Open Water Swimming MagazineThe Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.
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The Other Shore
The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.
2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac
An Almanac for Open Water SwimmingAn almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.
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