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Thursday, August 1, 2013

What Happens If Lightening Strikes?

After a week of gorgeous weather with sunny skies, perfect air temperatures, and cooling breezes, the weather at the Traversée Internationale du lac Memphrémagog suddenly turned rainy.

With the rain, came questions about lightening. What about lightening? What happens if lightening strikes?

"Everyone out!" explains Daniel Leduc, the FINA Delegate assigned to the Traversée Internationale du lac Memphrémagog and the Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean.

"Everyone gets out for 30 minutes from the last lightening strike and then we start the race over. From the beginning. That is another 34 km here in Magog. This is why we have lights prepared at the start and finish. Even if we have to be here past midnight for the swimmers to finish. But in the case that the first person has already finished and lightening strikes, then the race is called at that time. The official placing will be determined by the order at the time the race is called.

But this rule for FINA races is different than Swimming Canada rules. Under Swimming Canada rules, if the race is more than 50% completed when the lightening strikes, then the race is immediately called and the official placings are determined by the order of the swimmers at that time."

Postscript: Lightening did strike and the Traversée has been postponed.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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