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Saturday, November 2, 2013

No Refund, Why Not?

We just read a reasonable justification about the money that is spent by race directors prior to the start of an open water swim.

The explanation was produced by the NYC Swim and posted here.

The NYC Swim explanation describes the organization's efforts, "We do our best to keep the swim price reasonable and provide a high value in return.

The fee includes all support services, from event planning and the pre-race webinars to boat and kayak support, on-water race officials, souvenir T-shirts for you and your crew, and more.

Bottom-line, the Manhattan Swim is a logistical challenge that requires an entire year to plan and implement. Unlike other major open water events, this race takes place around one of the world’s most expensive locales and one that is not friendly to water-based human-powered events. Everything in New York is expensive. While we rely on the generosity of volunteers, we also spend considerable money in advance to secure the resources, locations, security personnel, safety personnel, food venues, meeting spaces, permits, insurance, and more. Even if the event is canceled at last minute, due to forces beyond our control such as weather or government shutdown, almost all monies paid at the time of enrollment—except for race-day boater stipends—have been used to spent on the supplies, services, and/or service providers.

The Manhattan Island Marathon Swim is not just a 7-10-hour swim around Manhattan. It entails more than a half-dozen locations (North Cove, South Cove, Pier 25, Peter J. Sharp Boathouse, Pier 40, Parking Garage, pre-event meeting space, and post-event restaurant), several hundred individuals (swimmers, crew, boaters, paddlers, boat crew, race observers, race marshals, ambulance drivers, EMTs, security guards, staff for all the locations, and land-based volunteers), and the proprietary website that ties all the disparate parties together and tracks the swimmers.

The expenses that follow, and listed in no particular order, are just a “few” of the non-recoverable expenditures: ambulance services, awards (non-medals), portable bathroom rentals, boat banners (required by the Coast Guard), boat captain outreach/recruitment, bookkeeping, swim caps, credit card fees, directional signage, website domain and hosting, EMTs, power boats, volunteer/paddler snacks and meals, GPS tracking devices, insurance, paddler outreach and recruitment including trade show booths, kayak rentals, legal services, marine whistles, medals (swimmers and paddlers), marine radio purchases, mylar blankets, power boat docking fees, paddler bibs, vehicle (cars/trucks) parking fees, permits for multiple locations, PR and social media support, pre-race meeting space rental and webinars, race communication support, race buoys (plus ropes and anchors), spectator “SCRIM”/fencing, multiple site plans design and layout, on-water operational staff, over-night security for kayaks stowage, restaurant, shirts, shuttles, staff (pre-race and race day), storage rental, gasoline and toll reimbursement for paddlers/volunteers, goody bags, vehicle rental, videography, and website development
."

Similarly, many race directors around the world incur non-recoverable expenses before any fees are received from swimmers. Some race directors make money and the best of them re-invest it in the sport, their local swimming communities and their swims (like World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year nominees Doug Woodring, Pádraig Mallon, Rafael Gutiérrez Mesa, Vojislav Mijić and Wayne Riddin). Some race directors simply break-even. But none of them want to - or can afford to - lose money.

So when there are no refunds in a race that is cancelled due to weather or water conditions, please consider the upfront costs that are borne by hard-working race directors. Or, alternatively, offer to help out the race director in future years and learn what it takes to put on a safe, memorable, challenging open water swim for swimmers of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.

Photo shows athletes swimming towards the finish of the North Shore Challenge on Oahu.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

2 comments:

  1. Just a suggestion, is there insurance available to cover the costs in case of a cancellation? It could be passed on as a seperate fee like travel insurance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a factor that could be worth looking in too. But I suspect that the cost would be far in excess for the possibility of a cancellation.

      Delete

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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2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac



An Almanac for Open Water Swimming

An 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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