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Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Professor Is A GPS Genius With The Buoys

Professor Ricardo Ratto was out on Copacabana Beach in the pitch darkness at 3 am this Sunday morning in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

"We come out early and set the [rectangular] turn buoys according to our GPS readings," explains the FINA referee. "We have to know what the winds will be so we then set the buoys according to the impact of the winds on the water. Then we see what the impact of the currents and tides have on the turn buoys and the ropes and anchors. At 7 am, we then reset the buoys as necessary so the distance is correct and the tangent lines are straight between the buoys. Then, finally, before the race starts, we make any additional minor adjustments that must be made so the course is accurate."

The King and Queen of the Sea always has some of the easiest-to-see, can’t-miss, colorful turn buoys on the global open water swimming circuit. The 2013 edition of the Rei e Rainha do Mar features green, orange, purple, white and blue 4-meter square buoys branded with the different race sponsors like Piraquê, AON, Carioca Gatorade, Circuit Light, Mormaii and Lei De Incentivo Ao Esporte dot the course with their landmark turn buoys.

In order to stay upright in winds, storms, waves and ocean swells, the anchor system was developed in consultation with Professor Ratto. “Each corner of the turn buoy is anchored by a heavy bag filled with sand. This is balanced by a fifth anchor tied the middle of the buoy. So even if many swimmers are on one side or hanging on the ropes, it will remain stable and upright. At the 2007 Pan American Games, we had huge surf and gigantic ocean swells here at Copacabana Beach. Because this is an ocean course facing the wide-open Atlantic Ocean, we have to be prepared for everything and anything.”

That they are for sure.

We find that one of the always interesting elements of an open water swimming competition is the size, shape, color and number of turn buoys used on a course. Buoys can be merely directional in nature (i.e., intermediate buoys or guide buoys) or indicate obligatory changes in direction (i.e., turn buoys).

The buoys can be color-coordinated or a mix bag of yellows, reds, pinks and whites. The buoys can also be numbered, but in most cases they are not.

The buoys are distinctively shaped and can also be called cans or floats depending on where you are in the world. The various types of turn buoys include:

1. Triangular pyramid buoy or tetrahedron buoy
2. Cylindrical buoy (used either vertically or horizontally)
3. Sausage buoy or banana buoy
4. Spherical buoy
5. Salmon egg buoy
6. Custom buoy of a specific dimension, shape and color
7. Rectangular buoy

And the King and Queen of the Sea always has some great big colorful ones.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

2 comments:

  1. HI everybody, it's been a great pleasure for me to be involved in OWS events since 1985, when by that time our community had a dream: to have our discipline in the Olympic program. Along all this time, I have had the opportunity to learn ,learn and learn! It's fascinating for me to ask fishermen, surfers and other people related to water and environmental sports about winds, tides, currents and all other factors that can make influence on the course swimmers are supposed to go thru. And I think it's time go share this expertise and knowledge with our International OWS community so our sport can keep on developing...please people from Open Water Source, feel free to "exploit" all this in the purpose of the development of our sport.

    ReplyDelete
  2. ME AGRADO, LA MANERA COMO SE DESCRIBIÓ TODO SOBRE LOS DIFERENTES TIPOS DE BOYAS DE GIRO Y ORIENTACIÓN QUE SE HAN UTILIZADO A LO LARGO DE TODAS LAS COMPETENCIAS DE AGUAS ABIERTAS QUE SE HAN REALIZADO EN EL MUNDO. EN PARTICULAR ME LLAMAN LA ATENCIÓN ESTAS GRANDES Y NOVEDOSAS BOYAS CUADRADAS POR LO VISTOSAS Y LA VARIEDAD DEL COLOR QUE AYUDA MUCHO AL ATLETA PARA ALCANZAR RÁPIDAMENTE LA META, ESPERO QUE ESE SEA EL OBJETIVO Y QUE LOS RESULTADOS EN ESTE MAGNIFICO EVENTO DEL REY Y LA REINA DE LOS MARES SEAN LOS ESPERADOS!!! FELICITACIONES AMIGO RICARDO RATTO!!!! UN ABRAZO!!!!!

    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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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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