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Friday, February 28, 2014
Drafting 101 - The Value Of Swimming In The Slipstream
But how much is drafting worth? How much faster can an athlete race while drafting in the slipstream of another swimmer in competition?
It is one thing to test out and compare the differences of swimming fast in a test lab with the analysis of a researcher. But what is the actual value of drafting in the heat of competition among world-class swimmers?
We compared the times of the world-class swimmers at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona in both the solo 5 km event and the 5 km team pursuit event. Both courses were held on the same course on different days. While this comparison is not an exact measure where differences in conditions come into play, a comparison does give an indication of the value of drafting among world-class open water athletes.
The 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona were held in a harbor under conditions that were similar: low winds, little surface turbulence, and comfortable water temperatures. So the differences in the relative conditions were minimal. On the other hand, the conditions of swimming while facing extreme physicality in a pack is remarkably different than swimming in a team pursuit race where swimmers have the advantage of clean water and pure drafting.
Additionally, while the women generally swam much faster in the team event while drafting off of their faster male teammates, the men were conversely significantly faster in the solo event where they were able to swim at 100%.
At the extreme ends of the spectrum, Germany's Isabelle Franziska Harle swam nearly 4 minutes faster swimming behind teammates Christian Reichert and Thomas Lurz in the team pursuit event compared with her 5 km solo race among women. This time differential equates to at least 325 meters in distance - light years in the open water swimming world. Conversely, New Zealand's Kane Radford was 2 minutes 24 seconds slower and Chad Ho was 3 minutes in their 5 km team pursuit efforts versus their swims in the solo 5 km.
The differences between men and women among the different countries is below:
Thomas Lurz 52:52.0 (team) vs. 53:32.2 (solo)
Isabelle Franziska Harle 52:54.9 (team) vs. 56:46.2 (solo)
Kalliopi Araouzou 54:03.3 (team) vs. 56:45.3 (solo)
Samuel De Bona 54:03.3 (team) vs. 53:34.9 (solo)
Poliana Okimoto Cintra 54:03.5 (team) vs. 56:34.4 (solo)
Jarrod Poort 54:15.8 (team) vs. 53:34.3 (solo)
Luca Ferretti 54:32.7 (team) vs 53:47.1 (solo)
Rachele Bruni 54:34.0 (team) vs. 56:48.1 (solo)
Andrew Gemmel 54:42.4 (team) vs. 53:38.7 (solo)
Sean Ryan 54:43.1 (team) vs. 53:45.9 (solo)
Haley Anderson 54:44.7 (team) vs. 56:34.2 (solo)
Kane Radford 56:08.6 (team) vs. 53:44.3 (solo)
Cara Baker 56:11.7 (team) vs. 56:46.2 (solo)
Phillip Ryan 56:12.0 (team) vs. 56:17.5 (solo)
Damien Cattin-Vidal 55:25.8 (team) vs. 53:38.4 (solo)
Aurelie Muller 55:26.3 (team) vs. 56:46.5 (solo)
Mark Papp 56:05.8 (team) vs. 53:55.3 (solo)
Anna Olasz 56:09.4 (team) vs. 56:58.4 (solo)
Evgeni Drattcev 56:06.9 (team) vs. 53:38.6 (solo)
Anastasia Azarova 56:08.7 (team) vs. 57:04.3 (solo)
Eric Hedlin 57:10.7 (team) vs. 53:31.6 (solo)
Philippe Guertin 57:08.0 (team) vs. 53:46.4 (solo)
Chad Ho 56:33.4 (team) vs. 53:33.7 (solo)
Daniel Marais 56:34.4 (team) vs. 53:51.0 (solo)
Kyna Pereira 56:34.7 (team) vs. 57:30.8 (solo)
Ivan Alejandro Enderica Ochoa 1:00:30.5 (team) vs. 53:36.7 (solo)
Katia Paola Barros Esquivel 1:00:32.6 (team) vs. 57:26.4 (solo)
Johndry Segovia 58:59.9 (team) vs. 54:02.3 (solo)
Florencia Melo 58:59.4 (team) vs. 1:01:32.5 (solo)
Adel Ragab 1:00:57.2 (team) vs. 54:20.4 (solo)
Youssef Hossameldeen 1:00:57.9 (team) vs. 57:08.5 (solo)
Laila El Basiouny 1:01:02.2 (team) vs. 1:01:52.4 (solo)
Vitaliy Khudyakov 1:00:13.2 (team) vs. 54:24.8 (solo)
Seifeddine Sghaier 59:16.3 (team) vs. 57:10.1 (solo)
Maroua Mathlouthi 59:19.4 (team) vs. 59:51.8 (solo)
Ching Leung Sunny Poon 1:01:26.6 (team) vs. 1:00:05.9 (solo)
Chun Hong Li 1:01:41.5 (team) vs. 1:00:15.9 (solo)
Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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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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