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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Rules Of Engagement For A Record-Setting Boat Pull

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The rules of engagement and protocols for a record-setting boat pull effort by Nejib Belhedi's World Iron Swims are as follows:

1. Weight of the boat/ship is independently confirmed (e.g., Hached is 1000 tons).
2. Planned courses (Plan A and Plan B) are confirmed with the appropriate marine authorities (e.g., Plan A is from the start line at the marine entrance of the Sfax Port to the inside of the port).

3. Date and time are set (e.g., 10 am on May 22nd 2017).
4. Name of boat pull event is confirmed (SONOTRAK Iron Swim 1000 in Sfax Port 2017).
5. Ship and escort pilot are confirmed (Hached piloted by Commander Riadh Bargaoui).
6. Observer is confirmed (e.g., Sadok Jbir).
7. The goal of swim is pre-determined (e.g., Hached is to be towed by Nejib Belhedi).
8. Alternative course is pre-determined (e.g., in the case of unfavorable weather conditions that is determined by the escort pilot and inhibits the safe and precise technical execution, Plan B will be attempted at an appropriate starting point in Sfax Port).

In the case of Belhedi's SONOTRAK Iron Swim 1000 event, the organizer has set the following conditions for Belhedi:

The swimmer will start pulling the ship at the sound of a single toot of the horn by the escort pilot while the WOWSA observer waves a red flag from the escort boat that is placed near the swimmer.

The bow of the ship is oriented towards and parallel to the course. Before the start, the ship is in a static state with its engine on, but there is no forward propulsion and speed is not engaged and the propellers are not activated. Under such conditions, the swimmer will begin to swim with a rope around his waist that is attached to the bow of the boat. No initial propulsion is provided by the ship, its crew or its pilot to aid the swimmer.

The swimmer aims to pull the ship for a minimum distance of 200 meters, but he could swim a greater distance until he signals the end of the swim by lifting his hand above the water surface. At the time the swimmer lifts his hand, the escort pilot will give 3 toots of the horn and the observer will wave a red flag to signal the end of the swim where the distance and time will be recorded.

The swimmer will wear only a porous swimsuit that does not cover the torso or go below mid-thighs, swimming goggles, and swimming cap and will not touch any buoyant items.

During the swim, the escort pilot is authorized to engage the speed of the ship in the case there is an urgent need to maneuver the ship for safety of the swimmer or its crew including due to the unexpected movement of the ship from the expected course or to keep the bow of the ship behind the swimmer. In any case, during this possible piloting maneuver, the escort pilot will not help or purposefully slow down the speed of the swimmer.

Photo shows Belhedi on a practice boat pull.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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