Sample Kayaker's Guide for Open Water Swimmers

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  • 8/8/2019 Sample Kayaker's Guide for Open Water Swimmers

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    Open Water Source www.openwatersource.com

    Copyright 2010 by Steven Munatones

    Sample Kayakers Guide For Open Water Swimmers

    This is a sample guide for open water swims that have a 1:1 ratio for kayakers and swimmers.This is not meant to specifically address your event or responsibilities, but is a generalguideline for reference purposes:

    1 Water Conditions2 Rules3 The Start and The Transitions4 Support5 Navigation6 The Finish7 Logistics8 Kayaking Tricks and Hints

    1 WATER CONDITIONS1.1 There may be rain, fog or mist early in the race that may turn into blistering heat later inthe race or the moisture in the air may continue day. Properly prepare yourself to be comfortable in these myriad conditions and temperatures.Consider wearing a wetsuit or other cold-weather gear as necessary as well as headcovering and sunglasses.

    There may also be large surf at the start and at the finish. At the very least, there will besome sort of waves on the coastline that you must navigate through. Be prepared to getthrough the surf zone with all of your equipment and the equipment and fueling and hydrationproducts for your swimmer. This can be tricky and dangerous if you are capsized goingthrough the surf. Ask for help if you need it. There will be lifeguards and volunteers to helpyou through the surf but be prepared to get through the surf by yourself.

    Your swimmer cannot compete without you so they are dependent upon your success ingetting out beyond the breakers.

    The two possible extremes in the Pacific Ocean be prepared for both.

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    Open Water Source www.openwatersource.com

    Copyright 2010 by Steven Munatones

    1.2 On race day, the water conditions in the ocean may vary from glassy smooth to turbulent with high surf and whitecaps. Prepare yourself to handle the entire range of

    possible water conditions. Both close to shore (waves and rip currents) and outside the surfzone (surface chop, jellyfish, dolphin and ocean swells), be prepared for all possiblesituations. Practice, practice, practice. If you have problems keeping balanced if there is

    significant surface chop or whitecaps, call over the lifeguards and ask for assistance.1.3 If lightening and exceptionally high surf or rough conditions occur on race day, the eventwill be cancelled. The decision of the Referee, in consultation with the lifeguards, will be final.Safety first.1.4 Of course, if at any time, you believe your swimmer has reached their physical and mentallimits, immediately call the lifeguards and allow your swimmer to hang on and rest of yourkayak.2 WATER TEMPERATURE

    2.1 The water temperature may vary from 55F 68F 55F 68F with fluctuating watertemperatures throughout the course depending on the currents, winds and waves. If thewater temperature is outside this expected range, the Referee shall make this announcementbefore the race. Even if your swimmer wears a wetsuit, they may get cold during the race,especially towards the end. NEVER LET YOUR ATHLETE GO BEYOND WHAT THEY ARECAPABLE OF, EVEN IF THEY REQUEST YOU TO LEAVE THEM IN THE WATER UNTILTHEY HAVE TO BE FORCED OR PULLED OUT.If you think your swimmer is getting cold, ask them their telephone number or name of theirhigh school or birthdates of their children or any other simple questions that they should

    immediately know. If your swimmer cannot answer these simple questions, immediately callthe lifeguards over and get your swimmer out of the water. While they may be disappointedat not finishing, they will live another day to do other sports and other swims.

    If you think your swimmer may have problems with the ocean temperatures, you may tryproviding them with warmed drinks not chilled drinks. However, the swimmers mustpractice ahead of time to become accustomed to drinking warm drinks in the open water.

    2 RULES

    2.1 There are a few important deviations from the standard open water swimming rules

    governing the sport at the Olympics and FINA World Swimming Championships. The rules ofthe local amateur swims are largely aimed at the safety and enjoyment of the average athlete.Most races follow the standard FINA rules but there are exceptions. For example, in a fewraces like the Distance Swim Challenge, you may allow your swimmer to touch and hang onyour support kayaks at any time and for any length of time during the race. However, pleaserefrain from pulling along your swimmer. This is against the race rules. Of course,unsportsmanlike conduct by you or your swimmer such as pulling, dunking, sinking,

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    Open Water Source www.openwatersource.com

    Copyright 2010 by Steven Munatones

    scratching or veering off another swimmer will not be tolerated and are grounds forimmediate disqualification.

    2.2 In some races, the course will be parallel to the shoreline and will be marked by a seriesof marine buoys. In other cases, the course is an out-and-back course or a loop course or apoint-to-point course. Pay close attention to the direction in which you and your swimmer

    must swim (e.g., left-shoulder turns, right-shoulder turns or a combination of both around theturn buoys). At certain locations, especially when there is boat, JetSki, surf ski, wind surfingor kite surfing cross traffic, you and your swimmer must exercise EXTREME caution.

    DO NOT ASSUME ANY WATERCRAFT WILL SEE OR STOP FOR YOU OR YOUR

    SWIMMER. DO NOT ASSUME YOU HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY. BE CAUTIOUS AND

    CAREFUL. GIVE WIDE BERTH TO ALL WATERCRAFT, BOATS, JET SKIS, WIND

    SURFERS AND KITE SURFERS.2.3 In some courses, there may be time limits. If you and your swimmer do not reach certainpoints by certain times, you and your swimmer will be asked to leave the course.

    2.4 For all races, if you are not finished by a certain time, you and your swimmer will be askedto leave the course. This is usually a race requirement or a local permit requirement.2.5 Keep your swimmer within 10 meters of you. DO NOT ALLOW YOUR SWIMMER TOSWIM OFF BY THEMSELVE. You should be positioned parallel to your swimmer on theirpredominant breathing side. There are some occasional exceptions to this rule: at the start,finish or in and around the transition areas where the swimmers will proceed by themselves.

    3 THE START AND TRANSITIONS3.1 In some races, kayakers must be in position outside the surf zone 10 minutes before thestart of the race. Discuss with your swimmer where and how you will meet them outside thesurf zone prior to the start of the race.

    3.2 The start may be sounded by an air horn. Sometimes, 10-minute, 5-minute, 3-minute and1-minute warnings will also be given, although you may not hear these pre-race warningswhen you are out in the water past the surf zone.3.3 Wear some colorful or distinctive clothing or a hat so your swimmer can more easilyrecognize you in the water.

    3.4 As your swimmer gets past the surf zone and starts to head around the course, kayak

    over to your swimmer WITHOUT impeding the progress of other swimmers. DO NOTKAYAK OVER OR IN FRONT OF OTHER COMPETITORS. UNSPORTSMANLIKECONDUCT ON YOUR PART WILL BE GROUNDS FOR IMMEDIATE DISQUALIFICATION

    OF YOUR SWIMMER. Kayak up behind your swimmer or wave to your swimmer so they canswim out to your position. Once you and your swimmer have teamed up, then proceedaround the course as instructed.

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    Open Water Source www.openwatersource.com

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    3.5 You can take any line to the next transition, but it is highly recommended that you stayclear of the surf zone. You are the eyes and ears of your swimmer and they should followyou.

    3.6 At the end of each leg (1.2 or 2.4 miles in length), your swimmer must swim into thebeach, proceed (walk or run) up the shore and check in with the medical staff. They will then

    return and swim back out through the surf zone. Wait for your swimmer outside the surf zoneand transition buoys. If in the judgment of the medical staff, your swimmer is not prepared tocontinue with the remainder of the race, they will be asked to either rest on shore or withdrawfrom the race.

    3.7 If your swimmer is withdrawn from the race, you have a choice. You can come into shoreand support your swimmer or you may continue kayaking to either the start or finish, helpingout other swimmers and kayakers as you wish.3.8 Some race rules will dictate that only swimmers can swim into each transition. Underthese rules, stay away from the transition area.

    3.9 All swimmers will have their competition number clearly displayed at least on one part oftheir body (upper back, arms or bank of hands). Know your swimmers number. You mayalso be given a race bib with the same number, depending on the race organization.SUPPORT

    4.1 You must be physically capable of kayaking for the entire distance and experiencedenough to carry your supplies and hand your food and drink in the water to your swimmerwhile balancing on your kayak. Although there will be other kayaks and safety watercraft onthe course, your swimmer is completely dependent upon you for navigation, feeding and

    hydration.4.2 It is extremely important to keep eye contact with your swimmer at all times. You mustalso provide them with food and/or drink at least every 30 minutes. The food and drink isentirely up to your swimmer but you need to keep your swimmer well-hydrated andfueled.

    4.3 Determine your best line from transition area to transition area or from turn buoy to turnbuoy. Keep your kayak parallel to your swimmer so you can guide them on the straightest ormost optimal course at