Tampa Bay Marathon Swim 2013

edited April 2013 in Event Announcements
Registration form for Tampa Bay 2013, scheduled for Sat, April 20: http://www.distancematters.com/entryform.pdf

Question to Tampa Bay veterans: Does the powerboat supplied by the organizers also include the person to operate it? Or would I have to locate a captain and crew myself?


  • edited October 2012
    The boat does include the pilot, who owns the boat which they operate. You would have to locate a crew to help with your feedings, and whatever else you might need!
    An excellent swim, as I highly recommend it! Was my first marathon swim, and a great memory. Ron Collins does a great job of directing the race!
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania U.S.A.
  • edited October 2012
    Ron, the race director, is a great, really helpful guy. Just tell him what you need. It might cost you a couple of extra bucks but I think he could assign you a pilot boat where the captain could provide a crew person or help you find a local crew person. My suggestion would be to put your feed instructions in writing besides going over it verbally so it can't get fouled up.
    My family absolutely loved this trip (except for the hell storm on race day) and counts this as our best family trip ever. We rented a beach house on Anna Maria island the week before the race. Everybody got to do their thing. It was all good.
    I have unfinished business from 2012 because of the giant lightning storm so I'd really like to try it again. 2012 was really rough weather so 2013 has to be smooth as glass, right? If you breath to your left you can watch the city front and houses go by. I breath to my right so all I saw all day were giant waves! Hahaha!
  • Ron is super helpful with everything, so as @AK_Steve suggests, just ask him if you need anything or have questions. I,too, have some unfinished business- just can't decide if it's worth the pool training I'd have to do all over again for an early spring swim. But, it's a great race- just a pretty low key event where you get to meet lots of people!
  • Anyone else training for Tampa? How is it going?
  • And - can someone tell me a bit about the currents? Ron says there's a current working with you most of the way, but it does turn against you at some point.
  • @heart, sorry. Missed your first question. I am doing a relay, so not much change in my training. I'm mostly ramping up my (what I call) horizontal time in prep for my biggie this July (END Wet).
    In a relay of 6 swimmers, I'll probably only get about 2 hours of swimming.
  • I hope we'll get to hang out, @IronMike. It'll be fun.

    Training is eating up a lot of my time, as this is about twice the longest distance I've swum.
  • Getting so excited. Only a few days away!
  • edited April 2013
    Good luck to the Tampa Bay Marathon Swimmers tomorrow! Calm seas & a healthy flood tide!

    1. Brooke Bennett, 32F, Clearwater, FL
    2. Chris Burke, 51M, St. Petersburg, FL
    3. Chelsea Nauta, 24F, Brandon, FL
    4. Mark Smitherman, 55M, Clearwater, FL
    5. Gene Kennedy, 53M, Charlotte, NC
    6. Sergio Salamone, 45M, Buenos Aires, Argentina
    7. Lori King, 37F, Rockville Centre, NY
    8. Carl Selles, 66M, Aurora, CO
    9. Dan Richards, 56M, Arlington, TN
    10. Thomas Bell, 44M, Wyomissing, PA
    11. Yuta Tsuboi, 40M, New York, NY
    12. Thomas Tarantola, 18M, Flagler Beach, FL
    14. Pat Marzulli, 64M, Indian Rocks Beach, FL
    15. Bethany Bosch, 28F, Wallingford, VT
    16. Ann von Spiegelfeld, 51F, Tampa, FL
    17. Hadar Aviram, 38F, San Francisco, CA
    18. Arnie Bellini, 53M, Tampa, FL
    19. Michael Miller, 53M, Charlotte, NC

    20. NC State of Mind - Relay
    Patrick Woodruff, 29M, Durham, NC
    Kelly Woodruff, 27F, San Diego, CA
    Mary Robbins, 28F, Durham, NC
    Greg Sanchez, 55M, Cary, NC
    Jack Roney, 25M, Fuquay-Varina, NC
    Sarah Sanchez, 15F, Cary, NC

    21. The Dirty Half Dozen - Relay
    Patty Hermann, 53F, Houston, TX
    Kimberly Hermann, 23F, Houston, TX
    Ted Gregory, 75M, Camp Hill, PA
    Mike Tyson, 46M, Alexandria, VA
    Richard Schoenborn, 55M, Palm City, FL
    Kelly Gentry, 26F, Livermore, CA

    22. Aqua Fury - Relay
    Erin O'Leary, 31F, Jacksonville, FL
    Brian Lanahan, 37M, Charleston, SC
    Lesley Fanning, 44F, Mt. Pleasant, SC

  • @IronMike, See 17 above...best of luck to you and the Dirty Half Dozen...as a Disney Movie once said, "Just keep Swimming" (and yes I know it's Nemo :P )
  • Hello! Conditions were fierce and crazy! I had a fabulous time, and pulled out after 11 hours at approx 18 miles due to shoulder injury. About half of us didn't make it - crazy countercurrents - mad props to those who did!!!
  • edited April 2013
    @heart too bad that with your shoulder.
    Something even worse:
    Kathy Selles tweeting @kselles
    Carl forced to quit race at 11:15, escort boat taking on water, close to sinking, waves crashing over boat. Carl swimming strong, fabulous
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • edited April 2013
    Yes - three boats sank. It was truly a crazy day out there.

    [edited to add] Shoulder is killing me and I can't lift my arm, but I'm pleased to have swum so far and for so long under those conditions with a terrific crew.
  • edited April 2013
    Did the swell became worse than on the pictures?
    Doesn't look so bad on it.
    Seen much worse during an IJsselmeer marathon.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • edited April 2013
    Three boats sank?! Wow! How did that work out? Were they rescued and towed back to harbor? I remember the boat that escorted me in Tampa Bay in 2011 was a pretty solid vessel. But that boat #3 looks somewhat inadequate for big seas.
  • Boat #3 might have been one of the ones that sank, @evmo. Our captain explained that it was a tough call whether to let the waves go over the boat--which is what he did, most of the time--or raise the front of the boat above the waves. Our boat left us for about an hour or so to rescue passengers from one of the sunken boats.
  • Here was the race report from Carl Selles.

    A sinking boat sinks my chances to complete the Tampa Bay Marathon Swim.
    I am listed as Swimmer #8, Boat #8. The race began just after 7 am, swimmers head due east for about an hour before turning north. Now that we are in the bay, away from the protection of land, winds are from the north at 20 knots+. These building waves create swimming ecstasy for me, and I am enjoying the adventure.
    Kathy will tell me later about a sobering sight: Boat #3 is ahead of us, listing with the starboard edge in the water. All passengers have been rescued off of the sinking boat. The Coast Guard is arriving to attempt to save the boat and tow it to shore. We will later learn that the bilge pump failed and the boat began sinking.
    However, as conditions worsened through the morning, our escort boat began taking on water; this fishing boat is not appropriate for these conditions. Waves of 4-6 feet are breaking over the bow of the escort boat, filling it with water faster that they can bail it out, and the bilge pump cannot keep up. The boat is now listing to starboard, and water is washing over the back of the boat. The captain notes that the wells are filling with water and he is very concerned about losing his boat. He attempts to call the Coast Guard for a rescue, but the marine radio is dead, damaged by waves/water. Kathy uses her cell to notify the race director, and they flag down a race marshal to notify him that the boat is sinking.
    The race marshal wants to pull me from the race, but I urge them to allow me to continue. After much discussion with the race director, the marshal reluctantly contacts a nearby escort, Boat #21, to see if I can swim along with them. Boat #21 is carrying a relay, The Dirty Half Dozen, and Kathy also transfers to this boat via the kayak. Our escort boat limps into shore while he can still float. I continue to swim alongside Boat #21, and begin to catch up to their swimmer, who has progressed and is now ahead of us. The race marshal returns and informs us that Kathy must be in the kayak alongside me. She complies, and we continue on for about 20 minutes. Conditions are really too rough, and Kathy cannot keep pace in the little 6 foot SOT (sit on top) kayak in these 6 foot rollers. Additionally, we were unable to bring the total volume of my feedings during the transfers, leaving me without adequate nutrition for the remainder of the swim. The race marshal returns and helps us face the reality that we really cannot continue under these conditions. Regretfully, we load the kayak into the marshal’s boat, and are transported to North Shore Pool on the west shore of Tampa Bay in St Petersburg.
    I was swimming so well and feeling so good, I will always wonder if I could have completed the rest of the swim in these difficult, rough conditions.
  • The first of those two pix features me and my kayaker, @Niek. My crew tried to take pix during the less alarming stretches, so as not to freak out my grandparents, who were watching and fretting on Facebook. :)
  • God that looks awful. Congrats to everyone for getting anywhere and surviving!!!! Next time don't use boats called Edmund Fitzgerald....
  • @RonCollins just published the results on FB:

    10 hours, 7 minutes - Chelsea Nauta, 24F, Brandon, FL
    10 hours, 11 minutes - Brooke Bennett, 32F, Clearwater, FL
    12 hours, 16 minutes - Chris Burke, 51M, St. Petersburg, FL
    12 hours, 33 minutes - Mark Smitherman, 55M, Clearwater, FL
    13 hours, 37 minutes - Sergio Salamone, 45M, Buenos Aires, Argentina
    14 hours, 37 minutes - Ann von Spiegelfeld, 51F, Tampa, FL

    10 hours, 2 minutes - NC State of Mind - Relay
    Patrick Woodruff, 29M, Durham, NC
    Kelly Woodruff, 27F, San Diego, CA
    Mary Robbins, 28F, Durham, NC
    Greg Sanchez, 55M, Cary, NC
    Jack Roney, 25M, Fuquay-Varina, NC
    Sarah Sanchez, 15F, Cary, NC

    Well done, Everyone - whether you finished or not!
  • I was on the boat that picked up Carl Selles's wife. Poor thing was pooped. She's an avid kayaker and she said shes never seen seas like that.
    I must compliment Carl. He doesn't say it in his report, but his concern for those few minutes we had him were for our swimmer. A few times he stopped to ask if we had our swimmer in sight. First class gent.
    And he looked not affected at all by the seas. His stroke was beautiful and strong.
    After we put his wife back in the water and left to find our swimmer we heard on the radio he had to withdraw. I think he would have made it.
    I really hope I'm swimming as strong when I'm 66!
  • @Niek, the waves were very bad btwn hours 1-3, as I remember. That's when the boats started sinking. I think since this was so early, that is why there were so many drops; those waves sapped the energy of many really good swimmers. @evmo, passing boat 3 was a sobering sight and honestly we were worried for swimmer 3.
    I must say I am glad this wasn't my solo year. Swimming 30-min shifts on a 6-person relay made those minutes in the washing machine fun. I couldn't imagine fighting through those 2 hours and still having 18-20 miles to go!
  • I kept hoping it would get better, and going under the big swells rather than over them. But yeah, hours 1-3 were quite an ordeal. :)
  • I have competed in this event as a solo or relay for ten years, but this year crewed for Arnie Bellini, one of the solo entrants. Yesterday was the roughest weather I have experienced for the swim, but this is not unusual for Tampa Bay this time of year. Our boat (#18) was a 21 ft open bow boat, which started taking water over the bow as we entered the open bay. Then our bilge pump failed. At ten miles we made the decision to pull or swimmer before and as we entered the marina, our engine failed. We were lucky.

    As I do more open water swims, I continue to learn the importance of proper preparation of both swimmer and support crew. Tampa Bay is my home pool, but I woefully underestimated the conditions in my support boat selection. Open bow and flat hulled boats, while very common in our area, should not be used in rough water. We never know it all, but learn through our experiences.

    Congratulations to all who started yesterday and to all who finished. Many thanks also go out to Tampa Bay Marathon Swim race director Ron Collins for all his efforts to promote open water swimming. This is a great sport, filled with equally great people.
  • http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • Gaaaah! Beams to the Kenting swimmers!

    I guess that's part of the magic of this sport: You never know what the day is going to be like. If we wanted predictability, we'd never leave the pool.
  • What was the pre-race forecast versus what arose during the swim?
  • There was forecast of rain and lightening.
  • edited April 2013
    2013 - Int'l Olympic Hengchun Open Water Swim
    participants had to have a self insurance off NT$2 million (=US$ 67,100) source

    The Central Weather Bureau said it recorded a northeast wind of 6-7 on the Beaufort scale near Kenting on Sunday morning, with gusts of up to 9 on the scale. It said that alerts were issued Saturday and Sunday morning.

    A 9 scale wind has a speed of 20.8-24.4 meters per seconds, which is a strong gale, according to the bureau.

    Irregular tides off the coast of Kenting were also recorded by the bureau. Between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Sunday, there were waves as as high as 0.72 meters in the area, the bureau said.

    It will require further study, however, to determine whether the incident resulted from the weather conditions, the bureau said.

    Hung Kuang-pin, chairman of the swimming association, said its personnel had deemed that the weather was suitable for swimming, and the competition was launched as scheduled.

    But the conditions took a turn for the worse shortly after 8 a.m. and the race was shortened from 3 km to 1.6 km, he said. The swimmers were not allowed to pass the 0.8 km mark going out to sea, he added.

    At about 9 a.m., it was decided that the weather was unsuitable for the competition and a support crew was asked to pick up the swimmers and take them ashore, the organizers said.

    Doesn't look so good organized to me. When are the circumstances worse enough for them to cancel the race?

    edit: extra info http://focustaiwan.tw/news/asoc/201304220024.aspx
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • 2013 - Int'l Olympic Hengchun Open Water Swim
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
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