Chesapeake Bay Swim lottery

TriBeeTriBee Member
edited January 2013 in Event Announcements
First draw on the lottery is tomorrow. Anybody else waiting to hear if they got in?
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  • Tribee, I entered the lottery last year for the first time with my training partner. He got in, I did not. I entered the one mile race, and it was fun just to be there, and share the experience to that degree. This year, I paid for a charity spot to insure my entry. I am so excited about doing the 4.4 swim, and I wish you good luck in the lottery. Keep us posted.
  • I entered the lottery, but have since have been dry docked due to a busted elbow. If i get in, I'll likely pass on it because I have no idea when I will even be back in the water. :-(
  • evmoevmo Admin
    edited January 2013
    Wonder what insurance carrier they use, and if that carrier knows about their wetsuit policy. Also wonder if their premium went up after the incident a couple years ago.

    (See related thread)
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    I've had enough of wetsuits and I have no interest in forced charity spots.
  • TriBeeTriBee Member
    edited January 2013
    I am unabashedly and unapologetically in love with my wetsuit. I'm keeping my fingers crossed--today's the first draw on the lottery.

    RMM, sorry to hear about your injury.
  • I was surprised at the number of people in wetsuits for the 4.4 mile race in 2012 which started at 11:00 and it was a hot day. Swimming across the Chesapeake Bay for me, as a Virginian who spent many times there with my Dad sailing, is an opportunity that I look forward to now that I am capable of doing it. I think that my Dad would be proud, and very surprised at my method of getting to the other side! Also, I expect that swimming in the seawater and across current will be good experience for the Channel.

    Rosemarymint, I am so sorry to hear about the elbow - hope you will have a speedy recovery.

  • As much as I am not a fan of the race, you almost need to have it on your "swimming resume" if you are from the area. It's the only OW swim that pool swimmers and the general public seem to know about around here and no one takes you seriously regardless of what else you've done.

    For those of you who don't get in, I suggest the following as a replacement swim. It's in the same approximate area and I enjoy it far more than the Bay swim:

    http://www.swimdcac.org/DCAC/swimforlife/Home.html

    It's 13 July this year, which is the same day as End-Wet and later than they have traditionally done it. It's a GREAT swim.

    -LBJ
    "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." - T.S. Eliot
  • @ LBJ - Thanks for the link to this event - It looks like a great swim! I will probably follow up and sign up!
  • evmoevmo Admin
    edited January 2013
    It's OK, some of my best friends are wetsuit-wearers. Just calling spade a spade, though.

    GCBS has a less enlightened wetsuit policy than USAT, which at least has water temp limits on eligibility of wetsuits.

    In my opinion, it's an unsafe event. And a couple years ago someone died while wearing a wetsuit in water that was reported to be 80+ degrees. Unfortunately, the autopsy/investigation was never made public, so we can't know for sure if it was over-heating.

    Also, the linmark website is a sordid mess. You'd think with all the cash they rake in, they could afford to hire a professional web designer.
  • And some of my best friends never wear a wetsuit. ;-)

    Seriously, every swimmer needs to have the good sense to know when conditions are suitable--or not--for a wetsuit, and how to cool off during the swim if unexpected heating occurs.

    As of now, looks like I didn't get in on the first lottery draw. Will keep my fingers crossed a bit longer.

    Leonard, thanks for the link to the MD race. I've got a conflict that weekend, but I'll keep it in mind if something opens up. Glad to see they've got a 5 miler in there.
  • evmoevmo Admin
    edited January 2013
    TriBee said:

    Seriously, every swimmer needs to have the good sense to know when conditions are suitable--or not--for a wetsuit, and how to cool off during the swim if unexpected heating occurs.

    That's a nice thought, but then why does USAT have regulations on this? Clearly, many aspiring OW swimmers (tri and otherwise) do not have this sense, which can only come from experience.

    The GCBS wetsuit policy is hazardous. IMO.
  • TriBeeTriBee Member
    edited January 2013

    but then why does USAT have regulations on this?

    Because they have some ill thought out need to interfere with natural selection?
  • TriBee said:

    Because they have some ill thought out need to interfere with natural selection?

    Wow. This is a joke to you?

    Someone died in the GCBS two years ago.
  • Sorry. No offense intended.
  • oxooxo New Member
    edited January 2013

    Seriously, every swimmer needs to have the good sense to know when conditions are suitable--or not--for a wetsuit, and how to cool off during the swim if unexpected heating occurs.

    That's a nice thought, but then why does USAT have regulations on this?

    By nature, such a regulation is merely a specification of a safe range for the typical swimmer, or for X-percent of the swimmers, etc.... putatively applicable for all specified events throughout the season regardless of secondary factors. For any given swimmer on a given day, that range may or may not be safe.

    One effect of such regulations is to induce swimmers to ignore internal misgivings and swim anyways ... to conclude that if the organizers say it is safe, then it must be safe for everyone including themselves. That is, some swimmers will end up wearing one when otherwise they would not wear one because they are thinking to themselves "it seems too hot today for me to wear one".

    I think it is likely that risk in some market segments is in indeed decreased by such regulations. I also think such regulations increase it in others. The question is, what is the net impact? do such regulations decrease or increase the number of incidents for their entire scope? Or, to be cynical, are they adopted simply to shield the infrastructure by making the event insurable?

    Anyway. From my perspective the quote above is more than a nice thought. It is an example of the bottom line. Swimming safely means taking full individual responsibility. Period. Always.
  • evmoevmo Admin
    edited January 2013
    oxo said:

    Swimming safely means taking full individual responsibility. Period. Always.

    I agree with that statement.

    But...
    oxo said:

    One effect of such regulations is to induce swimmers to ignore internal misgivings and swim anyways ... to conclude that if the organizers say it is safe, then it must be safe for them ... to abdicate responsibility. That is, some swimmers will end up wearing one despite thinking to themselves "it seems too hot today for me to wear one".

    This is precisely the dynamic encouraged by the GCBS (lack of) wetsuit policy. The organizers, in effect, encourage the use of wetsuits, regardless of water temperature, by not distinguishing the use of neoprene in the overall results listing. So, anyone who cares about their placement is effectively pressured to wear a wetsuit, even if they might have internal misgivings about the safety of doing so.

    Moreover, less experienced swimmers who might not realize the dangers of overheating in a wetsuit, see everyone else wearing one (because of the arms-race dynamic described above) and conclude it must be safe.

    One solution is completely separate listings of wetsuit & non-wetsuit, a la USMS. Another solution is banning wetsuits above a certain water temp, a la USAT. Neither is a perfect solution, but both are far better than the GCBS.
  • oxooxo New Member
    edited January 2013
    I had wanted to read the formal GCBS regulations, but failed to find them on their website today. Subsequently, 856-468-0010, they said they had removed them from their website.

    As I tried to argue above, doing so perhaps inadequately, assessing the net impact of such a regulation is difficult at best. While a regulation may decrease risk in one group, it may increase risk in another group. What is the net impact? I do agree that separate listings and/or a temperature ceiling would lead to decreased risk for certain types. But it is equally easy to point out types for whom either policy would lead to increased risk. I'd be interested in reading an argument on the net impact, even if it only argues qualitatively, that is, that the net impact is positive, neutral, or negative. I don't have a net impact argument. I don't know of one. So as much as I may like to, I'm unable to rank the policies of USMS, USAT, GCBS.

    In practical terms, any net consequence may be irrelevant. Such policies may have been drafted simply because an insurance company offered a lower premium if one was adopted, or an insurance company flat out required one be adopted, or because a lawyer advised that adopting one would more robustly shield the infrastructure.

    I think mixing a swim with an external reward (pre-swim fundraising, ranking, fame, membership in a 'club', cash, endorsement contracts, this-is-nonrefundable-so-i-better-do-it, ...) can lead to persevering beyond the individual's better judgment. I think external reward is the, er, root evil, not neoprene.
  • evmoevmo Admin
    edited January 2013
    oxo said:

    I do agree with that separate listings and or temperature ceiling would lead to decreased risk for certain types. But it is equally easy to point out types for whom either policy would lead to increased risk.
    [...]
    So as much as I'd like to, I'm unable to agree that any one policy (USMS, USAT, GCBS) is better than the other.

    Separating neoprene/skin results listings (by which I mean: non-intermingled "overall" results), free swimmers to choose the swimwear that is best for them, and to compete with others who make the same choice on a level playing field.

    For which "type," specifically, do you think this policy would increase risk, compared to what GCBS does?
  • NiekNiek Member
    edited January 2013
    Why not at least use the same temperature rules as with triathlon. That way above 20 degrees Celsius no wetsuit allowed, thus no overheating.
    Or is the organization afraid to lose a lot of participants?
    If so they are only looking at high participating numbers and are neglecting safety.

    I'm wondering if it can't be researched whether the most disasters occur at those huge events with over hundreds of participants. I think they are often too crowded for adequate supervision.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • oxooxo New Member
    edited January 2013

    Separate neoprene/skin results listings (by which I mean: non-intermingled "overall" results), frees swimmers to choose the swimwear that is best for them ...

    I disagree. Under open rules (wear one or not, swimmer's choice), swimmers are free to choose what is best for themselves. It does not require separate events to achieve that. The reality is that some will forego safety in order to gain a greater external reward.

    Separate neoprene/skin results listings (by which I mean: non-intermingled "overall" results) ... [snip]... to compete with others who make the same choice on a level playing field.

    I agree.

    For which "type," specifically, do you think this policy would increase risk, compared to what GCBS does?

    To avoid feeling like a, er, wetsuit whimp, a wetsuit swimmer may swim skin in a unified event. In separate events, that swimmer may choose their normal attire (a wetsuit).

    CLARIFICATION: From my perspective, and I think the perspective of very many on this forum, wearing a wetsuit does not have a negative stigma; it is just different. Still, by design wetsuits are protection. That simple fact is sufficient in/of itself to lead to a sense of whimping out; it does not require persecution.
  • bobswimsbobswims Charter Member
    I have been absolutely against the wearing wetsuits . . . since I put on 25 lb to swim in cold water and no longer fit in any of mine.
  • Back to original subject... the lottery.
    I didn't get in. So, I won't be doing it for the 11th time this year. I guess being a good customer doesn't get you much any more.
  • Sorry you didn't get in. It was an odd lottery this year. I noticed in the initial round that there weren't any D, J and N surnames. Some seem to get in every year through lottery and I have friends who haven't gotten in through multiple tries. I'll continue with charity spot.

    Perhaps you had people complaining about all of your top 5 finishes!

    Good luck at Potomac. I waited too long and missed that one.
  • TriBeeTriBee Member
    edited January 2013
    RuffWater,
    check your email--they did a fourth lottery today mid-afternoon. I know because that's when the magic email arrived. I'm in! Holy crap, I'm in.

    Sorry you didn't get in.
  • Franco - Thanks. And sorry you missed the Potomac. It's a good one.

    TriBee - Linda T told me a 4th selection round was coming. I've been on top of my emails since then. Nothing.

    With my luck, this will be the year the water will be 60 degrees and there will be 10-15 knot headwind. I've been waiting for that scenario.
  • Living in Colorado I've mostly gone West Coast for destination races and have done many races in Southern Cali. Comparatively, conditions and water temps are very similar to the Potomac swim yet in Cali the bias is towards Non Wet-suit participants :) I'd been wanting to do a East Coast swim for some time but the more I read about the Potomac swim, the less it interested me. This year I finally did an East Coast swim, The Little Red Light House swim. NYCSwim has a bias towards non wet-suits which I like. Plus they seem to be an excellent organization and the race was well run! And had a little NYC vacation to boot.
  • I am happy to have done both but the two swims are not comparable.

    Potomac is considerably harder.

    They are both well run events. Potomac list whether or not you wore wetsuit and gives separate awards. Little Red Lighthouse only gives awards for non wetsuit depending on temp but does not separate finishers in the results. If you aren't winning an award, this favors the wetsuit wearer in my opinion.

    This is all off the original topic. If you look to come back East again, you may want to reconsider the Potomac Swim. It is a great, challenging, point to point swim.

    Just to clarify. There are two different Potomac swims. One is 3K and the other is 7.5 miles. I am referring to the 7.5 miler.
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