110 miles, 53 hours: Questions for Diana Nyad

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  • Two points : if you are wearing a stinger suit, why not spend a few hours training in putting it on and off by yourself. I have seen ordinary people do this in split seconds whilst in the water...... In fact it is the easy way.

    It seems from our jelly expert that uprisings of jelly swarms can be predicted? Much like the tides then. So we predict the tides , match them with the jelly predictions, hope the weather is great and off we swim. It's what we do. And if we face a potentially fatal situation , is it really that important to remove the risk entirely with a suit? So an athletes life is not put at risk, we are told. Try telling that to Captain Scott or Everest summiteers. Why is it that other sports accept danger, even fatality. But oh dear, not us swimmers, we must invent stuff to remove such distasteful thoughts and make a tough swim 'easy enough' for us to get across. Maybe one day, someone will race to the South Pole in trainers and shorts inside a week. But for now they all rely on fancy clothing and much kit because it is the only way. But swimming, the fancy kit is not the only way, we only need Speedos and goggles.
  • I discovered this morning that the toll-free conference call for the review panel wasn't toll-free. Damn but this thing gets you every way.

    I submitted an invoice to @Munatones (~eu30 / $40). No way I'm literally paying for that setup. He said he'd put the money in my hand next weekend in Cork. (Limited) Pints are on me!
  • SharkoSharko Sonoma County, CAMember
    Loneswimmer...thanks for your post...gave interesting insight....perhaps we will never know the truth about this swim...but the biggest alarm bell for me was watching the video of DN pulling her crew together about two miles from the finish to thank them (and I was saying to myself...wow...she looks awfully focused, alert and fresh with this pep talk after all these hours) and then as noted by Ron Collins asking about the apparent freshness of Diana Nyad immediately post-swim....Something just doesn't feel right here to me...Maybe we need heroes or maybe we just need honesty in this world right now.
    "I never met a shark I didn't like"
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    Sharko said:

    Something just doesn't feel right here to me

    Yep.

    Over the past few days I've been trying to organize my own thoughts on this debacle, and this is what I keep coming back to. Among the most experienced, knowledgeable, wise marathon swimmers in the world, trust that this swim is what it claims to be is... close to zero.

    The tiny details that non-marathon swimmers would never notice, but that raise giant red flags among people who've actually been there, in the trenches of a challenging channel swim.

    In the absence of hard evidence, there's a very fine line between intuition-based skepticism, and slanderous conspiracy theories. As thorough and critical as this thread has been, it's merely the public-facing tip of an enormous iceberg of doubt.
  • It seems to me that Diana Nyad has built up a level of distrust among many swimmers (and non-swimmers) over the years owing to her past (and current) behavior. This includes her behavior toward Walter Poenish in the 70s and possibly other rival swimmers (or those who have assisted rival swimmers). There's also the issue of non-transparency during past swims (not revealing till later that she had got on a boat, for example) as well as a lack of memory when it comes to specific questions (saying she can't remember if she touched the boat or not - whether on purpose or inadvertently). Each action on its own may have an explanation. But when you combine everything together there is a pattern of behavior where one has to start questioning her motives. Worst, in my mind, was DN's attempts to discredit Walter Poenish.

    That aside, the most important questions to me are still:

    With the recent swim, what record is DN trying to lay claim to?
    Why describe her swim as "squeaky clean" when the parameters of what constitutes a "squeaky clean" swim were never provided ahead of time?

    I first heard of Diana Nyad in 2012 when she was about to start one of her attempts. I thought: a swim from Cuba to FL? Wow, good for her. I had not been aware of any controversy around her at that time or her history, but I did notice that her swim seemed steeped in media, public relations and her own personal branding. Not my cup of tea, but whatever. If that's how she wants to do it, OK. Fast forward to a few weeks ago and I saw reports and TV footage of her wading ashore in Florida, looking utterly disoriented and receiving a hero's welcome. I actually felt a lump in my throat! Good for you Diana! And it had nothing to do with her being female, or her being 64, or her being "grandmotherly", or gay, or whatever else the media thinks is going to put her into an even more special category. Who cares about that? Also, if you're a swimmer, you already know these things are quite achievable regardless of age or gender. But here was a human being who just completed an amazing swim. After 30 years of trying. Good for her.

    Since then, after following this whole saga and learning of those who preceded her in this swim, I can't help but feel that DN has tainted whatever legacy she so desperately wants to build. There is her past abuse towards Walter Poenish, and then the cloud of uncertainty that follows her from swim to swim.
  • NiekNiek Member
    edited October 2013
    I'm glad that here in the Netherlands the live Oprah show with Diana :^o won't be available. That relieves me of the almost obligation to watch. :)
    Saves me from getting drunk and puking :-& with @Leonard_Jansen
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • godzillaboatgodzillaboat Temporary Suspension
    http://fishmonster.com/featured/the-xtreme-dream-team-a-record-breaking-operation/

    A good article on ''the team" that gives a very concise description of all the jobs at hand for the different vessels and crews.
  • I discovered this morning that the toll-free conference call for the review panel wasn't toll-free. Damn but this thing gets you every way.

    WTF?! Hello! FreeConferenceCall.com!!!
  • @godzillaboat a more reliable observations report about DN&co than other reports we've seen.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    Sorry if super newspaper-archive sleuth @Niek already posted this, but found it recently while composing a blog post: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1094068/

    Interesting tidbits from the article (written in 1978 after her first failed attempt):
    The day after her much-publicized Cuba-to-Florida swim was aborted, she told reporters that she was a "true hero" who had pulled off "an almost superhuman feat."
    ...she concedes that sometimes she comes across as "an overly dramatic braggart."
    Nyad says that
    marathon swimming is a "primeval" sport in which the goal is "victory over the elements" and the equipment is "your own strength of body and spirit."
  • KellieKellie Member
    edited October 2013
    http://dailynews.openwaterswimming.com/2013/10/swimming-conditions-in-straits-of.html?m=1

    "In a preliminary investigation of what is allowed and what is not allowed in solo swims across the Straits of Florida, we found the information below..."
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    Good Lord! Another bang up journalistic job at DNOWS. Poenisch was not 68 when he did the swim.
    I couldn't even get beyond the first few paragraphs. Jeez.
  • Kellie said:

    http://dailynews.openwaterswimming.com/2013/10/swimming-conditions-in-straits-of.html

    "In a preliminary investigation of what is allowed and what is not allowed in solo swims across the Straits of Florida, we found the information below..."

    I know this is hard, but, for the record:
    1) ANYTHING is "allowed" as long as it won't get you arrested for smuggling or as an illegal alien in one of the two countries and involves swimming in some form.
    2) If a solo swim follows "English Channel" rules, it's "UNASSISTED."
    3) If a solo swim does not follow "English Channel" rules, it's "ASSISTED."

    There will be a test on this and it counts for 100% of your grade for this thread.

    -LBJ
    "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." - T.S. Eliot
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    IronMike said:

    Good Lord! Another bang up journalistic job at DNOWS. Poenisch was not 68 when he did the swim.
    I couldn't even get beyond the first few paragraphs. Jeez.

    Let me add to my own post that I think DNOWS should have included DN's attempt in 1978 (and maybe her other 3 attempts) in their list of "allowed" and not. And I agree with @Leonard_Jansen. Always.
  • danslosdanslos Member
    edited October 2013
    I was trying to leave this topic alone when a non-swimmer friend told me this morning that he'd seen DN on Oprah and that DN's swim had apparently been "approved." So I again feel that I must write....

    [Caveat lector: The following is essentially a restatement of @Leonard_Jansen's clear and definitive post above.]
    Whoever composed "Swimming Conditions In The Straits Of Florida" at DNOWS could have found much better words to use than "allowed" and "not allowed" (e.g. "used" and "did not use") because "allowed" and "not allowed" imply some entity doing the allowing/not allowing. Having said that, the list may actually be helpful. If we agree that an unassisted swim is a swim that complies with the generally accepted guidelines that one swims from point A to point B without touching a boat or other watercraft, without touching another person, etc., then all of the completed swims on the list are assisted. Any semi-intelligent person looking at the list would have to reach the same conclusion--as long as he or she accepted the definitions of assisted and unassisted swims

    But none of this apparently matters because the propriety of DN's swim has been verified and sanctified by Oprah.
  • ****But none of this apparently matters because the propriety of DN's swim has been verified and sanctified by Oprah.****



    ALLLL righty then!!
    Not to get too flippant but that just made my day.
    I love swimming
    www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com
  • bobswimsbobswims Charter Member
    edited October 2013
    A couple of photos from DN's Istagram account clearly showing her receiving buoyant support.

    image

    image
  • Stinger suit/Neoprene/wet suit ???
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited October 2013
    Someone pointed me to a fascinating comment on the Outside Online article back on September 6, which re-reported Suzanne Sataline's original National Geographic piece.

    I was quoted in this article as explaining the importance of documentation and data in marathon swimming. Some commenters were really, really mad at me for saying this. Among them, surprisingly, a fellow swimmer!

    John Muenzer of Elgin, Illinois, who in 2009 swam the English Channel and managed 4th place at the Tampa Bay Marathon Swim, had this to say:
    I know Diana Nyad. She's as honest as the come. I'm an accomplished swimmer and have done swims like The English Channel. I still have one swim that hasn't been beaten - still a record! WOW. Morrison is a no name. People like him and all the other doubters can't be happy when someone else has a significant accomplishment. How these idiots are the one's quoted in articles makes me laugh.

    Ironically, she has more observers than any other swim on record. Additionally, she did it for herself. She doesn't need any fame. So, if you want to do the swim naked, do it Morrison. I know the English Channel rules. Go to England and do it by the rules. Diana never tried to live up to anyones rules. Give her credit, she's 64 years old, swam 110 miles and I'm glad to know her. What an inspiration. Also, I'd be happy to be on the official observation crew for any of Morrisons swims. I don't think he has many coming, he's busy promoting his organization.
    Later, Muenzer responded to a comment from journalist Suzanne Sataline ("Don't confuse information-seeking with hating. That's not accurate writing") by saying:
    I don't have a problem with the article. It's just getting information from people that are not that knowledgeable.
    Without a trace of irony, John signed his comment:
    John Muenzer, Openwatersource. The number one source for the open water community. Openwatersource.com
    Open Water Source, as many of you know, is the parent company of the Daily News of Open Water Swimming, and is owned and founded by Steven Munatones.

    John Muenzer is listed as "Vice President of Advertising and Sponsorship Development" for Open Water Source.
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    I've checked out both Muenzer's and Morrison's openwaterpedia pages. I think @Evmo's got more stuff on his resume than Muenzer.

    Just sayin'
  • westwest Member
    edited October 2013
    How these idiots are the one's quoted in articles makes me laugh.
    How he misuses an apostrophe while calling other people "idiots" makes ME laugh.
  • My boss asked me what I thought about this swim today. He hadn't dropped by my facility in several weeks. It was a dead Friday, so we talked about it at length.

    During the course of the conversation, I asked him if he had ever heard of these swimmers:

    Petar Stoychev
    Trent Grimsey
    Penny Palfrey
    John Kinsella
    Eva Risztov
    Thomas Lurz

    The answer was a simple and polite "no". After his reply, I put special emphasis on Stoychev & Palfrey, illustrated the totality of their accomplishments (Stoychev winning the Grand Prix ultra-marathon circuit for over a decade), and then compared and contrasted Palfrey's swim with Nyad's.

    After walking through everything with him, I explained that the reason he had never heard of these swimmers is because marathon swimming is a niche sport, and the above mentioned athletes---all massively accomplished---don't feel compelled to contact the media seemingly every time they're about to jump in the water. What's more, I explained that the media is oblivious to the generally accepted rules of marathon swimming (the issues of being touched by handlers and the swimmer touching the kayak or boat), and how Nyad controls that because she's a member of the media.

    In the end, I stated that a lot of this is unfortunate for the obvious reasons, but especially sad because Nyad is actually an incredibly tough person, very talented, intelligent, and accomplished, but because of her compulsion to distort, lie, or essentially plead the 5th (I gave him Evan Morrison's rather astute lawyer-like question about touching the boat last year), her intrinsic & permanent worth in the sport are ultimately tainted.
    Lactate is for wimps.
  • AngelYanagiharaAngelYanagihara Temporary Suspension
    Lone swimmer -
    Are you in Cork? Your recent blog post repeats many inaccuracies. I would be happy to chat with you in person this evening.
    You state the following in your blog:
    "The casual retrospective dismissal of the well-documented by her own team, 7 1/2 hours without feeds, as a misquote. (“That was a mistake”), not corrected or ever mentioned by the team until raised by the forum."
    Again that entry was a mistake by Katie on another boat. I was on Voayger. She did not go 7 hrs without feeds.
    The fleet scrambled in the squall protocol and she kept swimming with a RIB along side her and 3 shark divers patrolling with flares an EPRB.
    After the lighting and squall subsided we had to catch back up to the swimmer in the water and the RIB as Voyager held back. We had eyes on the swimmer from a second zodiac and radio contact throughout.
    It was not sustained 23 knot winds but gusts
    She was helped with her bootie taping and glove taping but she never HELD ONTO a boat
    Her 2012 attempt was stopped by life threading storms at the call of Steve Minatones 2 nights in a row. He made the call to pull her both times. It was all documented.
    Anyway I am happy to answer questions from members attending the Cork Open Water conference. The time and tenor of this MSF has gone off the rails so many times. It seems difficult to have actual dialog here. She did the swim from A to B. She did not exit the water at any time. I have night videos of her swimming and speed calculations could made easily. The currents were clearly in her favor.
    It is frustrating to read all the inaccuracies being promoted and repeated on this thread and others. If authentic information is of interest I am happy to chat this evening in Cork.
  • david_barradavid_barra Charter Member

    If authentic information is of interest I am happy to chat this evening in Cork.

    There are at least 2 photos posted on this thread that pretty clearly show divers also participating in the donning of the stinger suit.... Providing support as DNs feet are held by the boat.
    Unless the dream team is ready to honestly address that which is obvious in these photographs, you are correct, it is quite difficult to have a dialogue here.
    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
  • AngelYanagiharaAngelYanagihara Temporary Suspension
    Yes we were instructed to assist in the booties. I think I made that clear many times. That touching was task delimited and prompted by safety issues.
    I am happy to chat.
  • Safety issues?
    Were you afraid she drowned if she did it all herself?
    Penny could. It took some time but she did it all alone.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • edited October 2013
    Dr. Yanagihara,
    You’re back! Thought you had left.

    At one point before you left I considered posting this:

    Dr. Yanagihara,
    I appreciate you taking the time to post on this forum. I have every confidence that you are an expert in your field. With all due respect, please recognize that many people on this forum are experts in the field of marathon open water swimming. I do not claim to be one of them; however, I do have a couple of observations that may be helpful to you, and others who are not experts in marathon open water swims, in getting full value from this forum.

    First, because this sport is based on simple black and white rules, besides cheering each other on, the primary use of this forum is for the exchange of ideas, not the exchange of opinions. This forum has been extremely helpful to me personally – my feeding plans and choice of goggles are directly influenced by information I received here.

    Second, the label Observer has a defined meaning. Witnesses are not the same thing as Observers. Ms. Nyad is enough of a swimming professional that she has no excuse for not knowing that her claim of a world record would be scrutinized (particularly because of the controversies regarding her past swims) and she should have had credible Observers on the boat. Ms. Nyad not having credible Observers (on the primary guide boat at all times) is the red flag that triggered all other red flags. It is similar to trying to play a NFL game without referees – everyone knows that it should not be done.

    Third, the word Unassisted also has a defined meaning. Marathon swimmers know what this means – no touching and nothing more than the basics – swimsuit, goggles, cap and earplugs. You may want to think of EC Rules as the baseline – not as rules for only the EC. EC Rules is a shorthand term to define basic rules. I did a swim this last weekend that was EC Rules and every swimmer knew exactly what that meant… even though it was thousands of miles away from the EC. Variations to the Rules are known ahead of time.

    Just before I posted the above, it clicked-on that you didn’t really care about other points of view (okay, so I was a little slow) and this is what I thought about posting:

    You keep insisting on politeness, but do not practice it yourself. Part of being polite is listening. These people are experts in open water marathon swimming. You are not listening to them. You are trying to create doubt (for the audience beyond the membership of this forum) regarding the rules of their sport – a sport that they passionately love.

    (Your message today (12 October 2013) is a great example. Your sentence “She did not exit the water at any time” – stated as if that is all that matters clearly demonstrates you haven’t learned from the experts on this forum. You attack the BLOG post writer for repeating “many inaccuracies” – then refute the writer’s point about the team casually dismissing an important team reported fact by… casually dismissing it again. At the same time you ask to be listened to, you insult the entire forum and value system of marathon swimmers: “…tenor of this MSF has gone off the rails so many times…” You may want to consider the possibility that it is not the experts who participate in this forum who are off the rails.)

    This group has been extremely polite to you and Ms. Nyad. This group has been extremely polite not to point out that Ms. Nyad had a lot of money at stake on this swim. She stated that she knew the press was tiring of her failed attempts - Her moment and chance to be on Dancing with the Stars was slipping away. It is extremely polite of this group to stick to the facts and not connect the dots between Ms. Nyad not having people around her who understood the rules of the sport, not having credibly Observers, not having video, then claiming to hit an amazing miracle current (which didn’t show up on publicly available sources) that helped her travel at nearly three times her own speed (then make the ridiculous statement about it being “just math” when she knows full well that, because of resistance, as a swimmer you don’t get the full value of a current)… It is extremely polite to not point out that one doesn’t need to get 40 witnesses/fans (it is also extremely polite that very few people call them zealots) to speak in unison if things were done improperly at night and that most people can’t tell if they are traveling at 3.9 mph or 1.7 mph when they are sleeping on a boat… …it is extremely polite that no one has pointed out all these things at the same time they point out that her pre-scheduled movie release is worth a lot more money to her and members of her team if the public believes she made it.

    This group has been extremely polite to simply stay focused on the known facts – or lack of known facts.

    Before I posted the above you disappeared. Which gave me more time to reflect on how much impact I would have on people who don’t care about open water marathon swimming and who are extreme Ms. Nyad loyalists. I realize I wasted my time.
  • ... speed calculations could made easily. The currents were clearly in her favor. It is frustrating to read all the inaccuracies being promoted and repeated on this thread and others. If authentic information is of interest I am happy to chat this evening in Cork.

    Yes, speed calculations could be made easy. But the team is dismissing the only calculations that this forum (not so easily) could come up with, questioning even the accuracy of their own GPS feed.

    The currents were clearly in her favour, for a while. If I read the maps correctly, entering the last night the currents were worsening, from NE to E. Her course kept always better than NNE, with BF VI (now just gusting) winds. Accounting just for the current I get a 2mph for the whole night. Assuming the usual 15 min. feedings every hour, it gets to 2.66mph "swimming speed".

    Yes, I am interested in authentic information about that night, including currents, wind, GPS data and swim speed estimations. Video for the whole night would be nice too. Too sad i won't make it in time :-)


  • AngelYanagiharaAngelYanagihara Temporary Suspension
    No the currents remained extremely favorable. We only had to crab across again in the morning. The squall was also in our favor. I think her water and feed stops were far faster than 15 minutes.

    From the Global Open Water Swimmimg Conference in Cork,I understand there is an open ocean swimming archive in Ft Lauderdale. I will look into submitting my records, videos, images, course notes there.

    This was a historic event. She had an expert well tuned team, remarkable conditions and a will of steel. (At no time did she hold onto the boat, exit the water, get buoyed up by free divers during feeds as had been speculated on this forum. As discussed in this thread in detail, covering gaps in the stinger suit involved limited safety motivated touching. )

    I feel remarkably honored to have been a part. After seeing all the nightmares of 2012, it is clear that the FL straits is an extremely challenging and highly variable environment.

    Good luck to you all as you plan your swims! You are a remarkable group. It was a great honor to present my work at the Cork Conference. I wish you all well!
  • @AngelYanigahara. Hi, yes I was in Cork. I did not see your comment until I got back home, I was far too busy and/or having fun to be online. (I was moderating one of the panels). Since Ireland is obviously home and I knew many of the UK and European visitors also, many people could have pointed me out but as a moderator and a "host" however I would never have pursued anything antagonistic (contrary to opinion, I don't seek confrontation).

    As I said on the blog posts, I kept my writing mostly there for a variety of reasons as outlined. Everything I wrote in the final part is with due consideration of everything I've read and heard and includes what you say about this wrong report. I don't think it would do the forum members any service for us to re-enact another round of argument here, and I don't plan to so do. I've made myself as clear as I can and I cannot see us reaching a rapprochement in our different worldviews. I need original proof at this stage but as I've said, what do my opinions matter? I'm just another swimmer here.

    I am wary of committing Argumentum Ad Populum but I can tell you that 100% of swimmers, without exception, and not just Channel swimmers, whom have contacted me in any way since I started the series have agreed with me. 100% do not believe the story.

    I hope you had a great time in Cork, showing respect for our guests is important for many of us. I can say I greatly enjoyed your lecture, and found it very impressive and informative for a lay-person with a fascination for our jellied friends. I know many of the local Channel swimmers who are constantly dancing with jellies esp. Pelagia Noctiluca, like myself, were most interested in your final slide on treatment and the apparently contradictory advice to what we'd received previously. By this I mean the vinegar and sharp edge and freshwater aspects, which have changed a few times over the past couple of years since I've started being interested. Simon Murie of SwimTrek asked you that question at the end but many people were leaving for lunch by then and didn't hear the question or answer.

    Dr Tom Doyle was hugely impressed by your work and advised us local swimmers who have spoken with him previously and sought clarification that evening that your work is essential and ground-breaking and that we should therefore go back to the vinegar treatment. (But honestly I'm so used to the Purple Stinger I never bother doing anything anyway).

    I think most Irish and UK swimmers would love some clarification that in the case of the local siphonophores or Lion's Manes that vinegar should be used and sharp edges avoided? Tom Doyle said that yes he was going back to that advice.
  • This group has been extremely polite not to point out that Ms. Nyad had a lot of money at stake on this swim.
    I pointed out awhile back that DN has plenty to lose: proceeds from her movie and from future books; speaker's fees; and sponsorships.

    Something I alluded to but which is probably more important than all of the above: her legacy. If, on her fifth and final attempt, DN successfully completed this swim, the public will remember her as a barrier-shattering hero. If she didn't successfully complete this swim, the public will remember her as a quixotic kook who didn't know when to quit.

    One way or another, she had to finish.

    (By the way, check out this example of how others stand to profit from DN's notoriety: Amazon's Diana Nyad page.)
  • @danslos,
    You are right, you did point that out - I should have written “not made a major point of emphasis”.
    If/ when we meet, I will be sure not to call you “extremely polite” - 
    :D
  • NiekNiek Member
    edited October 2013
    $4,689.00 for a second-hand Boss Of Me by Diana Nyad (Jul 1, 1999) Amazon's Diana Nyad page.
    Has someone already nominated her for sainthood? Seeing how she's worshipped it's a matter of time.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • If/ when we meet, I will be sure not to call you “extremely polite”
    Thank you! I had to make sure that no one would accuse me of something so offensive. ;) <*)))><
  • I have a copy of Other Shores..............hmmm maybe ebay and I get my next CSA fees paid for.
  • @AngelYanagihara I followed your presentation in Cork with a great interest. You are surely an expert in that field.
    But we are experts in our field and we don't agree with DN and because we didn't receive the facts as requested multiple times, we haven't seen the light as you've done.

    Still can't figure out why we are denied the facts unless there are things to hide.
    So this is a case off proven guilty unless there's proof against. Proof yet to be received.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • AngelYanagiharaAngelYanagihara Temporary Suspension
    edited October 2013
    Loneswimmer,

    I am wary of committing Argumentum Ad Populum but I can tell you that 100% of swimmers, without exception, and not just Channel swimmers, whom have contacted me in any way since I started the series have agreed with me. 100% do not believe the story"

    100% ? I have contacted you and I have told you she did finish this swim. So at most your number should be 99% or some value less that 100. There have been many others. Many folks on this forum have contacted me email, messaging and in person to congratulate our team. You are simply mistaken in your "belief" that this is a "story"; it is a fact. She did it. There is no secret conspiracy here. There is no fantastical agenda. She did it. Full stop. She did it. She did not hang on the boat, She did not get out, etc etc. You all may fairly discuss technicalities of forms of "assistance" etc. I have appreciated and learned from that part of the dialog as I did carefully read the channel swimming and piloting association and other links. It is an impressive sport and there are so many fantastic athletes out there. The heated debate about the limited touching makes sense to me But you appear fully stuck in an "echo chamber" of denying the reality of what she did accomplish. Bullying me and others does not change the truth. She did it. On the fifth attempt after decades and with a will of steel she swam from the rocks of Cuba for 53 hours (not drafting a boat as I have heard EC folks sometimes do) to walk out on the beach in Key West. She did it! It was an awe inspiring site of human grit and determination. It was not pretty and it was not easy. She is a fantastic athlete.

    The level of vitriol here is truly puzzling. Impartial members of the press can clearly see the bias. It is a level of animosity I cannot fathom. She did it. Niek with his "guilty until there's proof" is bizarre. Many of his previous comments were flagged and removed by the moderator for being unnecessarily inflammatory so I consider this his communication style. She is not "guilty" except in the minds of some extremely angry folks here. She does not report to Niek nor to this forum. The stated mission of this forum to support and celebrate should be corrected to reflect the actual goings on here- to mock, to denigrate, to bully, to perpetuate inaccuracies. Shame. The so called "fact sheets" and summaries that have been generated contain repetitions of the same tired misinformation even after people who were ACTUALLY THERE bother to provide authentic facts.

    I would ask those who disagree with this bully mentality here to write in but this is clearly a waste of precious time by good people with better things to do such as SWIM and Support SWIMMERS. There is a thin veneer of interest in facts but under that veneer is a layer of vitriol and animosity that is a common feature web based forums on just about any topic. It seems to be a kind of generally recognized method of venting of hostilities.

    I have been advised to shut the door on attempting further commentary here. I returned out of my genuine interest in providing you with information. As a researcher myself, interest in data is understandable. But it is clear that despite my best attempts and my time and efforts, there is a solid "denier" mentality that is unhinged from reality even when it is provided.

    Look, IT WAS AN AMAZING SWIM! She did it! If others in a cage could do it in 22 hrs etc why is it so impossible for you all to fathom that she could in 53 hours. F I F T Y T H R E E grueling hours. That was not a cake walk. I spent 2 full nights on deck from dusk to dawn in a 1 mm exposure suit doing perimeter sweeps and free dives down to the thermocline ~every 15 to 45 minutes then laying on deck in between dives with a big black trash bag over my suit and a towel and then a foul weather jacket over me to stay warm. When she walked out of the ocean she looked beat up and exhausted. How is it you all question her appearance? She was taken to the hospital for routine examination and received fluids I believe. There was no bounding out of the ocean to have an immediate press conference. Her limited words on camera were labored and brief. Those of us out there have nothing to gain by lying. In this age of trash talking and "haters' anyone who had a story to tell that would meet your fantasies could cash in. There were plenty of cameras and smart phones. It is not credible to insinuate some dark conspiracy. There are too many team members like me with authentic images, footage, notes actual proof of what went on. This forum seems to feel it is an official "judging body" and demand more and more despite whatever is provided. Niek seems to consider himself the judge and jury. This is silly.

    It would appear that your mind is "100%" made up. You did not take the time to chat with me in Cork. I understand you did chat with Tom. I leave you to repeat your own rubbish to your select like minded colleagues ad infinitum. It is a very sad spectacle, I must say.
  • NiekNiek Member
    edited October 2013
    Nor did you came to chat with me in Cork.
    Niek with his "guilty until there's proof" is bizarre. Many of his previous comments were flagged and removed by the moderator for being unnecessarily inflammatory so I consider this his communication style.
    For the record. Only 1 of my posts is ever removed from this entire forum.
    She does not report to Niek nor to this forum.
    She hasn't reported the real facts to anybody despite her promise after the conference call.

    As a researcher you know the value of facts. Only facts can be used in research. So far we haven't got facts to research. At the moment what we got is more like we call it nowadays in Holland "een Stapeltje" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diederik_Stapel He was very good in adapting research data and fabricating evidence.


    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • AngelYanagiharaAngelYanagihara Temporary Suspension
    I did not even know you were there Niek. That is honestly too bad. I had my lap top and hard drives with hundreds of images and videos. I offered to sit down with anyone and share all my data there.
    I plan to provide these to the Ft Lauderdale archives. I have gigabytes of information.
    I understand the team has provided the swim data to the appropriate parties.
  • bruckbruck Member
    edited October 2013

    I understand the team has provided the swim data to the appropriate parties.

    Which parties are those?
  • ... I returned out of my genuine interest in providing you with information. As a researcher myself, interest in data is understandable. But it is clear that despite my best attempts and my time and efforts, there is a solid "denier" mentality that is unhinged from reality even when it is provided.

    Your information about your research has been pretty extensive, but i don't recall reading any factual data or information on the swim. I have the feeling that you dodge every direct question with vague statements to dissmiss red flags.
    Take this example:

    No the currents remained extremely favorable. We only had to crab across again in the morning. The squall was also in our favor. I think her water and feed stops were far faster than 15 minutes.

    I don't see any data here, no real information. Very different from your statements about your research.

    ...There are too many team members like me with authentic images, footage, notes actual proof of what went on. This forum seems to feel it is an official "judging body" and demand more and more despite whatever is provided

    Where can I find those images, footage and notes? What has been provided after the reports? We are still asking the same questions, because they have not been answered with anything but fanboyism. Really interesting that you use the word "authentic" here. Nobody had any doubts yet, even when I have the feeling that the reports are being quietly updated.

    Impartial members of the press can clearly see the bias

    Really? I have just seen the pressure from DN personal friends. It is interesting that impartial reporters are not succumbing to that peer pressure. Maybe I have missed something. Can you validate your statement?

    I did not even know you were there Niek. That is honestly too bad. I had my lap top and hard drives with hundreds of images and videos. I offered to sit down with anyone and share all my data there.
    I plan to provide these to the Ft Lauderdale archives. I have gigabytes of information.
    I understand the team has provided the swim data to the appropriate parties.

    Really too bad. I can suggest you some upload services. I can even offer you an account on my personal server to upload that data and make it available on your conditions. Size is not a problem. If you can't upload files, we'll find a way without any hassle for you.
    Will you take this offer?
  • Seems to me that Dr. Yanagihara has much to lose if DN is discredited. Probably the hardest pill to swallow is for the entire crew to admit that they were duplicitous without their knowledge.
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer Admin
    edited October 2013
    @AngelYanigahara,
    100% of swimmers, without exception, and not just Channel swimmers, whom have contacted me in any way since I started the series have agreed with me.

    I wasn't claiming that 100% of all swimmers agreed, as can be noted above. I was writing of those who have contacted me. Obviously, I didn't include you, but I'm happy to amend my statement to 99%.

    I categorically reject your claim that I in any way bullied you..

    Expressing my considered antithetical opinion is in no way bullying. I have only been polite and as I mentioned earlier in this thread, I have edited and removed comments that I felt unfair or bullying to you given different time zone constraints etc. However the exigencies of moderation are more difficult that are often apparent, and I can't rewrite every comment by others in line with a tone I'd prefer or use myself. Where and when I & @evmo were able to respond or edit we have done so.

    I haven't been blogging for almost four years in the hope a subject would arise that would turn me into a hate figure. All my tens of thousands of words about swimming are intended to be informative, that is my "mission". In about 800 blog posts the only other subjects that I've ever written that are controversial are my criticism of NYCSwim over MIMS2013 and criticism of Total Immersion as an open water coaching technique.

    Tom Doyle just bumped into me and a few friends at the bar, some of us had previously attended one of his talks for swimmers about jellyfish, organised by another forum member (@ColmBreathnach). The meeting wasn't planned, it wasn't even a meeting, just a chat at the bar while we were ordering drinks. It wasn't a snub or insult to you. In fact I also said to Steve @Munatones three times over the weekend that he & I should sit down together to chat but
    neither of us seemed to be able to find that time.

    I didn't set out to avoid him or you, though you seem to imply I avoided you.

    More than you avoided me?

    Like @Niek, I was quite visible at the conference. My name and his were on the agenda with yours. I was also on & off the podium for two hours and wandering around at dinner taking photos for the organisers. Honestly Dr. Yanighara, I'm Irish, at a one-time event in Ireland, organised by members of my club, & full of Channel swimmers and others I know. I was busy, but I was not hard to find...

    Also, I'm just an opinion. If I am in any way influential, wouldn't it have benefited you to find me? But then wouldn't it have benefited Diana Nyad to answer my questions more directly or to have addressed this community when it raised concerns previously? You see Dr. Yanigahara, I don't think I have changed the opinion of many here. I just wrote what I think based on what I have seen and read, as have all the others here. The fact is just that what I think aligns with what others here do also.

    You say we should change the forum statement that we don't celebrate swimmers? But we do celebrate swims and swimmers and will continue to so do. The point is repeatedly made that swimmers who are so used to doing such, for whom DN should be good, are so sceptical about this event.

    I am aware that I have been characterised, as I said on the blog, as the bad man from Ireland. Funnily enough, there have been character references for Diana Nyad, but I haven't felt the need. Should I do so however, I feel comfortable that they would be provided by others here. My record is not one of antagonism, but of trying to help others. Though I admit I don't play swimming politics of trying the be everything to everyone. My voice is only more obvious because I write a blog and I'm an Admin here, but I have repeatedly said I do not consider my opinion more important, less so than many here in fact. It's just that mine is better known than some.

    I understand you are surely an honourable person. I'd consider myself one also and it for that reason that I write.

    We are achieving nothing with this impasse. I and others have repeatedly, ad nauseum seemingly, tried to explain that verification of swims is done through Official Observers, not through the statements of swim crew who are invested in different ways. Example: When Sylvain Estadieu recently completed his English Channel butterfly, I was only crew. The two Official Observers were the ones who decide whether his swim was "good", not me. He was swimming under a rules burden that those of who swim front crawl aren't. Those rules in fact were clear beforehand, and I have a photo of @Sylle holding the sheet with the rules on dry land before the swim started, and there is complete video by the pilot Mike Oram of the entire 18 hours & 42 minutes.

    Therefore when you say that I am spreading inaccuracy, I am writing from an expert viewpoint of someone who has spent considerable time on this subject recently trying to figure it out, far more that I would have chosen. I am applying the same standards I would apply to any swim that was trying to avoid the necessary scrutiny we all here must undergo.
  • NiekNiek Member
    edited October 2013
    The two Official Observers were the ones who decide whether his swim was "good",
    That's how it's proper done @AngelYanigahara
    Because it's a not an 'ordinary freestyle' swim they made sure by sending not the usual one but two observers even if it only was a 1 way swim. All to avoid controversy.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited October 2013

    She is not "guilty" except in the minds of some extremely angry folks here. She does not report to Niek nor to this forum. The stated mission of this forum to support and celebrate should be corrected to reflect the actual goings on here- to mock, to denigrate, to bully, to perpetuate inaccuracies. Shame.

    Angel,

    The admins and members of this forum have been exceedingly polite to you - perhaps more polite than such disingenuous comments would suggest you deserve.

    We've continued to address you by a title of respect - "Dr" - even though most of your postings here have nothing to do with your area of expertise. Several other forum members, including participants on this thread, have earned PhDs, and most of them outrank you on the academic totem pole. Yet only you are addressed as "Dr" - out of an abundance of respect for you as our guest. No longer.

    The admins coddled your sensitivities when you made a habit of flagging every post you disagreed with (an abuse of the flagging system). Out of respect for you as a guest, we removed a few of these. We did not have to do this.

    I personally requested from you video of the stinger-suit changing procedure, and the name of the organization you keep insisting Diana has submitted documentation to. You have pointedly refused both of these reasonable requests.

    This forum supports and celebrates real marathon swims. As far as I am concerned, this is not a real swim. Real swims earn the trust of the community through data, documentation, and transparency.

    Even now, Diana continues to make self-evidently ludicrous claims, e.g., swimming 98 96 miles during a 48-hour pool swim. I don't believe a word she says, at this point.

    You may not have understood this at the outset, but you've now staked your reputation to Diana Nyad and the legitimacy of her claimed achievements. I can understand why you'd go to great lengths to protect this.
  • @AngelYanagihara
    You are clearly frustrated by the limited success of your tactics.

    You pick and choose which tiny items to respond to – without addressing the broader themes and issues.
    (Example: Your violent reaction to loneswimmer not considering you a swimmer. Example: It is evident that English is not Niek’s mother tongue. Yet, you focus on his use of the word “guilty” purposefully, instead of acknowledging his point that there isn’t any proof that this swim was done (under any set of rules).)

    You make broad, sweeping statements without any substance.
    (You make statements such as “she never left the water” and “that was not a cake walk” when you know those statements do not address the questions at hand. You claim to have gigabytes of data, but are only willing to share it in private one-on-one meetings in Cork.)

    When you accuse the people on this forum of being full of animosity and vitriol you are simply trying to disarm the members with this accusation. It was Ms. Nyad who referred to people here as trolls and it is you who is not listening. It is you who belittles the marathon swimming community by referring to the rules as “technicalities”. The subject matter is repetitive because the original questions regarding this swim have not been answered.

    You are obviously playing for an audience beyond the usual participants of this forum. Most likely the press you now claim to speak for. My guess is that the press is not all completely lining up for Ms. Nyad’s story or you wouldn’t keep coming back here making statements that might make good sound bites (while avoiding the fundamental issues surrounding the story). You are refusing to accept that Ms. Nyad’s swims have a history of controversy. Any truly unbiased reporter would review this entire exchange, and maybe all forum exchanges, and would most likely realize that there are many fundamental unanswered questions regarding this story/ swim.

    While this community is incredibly supportive of each other, there is always verification of a swim. That is why Observers (with a capital O) exist.

    Until you accept that it is Ms. Nyad’s team, who have not, despite your claims, provided the normal and customary information provided by marathon swimmers, questions will remain regarding this story. Tactics will not change that.

    If you have sincerity regarding your position, you may want to begin with accepting Bernie’s offer expressed above.
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