110 miles, 53 hours: Questions for Diana Nyad

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  • Hi all. New to the forum and just want to say how much I’ve enjoyed lurking about. I swam competitively thru college and just started back swimming several years ago after a 25 year break. Most of my competitive swimming has been sprinting (yes, I realize most on this forum consider any pool event a sprint) and have only done a few short (2-3 mile) lake swims but would like to get more involved in open water. So thanks in advance for all the help I will surely glean from this forum!

    I have one question on DN’s swim, or any open water swim for that matter. Do you benefit from swimming on one side of the support vessel verses the other? DN was on the starboard side, down current from the support vessel. Does she benefit from any drafting or shielding from the vessel as it tries to hold course against the current? It seems to me that if she had been on the other side the current would have pushed her more to her right and made it harder for the support vessel to hold its desired course, less it hit her. Just curious as I have absolutely no experience with open water currents.

    Thanks,
    Mark
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited September 2013
    A bit of a mixed bag from the Today Show on NBC.

    First, a fairly well balanced report by correspondent Mark Potter (oh hello there, @david_barra !):

    http://www.today.com/video/today/52970207#52970207

    Followed later by an unfortunate bout of know-nothing "commentary" by talking heads. Al Roker, you break my heart.

    http://www.today.com/news/diana-nyads-record-setting-swim-faces-skepticism-8C11112422
  • KarenTKarenT Charter Member
    I'm pretty sure that "buzziest" is not a word, so we can disregard that last talking heads segment. Well done on the report input though, @evmo and @david_barra.
  • JamieJamie Member
    edited September 2013
    I just got finished chatting with world renowned Sports Nutritionist - Stacy Sims. Stacy is a PHD Physiologist-Nutrition Scientist of Thermoregulation, Hydration, and Performance Nutrition. I have worked with Stacy on my swims. She has given me the OK to quote her

    no, it is not possible to not eat or drink for 7.5 hours in the middle if you want to finish the 53h swim! esp the drinking part !!

    With that being said there must be some miscommunication on Diana's team. She must have had some nutrition or this swim is impossible. I have read and heard from Diana's team that she did this to keep warm.

    Stacy says: hmmm.. but eating and drinking would keep her warm. ...

    Something is not right. I hope this is cleared up. In my opinion she must have had nutrition over this stretch. I have been sitting at my desk since breakfast - 5 hours ago and have not had anything to eat - I am close to bonking...
  • A little off topic, but....can we agree that the streamer is quite a huge aid as well? Suit or no suit, following an underwater streamer is cheating. Didn't want that to get lost in the shuffle. Yes, I know she announced she would be using it, but still. Might be worth mentioning that most (all?) other marathon swims forgo such bells and whistles.
    And yes, Evan and David made very good impressions on tv, I thought.
  • JimeboyJimeboy Temporary Suspension
    I've had friends of mine on FB tell me that those ( EC ) rules are out dated and it's not the English Channel anyway so why should they count? I often feel like I'm in the Bill Hicks comedy routine about flag burning...lol.... there is no explaining your way out. You just throw your hands up in the air and walk away shaking your head.
  • We have just been informed that the panel has now been opened up the media (CNN, AP, Reuters, WSJ & "others" are mentioned). We've also been told that we can pull out as a consequence if we wish, but there was no prior consultation. Speaking only for myself, I have been extremely wary of this since the start.

    We have nothing to hide, all our discussion are public but neither did I volunteer to make myself public. (You guys don't count , you are friends, some I just haven't met yet).

    I remembered today that I was supposed to be doing this for fun.

    I want to give shout out to Evan. He's been buried with media requests that I would have long ago baulked at, and not done as well at had I been thrust into the spotlight.

    I'm off to Dover in the very early morning for a stunningly exciting crewing prospect. My followup communication & moderation time will be limited at best. So Evan will have to handle even more! So everyone try to cut him slack in what he can respond to in the next week, I've been guilty of not doing that myself.

    The panel will be 2am for me. I've read this entire thread again today & I've had lots of messages & emails & a few calls from people. I believe that there are important details in the thread & messages. Given whatever time I have, I will however mostly NOT be focusing on these as I cannot effectively cross-examine an oceanographer. I intend to use what time I have to focus on what I, and many of you, believe are larger questions.

  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoMember
    LSjswims said:

    A little off topic, but....can we agree that the streamer is quite a huge aid as well? Suit or no suit, following an underwater streamer is cheating. Didn't want that to get lost in the shuffle. Yes, I know she announced she would be using it, but still. Might be worth mentioning that most (all?) other marathon swims forgo such bells and whistles.

    Using a streamer is apparently legal on some (TCSA vs. TSSA) Tsugaru Channel swims so it is not unprecedented in the world of marathon swimming e.g. one was used by Stephen Redmond on his TC crossing if I recall correctly (and apologize in advance if did not).

    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer
  • Kudos to Evan and Donal and EVERYONE who cares about this sport.
    It IS supposed to be fun.
    While I am not knowledgeable enough to be on a panel on national ( really ??) TV,I think the COLLECTIVE knowledge here is. ( does that make sense?)
    I dont care about the streamer, I really don't care about someone putting "makeup" on. I do care about the lack of documentation, the feeling that press is more important than a "spot me", the "anti- rooting" for Penny and McCardel, the feeling that asking the questions is somehow making us"haters'. We want the truth ( insert famous movie line here). That's all. Someone else is going to do this swim , at some point. It's definitely NOT a first. Speak the truth, we just want to know.
    I love swimming
    www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com
  • During this interview:
    http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2013/09/10/did-diana-nyad-cheat/
    DN says... "I'm sure the swim will be ratified in due time, and that's fine. But, I just don't care about it."

    Seems like an odd thing for her to say at this point.
  • As a former reporter, I just wanted to give some insight to my profession. I know some people were upset there wasn't more scrutiny from the beginning, but the wire service reporters and general assignment reporters aren't experts at marathon swimming. It's typical you report on a story and then later others question what was accomplished and demand documentation and proof. That's what this forum started and reporters started picking up on it and other stories and where we are at today. Some are upset the stories aren't focusing on the English Channel rules but that's an inside baseball issue that the reporters are going to mention in a few graphs. They are only interested in whether she swam the entire distance without getting out of the water or with the aid of a boat. There will be a lot of interest in what is said tonight and what documentation is given out. If the answer is we will get back to you or that is proprietary, that will raise more questions. Hopefully experts in the field will get in more questions than the reporters who won't ask the detailed questions you guys want. There will be some reporters who are going to want a list of everyone who took part in the swim to talk with them. But in the end it wouldn't surprise me if the skeptics aren't satisfied and no one knows 100 percent. She will say she did it and say her proof is sufficient and ask people to prove otherwise. The reporters will leave it up to some association to ratify it.
  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsMember
    edited September 2013
    jvj said:

    Do you benefit from swimming on one side of the support vessel verses the other? DN was on the starboard side, down current from the support vessel. Does she benefit from any drafting or shielding from the vessel as it tries to hold course against the current? It seems to me that if she had been on the other side the current would have pushed her more to her right and made it harder for the support vessel to hold its desired course, less it hit her. Just curious as I have absolutely no experience with open water currents.

    The current does care much about a ship being in its path. It will take the boat along towards you if that boat doesn't move forward.
    It certainly would be harder steering if the swimmer is a the side where the current comes from.
    Drafting is not an issue with the speed Diana is going here. Look at the videos and you hardly if at all see a bow wave. Swimming in the bow wave is where you draft.
    Besides all that. Diana is swimming most of the times to far from the boat for any of the problems you ask about to occur.
    For optimum benefit one usually swim in the lee of a boat. Using the boat as wind and wave breaker.

    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    IMPORTANT: If any Forum member has a question (or several) they would like one of the panel members to ask, please send me a PM. No guarantees, but we certainly welcome your ideas.

    Thanks!
  • Here is the NBC report and Nyad will be on Piers Morgan Wednesday night http://www.nbcnews.com/video/nightly-news/52977455/?ocid=twitter#52977455
  • Random thought.... When Kevin Murphy swam 52 hours in the EC on his triple.... did anyone question him? NO.
    When Wendy Trehiou spent 39 hours in the EC recently on her EPIC two way.. did anyone question her? NO.
    Why? Kevin .. because of his history and I am sure there were observers and documentation.
    Wendy.. well , we all know Wendy... and she had a "spot me". And she had Cliff and others aboard to document.
    As I said.. random thoughts.
    I love swimming
    www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com
  • Thie blog post from malinaka gave me the source lat/lon data points from http://www.diananyad.com/swim/currentswim. 470 data points and like malinaka, I assumed data collected every 6-7 mins, i.e. 53h/470 = 6.75 mins.

    The following navigation chart is summarized by the hour +/- 6.75 mins using all 470 data points Diana's team have provided - select this link (pdf format): Diana Nyad Swim Data Points

    I've calculated Diana traveling a total 115.29 miles not 110. I don't believe the gps was on her - the added mileage could be due to boat maneuvering, maybe a slight rounding error in my calculations, gps errors, etc. However, I have Diana at 31.1 hours (31:06:45) at 62.21 miles and on diananyad.com they have Diana at 31 hours at 63.2 miles. So we line up pretty close given distance traveled.

    Stuart
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited September 2013
    First impressions...

    Tuesday evening's conference call was a significant episode in the history of the sport of marathon swimming, which likely never would have occurred without the collective voice of this Forum and its members.

    It is a credit to Diana Nyad and her team (navigator John Bartlett, crew chief Bonnie Stoll, observers Hinkle & McVeigh) for agreeing to the call, and answering questions from people who had expressed skepticism about certain aspects of the swim. I was impressed by navigator Bartlett's professionalism.

    The panel included Forum members @firebah, @rckayak, @roncollins, @coachsid, and @david_barra, along with @loneswimmer and myself. I was deeply impressed by all of these folks' contributions. They did the community proud. There were eight additional panel members, including CCSF president Forrest Nelson, who apparently has already been discussing the swim with Diana's team directly.

    Many major media outlets were listening on the line, and Reuters apparently recorded the call. It was a dial-in conference call, not Skype.

    Format:
    1. Opening statement from Diana
    2. Mostly technical discussion + Q&A with navigator Bartlett on how Diana & team managed to chart their course from Havana to Key West across the Gulf Stream. Each panel member got to ask one question (or a series of related question). Some declined. Some instead gave "statements," which I found not particularly helpful.
    3. Discussion + Q&A with Diana (and occasionally Bonnie) about how the swim was done - what forms of assistance were used, explanation of the mysterious 7.5-hour feeding gap, and related issues. Each panel member got to ask one question (or a series of related questions).

    Some of the discussion was quite informative, productive, and direct. Other parts felt a bit more directed at the media listening in, as responses occasionally wandered off the actual question that had been asked.

    In my opinion, it was a substantial first step in understanding Diana's swim. At the same time, by the nature of the medium, it was not possible to resolve all questions. This will take time. Some of these unresolved questions may be addressed by the release of the navigator's logs and observer's logs, which Diana's team has committed to doing immediately.

    Another unresolved issue is how the swim will be categorized in the record books.

    Diana adamantly denied ever exiting the water or making physical contact with a boat or kayak. When asked about touching the boat on last year's attempt, she said she didn't remember.

    Diana admitted she was touched by her handlers while changing into & out of the stinger suit, and while applying sunscreen & lotions.

    The 7.5-hour feed gap (originally reported by her crew) was chalked up to a "misquote."

    Unfortunately we never got to hear from the observers, but I look forward to reading their logs.

    I hope other forum members who were present will weigh in soon.
  • Hi Evan, Thanks for sharing- was there any feedback from DN/or her team on why Independent qualified observers were not used ? It appears to me that none of the discussions/questions post swim would have occurred if these people had been in place. ** Also does anyone know if DN' team had Independent qualified observers on past swims ?
  • JimeboyJimeboy Temporary Suspension
    Very cool. Thanks for doing it everybody. Perhaps some personal observations will come later on today from some of you? Sleep is over rated in this crowd I'm sure.
  • Thanks a lot Evan. A good first step indeed.
    The potential killer issue remains the speed vs currents issue, of which some forum members have been giving such a good analysis. Was the issue of the alleged exceptionally favourable south-to-north current, when the archived data seem to indicate only a west-to-east current, addressed at all in your telephone conference?
  • lcolettelcolette Charter Member
    I guess the 7.5 hours without food went from a 'misquote' last night to an 'ugly rumor' according to Robin Roberts this morning on GMA....
    Interesting transition of a quoted comment to not being anything that Diana's team said. I lost a lot of respect for RR this morning.
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    evmo said:


    The panel included Forum members @firebah, @rckayak, @roncollins, @coachsid, and @david_barra, along with @loneswimmer and myself. I was deeply impressed by all of these folks' contributions. They did the community proud. There were eight additional panel members, including CCSF president Forrest Nelson, who apparently has already been discussing the swim with Diana's team directly.

    Thanks to you all for doing this.

    So we're supposed to take everything else the DN crew says as gospel, but accept that they were misquoted (aren't they the authors of the DN blog?) about not stopping DN "to eat or drink" because she had "gotten very cold" and that she was stopped to feed at 7:30 for her "first feeding stop since before midnight"?

    Saving these paragraphs from http://www.diananyad.com/blog/doctor-report-715am just in case these words change or disappear in the future:
    ...

    Diana has gotten very cold, so the handlers were not stopping her to eat and drink overnight in the hopes that swimming would keep her warm. Additionally it was difficult to get her oriented to the boat and where to go in the dark.

    Both doctors were aboard Voyager all night long to monitor Diana’s condition.

    Diana’s Condition Report, First Light
    Monday, 7:30 a.m., Swim time: 46:31

    When the whistle blew for Diana’s first feeding stop since before midnight, it took her longer than normal to reach Voyager and Handlers Bonnie, Pauline and Lois Ann, who were positioned on the swim platform near the water’s edge.

    ...
  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsMember
    edited September 2013
    When Bartlett and Nyad were pressed about why they hadn’t already placed those documents online, Nyad said that neither she nor Bartlett, a 66-year-old veteran seaman, knew how to “upload.” But Nyad promised to make public all documents associated with her swim. http://blogs.wsj.com/dailyfix/2013/09/11/nyad-remains-defiant-i-swam-unaided/
    Hi all, Chris Moschini here, Web Developer at Brass Nine Design, the company that maintains Diana's website. http://www.diananyad.com/blog/keeping-you-updated

    Chris couldn't help you Diana???
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • Also from the Wall Street Journal story @Niek quoted:
    In a surprising concession, Nyad admitted that during long training sessions in swim pools, she doesn’t exit the water to urinate.
    1 - Do I want to know how this came up?
    2 - Who cares?
    3 - This is what passes for journalism these days?
  • timsroot said:


    1 - Do I want to know how this came up?
    2 - Who cares?
    3 - This is what passes for journalism these days?

    Answer to #3: Sadly yes. Reporters have been conditioned to find what they think is the most entertaining aspect of a story and, thus, use a lot of stuff at times that has absolutely zero connection to what's going on.

    See: http://www.thecomicstrips.com/store/add.php?iid=25653
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    I just noticed on her blog her team is making the gps data available for download. You tech guys already know this?
  • swimmer25kswimmer25k Member
    edited September 2013
    evmo said:

    On the contrary, I think the thread has been remarkably high minded. Keep in mind this is an internet forum. An internet forum that has now made national news for engaging in fact-checking that actual journalists didn't bother with.

    Or, is this an ego stroke for you and Dave Barra garnishing attention for yourselves? It is fair to ask questions, however, you two are everywhere. Did you call CNN, NBC, or other outlets, or did they call you? Please don't take this as being confrontational or inflammatory.
    dc_in_sf said:

    I am a slow swimmer, but I recently participated in a swim where my average speed was 5.5km/h because of the currents involved. The only time during the swim that I truly appreciated how fast I (or rather the water I was in) was going was when I encountered a buoy and could see the water streaming past it. The only resemblance I had to Trent Grimsey at the time I was approaching his velocity was the fact that he and I are both Australian and we both wear jammers. Our strokes and stroke rates are worlds apart.

    Trent is supremely fast and had a great tide. However, he drafted off of the bow wake from his escort boat. Was that legal? Check out the video on that one.

    When I swam Mahattan in 1998 and 2004, I was swimming faster than runners were moving on land while in the East River. Current assist happens and oceanographers have been previously cited regarding this on this thread .
    LSjswims said:

    A little off topic, but....can we agree that the streamer is quite a huge aid as well? Suit or no suit, following an underwater streamer is cheating. Might be worth mentioning that most (all?) other marathon swims forgo such bells and whistles.

    I disagree with this. I see the streamer as a safety measure to keep the swimmer from becoming disoriented. I've done lots of night swimming staring at a glow stick taped to the back of a kayak. It is very difficult to discern that from ship lights, stars, or lights on the shore. I've been behind a streamer with glow sticks tied to them to keep me going straight. They don't make you faster.

    As previously stated, lots of swims have their own sets of rules. The Farallon Islands starts from a bouy because that's where the first swim started. The Atlantic City "Around the Island" 37K has the swimmers behind ocean rescue row boats making it draft legal. Wearing a mask and a surf jersey to ward off jellyfish didn't do anything to assist in her forward progress. Maybe look at it in different terms like climbing Everest on oxygen. Is the feat diminished because you brought your own air supply and had three other people carry your crap up the mountain for you? It is you against the elements, right? I don't see the measures taken by Nyad as being unreasonable.

    I've swam Tampa Bay 42K four times. Two times were the same course (South to North), one year was (North to South), and the fourth time was South to North with a different finish line. I think the finish line has been changed back to where it was in 1999 and 2000.

    My point is that marathon swimming is a fluid (no pun intended) endeavor and no two swims or sets of rules are going or need to be the identical.

    Diana cheated if she got out of the water at any time, held onto the boat for any reason, or received any type of artifical forward assistance.

    I believe that she made the swim until it is otherwise proven to the contrary.

  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoMember
    IronMike said:

    Thanks to you all for doing this.

    So we're supposed to take everything else the DN crew says as gospel, but accept that they were misquoted (aren't they the authors of the DN blog?) about not stopping DN "to eat or drink" because she had "gotten very cold" and that she was stopped to feed at 7:30 for her "first feeding stop since before midnight"?

    Saving these paragraphs from http://www.diananyad.com/blog/doctor-report-715am just in case these words change or disappear in the future:

    ...

    Diana has gotten very cold, so the handlers were not stopping her to eat and drink overnight in the hopes that swimming would keep her warm. Additionally it was difficult to get her oriented to the boat and where to go in the dark.

    Both doctors were aboard Voyager all night long to monitor Diana’s condition.

    Diana’s Condition Report, First Light
    Monday, 7:30 a.m., Swim time: 46:31

    When the whistle blew for Diana’s first feeding stop since before midnight, it took her longer than normal to reach Voyager and Handlers Bonnie, Pauline and Lois Ann, who were positioned on the swim platform near the water’s edge.

    ...
    Honestly I think the whole feeding issue is a red herring.

    In a scenario where you have a large crew like DN, I dare say the person blogging/tweeting is probably the person least experienced with assisting in a marathon swim - simply because you'd prioritize more experienced people to do the tasks that actually matter for completing the swim. It is therefore not inconceivable that the person blogging simply misunderstood the scenario and "misquoted" the handlers, i.e. said that they stopped all feeds when they simply stopped solid feeds (which seems like a reasonable thing to do if you want to minimize the time DN was not swimming as a solid feed would likely involve a longer break).

    That all said, things like the erroneous blog indicate why a good observers report are necessary, and hopefully DNs team will offer one up soon, but I think it would be a mistake to obsess on it (other than in the aforementioned context as a driver for the observers report).
    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer
  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsMember
    Why haven't we heard about the possibility of a swift north-moving current before?
    Did Chloe, who must have studied the currents also, know that was possible?
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited September 2013

    Or, is this an ego stroke for you and Dave Barra garnishing attention for yourselves? It is fair to ask questions, however, you two are everywhere. Did you call CNN, NBC, or other outlets, or did they call you? Please don't take this as being confrontational or inflammatory.

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify this @swimmmer25k. In every instance that I have been quoted or appeared in the media, the outlet reached out to me first, in many cases multiple times before I called them back. In probably half the cases (e.g., Fox News & a few radio programs), I did not return calls.

    I did this because I felt it was a good opportunity to represent out sport, I thought I could do it competently, and if I didn't do it, it wasn't clear who else would. I knew DN & team would be all over the media, and I wanted to make sure there was someone to represent this group.

    The bit about not being confrontational is a cop-out. It was confrontational.

    PS. I really enjoyed your English Channel video. Did the people who produced it reach out to you first, or did you ask them?
  • I would like to know when DN’s swim goes from “first ever without a shark cage or fins” to “first ever with stinger suit, jelly mask, streamer, handlers applying jelly salve, handlers applying sunscreen, handlers applying Vaseline, handlers assisting with dressing and undressing the stinger suit, handlers applying duct tape, handlers hand feeding, physicians conducting physicals, jelly professionals scooping jellies out of the swimmer's path, shark divers shooing sharks, and current aided”?

    My analytical mind has had a very hard time putting this whole matter in a proper context. At this point, the best I can do is relate it to the “techsuit era” in pool swimming. Records were shattered and the swimming community debated the legitimacy of the suits. Thankfully, we have gone back to the traditional costume, and (more thankfully) most of the techsuit records have been broken and erased from the books. Those records that remain have an asterisk.

    DN’s assisted/unassisted swim will be debated until someone completes it under more traditional and accepted rules.
  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoMember
    edited September 2013


    Or, is this an ego stroke for you and Dave Barra garnishing attention for yourselves? It is fair to ask questions, however, you two are everywhere. Did you call CNN, NBC, or other outlets, or did they call you? Please don't take this as being confrontational or inflammatory.

    Given that this is a not an ad supported site, I wouldn't be surprised that any increased traffic resulting from the publicity surrounding this is actually costing the sites founders dollars.

    You have a fair question (who contacted who) but I think the first sentence in the paragraph quoted is at odds with the last.
    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer
  • Here's an article released from USA Today quoting an oceanographer and fishing forecasting service that line up with Diana and her crew's claim of favorable currents: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/olympics/2013/09/08/diana-nyad-cuba-florida-swim-skepticism/2781999/

    Stuart
  • KNicholasKNicholas ArizonaMember
    It would be interesting to see the question(s) posed to Nyad prior to Penny Dean's comment that "I feel sorry for the questions you were just asked . . . the questions you're asked are rather ridiculous."
  • swimmer25kswimmer25k Member
    edited September 2013
    evmo said:

    The bit about not being confrontational is a cop-out. It was confrontational.

    PS. I really enjoyed your English Channel video. Did the people who produced it reach out to you first, or did you ask them?

    I produced my video with two friends and only seen by a few until I posted it here. I've only been interviewed a few times. Mostly after races. I enjoy the anonymity of a low profile.

    I wasn't trying to be confrontational, but it was fair to ask about people's motivations for inserting themselves into this debate.

    I apologize if I offended you.
  • david_barradavid_barra Charter Member
    edited September 2013

    Or, is this an ego stroke for you and Dave Barra garnishing attention for yourselves? It is fair to ask questions, however, you two are everywhere. Did you call CNN, NBC, or other outlets, or did they call you? Please don't take this as being confrontational or inflammatory.

    Trent is supremely fast and had a great tide. However, he drafted off of the bow wake from his escort boat. Was that legal? Check out the video on that one.

    I see the streamer as a safety measure to keep the swimmer from becoming disoriented. I've done lots of night swimming staring at a glow stick taped to the back of a kayak. It is very difficult to discern that from ship lights, stars, or lights on the shore. I've been behind a streamer with glow sticks tied to them to keep me going straight. They don't make you faster.


    My point is that marathon swimming is a fluid (no pun intended) endeavor and no two swims or sets of rules are going or need to be the identical.

    Diana cheated if she got out of the water at any time, held onto the boat for any reason, or received any type of artifical forward assistance.

    I believe that she made the swim until it is otherwise proven to the contrary.


    I did not reach out to any media, and haven't returned calls to WSJ or Fox news. I am wary of the media, and try to insure that any statement I make won't be reduced to a misleading little sound byte.... easier said than done.

    I agree that as per TG's english channel video, he is exploiting a loophole in the rules. For the record, I would like to see that loophole closed and I was happy to see steps taken by the Santa Barbara folks to add that to their regulations.

    I think the classification of aid and assistance should not be restricted to items or conduct that increase speed since exposure (as I stated on the Today Show... DID YOU SEE IT! I CAN SEND YOU A LINK!) is indeed part of the challenge of this sport. (at least it is for us slow guys)

    I have been consistent in my position on this and I accept that I may be in the minority, but I'm happy to repeat it to anyone who asks. (except Fox News... I have standards after all)
    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
  • Did they say when they are going to release data/logs on her swim? As time goes by, could someone alter them? I know that could open up a whole new discussion.
  • swimmer25kswimmer25k Member
    edited September 2013

    I think the classification of aid and assistance should not be restricted to items or conduct that increase speed since exposure (as I stated on the Today Show... DID YOU SEE IT! I CAN SEND YOU A LINK!) is indeed part of the challenge of this sport.

    Yes I did, and they misspelled your name I believe. You're looking younger. Whats your secret?? $-)
  • david_barradavid_barra Charter Member
    edited September 2013

    Yes I did, and they misspelled your name I believe. You looked younger. Whats your secret?? $-)

    Wholesome country livin'
    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
  • I think this will be my last comment on this. I dreamt of sharks and swimming w fins last night. ( those who know me know I abhor fins). Anyhoo, for what it's worth... To have open water swimming ( floating, whatever) in the mainstream news, on TV (!!)is eventually going to be a good thing. We can all learn from this episode. We all know now how to better document our swims, how to better present ourselves and our sport( passion) to the press and also what NOT to do.
    We have alot of information here, and are all adults ( in age at least) and can make our own decisions as to what happened with Nyad's swim. No need to trumpet it to the world for most of us.
    As to the insinuation that @evmo and @davidbarra are using this to somehow stroke their own egos... wow. I thought Nyad's assertion that she "didn't cheat" was a stretch.
    Evan and David ( and a WHOLE LOT of others on this forum ) have amazing resumes. They have no need to massage their egos or pad their resumes. They speak for themselves.
    Thank you to both and all involved for bringing this forum to life.
    I love swimming
    www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com
  • A slightly different perspective on this rat's nest:

    Regardless of whether or not you believe Ms. Nyad did indeed do what she claims to have done, asking the hard questions NOW serves a critical function for history's sake. I am a baseball fan (love those stats) and one of the greatest losses to the sport is the fact that racial segregation has given us no real perspective on the greatness of some of the Negro League players. Furthermore, most of the information about the games played in that league and in exhibition-type games are often lost or incomplete. Is Satchel Paige the greatest pitcher in the history of baseball? I'd bet "yes", but couldn't use much in the way of game records to prove my case - they are gone.

    In 100 years someone may have questions about Ms. Nyad's swim and the response will be to point out that it was scrutinized heavily within days of the swim, by qualified people, with real data and not suppositions and it was decided that...

    -LBJ
    "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." - T.S. Eliot
  • In the end it goes down to how this should be recorded - assisted. For me - she first declared on Facebook that she was NEVER touched by another person, last night she contradicted and said she was touched for sunscreen and getting her suit on and off. I find it troubling that the truth has to be wrung out of her - not just on this swim but past swims as well (entirely another subject)

    What I care about is she is trying to claim this as the first unassisted swim. No, you were not unassisted. Assisted/unassisted have a meaning in open water swimming. She should not get the first unassisted swim designation. That has yet to be done. If she wants first without a shark cage - whatever... but you damn well better document and spell out what the swim was to provide the baseline for swimmers who come after.

    As far as I see it...

    First to swim from Cuba to Florida (assisted - shark cage): Susie Maroney
    Second to swim from Cuba to Florida (assisted - define aids) Diana Nyad

    If you really need to have a first then...

    First to swim from Cuba to Florida (assisted - define aids such as streamer, stinger suit, mask, handlers touching/suit on/off assistance, people pushing jellies out of the way) w/out a shark cage: Diana Nyad

    BECAUSE

    First to swim from Cuba to Florida (unassisted): TBD and may never be but it needs to be there to attain as that is the goal. I don't see Nyad or anyone else being above that.

    It seems she cannot stomach the "assisted" part or not having to be first. If either Penny or Chloe had made their swims, do you think Nyad wouldn't have screamed bloody murder about them wearing a stinger suit (if one was worn) saying that it was an assistance? Think about it... Think about - if it were you, your daughter, your brother, your grandchild, your neighbor, your friend who finally does this swim without assistance as marathon swimmers define swims - wouldn't you think it unfair for that person NOT to get the designation of "first unassisted"?

    It is unfortunate but Nyad frankly brought the skepticism on herself based on past omissions and half-truths that were later uncovered. After so many years in the sport to not know the importance of having experienced, impartial observers, to not be clear before and after (wasn't touched by another person ever statement by her on FB after the swim) on what happened may gain her sympathy from the unknowing masses but frankly erodes any respect from those within the swimming community.
  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsMember
    edited September 2013
    @sylmarino You couldn't have said it better.

    That kind of sums it all up.
    Favourable current or not, that will be hard to prove.
    Unassisted or not. That's proved to be NOT UNASSISTED
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • A quick note for all those looking at this forum due to the recent DN controversy. Please take a moment and look at the thread titled "Chloe McCardel Cuba to Florida Swim" in the Cheering section on this forum. Note the "transparency", pre-published rules and inclusion of her peers prior to and after her record setting attempt.
  • Just saw this posted about the issue going forward
    http://swimswam.com/whats-next-diana-nyad-conversation/
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