110 miles, 53 hours: Questions for Diana Nyad

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  • shark cage and flippers = only 19 hours faster than superwoman
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • IronMike said:

    @gregoc, interesting that she calls Poenisch not a legal marathon swimmer. Granted, he's not, having worn flippers, but funny that she's saying that when she was waiting for her shark cage to be built.

    At least he was honest about using the fins and snorkel
  • There seems to be a lot of people here on this forum that are hoping that Diana did something to compromise this incredible feat that she has achieved. I am not really very sorry to be the one to disappoint you all, but she did NOT do ANYTHING to compromise her record. I was on the water with Diana for approximately 1/3 of the swim, while working as the kayak team Captain. That whole time, I was within a few feet of her - I could have reached out and touched her with my paddle. The reason for this, is that we kayakers deployed the electronic shark shields on the bow of our kayaks, and they needed to be in close proximity to her in order to be effective. One kayaker slightly in front, to her right, and one kayaker following her, slightly to her left.

    Diana was also observed around the clock by two independent observers from the Open Water Swimming Association - Roger McVeigh, and Janet Hinkle.

    At NO TIME DURING THE SWIM, did Diana EVER get support from her mothership (Voyager), her handlers, her medical team, her shark divers, her kayaks or kayakers. I have GoPro video footage from the camera that I wore on my head while kayaking just a few feet away from her. I got footage of water breaks, feeding breaks, medical breaks, the application of anti-jellyfish creams, and the donning of the ZERO FLOTATION suit and mask that Diana would put on 1 hour before sunset, and take off 1 hour after sunrise.

    You can speculate all you want, but the fact is, Diana OWNS this incredible record, whether you want to accept the facts, or not. Rather than picking apart her performance, and trying your damnedest to find fault with her, as fellow swimmers, you should be CELEBRATING what she has accomplished. Quite honestly, if I was a fellow long distance swimmer, I would be embarrassed to read what fellow swimmers have been saying here.
  • Thanks for your perspective @Woodkayaker, it is appreciated.

    My only point to follow you would be that if, as you say, you were a fellow long distance swimmer, then you would appreciate the reasons for the questions, especially based on previous history regarding this swim, questions informed by the very significant cumulative experience of this group, a group which regularly celebrates swimmers and extraordinary new swims around the world.

    If you are open to reasonable questions from the group, would you be willing to answer what you can?
    http://www.loneswimmer.com
    More ocean than man
  • Yes. I would be very happy to clear up any misconceptions, Loneswimmer. I am back at home now, taking a lunch break, then going back to work (life goes on!). I will check the forum later, and answer questions.
  • Thanks you. My own position has already been outlined, so I feel it would be unfair for me to engage, however I will endeavour, (different time zone) to ensure the discussion stays reasonable.
    http://www.loneswimmer.com
    More ocean than man
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited September 2013

    Diana was also observed around the clock by two independent observers from the Open Water Swimming Association - Roger McVeigh, and Janet Hinkle.

    What is the Open Water Swimming Association? I've never heard of this organization.
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    Thank you @Woodkayaker for commenting on this forum. That shows an openness that we all want in our sport.

    But, I must say that some of the pictures on DN's very own blog seem to show her being touched by others and helped with putting on her jelly suit.

    You must understand that some of us (many of us?) are, in fact, excited about what she apparently did. However, as with anything this extraordinary, we'd like some questions answered. The more members of her crew, like you (thanks again), who come forward with observations, video, photos, showing that she actually did this, the better.

    With respect to the observers, do you mean the WOWSA? Or is there another organization out there (that I can't find) named the Open Water Swimming Association?
    I can't find anything on WOWSA's site about Hinkle or McVeigh.
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    edited September 2013
    (I was still going to spend a day or so finishing this list, but with the addition of @WoodKayaker to this thread, I thought I'd do this now.)

    In the spirit of the title of this thread, here are my...

    Questions for DN:

    Rules:
    What rules did you come up with for this swim?
    Were the rules published? If so, where?
    Did the observers have a chance to review and comment on the rules?

    Observers:
    Who were the observers?
    What are their qualifications for observing an ocean swim?
    Did you put any limits on their observation reports?
    Will their reports be made public?
    What makes them “independent”?
    Did they have unobstructed view of you during the entire swim?

    Touching:
    Did you discuss touching in your rules prior to the swim?
    Did you touch any person or object from entering the water off Cuba to arriving in Key West?
    Did any person touch you during the swim?
    If so, who? How many times? For what reason(s)?

    Nutrition:
    What was your feeding plan for the swim?
    How did you deviate?
    How much did you take in during the 53 hours?


    Costume:
    What were your rules with respect to swimming costume for the swim?
    Was this known to the observers and your crew prior to the start of your swim?
    Did you change costume at any point during the swim?
    If so, how did you change costume? Did you receive assistance? Did you leave the water?

    The Swim:
    How many hours did you swim unassisted (not being touched or touching any person or object, not leaving the water)? What distance did you cover during that time?
    Who on the support craft had ultimate authority to stop the swim?
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited September 2013

    You can speculate all you want, but the fact is, Diana OWNS this incredible record, whether you want to accept the facts, or not.

    What is the record that is being claimed? I've seen it reported that Diana broke Penny Palfrey's Cayman Islands record for longest-distance solo, unassisted, open ocean swim... but I'm not sure how these two swims are comparable, as one is current-assisted and the other is not.
  • Woodkayaker, I think that most issues would be addressed by Diana letting everyone know what set of rules were upheld during the completion of this epic event. The lack of information and alleged secrecy over what was allowed, not allowed and actually happened has most people at odds over how she completed the swim, calling in to question the very validity of what would be a monumental occasion otherwise. It is obvious that this will go down in history as an "assisted" swim...but now that it has been accomplished, others will try to follow in Diana's footsteps and best her record. Those people need to know what the rules of engagement are.
  • Ask these questions of Steven Munantones, Roger McVeigh, or Janet Hinkle. Or, if you have the connections, talk to Diana yourself.
    http://dailynews.openwaterswimming.com/
    There really are a lot of sour grapes in this group.
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    Was @Munatones on this trip? I know he was on the last one. How do we get copies of McVeigh's and Hinkle's observer reports?

    Not sour grapes. I know my limits! I'm happy with doing a 10-mile swim, trust me! Transparency would be appreciated, is all.
  • goldfishgoddessgoldfishgoddess Temporary Suspension
    I've done a lot of multi day endurance events and find you guys way off base with the questions on her nutrition. Ultra athletes often train their bodies for fatburning.. because you CANNOT eat and digest enough carbs after a few hours to continue to supply you with energy. She was sipping fluids and I think if her body was rejecting solid food, then the body was showing its wisdom. I've seen enough ultra athletes who push too many electrolytes and solid foods after the first 18 hours or so, and they're the ones vomiting uncontrollably on the sidelines.

    Diana has done a wonderful thing for endurance sport. You guys are really coming off like a bunch of curmudgeons. I think Diana Nyad is a courageous and dedicated athlete and her single-minded determination to conquer this Cuba-Florida swim is really inspiring. Let's see some of you going out to beat her time!

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin

    Yes. I would be very happy to clear up any misconceptions, Loneswimmer.

    ...

    Ask these questions of Steven Munantones, Roger McVeigh, or Janet Hinkle. Or, if you have the connections, talk to Diana yourself.
    http://dailynews.openwaterswimming.com/
    There really are a lot of sour grapes in this group.

    Alrighty then...
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    @goldfishgoddess, that's exactly the point. Some of us (not me) want to replicate this. But for that to happen, we have to know EXACTLY WHAT WAS DONE. Until we have complete transparency, how will we ever know what the next person has to do?

    For example, say another person attempts it and completes it in 56 hours, but does it without the jelly suit, or the streamer, or the jelly make-up? Does s/he now own the record, because s/he did it in a more restrictive way?
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    evmo said:

    Yes. I would be very happy to clear up any misconceptions, Loneswimmer.

    ...

    Ask these questions of Steven Munantones, Roger McVeigh, or Janet Hinkle. Or, if you have the connections, talk to Diana yourself.
    http://dailynews.openwaterswimming.com/
    There really are a lot of sour grapes in this group.

    Alrighty then...
    I thought the same thing!

  • There really are a lot of sour grapes in this group.

    There are cynics, I agree. I'd cop to being called one of them. However, given the history of the claims made by Ms. Nyad, I think a little skepticism is appropriate. Indeed, your claim that:

    At NO TIME DURING THE SWIM, did Diana EVER get support from her mothership (Voyager), her handlers, her medical team, her shark divers, her kayaks or kayakers.

    Is rather absurd. Without the support of her boat, there's no way she would have made it. Plus the pictures from her website of her receiving assistance into her suit, and having salve spread on her face.

    I understand your admiration for Ms. Nyad completing this incredible swim. I have trouble with you seeming to take it as a personal attack that there is doubt over her claims. I agree that the tone of these threads has been rather negative, but I don't think that the questions raised in them are unfair questions.
  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoMember
    @goldfishgoddess - in my (admittedly limited) experience, the term "feed" when applied to a swim applies to anything (liquid, solid, water) that is ingested, hence the concern when it was reported that Ms Nyad took no "feed" for 7 1/2 hours i.e. it would imply taking nothing (even water) during that time period, which seems unlikely.

    This may simply be a confusion in terminology, if the term "feed" here meant "solid food", then not taking solids for 7 1/2 hours would not be considered unusual on a swim - though it would beg the question why it was reported on.

    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer
  • Diana should have known better after attempt 4.
    Most of the same questions are put again now.

    There are enough copy machines in Key West for a copy of the observers and navigator reports to be made for this forum. Hey I will even pay for it including postage if Diana can't afford it.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    From her blog entries:
    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.
    and
    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...
  • timsroot said:

    Indeed, your claim that:

    At NO TIME DURING THE SWIM, did Diana EVER get support from her mothership (Voyager), her handlers, her medical team, her shark divers, her kayaks or kayakers.

    Is rather absurd. Without the support of her boat, there's no way she would have made it.
    To clarify: No swimmer makes it across a channel without boat support. Diverting traffic, making the swimmer "visible" to boats, safe haven should the swim need to be abandoned, mixing and storage of feeds are all done on the boat. I am picking on your wording a bit, but just wanted to make sure the correct point was coming out of that post.

  • goldfishgoddessgoldfishgoddess Temporary Suspension
    dc_in_sf said:

    @goldfishgoddess - in my (admittedly limited) experience, the term "feed" when applied to a swim applies to anything (liquid, solid, water) that is ingested, hence the concern when it was reported that Ms Nyad took no "feed" for 7 1/2 hours i.e. it would imply taking nothing (even water) during that time period, which seems unlikely.

    This may simply be a confusion in terminology, if the term "feed" here meant "solid food", then not taking solids for 7 1/2 hours would not be considered unusual on a swim - though it would beg the question why it was reported on.

    I think that's probably the case. She took no solids but was taking fluids.

    I really doubt any of you could have done this challenge. It took years of research -- finding someone to make the jellyfish mask to combat potentially fatal stings, finding a way to swim without a cage, the works. Anyone who does ultra events needs a crew to hand them drinks, help verbally re-orient them when they are having hallucinations, etc. Diana did this solo-- there were no other athletes to follow, no flags, no THIS WAY signs. No pool.

    I've been following her with admiration for years. What she did took a lot of guts. Shame to see people here trying to chip away at a legend in our time.
  • I've been following her with admiration for years. What she did took a lot of guts. Shame to see people here trying to chip away at a legend in our time.

    I agree, it did take a lot of guts. We would share in your admiration if she would answer some questions and release her observer's report.
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member


    I think that's probably the case. She took no solids but was taking fluids.

    Not according to her team's blog posts, quoted above.

    I really doubt any of you could have done this challenge.

    Um, excuse me? How the hell do you know? You don't know any of us. You just arrived here.

    Diana did this solo-- there were no other athletes to follow, no flags, no THIS WAY signs.

    Streamer=THIS WAY sign

    I've been following her with admiration for years. What she did took a lot of guts. Shame to see people here trying to chip away at a legend in our time.

    Your first line is one of the reasons I (at least) have a problem with communications that come out of DN crew(s) before/during/after her swims. Too sycophantic for me.

    Not doubting your second line at all.

    Your third line: we're not trying to chip away. We are asking for extraordinary evidence for an extraordinary claim. It boggles my mind that DN and her crew don't want to make her swim as transparent as possible!
  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoMember


    I really doubt any of you could have done this challenge.

    To be fair I don't think anyone on this thread is claiming that they could. The thing that is unclear in some folks minds though is what are the specific details of this particular challenge.

    Diana did this solo-- there were no other athletes to follow, no flags, no THIS WAY signs. No pool.

    You do realize that this forum is in fact dedicated to people who either have swum or aspire to swim long distances under the same sorts of constraints you are mentioning?
    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer
  • For the moment, I'd ask you all to not divert this thread into a to-&-fro with @goldfishgoddess, whose comments indicate she may have either no relevant experience or knowledge of marathon swimming. I am currently investigating.

    Regardless of belief or doubt or disagreement on either side about Diana Nyad's swim or credibility this is a forum for those involved in some way with marathon swimming and not a soapbox for others.

    We will welcome @woodkayaker's responses to any of the reasonable questions being asked and would like to give him time to so do.

    http://www.loneswimmer.com
    More ocean than man
  • david_barradavid_barra Charter Member


    I really doubt any of you could have done this challenge. It took years of research --

    I think there are at least a dozen members of this forum who could have done this.... 110 miles with a 2mph current assist much of the way (still would love to see the flow chart)
    All those years of research still didn't yield an accurate time estimate for the crossing, so, all the more reason we'd (i'd) like to know more about the "monster eddy" (a DN supporters term from fb)

    You'll find an unprecedented amount of support and sharing of information on this forum regarding planning and researching swims... likewise the celebration of successful swims and heroic efforts that may fall short seem to me to be on equal terms.

    Take your coat off and stay a while....
    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
  • Listen - you want clarifications on rules and observations, then go to the persons that are qualified to discuss the rules. If you want to know if she cheated by holding on to a boat, kayak, or person, then ask me about it, and I'll set you straight. If you want to say that she was towed by some boat, or whatever, then I will tell you EXACTLY what I think of YOU. One hint... you're not going to like it.

  • If you want to know if she cheated by holding on to a boat, kayak, or person, then ask me about it, and I'll set you straight.

    Plenty of questions have been asked in this and other threads. We still haven't heard answers. Are you going to answer any of the posed questions (As you indicated that you would)?

  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    Awesome! I finally got a non-family member, non-friend to comment on my blog! Here's what I got from the mysterious wow from [email protected]:
    I feel sorry for you. You must have wasted a lot of time writing this blog post that is based off of what people have said on a message board. Why don't you do something useful with your life.

    People are out doing amazing things in this world and you're at home sitting on a computer crying about it.
    Jeez, I didn't think my blog post was that negative...

    So I am announcing right now that I will quit work, quit being a father, quit working for the military, and do something useful in my life: I'll be contacting The Extreme Dream and see if they need any new true believers crew members.
  • You want me to read this whole list of negativity, from top to bottom? No. There are some jerks on here that have said that Diana must have been towed. To those people, I say, F-U. There are questions about solid food. I don't understand what this has to do with it, but I will tell you - yes, she ate solid food. Bananas in bite-sized pieces that she would swim up and bite out of her handler's hand. Same thing with bite-sized pieces of sandwiches. Don't you all do this? Is this against your rules? What is the big deal? There may have been a 7 hour period when she did NOT take in solid food. With the summer squall that we experienced out there, with the wind and waves, it's not surprising that she got sick and couldn't eat. Yes, she was puking. She did that a LOT. The jellyfish mask was a difficult thing for her to use, because she was constantly taking in salt water as a result of wearing it, but as Chloe MacArdle found out, it was NECESSARY. Her non-buoyant suit, designed by Finis, was a difficult thing for her to put on, and it slowed her swimming, but again, it was NECESSARY. Deal with it. Accept it. Otherwise, go ahead and try this swim without it, and see if you can get farther than Chloe did. Diana drank cool water from both bottles and camelback bladders. The bladders were elevated over the water, and she would put the tube in her mouth and drink. When she wanted something to help her warm up, she would drink coffee out of a water bottle, or else it would be some other form of hot liquid. Is this against your rules? When I say that she received no support from her boat, divers, kayaks, or kayakers, I am telling you that she got no lift, no physical support to hold her in the water. Are people so dense that they can't understand this simple concept? Why must so many people in this group want to pick apart every little thing? Take a look at yourselves... you are an embarrassment. Accept the FACT that she did this swim. Get a LIFE.
  • There are some jerks on here that have said that Diana must have been towed. To those people, I say, F-U.

    Not neccessarily. There are people who are saying that with the speeds they have calculated based off of the data provided on Ms. Nyad's website, there are questions raised. We have not seen the captain's log or the navigator's log to confirm or refute these calculations.

    There are questions about solid food. I don't understand what this has to do with it, but I will tell you - yes, she ate solid food. Bananas in bite-sized pieces that she would swim up and bite out of her handler's hand. Same thing with bite-sized pieces of sandwiches. Don't you all do this? Is this against your rules? What is the big deal? There may have been a 7 hour period when she did NOT take in solid food. With the summer squall that we experienced out there, with the wind and waves, it's not surprising that she got sick and couldn't eat. Yes, she was puking. She did that a LOT.

    The questions are surrounding the claim that, 31 hours into a 52 hour swim, she was not stopped to eat or drink anything. It is not against any set of rules to eat solid food, but it seems to be quite extraordinary that she could last that long, that far into such a long swim, without any source of nutrition.

    The jellyfish mask was a difficult thing for her to use, because she was constantly taking in salt water as a result of wearing it, but as Chloe MacArdle found out, it was NECESSARY. Her non-buoyant suit, designed by Finis, was a difficult thing for her to put on, and it slowed her swimming, but again, it was NECESSARY. Deal with it. Accept it. Otherwise, go ahead and try this swim without it, and see if you can get farther than Chloe did.

    I haven't seen too much disagreement on that point, although I know plenty of people would rather try such a swim in a traditional (one cap, traditional suit) attire. My contention is that she did not put the suit on by herself, but received help from her crew, as pictured here:

    image

    Diana drank cool water from both bottles and camelback bladders. The bladders were elevated over the water, and she would put the tube in her mouth and drink. When she wanted something to help her warm up, she would drink coffee out of a water bottle, or else it would be some other form of hot liquid. Is this against your rules?

    No problem with this. Suspicious and counterintuitive that her crew would rather have her keep swimming when she's cold, for 7 hours, than to stop her and give her coffee, which was the reason cited for the long period without a feeding.

    When I say that she received no support from her boat, divers, kayaks, or kayakers, I am telling you that she got no lift, no physical support to hold her in the water. Are people so dense that they can't understand this simple concept? Why must so many people in this group want to pick apart every little thing? Take a look at yourselves... you are an embarrassment. Accept the FACT that she did this swim. Get a LIFE.

    Again:
    image

    If her swim were able to stand up to the scrutiny, then we would join in the adulation of such an impressive accomplishment. So far we haven't seen answers to questions. @IronMike has put together a relatively comprehensive list of questions in his post above, posted since you offered to provide some answers.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    @Woodkayaker, you seem to be pretty emotionally invested in this. Which is useful information in the forthcoming, objective evaluation of what happened out there.
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer Admin
    edited September 2013
    @Woodkayaker, I am trying to keep things focused and respectful toward your coming on here and remain appreciative of your involvement.

    Your not liking the questions or not responding to the specifics, which are based on years of marathon swimming, doesn't help however.

    Chloe DIDN'T find a suit was necessary, she found that the swim couldn't be done unaided, which is a different thing and Penny & Chloe said what rules they would be following beforehand and were utterly transparent. Diane insulting them hasn't helped. Diana allegedly calling some volunteers traitors, volunteers presumably like yourself, is a shocking thing, because none of us can swim without volunteers and helpers. I can't imagine saying such about the people who helped me.

    We are all of us here, swimmers and others, those who swim without aids, who abide by Channel rules. We take them quite seriously and hold them close to our hearts, and hold to a tradition that hearkens back 138 years and has seen swimmers lost whilst adhering to them.

    For example, no, most of us don't used solid food bites, because when you are in salt water for a long period of time, swallowing becomes painful or almost impossible. My maximum swim time is only around 18 hours, and I have no desire to swim longer. But I know Chloe & Penny and Kevin Murphy, whom I consider amongst the greatest open water swimmers ever, and many other great swimmers who are same . It's also a slow and inefficient way of delivering nutrition. So specifics are actually important. Marathon swimmers are consumed, as it were by the act of consumption, we discuss it ceaselessly. We have feed schedules that account for every single feed beforehand, every interval , every morsel and drop. It's not nit-picking, I could answer any of these questions about my own English Channel swim from three years ago almost immediately. I could tell you how much liquid I drank at the 14th hour, what it contained, and how long I took to do so.

    Why do we pick things apart?

    A standard Observer's Report, like this one, includes every single detail. I can (and have) read a two-page English Channel Observer's report and required 15 pages to write it out, so much detail is packed therein for those who can read one and that was a swim that lasted only 11 hours.

    So, that's why they and I ask.
    http://www.loneswimmer.com
    More ocean than man
  • The jellyfish mask was a difficult thing for her to use, because she was constantly taking in salt water as a result of wearing it, but as Chloe MacArdle found out, it was NECESSARY.

    She only wore it the first night. And it wasn't necessary be cause nowhere is there a report of her being stung by a jelly with or without her protective gear on.

    Not being stung is her luck and has nothing to do with her gear but with the absence of jellies and/or successfully avoiding of them.
    If those jellies were absent during Chloe's race than she would have made it to the other site completely according to EC rules.

    Those rules can be found on both CSA and CS&PF websites before you start a crossing.
    -Hand feeding a swimmer is not allowed. You can hand over the feeding by pole or attached to a rope and nothing else. Nor is someone positioning oneself between the swimmer and the boat to prevent the swimmer from touching the boat allowed because touching someone else is not allowed, period. [one can only help someone (re)greasing at the French coast by laying down the equipment and pointing the swimmer where it's laying. The swimmer doesn't have to bring it ashore themselves]
    -Deviating from the rules by swimming in a special suit is allowed but the swim will be called an assisted swim. But getting help from someone to put on the suit after the swim has started means disqualification.
    -Medical help for the allowance, if by prior arrangement with the Federation, of the minimum additional aids or contact as is deemed necessary for the safety of the swim on medical or other agreed grounds. Not allowed is to listen to someone's chest like done with Diana. If one thinks they need non-prior-agreed medical help than the swimmer is hauled out of the water and the attempt is over.

    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoMember
    Niek said:

    -Medical help for the allowance, if by prior arrangement with the Federation, of the minimum additional aids or contact as is deemed necessary for the safety of the swim on medical or other agreed grounds. Not allowed is to listen to someone's chest like done with Diana. If one thinks they need non-prior-agreed medical help than the swimmer is hauled out of the water and the attempt is over.

    Personally (as a hurler on the ditch) I think the EC rules on physical contact are a little draconian - the fact that you can theoretically swim the entire width of the channel and then be disqualified because you stumble clearing that final 6 inches of water and some random third party assists you up, frankly doesn't pass the sniff test for being reasonable (someone more versed in EC lore can let me know if this has ever happened).

    That said I understand why the rules are that way; they remove the a source of need for discretion (and thus variability) in the role of the observer, and in most cases such rules would not be the difference between the ability to complete a successful crossing or not.

    For these crazy extreme events it really doesn't seem unreasonable in any way shape or form to me, unless you fetishize the EC rules, to allow the medical support folk to conduct their exams with physical contact.
    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer
  • mpfmarkmpfmark Teesside England Charter Member

    You want me to read this whole list of negativity, from top to bottom? No. There are some jerks on here that have said that Diana must have been towed. To those people, I say, F-U. Take a look at yourselves... you are an embarrassment. Accept the FACT that she did this swim. Get a LIFE.

    Woodkayaker... Are you being serious with that post. Oh to be a moderator.
    You are doing nothing more than showing your lack of knowledge and experience in the field of marathon swimming. What exactly embarrasses YOU on this thread, and who EXACTLY are you calling a jerk.

    Understand the rules. YES Read the thread in its entirety very carefully and you may actually begin to understand the doubts and concerns raised by some VERY qualified individuals some of whom I know personally and admire. They are not embarrassing nor are they jerks.
    Thankyou

  • The guy that first swam from Cuba to Florida in fins.........What a great swim. The girl that did the same in a shark cage.........What a great swim. Not quite sure whether to describe Dianas as the one who got helped along the way, got on board to change, held onto the back of the boat for a rest, or the one who swam all the way and did some of it in a jelly suit but just got touched up a bit along the way. But if she did the swim in a way which most swimmers would expect.........then it was not only a great swim, but maybe the greatest of all swims.

    Dianas' will never be the first, two people have done it already. Just maybe the first without a cage, with a jelly suit, without fins etc etc. One day someone will swim it according to EC rules, that will also be a first.

    The problem is simply all about the rules. Some of which are so precious to open water swimmers they should never be messed with. Simply we must never be helped once in the water otherwise the swim doesn't count. No matter how brave, far, fast or long, the effort.

    We accept historical and traditional assistance from pilots, shelter in the lee of an escort boat, take advantage of gps and computers, take feeds and coaching from helpers on board and a few minor other helps according to a variety of rules from various governing bodies.

    But, Diana comes up with a few more assistances, gadgets and methods, and many of the swimmers around the world don't like them. But I believe we can all understand and accept them under the circumstances of the swim, (apart from the ones that relate to or interfere with the swimming). Being touched and helped as much as Diana was (forgetting whether she took rests on board or held on to the boat, or not) seems a little too much assistance for the swim to retain the level of integrity this forum demands. And of course, holding on to a floating object or getting out for a rest.......well that is just cheating.

    World firsts and record attempts need the highest level of integrity. Scrutiny is also important in order to honour previous swimmers records. Scrutiny also demands the challenger to give their absolute best to win the day. Diana has way too many critics after her last attempts, and Diana knew it. Maybe more thought to answering those critics and allowing scrutiny, should have been considered in this swim. Maybe she should have had Penny, Chloe or Evan on board.

    But where do we go from here? Do we rob Diana of her swim (we are already robbing her wonderful day, by casting such doubt)? Or do we rob the next swimmer who may be the first to swim under EC rules, but has to settle for being second or third because Diana claims first? And what of Sue Maroney, has she been relegated?

    Either way, it is unsatisfactory and messy, much the same as Julie Bradshaw swimming fly in MIMS. It is not fair on the swimmer nor the challengers and I am disappointed at the uncertainty.

    That is why Diana needed greater scrutiny, more transparency and why she should have swum against the strictest of swimming rules to retain the integrity.




  • NiekNiek Member
    edited September 2013
    @dc_in_sf Was it prior allowed in DN's mysterious rules? Or were the rules amended afterwards to fit?
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • @dc_in_sf - your post reminded me of the wonderful film On a Clear Day, in which Frank, the hero, almost clears the water, and then his son, with whom he's had a troubled relationship throughout the film, reaches out to hug him. The observer in the film, moved by the personal story, pretends to not have seen the hug. :)
  • Here's an eye-opener for those of you that think you might be doing a similar swim. Niek makes the claim that there was no need for the suit, proven by the fact that she was not stung. That is circular logic if I have ever seen it. The fact is, that Dr. Angel Yanagihara netted a number of box jellies along the way, including one that was within 2 miles of Key West, in the bright morning sun. Before you start to question her too, maybe you'd better google the lady. She is the world's foremost expert on jellyfish, and you open water swimmers should be praising the work that she has been doing for YOU. She spotted that box jelly so close in, that she felt that it was scientifically important to verify that fact. She grabbed that jelly with her bare hand, so she wouldn't lose it. Angel told me it was like grabbing a hot coal and holding onto it. After the swim, Angel went to meet with, and help the Special Forces group that is based at the Naval base there on Key West. They have been experiencing some bad stings recently, so she was there to ID the culprits. Like it or not, Diana and Angel are paving the way for the future of warm-water open water swimming. Maybe you should re-focus all of this negativity into a little bit of gratitude, for 2 of the people that may be helping your sport to continue into the future. Maybe your stodgy little rule book needs to be edited.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    Just wanted to pull this part out. So very, very well said, @Haydn.
    World firsts and record attempts need the highest level of integrity. Scrutiny is also important in order to honour previous swimmers records. Scrutiny also demands the challenger to give their absolute best to win the day. Diana has way too many critics after her last attempts, and Diana knew it. Maybe more thought to answering those critics and allowing scrutiny, should have been considered in this swim.
  • I truly would like to believe that Diana did this.... really I do.... but her history has not shown us that she could have.
    I just need proof. My two little swims had PAGES of documentation. PAGES...
    The dearth of documentation, combined with the history of non- transparence... well, it's just telling.
    I love swimming
    www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com
  • david_barradavid_barra Charter Member
    edited September 2013

    Like it or not, Diana and Angel are paving the way for the future of warm-water open water swimming. Maybe you should re-focus all of this negativity into a little bit of gratitude, for 2 of the people that may be helping your sport to continue into the future. Maybe your stodgy little rule book needs to be edited.

    My definition of paving the way would have been to offer the good Dr’s expertise to the other swimmers attempting the crossing....
    My guess is this would be considered a traitorous act by DN? Can you guess how I might have come to that conclusion?
    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
  • Now that she has completed the swim, I am sure that she will be sharing that info. But yes... the people that had once been on Diana's team, and then took the knowledge gained from Diana's efforts and expense, and GAVE that hard-won info to a competitor... YES. That was traitorous.
  • david_barradavid_barra Charter Member
    edited September 2013

    YES. That was traitorous.

    Forgive me now if I view everything you’ve posted here through my Koolaid colored goggles.
    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
  • GordsGords Charter Member
    edited October 2013
    I really hesitate to get involved but I noticed something.
    Niek said:

    Those rules can be found on both CSA and CS&PF websites before you start a crossing.
    -Hand feeding a swimmer is not allowed. You can hand over the feeding by pole or attached to a rope and nothing else. Nor is someone positioning oneself between the swimmer and the boat to prevent the swimmer from touching the boat allowed because touching someone else is not allowed, period.

    Unless the CS&PF rules changed for 2013 and they haven't been updated on the website. It isn't illegal to take a feed handed to you directly from someone on the boat.

    "During a swim no physical contact with the swimmer shall be made by any person other than to pass food and drink or secure such items as light sticks for safety reasons." - http://cspf.co.uk/cs-and-pf-rules

    In Trent's video from last year it shows him taking feeds directly handed to him, and his crossing was ratified.

    But besides that point, there seem to be plenty of other deviations with DN's swim, when comparing to English Channel rules. But she hasn't ever claimed to be following English Channel rules right?
  • Diana claims that the suit(, the mask and the cream) helped her and that Cloe should have worn a suit to be successful.
    I dare to state that Cloe would have been successful if someone had removed the jellies.
    Yes the special suit was not necessary because Diana wasn't stung by a jelly.
    Apparently Dr. Angel Yanagihara netting and the steering around the jellies did the trick this time.
    Otherwise there would have been a lot of triumphant writing on the blog on how good the suit and mask/cream did their work because that would have been commercially good in the interest of the suit, mask and cream makers. A successful deflected sting is good for business.
    There is no report of Diana getting in direct contact with any jellies this 5th time.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
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