Swim Around Lido Key 2016
edited April 2017 in Event Announcements
Registration for the 2nd Annual Swim Around Lido Key in Sarasota, Florida on April 2, 2016 opens this Sunday, November 1 at 8 AM EST. Remember, if you're a USMS member, make sure you register for USMS for 2016 prior to registering for the Swim Around Lido Key race! Looking forward to seeing everyone next year! Thanks for all your support! See www.swimwithoutlimits.com for more information.
Registration is open and entries are already coming in for the 2nd Annual Swim Around Lido Key! Looking forward to another great event and seeing everyone from last year and also some new faces. Go to www.swimwithoutlimits.com for more information about this event.
Just registered. I'm trying to figure out how long I can swim and still be blissfully happy and this seems like an ideal next step up after a 10K. Looking forward to this swim, and having something specific to train for over the long winter months.
UPDATE: 2nd Annual Swim Around Lido Key...
We have now received registrations for over one-third of our 150 total entries for our April 2, 2016 race! Don't wait too long to register as almost everyday swimmers are registering. For registration, go to www.swimwithoutlimits.com. We're offering solo, 2-person relay, and 3-person relay options, so there is something for everyone. We have secured the best BBQ restaurant in Sarasota (Nancy's BBQ) for our post race food and there will be free beer to go along with it. As one of our participants this year graciously put it..."This was one of the best open water swims I have done and I do a lot of them..." Come out and join us in 2016!
Bummer, I hear it was canceled for weather?
Yes, sadly high winds, rip tides and threat of lighting. Most of us had a great time swimming in front of the hotel anyway, but the passes were going to cause mayhem for paddlers and swimmers. It was a good call on the part of the organizers. I will return next year. The venue is great and the organizers are terrific.
But I see on Facebook that some disagree with the call.
I have to respectively disagree, there was nothing about the conditions that would be unexpected for an ocean swim. It was a bit choppy but there was no threat of lightning until at least 5-6 hours after start time. They should have cut out the relays, ie less experienced swimmers, and no one would be forced against their will, but my pilot and several other local pilots I talked to thought it was strange they just called it off altogether and wouldn't think twice about going out. I swam the passes and spent over 4 hours out there, and there had to be 40-50 other swimmers out there, now without pilots. The lifeguards didn't close the beach either. I understand there is always a chance of cancelation , lightning, heavy rains, etc but if they call of the race for what amounted to "wavy" I'm not risking signing up for this race again. We all have opinions, just my 2 cents.
Wow. So canceling the swim "for safety" ends up creating a substantially less-safe situation. Seems like there should have at least been a Plan B - different route, or 24 hour delay.
With all due respect I just have to jump in because as a swimmer I would have likely felt the same way, but (now that I have organized an event for several years I know that) the RD has to deal with things that are not readily apparent like: permits, restrictions on beach usage, lifeguard availability, contracts for safety personnel, boat availability, boat pilot availability and above all LIABILITY when trying to reschedule a swim event. Sometimes it is just not feasible.
Once they cancelled the official swim, those 40-50 folks out there were creating their own less-safe situation- the RD was not creating it. I personally would SWIM in conditions in which I would not HOST an event for a hundred people!
This very same thing happened last year at the 2015 Big Shoulders race here in Chicago. It was a MESS, but the race directors made the right call, I don't think anyone is ever happy to cancel an event. This is one of those stories that makes me question how much I want to spend on travel, seeing as this can happen to any race. It just seems like the weather has been so iffy for so long all over the place!
So sorry to hear this happened, hopefully this fall the weather will be great for the Swim around Fort Desoto!
I'll repeat my comments to Chris that I made on Facebook, respectfully. I was disappointed but I believe the race director made the right call. With 150 swimmers and 150 paddlers, the fact that (maybe) 50 swimmers were able to make it around, or at least were comfortable and happy swimming in the prevailing conditions isn't a good reason to give the green light. I saw experienced paddlers unable to get out on the water because of the surf. I'm absolutely certain that the lines of breaking waves around the point, small as they were, would have caused many capsizes and an unsafe situation.
Do I wish there was a rain date? Or other activities planned in case of bad weather? Yes. But, being a race director can't be easy and second guessing a safety call just seems unfair.
I promise Chris, not another word from me on the matter!
As the Event Director for the Lake George Marathon Swim, which is a new event and I think is the longest (32 miles) sanctioned multi-swimmer event this year, I am following this thread about the decision to close Lido Key with great interest. I particularly appreciate Chris Geene's contrarian comments. I think he said what 50 other people who went swimming in the surf felt.
How will I consider this go/no-go decision? I go back to my training as a private pilot. Before I launch into marginal weather in an airplane, I play a little story in my head: "At the inquest after the accident, what would the Court say?" Would they say, "What was that pilot thinking?" or would they say, "Conditions were marginal but within the range that his equipment and training should have survived"? The reason why most airplane accidents are attributed to "pilot error" is that "careless and reckless operations" are prohibited, and in hindsight it is easy to call anything careless and reckless.
There is an implied assurance of safety when you board an airplane, and I think the same principle applies when you pay a fee to join a swim event. I know my risk tolerance is much higher when I'm alone in my plane than when I'm carrying passengers. Likewise, we need a higher standard of safety when organizing a swim event.
You and I may be willing to accept a 1 in a 1,000 risk and jump into the surf--I know I've swum in some pretty scary conditions. But with 80 swimmers and 120 volunteers on the water all night, a 1 in a 1,000 risk means my event will kill somebody every five years. That is not acceptable.
So an Event Director has to consider the unlikely risks and take the conservative action, even if an individual may choose to accept a higher risk. I hope we don't get 25 kt winds on September 17-18, but if we do, or if they are forecast, we are going to cancel.
Also, our Safety Plan does allow an early or delayed start or a change in direction. However, other changes, like a new, shortened Finish point, have not been considered. If we don't follow our Safety Plan we loose our Sanction and loose our insurance, so the Event Director has limited flexibility.
i was also at the swim and would consider myself probably a middle of the pack from an experience perspective. it was completely the right decision to call the race in my humble opinion. The race was built with each swimmer having a personal pilot, (SUP and kayaks) and they were totally unable to get out in the surf, race over. The other point i'd like to bring up is that i swim organized races specifically because the RD has a safety plan. i'm not a local, don't know the currents or the nuances of the waters, that's what i hire a RD to provide ( and a gathering of fun swimmers for the post party, nice to meet you Chris!) . For those swimmers who don't want/need the protection a RD provides there is nothing stopping you from swimming as you see fit which you did.
I will go back next year precisely because they made the hard decision and err'd on my safety. i once saw Lynne Cox speak and a person asked about swimming in unsafe conditions and her response has always stuck with me, ' i swim for my health, so if it's not healthy to swim i won't no matter how much i trained' (i paraphrased) .
Fair enough, but there's a different sort of "risk" that isn't accounted for in permits, insurance, sanctioning, etc. Namely, the risk of spending a lot of money on entry fees, travel, lodging, and having the event canceled.
Not so significant for a 1-mile swim with mostly local participants. More significant for something like Swim Around Lido Key - a longer swim with more folks traveling from far away. And very significant for something like the 32-mile Lake George Swim.
Seems like, for certain major events where the economic damage to participants of a cancellation is significant, it may be worth integrating a "Plan B" into the initial permitting & sanctioning. I mean, the Lake George swim is more than a month's rent for a lot of people...
I think you might be seriously underestimating the cost of Plan B's - all the permits would need to be pulled for both potential race days (if that is even possible!), and any reservations for venues (briefings, start points, end points), safety boats, kayaks, buoys, would likewise need to be duplicated. You'd probably not be able to get 100% commitment from the same folk on both days, so your race plan would need to handle the change in personnel and responsibilities. The cost of the event may not double but it might not be far off...
Honestly I sign up for events to help motivate me to train, if I have made it to the event with that goal achieved then the race itself is pure bonus :-)
http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer
Probably true, though for what it's worth -- when I did the Ederle Swim in 2011, Morty delayed it 24 hours due to the wind forecast, seemingly without a hitch. I'm not sure what all went on behind the scenes to make that happen, but it would seem to demonstrate that it's possible.
The Ederle Swim is awesome, btw, I hope someone brings it back someday.
When Morty did that for Ederle in 2011 it was for 16 swimmers ( btw - i was an observer that day for EIleen Burke...at the end of the day i knew i wanted to be a marathon swimmer) this swim has 150 swimmers . There is no way you can ask 150 swimmers and paddlers and all the 'back of house' support to lock down 2 days. These people are volunteers who have graciously agreed to give 1 day of their lives for our passion, including the race director who gave MUCH more than 1 day.
For those people who can and want to do these swims without the cautious safety plan of an organized race then the water is always there for you to do it. You can find/hire private support to do the swim yourself along with a navigator to plot the tides for your speed. But if you do want that safety net then we all know going in that its a crap shoot that the weather will cooperate. That the $$$ and the hours of training could in some people's minds (not mine) all be for naught is part of the equation. But that is the nature of this sport we love - it is always who we are that day and who the water is that combines for a great safe swim- one we can control and the other we can't.
@evmo - I too really want to swim Ederle again. It was my 1st big successful swim and i probably didn't enjoy it as much as i could as i was so focused on finishing it. i didn't have enough experience to trust my training, i do now. and its truly a beautiful swim. It has city views, a beautiful bridge, parts where land is not visible, it has the harbor, the rivers, and the ocean. its like a buffet for a swimmer...it has some of everything wrapped up in a perfect package.
I was disappointed for three full days for not getting to swim Key Lido. Having traveled out from CA, although I was staying at my Uncle's house, so not a big financial loss, it was a big decision to go and swim. Not to mention the excitement! I mean, I was super excited! So...the disappointment was weird and severe. Like if someone had cancelled a half marathon run, I'd have been secretly relieved. But with this swim, there was excitement akin to a second date. Well, you survive and sign up for another one. But it's always there in the back of your mind that something could happen to have the next fun swim cancelled too. That's a stinky feeling. I'm glad to see all these rationale folks on this thread who are looking at it from whether it should have been cancelled or not...for me, I just felt the pure emotion of disappointment.
That's a good point about the difference in scale. I just think it's useful to think less in terms of "must be done" vs. "can't possibly be done", and more in terms of "What are the parameters of balancing the various categories of risk" - including the economic risk to the participant that @Eric mentions.
We adopted a "Plan B" two years ago for Memphre when the start was interrupted by a thunderstorm. We improvised. Having read this thread, I'm working on a Plan B for both Kingdom Swim and Memphre. It may not be perfect. It may not be able to handle the full contingent of swimmers. But planning a "day later" Plan B right out of the chute, makes sense to me.
I've been waiting for a while now to speak about our decision to cancel the Lido race this year. I appreciate everyone's comments, ideas, and points-of-view. We race directors appreciate that! First, thank you to everyone for coming out this year even though you weren't able to swim.
The last thing we want to do is cancel a race. It was gut wrenching for us after putting 100s of hours into putting the event together. We want you to swim without a doubt. However, we have to think about EVERYONE's safety...swimmers, pilots, volunteers, etc. This year, our safety boat operators couldn't even get to the island because of 4-5 foot waves breaking over their bows. The north and south passes of the island were completely blown out. There were riptide warnings on all of the beaches, double-red flags flying on the lifeguard towers, and a small craft advisory in place. Putting anyone in the water with these conditions is unsafe and something Swim Without Limits will never do. The coast guard and police probably would have stopped the race had we tried to even start it and that would be the last time there would be a Swim Around Lido Key race even if no one got hurt because they would look at us as reckless and unsafe race directors.
Someone stated that 40-50 people went out and swam around the island. That isn't true. 40-50 did go out and swim at the beach at the race start swimming and playing in the waves but only a few swam around the island. A couple did it on their own the following day and had issues with the conditions.
One of the best local open water swimmers along with two other guys did swim around island and their very experienced kayaker was using a pedal kayak with a paddle. He got flipped four times and lost his paddle. Several other experienced paddlers also got flipped multiple times trying to just get off the beach.
Our race date is picked based on the tides around the island. One day can make a difference and affect the swim in drastic ways. So, we research the tides for each weekend in the month of April and pick the best day (Saturday or Sunday) that works and try hard to not pick a day that is in conflict with another local race or large swim meet like USMS Nationals.
Once the date is picked, we have to get permits, rent the parking lot from the City of Sarasota, and work with the local police and coast guard. Getting all of this organized for an additional day would be very expensive. Nothing is paid for after the event is over. We also organize our safety boats, jet ski operators, onsite medical services, all our volunteer kayakers and other volunteers, order the food from our caterer, and the list goes on and on. Trying to have all of this also reserved and in place for a different day is not possible at all. I wish it were for sure.
Some have asked about having a different location to go swim. That would be great as well, but being that this race is taking place on an island, we would have to reserve multiple locations for an alternate swim because much more than a week out, we wouldn't know what the conditions would be at any one location. That means having everything mentioned above in place and trying to move it...as late as race day morning as the weather forecasts are oftentimes not very accurate. For example, Friday night before the race, the weather forecasts did not have 15-20+ knot winds and 4-5 foot seas Friday night into Saturday morning. That type of wind wasn't supposed to turn up until later in the afternoon on Saturday. They also had the wind direction wrong Friday night into Saturday morning, which created those large waves.
Swim Around Lido Key and our new race Swim Fort De Soto will go on. I can promise you that YOUR safety will always be our number one priority and will trump everything else...even knowing that you came from out of town and spent money doing so. We want you to enjoy the rest of your time here and live to fight (swim) another day. Money can be replaced but the loss of just one person can't be replaced. Our sport is open water and as every sailor, boater, yachtsman, etc. can tell you, the open water can be unpredictable and very dangerous. The lure of swimming great distances in the open water and challenging ourselves in that environment is one of the draws. Taking unnecessary risks make no sense and proves nothing.
Hope to see you next year! Very respectively and happy swimming,