FINA Swim Costume Categories and Marathon Swimmming

FlowSwimmersFlowSwimmers Polson, MontanaMem​ber

I attempted searching on this topic before posting, but couldn't find anything recent, so I decided to post with the hope of clearing up some confusion on my part.

Can someone tell me where the suit pictured here fits?

Other than the elimination of the zipper (on the full body) and the addition of the FINA logo, are these much different than the pre-neoprene tech suits from the mid-2000s (Fastskins)?

I've participated in several races recently with these suits showing up on some very fast swimmers, and I'm not sure how they are classified, but I know that they are not being classified as wetsuits.

Can anyone clear this up for me or does it just boil down to "local rules apply" and that a RACE is different than a MSF approved marathon swim?

TechSuitFront

Comments

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited July 2018

    Sadly, these suits are allowed in FINA open water (not pool) competition. Since USMS rules follow FINA, they are likewise allowed in USMS open water (not pool) competition.

    "For both men and women, the swimsuit shall not cover the neck, extend past the
    shoulder, nor extend below the ankles."

    Regardless of what FINA or USMS have decided or may decide in the future, swims utilizing these suits are not eligible for ratification as MSF Documented Swims.

    By comparison:

    • MSF Rules: "One swimsuit made of porous, textile material. For males, the suit must not extend below the knee or above the waist. For females it must not extend below the knee, onto the neck, or beyond the shoulder."
    • CSA: "(for both sexes) shall be of a material not offering Thermal Protection or Buoyancy and shall be Sleeveless and Legless : 'Sleeveless' shall mean the Costume must not extend beyond the end of the shoulder onto the Upper Arm; 'Legless' shall mean that the costume may not extend on to the Upper Leg below the level of the crotch."
    • CS&PF: "The swimmer may wear only one swimsuit in one or two pieces which shall not extend past the shoulder or below the knee. All swimsuits shall be made from textile materials."
    • Catalina (CCSF): "....one porous suit, neither of which may be designed either to retain body heat or aid in buoyancy."
    • Santa Barbara (SBCSA): "Swimsuits for Category A (marathon) swims must be porous and made from textile materials. b. Men’s swimsuits must not extend below the knees or above the navel. Jammer-style suits are permissible. c. Women’s swimsuits may be in one or two pieces, but must not cover the neck, extend past the shoulder, nor extend below the knees."
    bluemermaid9IronMikeFlowSwimmersrlm
  • FlowSwimmersFlowSwimmers Polson, MontanaMem​ber

    Much appreciated @evmo !

    Can you clarify that Catalina WOULD allow these FINA suits?

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin

    FlowSwimmers said:
    Can you clarify that Catalina WOULD allow these FINA suits?

    I can't speak authoritatively on Catalina rules, but I don't believe it is their intention that FINA style full body suits are allowed. I'd suggest asking Forrest Nelson to be sure.

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited July 2018

    Also worth noting, FINA now allow wetsuits in their pro/elite open water events, below 20C water temp (20C !!!!!!):

    Following the “Investigation Into Lower Water Temperatures For Open Water Swim Racing” done by the University of Portsmouth’s Extreme Environments Laboratory (EEL) and the decision of the FINA Bureau regarding the use of wetsuits at the FINA competitions, the following rules will apply for Open Water events starting from the 1st of January 2017:

    • The lowest possible temperature of the water should remain at 16°C - Between 16°C and 18°C, wetsuits + bathing cap are mandatory
    • Between 18°C and 20°C, wetsuits are optional
    • Over 20°C, wetsuits are not allowed.

    So basically, one of the most historically significant marathon swims, Lac Saint-Jean, is now effectively a wetsuit event.

    Great job, FINA!

    Copelj26FlowSwimmersMLambyIronMikemiklcct
  • FlowSwimmersFlowSwimmers Polson, MontanaMem​ber

    Yeah...I can't remember the FINA race where ONE swimmer chose to not wear the "optional" wetsuit and finished dead last or didn't make the cut-time. Sad.

  • miklcctmiklcct Kowloon, Hong KongMem​ber

    @evmo said:
    Also worth noting, FINA now allow wetsuits in their pro/elite open water events, below 20C water temp (20C !!!!!!):

    Following the “Investigation Into Lower Water Temperatures For Open Water Swim Racing” done by the University of Portsmouth’s Extreme Environments Laboratory (EEL) and the decision of the FINA Bureau regarding the use of wetsuits at the FINA competitions, the following rules will apply for Open Water events starting from the 1st of January 2017:

    • The lowest possible temperature of the water should remain at 16°C - Between 16°C and 18°C, wetsuits + bathing cap are mandatory
    • Between 18°C and 20°C, wetsuits are optional
    • Over 20°C, wetsuits are not allowed.

    So basically, one of the most historically significant marathon swims, Lac Saint-Jean, is now effectively a wetsuit event.

    Great job, FINA!

    That's a great step in bringing OW swimming and triathlon closer!!!!! Hahaha :D :D :D

    Now I'm seeing a great national-level elite swimmer in my country, who always wears a wetsuit even in 19°C, put on a wetsuit and participate in the national "marathon swimming" championship (under FINA rule).

  • BogdanZBogdanZ Bucharest, RomaniaMember

    I saw this also in Rottnest, this year. Specially with the "elite" Champions of the Channel swimmers, which were extremely fast. I am sure that even without these suits, they would be rockets, but I asked myself what type of suit is that ? is it "legal"? Let's say luckily these were accepted, but smart watches not.. they provided assistance :smile:

    Some examples .. 1.aussiesinaction.com.au/album/3000082/photo/923842066/
    2.. aussiesinaction.com.au/album/3000082/photo/923843775/#p
    3... aussiesinaction.com.au/album/3000082/photo/923842146/#p

    You get the ideea. I was in a budgy smuggler..

    Apparently their results appear in the MSF database.

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited March 12

    @BogdanZ: wetsuits aren't eligible for the MSF database, but those aren't wetsuits in the photos.

    BogdanZ
  • TMasonTMason Chehalis, WANew Member

    I'm most impressed that CSA has stuck with the original channel rules through the years seemingly without exception. I was an Ironman participant for a few years and the price of participation sky rocketed. When you start spending a few thousand for a wheelset to take off a couple minutes and close to a thousand on a wetsuit to float you just right, you soon realize running is the only "pure" competition that people couldn't throw money at for speed. I so hope MSF never caves in. Unfortunately $$$ always end up swaying event planners and organizations stance on rules.

  • BogdanZBogdanZ Bucharest, RomaniaMember

    @evmo said:
    @BogdanZ: wetsuits aren't eligible for the MSF database, but those aren't wetsuits in the photos.

    Evmo, I admit I do not know what those suits are (my message was more in connection to the first post with the pic), but they probably offer some protection and probably improve the stroke lenght. Also, they are above waist and bellow knees, so don't fit in the description of tolerated clothing.

    In the end :smile: what are they? Do they improve anything compared to a simple speedo?

    Kind regards,

    evmo
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited March 12

    @BogdanZ said: Do they improve anything compared to a simple speedo?

    I'm sure the full-body (textile) tech suits are somewhat faster than budgy smugglers, but neither do they provide the thermal or buoyancy advantages of a neoprene wetsuit.

    These suits aren't allowed by traditional "channel rules" (including MSF Rules), but there are a number of organizers who do allow the increased-coverage FINA-style suits - including Rotto and all USMS-sanctioned swims.

    For the database I decided to draw the line somewhat below the most "purist" rules, while still excluding the clear-cut assistive equipment such as wetsuits and flippers. I don't believe the database would be improved by excluding the 4000+ Rotto swims, hundreds of USMS swims, etc.

    Related: some events allow (or require) tow buoys for their perceived safety/visibility benefits, and many events allow GPS watches. These events are included in the database, even though tow buoys and GPS watches are prohibited by MSF and EC Rules.

    @TMason said: I'm most impressed that CSA has stuck with the original channel rules through the years seemingly without exception.

    Incidentally, I'd argue MSF Rules are more "purist" than CSA. Did you know CSA allows swimmers to draft off the escort boat?

    BogdanZslknightKatieBunIronMike
  • BogdanZBogdanZ Bucharest, RomaniaMember

    about db neither do I. It is gold as is.

    evmo
  • TMasonTMason Chehalis, WANew Member

    Incidentally, I'd argue MSF Rules are more "purist" than CSA. Did you know CSA allows swimmers to draft off the escort boat?

    Really? I didn't know that.

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited March 12

    In fairness, CS&PF does too. It's one of those "allowed by virtue of not being prohibited" loopholes. Most swimmers aren't fast enough to take advantage. The most recent few EC speed records have benefitted from boat drafting.

  • FlowSwimmersFlowSwimmers Polson, MontanaMem​ber
    edited March 12

    There are several YouTube videos of Trent Grimsey's record-breaking swim across the English Channel. There's no question he's riding the bow wave of his support boat. Regardless, an amazing effort.

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited March 12
  • KatieBunKatieBun CornwallSenior Member

    Well, I'm safe, then. I'm incapable of staying with my support boat. I'm sure I went to France via Portugal. ;-)

    evmoSolo
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