LonDon Triathlon 2013

Course and Wet Suits

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22/07/2013 at 13:03

Hi all,

 

I wanted to see if anyone on hear has any knowledge of the course for the London Triathlon this weekend? It is only my 3rd Tri and my first Olympic distance so any help advice would be great.

 

According to the website it mentions that wetsuits are compulsory is this the case regardless of the temperature?

 

Many thanks in advance,

Kritter86

Symes    pirate
22/07/2013 at 13:10

If the temperature of the water is over 22C I believe there would be a wetsuit ban. In our event yesterday they found a spot at 21.8C, very convenient eh? 

22/07/2013 at 13:13

That is what I am hoping for for Symes. I would really hope for the same situation come Sunday. As i said though there is no mention of anything relating to the temp on the race information?

22/07/2013 at 13:13

Kritter,

the BTF (British Triathlon Federation) rules state that for a 1500m swim wetsuits will be forbidden if the water temperature is above 22 celcius.  I'm relatively certain that the event will be run under these rules.

Edit: last on the ball again.....

Edited: 22/07/2013 at 13:14
22/07/2013 at 13:18

I'm certain it will be as well but found it strange that there was little mention of this?

 

Fingers crossed for some patch of the water to be sub 22 deg C

22/07/2013 at 13:31

I was talking to someone yesterday who is one of the BTF officials at London Tri and it's not quite as easy as stating the BTF rules on this....(wouldn't you guess that!)

despite the water temp possibly being above the BTF limit for wetsuits, it would appear that the Port of London Authority (PLA) who owns the dock has a rule that says that anyone in their waters in a sporting event, MUST have a "flotation aid" (or something like that not knowing the precise wording) - so for triathletes, that's a wetsuit.  and I think the PLA doesn't have it as an optional - it's compulsory.

I don't know which takes precedence - PLA or BTF - so be prepared for either scenario!

just hope that the planned down downpours this week cool the water enough for this not be an issue...

Edited: 22/07/2013 at 13:51
22/07/2013 at 13:36

Re the course, doesn't it depend on which day your racing, one day goes down along side Londodn city airport and the other is into the city and up to Big ben.  Pan flat in both directions and fairly good road conditions.

22/07/2013 at 13:38

Cheers Fat Buddha, when you put it like that it makes sense. I did suspect that it had something to do with the location of the swim.

 

Would be great if they had this on the website....

Cheerful Dave    pirate
22/07/2013 at 17:40
fat buddha wrote (see)

I was talking to someone yesterday who is one of the BTF officials at London Tri and it's not quite as easy as stating the BTF rules on this....(wouldn't you guess that!)

despite the water temp possibly being above the BTF limit for wetsuits, it would appear that the Port of London Authority (PLA) who owns the dock has a rule that says that anyone in their waters in a sporting event, MUST have a "flotation aid" (or something like that not knowing the precise wording) - so for triathletes, that's a wetsuit.  and I think the PLA doesn't have it as an optional - it's compulsory.


Just to play devil's advocate slightly, if the BTF are concerned that swimming in a wetsuit in warm water has a risk of overheating (a not unreasonable position, to be fair) why do they not require an alternative 'flotation aid' in a non-wetsuit swim to satisfy the PLA?  After all, they classify swimskins, buoyancy shorts and even calf guards as buoyancy aids normally banned in a non-wetsuit swim.

(I do realise that the reason they don't do this is because announcing to several thousand people an hour before the event that they must buy a swimskin would cause a riot, but there you go)

24/07/2013 at 11:37

I'm taking part on Sunday.

I'm not an expert but I'd stake my elevenses that there's bugger all chance the water in Royal Vic docks will exceed 22'C.

On that basis the "boil in the bag" option is what I'll be going for, in the hope it doesn't last more than 25/26 minutes.

24/07/2013 at 11:39
Cheerful Dave wrote (see)
fat buddha wrote (see)

I was talking to someone yesterday who is one of the BTF officials at London Tri and it's not quite as easy as stating the BTF rules on this....(wouldn't you guess that!)

despite the water temp possibly being above the BTF limit for wetsuits, it would appear that the Port of London Authority (PLA) who owns the dock has a rule that says that anyone in their waters in a sporting event, MUST have a "flotation aid" (or something like that not knowing the precise wording) - so for triathletes, that's a wetsuit.  and I think the PLA doesn't have it as an optional - it's compulsory.


Just to play devil's advocate slightly, if the BTF are concerned that swimming in a wetsuit in warm water has a risk of overheating (a not unreasonable position, to be fair) why do they not require an alternative 'flotation aid' in a non-wetsuit swim to satisfy the PLA?  After all, they classify swimskins, buoyancy shorts and even calf guards as buoyancy aids normally banned in a non-wetsuit swim.

(I do realise that the reason they don't do this is because announcing to several thousand people an hour before the event that they must buy a swimskin would cause a riot, but there you go)

to correct you CD - swimskins are not classed as buoyancy aids - just aids.  as are calf guards.  buoyancy shorts are also classed as aids but the reason there is clear - they are buoyant.   basically, anything that could gain an athlete an advantage in a non-wetsuit swim is classed as an aid - buoyancy or not.

yes, wetsuits are buoyant but that issue is surmounted as they are classed as costumes not aids.  fun eh??  

it's taken me a little while to understand the differences as a BTF official but I'm now up to speed after last weekend..... 

24/07/2013 at 13:51

Well this does seem to be rather confusing again it surprises me that there is absolutly zero mention of this on the event website!

Like you Robbie I will be taking the boil in the bag option just a little longer as I Swim like Mo Farah bench presses (with great difficulty).

Thanks all for the info, will let you know how I get on losing my Olympic cherry...gulp!

Cheerful Dave    pirate
24/07/2013 at 14:08
fat buddha wrote (see)

to correct you CD - swimskins are not classed as buoyancy aids - just aids.  as are calf guards.  buoyancy shorts are also classed as aids but the reason there is clear - they are buoyant.   basically, anything that could gain an athlete an advantage in a non-wetsuit swim is classed as an aid - buoyancy or not.

 

Watches, heartrate monitors, GPS?  Anything that could give feedback to a competitor during the swim could be considered an aid.  Can of worms?

At the end of the day though, I'll happily go along with whatever rules are in place.  They don't all have to be logical

24/07/2013 at 15:10
Cheerful Dave wrote (see)
fat buddha wrote (see)

to correct you CD - swimskins are not classed as buoyancy aids - just aids.  as are calf guards.  buoyancy shorts are also classed as aids but the reason there is clear - they are buoyant.   basically, anything that could gain an athlete an advantage in a non-wetsuit swim is classed as an aid - buoyancy or not.

 

Watches, heartrate monitors, GPS?  Anything that could give feedback to a competitor during the swim could be considered an aid.  Can of worms?

At the end of the day though, I'll happily go along with whatever rules are in place.  They don't all have to be logical

and don't forget aero bikes, aero helmets, elastic laces, etc etc for the bike and run elements.

yes - can of worms.  no - logical

I guess that's why the ITU and BTF have rules commitees to oversee these matters and makes changes as needed but without becoming too hamstrung and have rules for the sake of rules.

anyway - good luck for those at London - whatever happens with the swim!

seren nos    pirate
24/07/2013 at 15:16

they could just hand out a free pullbuoy to all swimmers.would work for me.........

if the BTF let them go ahead and swim in the higher temperatures in a wetsuit.......then surely they must think about scraping their rules....

if someone suffers and dies in the swim after they have declared that in their own research its dangerous to swim in a wetsuit at high temps........and then force you to swim in one..then i could see a massive legal claim from families

24/07/2013 at 15:38

seren - read back - it won't be the BTF making the call on the wetsuits for this in all probability but the PLA (Port of London Authority) who own the dock.  the race is run under BTF rules, but any event can apply to the BTF to have an exception included for that event for whatever reason, and provided that the BTF agree to it, then it's allowed.

I'm only guessing here and maybe the PLA applied for a "must be a wetsuit swim" exception and it's been granted.

London has a very large number of newbies and charity racers who will probably be weaker swimmers, so on safety grounds, they will agree to a wetsuit swim even if the water is above 22C.

it's not a question of the BTF scrapping any rules, or forcing people to race in wetsuits (the BTF don't manage the event anyway) but looking at local conditions to agree a variation to fit circumstances.  99% of events work well within the current BTF rules setup - London is an outlier to standard setups and always has been that way.

if you want to point fingers than it's the PLA that they need pointing at, not the BTF

and fwiw - I believe there have been 4 (?) deaths in the swim at London - all cardiac events with underlying causes and nothing to do with hyperthermia

seren nos    pirate
24/07/2013 at 15:41

Ah right.......

I would have thought though the figures arrived at were just not plucked from the air......that somewhere someone had done some research and seen where it was deemed dangerous....

hopefully rain will cool it down and it will not be an issue..

25/07/2013 at 13:18

so far so good on the rain side of things. fingers crossed!

27/07/2013 at 19:38

I'm in the drink at 14:55 tomorrow.

Good luck to all others taking part.

29/07/2013 at 12:20

Completed my first ever triathlon - the Olympic distance at London yesterday.  Thoroughly enjoyed a brilliantly organised event.  Chuffed to bits to come home in 2:33:09....

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