Wetsuit or Not?

Rules clarification

1 to 20 of 23 messages
17/07/2013 at 15:28

When a wetsuit is not mandatory for an olympic distance race, would you wear one anyway? The ITU rules say over 22 degrees means you can't wear one, under 14 means you have to wear one. What happens in the middle ground? Does it come down to the race organisers to say what everyone wears or does each individual decide? I'm wondering specifically about the age group race in London in September.

Darkness    pirate
17/07/2013 at 15:58

Individual decision.  I save more time swimming by wearing one than I would lose in transation by having to take it off so always wear one if permitted.

cougie    pirate
17/07/2013 at 15:58
Up to you to judge how much time you'll lose by not having a wetty in the water compared to time lost stripping it off ? I'd think most people would go with a wetty though unless you're some amaaazing swimmer. (and even so - most of them do anyway ?)
17/07/2013 at 16:34

to an extent it's an individual choice but a Race Director can also make them compulsory between 14 and 22c (which isn't always the upper level - that depends on distance)

here's the rule:

Swim Length   Forbidden Above   Mandatory Below

1500m              22°C                    14°C

1501-3000m      23°C                    15°C

3001-4000m      24°C                    16°C


if the race notes don't say they are compulsory then you are free to choose

as for whether you choose to wear one - that comes down to ability I guess.  for better swimmers there is less to be gained from a wetsuit so they would save time in T1.  for weaker or less confident swimmers, then most would choose to wear one even at the higher temps - the danger then of course is overheating

Edited: 17/07/2013 at 16:41
17/07/2013 at 16:50

For the Zuri Tri which is now a 5i50 they've se the upper limit at 24.5 C!!

Neoprene wetsuits are allowed at 5150 Zurich Triathlon if the water temperature doesn’t exceed 24.5° C. Compression socks which cover the feet are not permitted during the swim."

Which strikes me as quite warm!! 

17/07/2013 at 18:58

I've got a tri on Sunday where I think it will be optional.

I'm considering no wetsuit because I discoverd on Tuesday that it's really bloody hard getting my wettie on and off when I'm this hot (and sweaty). I was also on the verge of being too hot and certainly won't be training in my wetsuit tomorrow. 

I think it'll be quite fun. Swimming open water and not being too cold? *Excited*

17/07/2013 at 19:17

I`d like to buy a shorty (sleeveless) swim wetsuit for this type of weather. But, if i buy any more gear, my wife WILL shoot me.

18/07/2013 at 10:17
Dreaming Of Magic wrote (see)

I`d like to buy a shorty (sleeveless) swim wetsuit for this type of weather. But, if i buy any more gear, my wife WILL shoot me.

even shorties are banned if a non-wetsuit swim is called - it has to be a level playing field for everyone

I'm the BTF official for Vachery on Sunday - water yesterday was 24C so it looks like a ban

cougie    pirate
18/07/2013 at 10:19
Blimey FB - have we had many wetsuit bans in Britain before ?

(then again I cant remember a summer like this since 1976 !)
18/07/2013 at 10:24

can't say that we have cougs - Human Race have had a few in the last couple of years but Dorney is pretty shallow.

London Tri has been borderline a few times but have never banned but I think that's because it attracts so many novices/charity participants so they have kept wetsuits as a safety measure

I suspect we'll be seeing quite a few bans over the next few weeks

cougie    pirate
18/07/2013 at 10:28
And no algae as yet ? Don't we get that in the hot times ?
seren nos    pirate
18/07/2013 at 10:29

My only 2 tris left this year are both sea swims off south wales coast.........so i think i can be safe from the fear of a non wetsuit swim

18/07/2013 at 10:36

that's the next danger cougs - blue-green algae is more common in hot water and that then means no swim at all then 

weed levels are also another issue - Vachery are doing a rake on Saturday to try to get rid of the worst although it seems it's not too bad at the mo

18/07/2013 at 10:39
seren nos wrote (see)

My only 2 tris left this year are both sea swims off south wales coast.........so i think i can be safe from the fear of a non wetsuit swim

I wouldn't bank on it if this hot weather continues but you're likely to be safe - although I've done a sea tri where the water was 21C.  (Seaford in 2003 - late August)  so IMWales could get close to the limit....

Symes    pirate
18/07/2013 at 10:50

Got an Oly on Sunday, assuming as it's a 'get people into tri' they'll find the deepest darkest part of the pond to measure the temperature, hoping anyway 

15/07/2014 at 12:33

Question - how do people find swimming in a sleeveless wettie compared to one with sleeves?

15/07/2014 at 12:51

I seriously hope that Outlaw doesn't become a non wet suit swim

Golden Boots    pirate
15/07/2014 at 12:56

SIBC - Bought a sleeveless the day before IM France.. have swam in in twice... once being IM France and the second time was at the weekend in a shortened olympic race (1km swim)...

Wasn't as cold as I was expecting (most people were shivering and complaining of the temp at this weekends race yet I was fine - so maybe says something about me)... Haven't swam in a controlled test yet to know if it is any better/worse than my now ill-fitting full sleeved suit

Slagiatt    pirate
15/07/2014 at 13:00
GraemeK wrote (see)

I seriously hope that Outlaw doesn't become a non wet suit swim



oh that could make it interesting ?? 

15/07/2014 at 13:12

wetsuit bans - love 'em - not!

from a ref's point of view they are a pain in the arse as we get so much bleating and criticism, that you sometimes feel that you should just let people get on with it.  but overheating is equally as dangerous as getting too cold, and in some ways worse as fainting often happens rapidly and often before a swimmer has had a chance to raise an alarm.  you can also rapidly dehydrate in warm water in a wetsuit - but you won't feel the amount of sweat you are producing of course.

we had to ban wetsuits at 2 races last year, none so far this year but it's getting close especially with the warm weather predicted this week.   next weekend we have a river swim tri, so that should be OK, but others in early August might get interesting - one is long distance.

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