Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Etiquette - Code of Conduct for ocean swimming ...

There's a debate going on about behaviour in ocean swims. Read John Bamberry's suggested code (click here), and check out Nicky Pullen's own suggestion of a code of principles (click here, too) ...

Then, tell us what you think ...

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  1. It's buoy, or bouys, not booeys.

  2. Hi, I’m not going enter the breaststroke argument except to say that the people who are being courteous and swimming around the swimmer in front is the one likely to be sideswiped by a breastroke kick not the one that goes right over. I remember hearing a story of an Australian swimmer many years ago being kicked in the head by a stray breastroke leg form the lane next door and ending up with a perforated eardrum. Out of the water for a while. - OUCH

    Training tip: When doing your laps adding a few water Polo swimming strokes so that you can practice your swim race sighting without losing the rhythm of your stroke and having to stop and breastroke to see where you are.

    Try something like 10 strokes waterpolo (ie swimming freestyle with your head up and looking straight ahead) and 10 strokes normal. If in a pool use something at the end of each lane such as the number on the diving block to focus on while you look up. In the ocean, use something on land such as a funny shaped tree or a change in shape of the roofline of a building as when you are out there it is sometimes impossible to see the actual buoy. It’s a good idea to look for something in line with the buoy if possible.

    Another way to add having a quick peak at where you are going is to lift your head slightly to the front so your goggles pop out and look forward, just before you turn to breathe. Much like how a croc has its eyeballs looking as it lurks in the water.

    If you think you swim completely in a straight line and have no need for the above – try this to check. Hop in the ocean, pick a marker straight ahead and swim there with your eyes closed for about 30 strokes. Stop and have a look and see if you are still in line. If you are in a pool, you may end up with gravel rash from the lane rope.

    If you have moved to the right – then chances are you are dropping your right elbow and vice versa. If you are facing the complete opposite direction – then you have a big problem.

  3. I have a very pertinant question for Mr Banberry.
    How not agressive is not "overtly agressive?"
    I think this area needs quite a bit more explanation John.

    Hilda Theil (City Tatts

  4. Dear Hilda

    Thanks for the feedback. Perhaps “overtly” is the wrong adjective; but I mean “openly” aggressive, in terms of deliberately making a nuisance of yourself by punching, grabbing, swimming over people, the key word being deliberate. I seem to mostly avoid this sort of behaviour, perhaps because of the way, or the course I choose to take in swims. However, I know of plenty of incidents of overt aggression in swimming and many are written about on oceanswims.com. I’m not up there in the peleton but, it is my belief, that if you have to resort to such tactics, then you must be frustrated with your own abilities to swim well.

    The adjective “Overtly” could be left out, and we could say…”Do not be aggressive”; but in terms of quantifying an acceptable amount, I suggest that if someone is constantly belting you with their arm because they can’t swim straight, or is making a deliberate pest, then you probably need to show some aggression as a matter of “self-defence”. The “Code of Conduct” is up there for debate; so if anybody has better wording, then Blog On.

    John Bamberry

  5. Thank you John for your response.

    My suggestion for point 9 would be:

    Please hide your aggression unless using condoned open aggression as self defence.eg. A slight tap on the offenders head to catch their attention.

    Just a suggestion.

    Hilda Theil -City Tatts

  6. I want to propose we use an acronym for the new code.

    Say: Little Code Of Conduct


  7. I don't like swimming in dark water.


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