Swimming drafting

Discussion in 'Triathlon' started by Jordi Bataller, Jul 11, 2003.

  1. I know this a recurrent topic but I have a question

    Has swimming drafting ever been ilegal in any competition?

    I'm "only" a master swimming who in summer races open water tests from 2.500 metres to 5.000.

    I can assure you that drafing in swimming is very *easy* and saves you up to 50% of effort or more.

    Jordi Bataller Spain
     
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  2. Jordi Bataller i Mascarell <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:

    >
    > I know this a recurrent topic but I have a question
    >
    > Has swimming drafting ever been ilegal in any competition?

    Not that I'm aware of. How would you measure and enforce it in a mass start of 1800 swimmers?

    >
    > I'm "only" a master swimming who in summer races open water tests from 2.500 metres to 5.000.
    >

    Congrats. I too am a mid distance swimmer.

    > I can assure you that drafing in swimming is very *easy* and saves you up to 50% of effort
    > or more.

    Now here's where you can help me. I have never gotten the hang of it. What's the trick to picking
    the right pair of feet and staying on them? I seem to end up with someone who's either faster than I
    can manage, or too slow.

    >
    > Jordi Bataller Spain
     
  3. Andresmuro

    Andresmuro Guest

    Yes, in some races they have scuba divers patrolling under the surface. when they see drafters, they
    sneak from underneth, pull fthem down from their feet, and hole them for three minutes.

    Actually, it is not illegal to draft in any race. Even in the pool, racers try to draft of each
    other. The psrson drafting usually tries to get as close to the lane as possible from the person
    ahead. The person ahead tries to stay as far away from the lane as possible from the swimmer nearest
    to him. Keep on drafting and always watch for scuba divers.

    Andres
     
  4. Tom Henderson wrote:

    >>
    >>Has swimming drafting ever been ilegal in any competition?
    >
    >
    > Not that I'm aware of. How would you measure and enforce it in a mass start of 1800 swimmers?

    Yes, I see that it is a practical problem to avoid drafting. I have no solution.

    >
    >>I can assure you that drafing in swimming is very *easy* and saves you up to 50% of effort
    >>or more.
    >
    >
    > Now here's where you can help me. I have never gotten the hang of it. What's the trick to picking
    > the right pair of feet and staying on them? I seem to end up with someone who's either faster than
    > I can manage, or too slow.

    I have to say that I regard as anti-sportive or "unfair play" to swim 4950 metres behind another's
    feet and then sprint the last 50 metres and win the other guy. I could understand this in a world
    championship or in the olimpics but not for amateur swimmers. In this latter case I don't see where
    the merit is.

    If you want to draft you must know your swim-mates. How? I don't train alone. We are a group. I know
    what swimmer I should follow.

    If you train alone, you can read the results of some competitions and "choose" swimmers that win you
    by about 5 to 10 minutes (depending on the distance of course).

    Jordi Bataller SPAIN
     
  5. Harold Buck

    Harold Buck Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Jordi Bataller i Mascarell <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I have to say that I regard as anti-sportive or "unfair play" to swim 4950 metres behind another's
    > feet and then sprint the last 50 metres and win the other guy. I could understand this in a world
    > championship or in the olimpics but not for amateur swimmers. In this latter case I don't see
    > where the merit is.

    It isn't unfair to develop and use strategies and tactics that are completely within the letter and
    spirit of the rules. The rules are the same for everyone; why isn't the guy in the lead trying to
    draft off the guy in second?

    --Harold Buck

    "I used to rock and roll all night, and party every day. Then it was every other day. . . ."

    - Homer J. Simpson
     
  6. Harrow

    Harrow New Member

    Joined:
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    Please, help me refine my drafting technique. :D

    Is drafting as simple as following directly behind, or are you better off being slightly to the side ?

    Is there an ideal distance, can you be too close ?
     
  7. Andresmuro

    Andresmuro Guest

    >Is drafting as simple as following directly behind, or are you better off being slightly to
    >the side ?
    >
    >Is there an ideal distance, can you be too close ?

    Follow right behind. The swimmer in front will break the water for you.,The closer you follow the
    better. Try not to touch the other swimmer's toes, or she'll get mad.

    You will not save 50% energy, but you'll save some.

    Andres
     
  8. AndresMuro wrote:
    >>Is drafting as simple as following directly behind, or are you better off being slightly to
    >>the side ?
    >>
    >>Is there an ideal distance, can you be too close ?
    >
    >
    > Follow right behind. The swimmer in front will break the water for you.,The closer you follow the
    > better. Try not to touch the other swimmer's toes, or she'll get mad.

    Right. You must be exactly behind him. Your hands are to practicaly touch his/her feet, but don't do
    it, because that's very annoying.

    >
    > You will not save 50% energy, but you'll save some.
    >

    We'll I can put figures to it. You'll understand them if you train in a 25 metres swimming pool.

    I can swim by myself (no drafting) 15 x 100 every 1:45 in 1:29 or 1:28 (thus resting 16 seconds). I
    end the set tired.

    I can swim drafting behind another swimmer 15 x 100 every 1:45 in 1:24 and even some laps in 1:21. I
    end less tired than before.

    If you swim, you will know how it takes to swim 2 seconds faster each 100 metres.

    Jordi Bataller
     
  9. And coming to the origin of my question:

    Why cycling drafting was ilegal some time ago?

    I'm not 100% sure but I think that it was because if you draft

    1. You have the pace marked by the other.
    2. The other "cuts the air" for you, so you have less air resistance

    In the case of swimming drafting (right behind another) point 1 is the same, but ponit 2 is much
    more crucial:

    air density is 1,29 kg/m3 and water densisty is 1000kg/m3. This is, water is 775 times more
    dense than air.

    In addition to water cutting, the head swimmer creates a flow behind him in the sense of the
    movement. You can test it by putting a bouy behind a swimmer and see how the bouy follows
    the swimmer.

    For me, those would be reasons enough to ban swimming drafting if there was a practical way to
    control it. That's my humble opinion.

    Jordi Bataller
     
  10. Jordi Bataller i Mascarell <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:

    > And coming to the origin of my question:
    >
    > Why cycling drafting was ilegal some time ago?
    >

    You've already mentioned one reason, it's near impossible to enforce. Another reason is that it's
    more difficult to do than drafting on a bike. Triathletes can barely swim, much less find the right
    feet to latch onto and successfully draft.

    Tom
     
  11. Harold Buck

    Harold Buck Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (AndresMuro) wrote:

    > >Is drafting as simple as following directly behind, or are you better off being slightly to
    > >the side ?
    > >
    > >Is there an ideal distance, can you be too close ?
    >
    > Follow right behind. The swimmer in front will break the water for you.,The closer you follow the
    > better. Try not to touch the other swimmer's toes, or she'll get mad.
    >
    > You will not save 50% energy, but you'll save some.

    Dammit, the other guy promised 50%, and I want my 50%!

    --Harold Buck

    "I used to rock and roll all night, and party every day. Then it was every other day. . . ."

    - Homer J. Simpson
     
  12. Jordi Bataller i Mascarell wrote:
    >
    >
    > AndresMuro wrote:
    >
    >>> Is drafting as simple as following directly behind, or are you better off being slightly to the
    >>> side ?
    >>>
    >>> Is there an ideal distance, can you be too close ?
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> Follow right behind. The swimmer in front will break the water for you.,The closer you follow the
    >> better. Try not to touch the other swimmer's toes, or she'll get mad.
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > Right. You must be exactly behind him. Your hands are to practicaly touch his/her feet, but don't
    > do it, because that's very annoying.

    And if you do it too many times in quick succession, you're liable to get a swift kick from the
    person you're drafting off as they do a breaststroke kick to... uh, sight the buoys, yeah,
    that's it.

    --

    Cheers,

    Walter R. Strapps, Ph.D

    "The sheer closeness of our two countries and the intensity of our mutual interaction combined with
    the disparity between us in terms of wealth and power--all these things guarantee there will be
    problems in U.S.-Canadian relations without anybody having to do anything to deliberately worsen the
    situation."

    Robert L. Stanfield, Oct. 28, 1971
     
  13. Jeff Cook

    Jeff Cook Guest

    [email protected] (AndresMuro) wrote in news:[email protected]:

    >>Is drafting as simple as following directly behind, or are you better off being slightly to
    >>the side ?
    >>
    >>Is there an ideal distance, can you be too close ?
    >
    > Follow right behind. The swimmer in front will break the water for you.,The closer you follow the
    > better. Try not to touch the other swimmer's toes, or she'll get mad.
    >

    OR

    Think about how geese fly in a V formation. In swimming terms this is like swimming on the hip of
    the draftee. If you are lucky and you stroke length matches theirs, put you hand into the "hole" in
    the water that their hand has just left. You will feel an immediate reduction in the effort required
    to maintain the same pace.

    This is really worth practising in a group - gives a bit of interest to long open water training
    sessions. Be prepared to put in a little sprint to hook onto the pace of a faster swimmer.

    And there is less chance of getting kicked.

    Only downside is that you may get on the wrong side of someone who is a poor navigator e.g. you are
    on the left and they are heading to the left of the next mark thus cutting you off. This a simple
    rollover technique to overcome this - which are again something different to practice and enliven
    your o/w swim sessions.

    Cheers

    Jeff
     
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