Drafting In The Alkmaar Ploegen Tijdrace

Ploegen Tijdrace is a team pursuit race (team time trial), done in either in freestyle or breaststroke (as shown in Alkmaar below).

Niek Kloots explains, “Here in Holland, we do it mostly for fun as 500 meters in breaststroke. A cake is presented as the price. Drafting as a team certainly speeds them up. We call drafting in Dutch, “treintje zwemmen” (swimming as a train). A team consists of four swimmers. The official time is the time of the third swimmer. The team members must all round the turn buoy together as team, but after the turn, the first three swimmers are allowed to swim together as team, but swimmer number 4 must finish. Strategy-wise, the lead swimmer is usually the strongest and sacrifices him/herself until the first buoy. The others can take it “easy” in the draft. Then, after the turn, the first swimmer drops from the front and takes it easy until the finish. The other three swimmers race towards the finish taking turns in front.

Video courtesy of Niek Kloots of Europe Open Water Swimming

Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source
Steven Munatones