Is That Legal In The Open Water? Starts And Finishes

Is That Legal In The Open Water? Starts And Finishes

When fans, friends and family observe GPS units tracking marathon swimmers on their channel swims, it often appears that the swims do not start or finish on land.

This leads some people to conclude that the swimmers do not abide by the established rules of open water swimming. That is, swimmers are expected to start and finish on land.

However, there is an easy-to-understand reason for this appearance.

The GPS units are usually attached to an escort’s kayak or boat that guides the swimmer. The units are not actually worn by the swimmer on their wrists, ankles or swim cap. Because the kayakers and escort boats do not come up on land with the swimmer, the signals are broadcast from the water where the GPS units are turned on.

So as Stephen Redmond started off of Honshu and approaches Hokkaido to possibly become the first person in history to complete the Oceans Seven (see here), his GPS tracker remains on his escort boat.

Photo by Christi Barli.

Tweets of Stephen Redmond’s swim here. Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source
Steven Munatones