Marathon Swimming Contingency Plans for Paris 2024 and the OWS Course at Vaires-sur-Marne

Marathon Swimming Contingency Plans for Paris 2024 and the OWS Course at Vaires-sur-Marne

For the marathon swimming events at the Paris 2024 Olympics, a detailed contingency plan has been put in place to ensure the competitions go smoothly, even if unexpected issues arise. Here’s a simple breakdown of the key points:

What’s Happening?

The marathon swimming events are scheduled to take place in the Seine River, near the iconic Pont Alexandre III in Paris. The events are set in August:

  • August 6-7: Familiarization days for the swimmers
  • August 8: 10 km Women’s race
  • August 9: 10 km Men’s race
  • August 10: Contingency plan

Contingency Plan – Seine

  • 10 km Women (August 6th) to be rescheduled if there is poor water quality or adverse weather conditions in the Seine:
    • Double session Men and Women 10k on August 9th
    • 07:30 – 10:00 : 10 km Men
    • 12:30 – 15:00 : 10 km Women
  • 10 km Men (August 9th) to be rescheduled if there is poor water quality or adverse weather conditions in the Seine:
    • Reserve Day activation 10th August
    • 07:30 – 10:00 : 10 km Men
  • 10 km Women & 10 km Men to be rescheduled if the is poor water quality or adverse weather conditions in the Seine:
    • Double session on Reserve Day 10th August
    • 07:30 – 10:00 : 10 km Women
    • 12:30 – 15:00 : 10 km Men

The Backup Plan at Vaires-sur-Marne

If something goes wrong and the Seine is off-limits, there’s a Plan B: moving the races to Vaires-sur-Marne. Here’s how the backup plan unfolds:

  • Decision Time: The decision to activate the backup plan will be made at the latest by 4:00 am on August 10, during the daily situation meeting.
  • New Location: Vaires-sur-Marne, is already set up for Olympic events.
  • Schedule Adjustments:
    • August 10: Swimmers will familiarize themselves with the new location in the afternoon.
    • August 11: The women’s and men’s marathon swimming races will take place.

Activation Context:

No possibility to swim one or both races in the river Seine on the scheduled dates (August 8th and 9th) & Contingency (August 10th)

Application:

  • Relocation in Vaires-sur-Marne (VNS)
  • OWS Familiarization: August 10th – end of the afternoon
  • OWS Competition: August 11th

Schedule:

A. Backup Plan – No Contingency – 11th August

1 OWS race to swim

August 10th:

  • KYK (Kayaking) Session from 10:00 to 14:45
  • OWS Familiarization – end of afternoon

August 11th

Competition: 09:30 to 12:30

  • 10 km start 09:30 – last swimmer 11:50
  • Medals Ceremony 12:05
  • End of session 12:30

B. Backup Plan – No Contingency – 11th August

2 OWS races to swim

August 10th:

  • CSP (Canoe Sprint) Session from 10:00 to 14:45
  • OWS Familiarization – end of afternoon

Women Competition: 09:30 to 12:30

  • 10 km Women start 09:30 – last swimmer 11:50
  • Medals Ceremony 12:05
  • End of session 12:30

Men Competition: 14:30 to 17:30

  • 10 km Men start 14:30 – last swimmer 16:50
  • Medals Ceremony 17:05
  • End of session 17:30

C. Contingency – 11th August

1 OWS race to swim

  • CSP (Canoe Sprint) Session from 10:00 to 14:45
  • OWS Familiarization – end of afternoon

CSP Session from 08:00 to 10:00

  • OWS Competition – 14:00 to 17:00
  • 10 km start 14:00 – last swimmer 16:20
  • Medals Ceremony 16:35 
  • End of session 17:00

D. Contingency – 11th August

2 OWS races to swim simultaneously

August 10th

  • CSP (Canoe Sprint) Session from 10:00 to 14:45
  • OWS Familiarization – end of afternoon

August 11

CSP (Canoe Sprint) Session from 08:00 to 10:00

  • OWS Competition – 14:00 to 17:00
  • Competitions – 14:00 to 17:30
  • 10 km Men start 14:00 – last swimmer 16:20
  • 10 km Women start 14:10 – last swimmer 16:40
  • Medals Ceremony 17:00 End of session 17:30

OWS Course

  • 1.66 km lap to swim 6 times to complete the 10 km Olympic distance
  • Start from platform
  • Clockwise rotation – right shoulder buoys
  • Feeding from starting platform
  • Finish attached to the platform, in front of the main stand
  • Medical extraction point at the end of second platform
  • In case of 2 simultaneous races (scenario D), the race would consist in a 2km lap to swim 5 times (in red)

S.A. “Sid” Cassidy, Chairperson of the World Aquatics Technical Committee, said,

“We are extremely grateful to our friends at Paris 2024 for providing us with a Plan C to ensure that our deserving athletes will compete for the title of Olympic Marathon Swimming Champion. I personally believe that because of the great work the people of Paris have already done in cleaning up the river, that we will be treated to two historic Seine River Races on August 8 & 9. However, there is no question that having this insurance policy is the right step to confirm our commitment to these swimmers.”

Resources: Official Document

More Articles in this series

Fresh Additions – New Line Up. Everything You Need To Know About The Final Start List Of The 10k Open Water Race In Paris 2024

Paris Olympics Announce Backup Plan for Open Water Events Due to Seine Pollution Concerns

Revamped Rules, New Contenders: How Paris 2024 is Shaking Up Olympic Open Water Swimming

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