You're Going To Love It In New Hampshire

You’re Going To Love It In New Hampshire

Open water swimmer Gregory Whitman who is also a Legislative Aide in the State of New Hampshire Senate and an Assistant to State Senator Fuller Clark helped push through a remarkable legislative bill through the state government in the New Hampshire that enhances safety of open water swimmers by giving them the right-of-way while swimming in New Hampshire.

Whitman reports, “In January, I contacted Sid Cassidy regarding a bill before the New Hampshire legislature to give swimmers the right of way [in open bodies of water]. I worked hard testifying in support of this legislation. Today [April 14th], I am pleased to let you know that it has passed the House. Having already passed the Senate, all [the bill] needs in order to become law is the Governor’s signature.”

The Senate Bill 362 reads as follows:

AN ACT relative to giving swimmers and kayakers the right of way.

SPONSORS: Senator Bob Odell, District 8; Senator Jeb Bradley, District 3; Senator Kathleen Sgambati, District 4; Representative Tara Sad, Cheshire – District 2.

COMMITTEE: Energy, Environment and Economic Development

ANALYSIS: This bill gives swimmers and kayakers the right of way on water.

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE, In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Ten, AN ACT relative to giving swimmers and kayakers the right of way. Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1. General Rules for Vessels Operating on Water; Right-of-Way. Amend RSA 270-D:2, IX to read as follows:

IX. Canoes, kayaks, rowboats, sailboats, and swimmers shall be given the right-of-way. This requirement shall not be construed to allow deliberate impediment of motorboats by canoes, kayaks, rowboats, sailboats, and swimmers.

2. Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2011.


Former FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee Chairman Sid Cassidy said of the approved bill, “My belief is that this is simple logic that should absolutely be applied worldwide.”

The approved bill and its purpose does make perfect sense and is truly a tribute to the efforts and vision of Greg and his political supporters in the state of New Hampshire. While the basic navigation rules for who has right of way on the water are meant to keep everyone on the water safe, it is a strong indication of the growing number of open water swimmers when these rules are formalized and address the needs and safety of open water swimmers.

Come January 2011, a new day has dawned for open water swimmers enjoying the sport in the State of New Hampshire. The state slogan, “You’re going to love it here,” really makes sense for swimmers in New Hampshire.

Photo by SuperKidz.

Copyright © 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones