In April of this year, the RCSA committee had a planning meeting to discuss and make decisions around some of the proposed changes to the 2016 event. One of the items on the agenda was whether there should be a limit to the number of solo swimmers in the February Event.
We have been considering various options to allow every solo swimmer to have the opportunity to swim. Unfortunately it’s not as simple as increasing the number of swimmers and boats.
Our number one consideration has been safety. We also needed to consider how we could be fair to duo and team entrants, taking into account the financial aspects of the event if we have more solo swimmers replacing teams and duos.
We surveyed our members on what they thought about the option to have two solo swimmers per support boat, which would mean solos would not be capped at next year’s event. Based on their responses, the RCSA agreed (subject to approval by relevant stakeholders) that we would amend our rules for 2016 and introduce this option on an entirely voluntary and trial basis.
To ensure safety and general compliance of the rules, those who choose this option will need to adhere to the following requirements:
• Swimmers would need to swim within close proximity with each other – therefore at the same pace.
• Each swimmer would require a paddler.
• If one swimmer is faster than the other, they need to be prepared to slow down, or have the slower swimmer withdraw.
• If one swimmer became unwell and requires medical assistance, causing the boat to have to stop, the remaining swimmer would either tread water until their boat is able to proceed or also withdraw from the event.
It is important to reiterate again that this will be optional and swimmers will be able to choose their own swimming partner.