Saturday, January 03, 2009

If quoted correctly FINA has "showed their cards" in advance of the FINA Seedsuit meeting in February!

On December 11th Craig Lord of Swim News wrote an article for the Times Online entitled: Is Time Running Out For Supersuits!

I highlight a quote in bold by an unnamed FINA official regarding his take on speedsuits. Apparently FINA may have decided the fate of a particular brand of speedsuit if this quote is for real:

"... A leaked letter sent to Fina by Marcin Sochacki, the Rocket Science Sports chief executive, has angered many in the sport. He wrote: “If the purists of this sport really want this to be man to man, then everyone should be on the exact same sleep schedule, nutrition plan/products and be set up to compete against others with the exact same hand size, lung capacity, arm and leg length including height, etc.”

A FINA source countered, saying: “How can you call a lung, an arm, a leg, [or] sleep the same thing as a suit that is clearly an artificial aid to performance.”..."


Note how this unnamed source didn't add a question mark after his rhetorical question. I don't think it takes a genius to deconstruct their meaning or intent.

I am seeing nothing but biased media towards speedsuits and most notably the blueseventy and Chloroprene suits as a whole. It's as if consent is being manufactured against speedsuits by proxy.

Craig Lord writes at Swim News:

"... Complaints against the [blueseventy], a suit born in the triathlon pool, are also being voiced by rival suit makers. One source told SwimNews: "This is scary, dangerous stuff. The likes of Speedo, adidas, Arena and others have been working on products that support the body’s core strength, that support the athlete. The Blueseventy works in another way. It’s a flotation aid, in our opinion.” ..."

Later in the article Craig Lord prints out a letter sent to FINA by the Ligue Européenne de Natation (LEN - a conglomo governing body for European swimming) which clearly attacks blueseventy:

"...During the World Swimming Cups 2008 series a few World, European and many dozens of national records were broken by athletes who used the NERO COMP “Blueseventy” swimsuit. Our personal experience showed that the personal lifetime best performances in 50m breaststroke can be easily improved by 0,6-1.0 second with the NERO COMP Blueseventy swimsuit. ..."

"... The facts mentioned above as well as opinion on recent situation with swimming suits expressed by many other swimming coaches and swimmers, lead us to the questioning of the legitimacy of the usage of NERO COMP “Blueseventy” swimsuit at official swimming (pool) competitions.

The past eight years have made me quite cynical regarding whatever statements come out of a politican's mouth or any political body for that mater and that includes USA Swimming, FINA, LEN and all the others.

I think what LEN is really saying is that suits from Australia, California and Europe who happen to invest and/or sponsor European national teams are fair but suits from Washington State which do not sponsor any European national teams are not fair.

My inference may sound outrageous but I base it upon this observation: There is a European suit company called, Jaked Swimwear, that has created a rubberized suit made out of a polyurethane analog which is patent pending. The suit has no seams whatsoever and one Italian swimmer I spoke with told me the suit is faster than a notable European suit which I won't mention. Also note, Jaked Swimwear, is the "sponsor tecnico Federazione Italiana Nuoto" (Sponsor of the Italian Swimming Federation.)

In the letter LEN spends time attacking the technicalities of the blueseventy Nero approval. I feel they chose to debate a technicality because that is all they can attack. All suits submitted to FINA were approved by FINA.

Ultimately will masters swimmers be denied their suit of choice post February?

The fish above: Won Park of Hawaii, moneyfolding magician extraordinaire, folds the fins to his origami dollar koi.



Anonymous said...

Hey Tony:

Craig Lord writes at Swim News:
"... Complaints against the [blueseventy], a suit born in the triathlon pool, are also being voiced by rival suit makers.

Sounds like the same fate the TYR Aquashift fell into. When certain rival suit makers have a problem with your suit, the swimming hierarchy finds a way to make you disappear...!

John Payne said...

Yet another great post on the speedsuit debate, Tony.

Thought you might be interested in this interview I just completed with Dean Jackson of blueseventy.

Keep up the good work!

Tony Austin said...

Have you noticed that he has favorite companies?

Anonymous said...

whichever company Craig Lord is getting paid by, its obvious they're scared that blueseventy has made something far better then theirs! he has never once said anything positive about blue seventy. got to make you wonder who's paying him huh.

Glenn said...

Blueseventy is sponsoring USMS. My feeling is that if FINA outlaws the suits, USMS should embrace them, regardless of FINA... then... the senior swimmers who want to swim REALLY fast can come to masters meets. Can you imagine the winning time at the Olympics in the 100 free being 47.4... then watching Lezak go to Masters nats, put on a BlueSeventy, and going 46.5?

To me... that would be very cool. Besides, I'm not giving up my full-body suit. That's what masters swimming is all about... COVERING!

Tony Austin said...

I too am stoked that blueseventy is supporting Masters swimming. One has to scratch their head and wonder why no other suit company has since there are 47,000 of us.

Let's say 20% of us buy a speedsuit, that is "phat bank," and you would think a suit company would have recognized that.

Tony Austin said...

Anonymous, I have called Craig out for seemingly endorsing the Speedo LZR, however, he has never said anything negative about Arena!

He has gone after TYR, blueseventy, Rocket Science, and any other Chloroprene analog suit but he has only said nice things about Arena which brings me to this observation: Now that Arena looks completely ineffectual as of late in the pool, have you noticed that he hates all speedsuits?

Anonymous said...

Hey Tony . . . Glad to hear you called him out!!

Glenn: Covering up is not a bad thing..I'm with you 100% on that one :)

Update: Just uncovered a suit study in the public domain that examined different configurations (brief, jammers, full legs only, full body covering) in relation to drag reduction. Findings revealed that unless the upper body is covered, lower extremity covering suits only, had no effect on reducing drag.

Many Olympic medals/world records were set by swimmers not fully covered in their uppper body. So how did they go so fast. . and in all the dialog, why hasn't anyone metioned this finding??


Anonymous.. :)

Tony Austin said...

Where is this study? I want to post it.

Anonymous said...

Go to Google Scholar and type the title: Effect of Swimsuit Design on Passive Drag. It's the first item on the search. Tried to paste the link, but came out funny. It's a pdf file.

In particualar page 4 ranks the different suit configurations best to worst on drag, and on page 7 the first two full paragraphs on the left column tell a lot of the story.

Very interesting study....analyzed the Speedo Fastskin suits...

Tony Austin said...

I had to read that abstract 5 times before I understood.

I couldn't log in to get the whole text of the article but I didn't want to pay for it. If you send it to me I can paraphrase what I read and publish my interpretation. This way no copyright laws are broken.

What it essentially says is that most of your drag happens in the front of the body and by making the drag reduced is significant to the waist down through the knees. Ergo, Leggings are a bit late on the flow to start trying to reduce drag.

Here is there conclusion, I added the words in the brackets:

Conclusion: ... suggests that increasing DSF [Skin Friction drag] on the upper-body of a swimmer reduces DP [Pressure Drag] and DW [Wave Drag] by tripping the boundary layer and attaching the flow to the body from the shoulder to the knees.

It is possible that body suits that cover the torso and legs may reduce drag and improve performance of swimmers. [Speed possibly work.]

Anonymous said...

Hey Tony:

I was able to see the whole study. is the link.

To get it work, copy and paste this into a new browser page.

PS. I agree with your conclusions, however go to those sections I mentioned before for more clarification.

Anonymous said...

Hey Tony:

Check out this link: