Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Speedo may capitulate: May allow their stable of swimmers to wear competing swimsuits!

The last swimsuit manufacturer that allowed their athletes to wear whatever was Nike and Nike left the swimsuit market soon after.

Why is Speedo doing this?

I don't think it is unreasonable to assume that Speedo's potential capitulation may be a signal that they are abandoning the LZR and don't want to throw anymore money at it.

Again this is an assumption but for Speedo to allow their athletes to make such a bold endorsement of competing suits can't be taken lightly. Especially with names like Phelps, Torres, et al.

Here is what AP had to say:

"... Speedo is discussing whether to allow swimmers it sponsors to wear rival manufacturers' new high-tech suits.

"The brand is continuing to evaluate the situation internally," Speedo vice president for marketing Craig Brommers said in a statement Tuesday. ..."


Deep down I am thinking that Speedo is going to write the LZR off since there is less than 6-months left in the year. I also believe, and you can call it a personal bias that I have, that FINA "feels their pain" and will hook them up in 2010 by wiping out several speedsuit companies with the stroke of a pen.

While Australian swimmers, coaches and Mr. Craig Lord will cheer this news, swimming will have fewer events and lower paid athletes as a result.

Above is a shot of world record holder in the 200 breastroke, Rebecca Soni, wearing a Speedo LZR at the 2009 TYR SwIm Meet of Champions.

Maly posted an AWESOME 'Eurosport' promo for the ROME FINA World Championships!

Lot's of sharks too; French ones! Here is a link to Maly's YouTube channel: [Link]

FINIS has a new speedsuit called the 'Amphibian' and it looks boss!

This suit could be the American version of a cross between a Jaked and a LZR; perhaps even a superior version. TYR has the Titan but you can't buy it yet. Has anyone purchased an Amphibian or worn one? It's definitely on my radar.

Product Features:

  • Dual Fabric Composition
    • "Frog Skin" Polyurethane – Watertight and durable, the sleek and slippery fabric is built to last
    • Lightweight HydroSpeed Nylon/Lycra – 180gm "Scalex" compression fabric provides a comfortable fit without rubbing
  • Smart Compression Network
    • Uses 6 different tensile properties from 5 materials
    • Compresses and streamlines the body into the ideal swimming signature without sacrificing proper range of motion
    • Intelligent placement and panel design reduces excessive force at stitch lines, eliminating holes or split seams
  • Stabilizing Strips
    • Supports proper swimming posture and pinpoints key compression areas around the body
    • Stabilizes core muscles while supporting the chest, back, and leg positioning
  • Bonded Flat-lock Stitching
    • Creates a sleek and durable seam line
    • Intelligent placement reduces excessive force at stitch lines
  • Low Profile Zippers
    • Durable zippers positioned along upper-back and bottom of legs allow the suit to be easily put on and taken off
    • Zipper placement provides specific compression and support
  • Engineered Technology
    • Material specific panels, strips, and stitch-lines promote a balanced swimming position

Styles start at $199.99

Monday, June 29, 2009

Will 'Speedo' make a new suit for Michael Phelps at World Championships? - Mark Foster thinks so!

BBC Sport has quite a rant from Mark Foster.

Mark throws down with the anti-suit crowd and go as far as saying that Michael Phelps will be beat if he doesn't wear a Jaked or a 'Jaked analog.' (How is that for a suit endorsement? I bet the boys at the Jaked factory are loving it since they have now been crown the best suit available.)

Here is what Mark had to say:

"..."Michael Phelps is the best swimmer in the world but someone wearing a Jaked suit will beat him if he's using a Speedo suit - they are that effective." [...]

"Phelps is sponsored by Speedo and won't be able to wear this Jaked suit. Speedo will have to make a new suit for him."..."


Other predictions about a FINA backlash are made by Australian, Performance Director, Michael Scott as well but quite frankly and quite honestly: the Australians were so very pro-Speedo LZR before they started getting their asses handed to them by swimmers wearing better suits.

Names like Anuary Leveaux, Alain Bernard, Frederick Bousquet, Cesar Cielo...

So, now that the advantage is not in Speedo's favor; and you know Australian Swimming is "owned" by Speedo, these athletes and coaches become "purists" or whatever adjective they shoose that makes them sound with rhetorical embellishment as the good guys.

So, here is my prediction: If we go back to briefs, jammers and one-piece suits, swimming will shrink due to boredom, lack of meet sponsorship capital, and lower payouts to athletes.

The A7 Tracer Revealed at the TYR website!

I saw the A7 at the TYR 2009 Swim Meet of Champions and but I thought is was a Titan. I was very wrong and I should have taken a photo. >.<

What TYR says about the technology: "... TYR has continued to improve upon its proprietary “zoned compression” model of performance suits. The A7 securely locks muscles in, providing precise compression where muscle fatigue can form during exertion, while also allowing range of movement throughout the torso, hips and knees with the BioMark III neoprene. The suit caters to a swimmer’s range of movement while addressing muscle oxygenation, and energy return. ..."


There is information about the dual fabrics they use and two other innovations in regards to "core panel", and a "neck panel" to provide more comfort.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I missed posting this shot of Peter Marshall at the TYR Swim Meet of Champions!

Note how his feet are out of the water. Great streamline position too but as for shaving down for an early summer meet? That's not the way he rolls?

Mark Savage took the photo: [Link]

Thank you Maly for uploading this Frederica Pellegrini WR in the 400 Free! - Federica almost broke 4:00!

Here is a link to Maly's YouTube channel and you must bookmark it! [Link]

Maly sends us news that Britta Steffen set a new WR in the 100-LCM Free

I had criticized Britta Steffen's comment regarding the suit she wore at German Nationals where she stated: "this material can destroy the sport of swimming." I countered with a comment that she only swam .42 seconds off her personal best and only .03 faster than the former WR held by Libby Trickett in the event.

Her world record of early last week was a 52.85 lowering the standard to a 52.82

Maly sent us news that Britta set another WR in the 100-meter-free in a time of 52.56: split 25.30- 27.26. Hence, the suit she wore, the Arena Hydroplane, may had reduce as much as .71 seconds off her personal best time in Beijing 53.12. (Read as possible and not definitive.)

From The Straits Times [Link]

I will say that this is a significant drop!

Dawn Fraiser went form a 1:02 to a 58.9 in her swimming career

Shane Gould went from a 59.9 to a 58.5

Kornelia Ender from East Germany during the 1970's droped her WR times by more than 3-seconds and her teammates dropped another second after that but the conditions are more than just suspicious.

However, with that said, the new suits are not dropping times that significantly.

If you look at Jenny Thompson's record in 1992 where the materials for suits were lycra and polyester, her WR time was a 54.48 Now moving forward to From Inge de Bruijin to Britta Steffen in 2006 the WR dropped from 53.80 to 53.30 or a full .50 seconds in a six six years.

When the suits appear in March 08, the times drop a total of .71 - I really don't think that a .71 drop is destroying the sport of swimming when you look at the girls who are setting these records.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Britta Stefen's WR in the 100 free and her suit comment soon thereafter!

Britta Steffen set a new WR in the 100-LCM free in a time of 52.85 at German Nationals. (Congratulations, Britta, the SCAQ Blog likes you. :-)

Soon thereafter she commented that the suit material her new Adidas Hydrofoil suit was made of would destroy the sport.

She had surpassed Libby Trickett's former WR by 3/100ths-of-a-second which is a really a small margin. Actually, it practically a tie.

I was recently beat during a 200-SCY freestyle relay that I was leading off in by SCAQ teammate, Dan Leonard, who beat me by 3-100ths-of-second as well.

I looked over at him like a bad boy as our hands were reaching for the wall and he beat me by only half-a-finger length. So over a 100-LCM race, Steffen, was half-a-finger-length faster than Tricket or simply just .42-seconds faster than her WR in Beijing before Trickett snatched it.

I don't see that sort of a time drop as a sure sign that the sport of swimming is going up in flames.

Since FINA is being so incompetent, Perhaps the athletes at large should just vote instead of the know-bests at FINA?

Let's have age-group swimmers, college swimmers, and here is a thought, let's have women swimmers vote too since not one woman had a say in the speedsuit votes in the first place. (Masters get to wear whatever we want. ;-P )

Reference to Britta's WR and comment, CBSsports.ca: [Link]

TYR swimmer, Amaury Leveaux, is probably the reason why TYR is ready to go to war with FINA.

Amaury Leveaux is threatening to boycott 2009 FINA World Championships in ROME. He feels that certain suit manufacturers have been denied the right to use the same material that their competitors use.

From Swim News:

"...Leveaux describes FINA's U-turn on its May 19 decision to ban all 100% polyurethane suits "completely incomprehensible ... on the limits of incompetence". He failed to understand how it was possible for FINA to accept an unmodified Jaked01 while other 100% poly suits had to be modified. "They started a process but they don't know where they're going."

From the TYR Press Release Iposted earlier today:

"...This revised ruling prevents our athletes from having access to our comparable technologies that TYR has developed and are similar, or the same, to those approved by others. Not only does this create an unlevel playing field, it also presents the possibility of athletes choosing not to compete in international competition until there is clarity. This would be an unfortunate detriment to our sport. ..."

Leveaux wants to wear the TYR Titan; simple as that. Phot author: Jmex60

TYR responds to FINA suit list - Play fair or we will pursue legal action!

This was just sent to just me minutes ago:

"... HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA – June 25, 2009 – Based upon the declaration issued by the FINA Executive on June 22, 2009, TYR is content with the inclusion of 37 swimsuits on the official “FINA 2009 Revised List of Approved Swimsuits.”

Among these technologies immediately available for use are Tracer Light, Tracer Rise, Tracer A7, Fusion, and Sayonara. We are looking forward to their success at the upcoming World Championships in Rome.

However, TYR has had additional suits rejected by FINA that consisted of similar fabrics and are engineered similarly to those by other manufacturers that received approval. These suits from TYR were submitted specifically to maintain fairness to our athletes on the possibility that those definitive technologies were approved. TYR was not provided any reasoning from FINA, or testing results, as to why our technologies of equal development were not approved while others were passed based upon no modifications (as previously requested from FINA).

Our understanding now is that certain manufacturer’s were allowed the ability to “submit arguments” defending their suits. This does not comply with the Dubai Charter which distinctively asserted “FINA has established its own independent control/testing program.” Why has the burden now been placed upon the manufacturer to persuade FINA when they have already secured their own protocol?

TYR has continuously followed the guidelines set forth by FINA, as well as, the spirit intended by the “Dubai Charter” established in March. The Charter stated that, “FINA brings together athletes from around the world to compete on equal conditions,” but at this time it is simply not the case. TYR, our athletes, our federations, and our coaches are being placed at a disadvantage for our compliance.

In the interests of our athletes and federations, our counsel has formally requested, from FINA, the testing results of those specific manufacturer’s suits and the testing results of the similar TYR suits that were not approved.

This revised ruling prevents our athletes from having access to our comparable technologies that TYR has developed and are similar, or the same, to those approved by others. Not only does this create an unlevel playing field, it also presents the possibility of athletes choosing not to compete in international competition until there is clarity. This would be an unfortunate detriment to our sport.

FINA claimed, in the Dubai Charter, that the Bureau would “revise the requirements for swimsuit approval with the aim of making them more clear, simple and transparent.” They have failed measurably in this regard.

Again, in the best interest of the sport, and for the basis of clarification on FINA’s own guidelines, TYR has requested a response from FINA by Friday, June 26th. If sufficient correspondence has not been met, TYR will pursue appropriate legal remedy at that time. ..."

My take: WHOA!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I have been studying Kierin racing as a template for a swim pro-league

Keirin is essentially a sport where cyclists sprint for victory within a velodrome. Betting is allowed and in a single year the Japanese bet as much as $15-billion dollars.

Think of it as a horse race with jockeys on bicycles.

If a pro league could raise just 1% of that capital throughout an entire season one could host 10-events with $1.5-million-dollar-budget. This excludes television rights. spectators and sponsorships.

In an average race; just one race, an average of $84,000 is wagered. In a big race, $840,000.

I am really beginning to believe that a professional swim league is not just possible, but extraordinarily profitable.

So much has to be done in the planning stages to get this right!

TYR contributes to 'A Chance for Children Foundation'

Found at the TYR website:

"... TYR, [along with other contributors, met with] the Today Show to kick off its annual 'Lend a Hand' goodwill road trip by surprising 'A Chance for Children Foundation' with more than $420,000 in donations. ..."


Russian swimmer, Anastasia Zueva, may lose another world record due to a technicality!

From Lane 9 News:

PHOENIX, Arizona, June 24. SOMETHING that was missed in the initial world record ratification report from FINA released earlier this week is that Russia's Anastasia Zueva could actually wind up losing a third potential world-record performance, according to various reports.


In my opinion the Russian Swim Federation and her coaches failed her. They should have been right on top of this from the moment the horn went off to the moment she left the building.

The photos above come from i-swimmer in Russia and the whole page has many more photos of Anastasia and statistical info as well.


"Quis custodiet, ipsos custodes" - Who watches the watchmen?

Well, in FINA's case it could be Roland Schoeman but Roland would rather have it be we the swimmers!

This whole suit mess with FINA truly began when the suit selection process post Dubai was proven to be rigged.

This has become FINA's "Hurricane Katrina" and they have demonstrated in so many ways that they don't know what they are doing.

South African Olympian, Roland Schoeman feels "our" custodians at FINA need a custodian themselves. Roalnd feels that the particular custodian or watchman FINA needs should simply be us!

Glenn Mills sent this from Roland's FaceBook page:

FINA have until now exerted far too much control on the world of swimming. We as swimmers and the major attraction behind any national/international swim meet need to finally stand together and unite as one voice so that we can help control our sport.

Day in and day out decisions are being made for us by FINA, it is clear that our international representatives sitting on FINA's board are unable to make a significant impact and aid us.

I am trying to establish a swimmers association where we will gain back some power in the world of swimming. That we will have a greater say in matters of significance.

If you feel strongly about this please join this group. If not then feel free not to.

This is only a first step, after the group is established and we have enough support we can look at officially starting an association and getting further legal assistance.

-- Roland Schoeman

My take: Roland is not asking to replace FINA but rather make a lobbying group and/or a "watchdog" who, when witnessing incompetence in progress, can use its political will, voting power where applicable, and/or phone calls to sponsors or those who oversee the NGBs what they actually think about perceived incompetence or unethical behavior.

I am going to keep an eye on this since we as swimmers have no representation whatsoever over where swimming is heading. Note that it is the age-group parents, the swimmers at large, and the suit companies that give FINA as much as 2-million dollars per month to exist in the first place.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

'Professional Swim League' things to do list: Get a mission statement

I haven't forgotten about the Pro-League! We need one! The suit companies need one and I have been going all over creation talking to people regarding what they would like to see and how it should be produced. I am even looking into funding sources.

Funny thing is, everybody I talk to says, go see Mel Stewart! I will write him tomorrow.

First thing we need is a mission statement that is a true rallying point! Now, since I am not the center of infinity, I would like to get contributions from those of you interested and I will post them with your permission. Then, when one is worked out, I want to start a wiki page where all of us that want to contribute will find a way to make this happen. We will break into teams etc. , etc..

Here is an example of a mission statement:

On projects, there is, or should be, a “”. Such a “rallying point” could be related to achieving the central objective of the project. One project, years ago, which is quoted quite often, is the project that the United States undertook - at the direction of President John F. Kennedy - to land a man on the moon [and return him to earth safely]. The simple act of landing a man on the moon was the single, clear, stated objective – or “rallying point”. Whether it is some sort of mission statement or truly an objective, there does need to be a “rallying point” for a project that is, beyond any shadow of a doubt, the shared goal of the team.

I will throw in the first idea but I am sure your ideas will be grander and more exciting: Create a professional team league that is overwhelmingly inspiring to watch, is tremendously suspenseful, and is an absolute visual spectacle on a wide-screen TV!

Using my mission statement as an example, a team or teams can break it down and work backwards as to how to create it.

As for funding sources, I am looking at Japanese Keirin Cycling which is a cross between horse racing and cycling. Instead of betting on horses, the fans bet on cyclists and with a "horse in the race, " the fans go nuts.

I am not a fan of gambling but they actually have vast numbers of people watching poorly dressed people playing poker on ESPN!

Though the "talent" involved are as charismatic as parking lot attendants at 3:00 AM in the morning, ESPN is making mad bank off of them. Swimming needs to tap into that easy-money, game-show ploy as well. It would also raise capital for the swimmers.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Why the suits must stay! (Editorial)

1) Never in the history of swimming have there been so many multinational rivalries - the playing field has been leveled

2) Never in the history of swimming have there been as many televised swimming events both on cable and on the web

3) We have more than two major players now sponsoring meets and open water events - Speedsuit revenue generated these sponsorships

4) This isn't your grandpa's swimming any more and they have this new thingy called "goggles" too

5) Two words: snappy dressers! Just look at that handsome devil above taking flight in his manly TYR Tracer Light modesty suit!

2009 TYR Swim Meet of Champions: My favorite race of the day, Chloe Sutton in the 1500-meter Free

Yes, Chloe Sutton is that beautiful, she is that strong and she is that gracious in victory.

Watching Chloe Sutton swim the 1500-meter free is a very unique experience. She is extraordinarily smooth and has a kick pattern that intrigued me. I did not notice it till she was 200 meters into the race. Here is what she does:

When she she is 15-to-20-meters from the wall, she begins a 6-beat kick; off her turn she continues kicking for the same 15-to-20-meters till he legs go soft and she adopts a two beat kick for the middle 10-to-20-meters of the pool. Then when she is 15-to-20-meters from the wall, the 6-beat kick turns on. That middle section is almost like a "rest-period."

She did this lap-after-lap.

Chloe was well received by the crowd.

Mark Savage took the photos above and I thank him very much. If you want to to post these photos on your blog, you may on the condition that you link to his sites:

[Link] MarkSavage.com

[Link] 95dollarheadshots.com

Kendyl Stewart goes "RAWR" at the 'TYR Swim Meet of Champions'

Kendyl Stewart is 14-years old and can swim faster than you; she also has a fan base. After swimming and winning in the 100-meter 'fly, four girls, about half her height, eagerly surrounded her and made her sign their kick-boards and swim caps. And get this, she didn't charge them $20 nor made them stand in line.

It was an extraordinarily nice thing to see. She is certainly a more worthwhile "idol" than Miley Cyrus or Chace Crawford.

Mark Savage took the photos above and I thank him very much. If you want to to post these photos on your blog, you may on the condition that you link to his sites:

[Link] MarkSavage.com

[Link] 95dollarheadshots.com

Why FINA changed it's mind regarding speedsuits!

Suit makers like Diana, Jaked, blueseventy, TYR and many others were rattled both ethically and financially by FINA's "approved suit list." None of the above manufacturers violated any stated rule within the context of the "FINA Dubai charter" yet each manufacturer was denied access to the market and consequently had their products labeled as "tech-dope" and other nasty names by "respected" journalists which has hurt their brands.

One American coach connected to FINA accused the newer suit makers; and we know which suit makers he meant, of only being in it for the "quick buck." When people in position of authority say these unwarranted comments, it hurts swimming and these sort of comments hurt manufacturers.

blueseventy decided to be the point for the industry and summarily went toe-to-toe with FINA in a nice "friendly meeting."

Here is a snippet from the press release and then I will translate:

This decision means that swimmers are free to wear them at the forthcoming World Championships in Rome, and all other competitions, at all levels around the world.

[blueseventy CEO], Steve Nicholls, commented: “We were confident in the scientific evidence that our suit could not trap air and are grateful for the support of Huub Touissant of the University of Amsterdam in presenting our case to FINA. We felt strongly that we would not need to make any alterations to it and we’re delighted that the right decision has been made without any form of bias.
“The last few weeks have certainly hurt us, with minimal sales in the period of not being on the list. However, we have been continuing with production to ensure availability for when the decision was reversed.

(Translation: We took the time and expense to fly our CEO from New Zealand to Luasanne, Switzerland, to explain our case both ethically and financially as to why it the FINA ban was bad for swimming and the manufacturers at large.

To blueseventy customers: Buy that blueseventy, you have at least a year-and-a-half with it and perhaps longer once FINA sees how good suits are for the sport.)

We now look forward to the World Championships, where we will have suits available for any swimmers wanting to try them out. We have been in continuous communication with swimmers throughout this period and this announcement now confirms their suit choice for Rome. They can now continue their preparation without this distraction.

"Prior to the latest announcement by FINA, blueseventy had consulted Lawyers to get an injunction against the decision. On consultation with FINA they encouraged us to instead go through their own review process which we have done." Nicholls added.
(We came to the meeting with a big stick and written on the stick were the words "class action lawsuit.)

Rebecca Soni takes flight, then storms, than graciously wins the 100 breast at the TYR Swim Meet of Champions

I attended to the TYR Swim Meet of Champions yesterday and I was really pleased with what I saw. There is a lot of talent here on the west coast and I will I will post more images throughout the day. For now here are some fantastic images that my SCAQ friend Mark Savage took for us.

Above are three photos of world record holder Rebecca Soni at the 2009 TYR Swim Meet of Championsin. Note that Rebecca Soni is the World Record holder in the 200 breast and in these photos you can see her take flight, storm and glow after winning the 100 breast.

If Rebecca Soni is in your town for a swim meet, it's worth the long drive to go see her swim. (Glenn Mills, we need a video.)

The way she approaches the breaststroke is very unique. She has a very fast turnover, she stays very close to the surface, and I see no undulation whatsoever. Almost an old school style of breaststroke

She was a very gracious winner; on the podium she looked to her left telling the swimmer that she did a good, then to the right doing like wise but when she was handed her yellow roses, she started to glow. Just look at that smile. :-D

Mark Savage took the photos above and I thank him very much. If you want to to post these photos on your blog, you may on the condition that you link to his sites:

[Link] MarkSavage.com

[Link] 95dollarheadshots.com

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Could this happen to Swimming: "Formula one racing teams drop breakaway bombshell!"

Formula one racing has a lot in common with swimming as of late. The governing body for their sport, much like our sport, wants to dampen new technology and play favorites.

For instance: The F1 governing body has determined that each team should have a budget cap so smaller teams can compete. USA Swimming is using a similar excuse about age-group kids who "can't afford" speedsuits.

The F1 people have also instituted technology bans that include "winglets" and other air-trapping devices which enhance the car by directing air-flow. This is the equivalent of our speedsuit fabrics.

Consequently the F1 teams are getting pissed off about all this governing body nonsense and want to take F1 to the next level and move the sport forward and use the parts they want.

Example: Imagine if you were told which pair of goggles or cap you had to wear? Well, the F1 governing body does just that to drivers in the form of a mandated ECU gearbox giving one company a monopoly.

What will FINA tell us in the next couple of days?

From the BBC:

"...Eight of F1's major teams have been frustrated by deadlocked talks with world motorsport boss Max Mosley over his controversial budget cap proposals.

"The teams have declined to alter their original conditional entries to the 2010 F1 Championship," said the teams.

"We've no alternative than to commence preparation for a new championship."

Mosley was insistent on introducing a voluntary £40m budget cap for teams to curtail a "financial arms race" in F1...."


Could this happen to swimming whereas suit companies like TYR, Diana, Jaked, and blueseventy create a pro league that has an external governing body way outside of FINA's jurisdiction?

All they need is a TV contract and several ,regional sub-meets where kids, masters, pros et al. compete to qualify in a pro-league championship in a suit that the league deems legal.

Think about it, swimmers just might make some money too.

I hope so!

Above is the recently banned TYR Titan...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I woke up to this email message: "listen live to a world record open water swimming attempt by Ryan Lochte, Ian Crocker and Neil Walker!"

Steve Munatones dropped me a line this morning regarding the The Flowers Sea Swim which takes place in the Cayman Islands.

Per his post at 10KSimmer: "...Ryan Lochte and other Olympics gold medalists) are attempting to break the men's and women's world record for a one-mile open water swim, but the event is also giving away US$30,000 if the record is broken. ..."

You will be able to listen to the race via live radio coverage as well. Here are the details: [Link]

Monday, June 15, 2009

'USA Swimming' to check swimsuits in the ready room at Nationals to make sure they are Speedo FINA approved!

It's my belief that USA Swimming is nothing short of a marketing arm for Speedo. Look at how they do business: No other suit company can advertise in USA Swimming's Splash Magazine nor can they advertise on the USA Swimming website unless their name is Speedo. They have even airbrushed logo of competing brands and were forced to abolish the practice when caught.

Then there is Mark Schubert, but enough about that nonsense. I can wait to post his deposition on the blog. I am working on getting Peter Marshall's.

As a result both companies are being so sued and I hear even more collaborating evidence is pouring in to support TYR's lawsuit claims against them.

So now we have this from AP news. USA Swimming will be checking the athletes swimsuits at Nationals.

"... Inspectors will check athletes of their same gender. Three people will be in charge of the ready room — a member of FINA's technical committee, a high-ranking USA Swimming meet official, and Jan-Anders Manson of Switzerland, who led the testing on suits for FINA.

Phelps' coach, Bob Bowman, doesn't anticipate the inspections being a problem.

"They're not going to have to examine them that closely," he said during last weekend's Santa Clara International Grand Prix meet. ..."


[paragraph deleted]

USA Swimming and FINA are hurting the sport of swimming! They should go look at how golf is played as an example regarding how to do business with the athletes.

A mass swim from Taiwan to China will take place on August 15th!

The above photo illustrates how serious the tensions are between Taiwan and China. This swim is good vehicle for both sides to talk to each other I guess.

To keep this post politically fair, I got two news sources regarding this epic 8.5-kilometer swim, the first comes from the eTaiwan News:
"... Lee said at a news conference that 50 swimmers from Taiwan will join 50 swimmers from China in the Fujian Province port city of Xiamen in southeastern China Aug. 15 to embark on the historic swim across the Taiwan Strait to Hsiao Kinmen - a small islet west of Kinmen - an 8.5-km swim that is expected to take several hours.

The swim, which is being sponsored by the Kinmen county government and the Xiamen city government, will begin from Xiamen's Yefengzhai Beach and finish on Hsiao Kinmen's Shuangkou Beach, Lee said...."


And now from the China Post:
"... KINMEN -- Kinmen County Magistrate Lee Chu-feng said yesterday he wants to meet the defense minister to help solve problems related to a mass swim planned for August from the Taiwan-held island county to the nearby Chinese city of Xiamen.

Lee said he will invite Lt. Gen. Lu Hsiao-rung, chief of the Kinmen Command, to travel with him to Taipei to meet with Minister of National Defense Chen Chao-min and seek the minister's support in clearing up Kinmen's beaches to facilitate the swim.

Lu was not available for comment on Lee's invitation. ..."


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Katie Hoff: The SCAQ Blog is worried about your swimming!

To be blunt, you use to dominate the field but now this is no longer happening. You have to take immediate action because talent like yours does not evaporate at such a young age.

[... deleted ...]

Memo to Katie Hoff:
  1. Takes two weeks off and rest!
  2. Go to the doctor and get a blood panel and get any necessary tests done on any specific painful areas!
  3. If you morale is abnormally low or you feel a bit of irrational angst or upset - go see someone!
  4. Evaluate your coaching by the way of the pace clock. Are you getting better, worse, or staying the same? All those intervals and set times are logged. go look at them.
  5. If any of the above reads, "FAIL", consider Australia since they have a track record when it comes to coaching women.
  6. Finally, send an anonymous note to the SCAQ Blog informing us of your plans
It is so painful to this blogger to see someone as talented as Katie Hoff, bog, bonk and DNA in the standings. (Did not advance)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A swimming video game or a computer animation?

There was no description, just a 100-meter breaststroke video. I like the close-up on the guy who wins.


Here is a nice retrospective on Richard Quick!

I appreciate all the swimmers he contributed to such as Rowdy Gaines, Misty Hyman, Dara Torres, Gabrielle Rose, and some first rate coaches as well. I hope his family is taken care of?


Craig Lord has revised his article, '...Elite or Master' providing more clarification regarding our use of speedsuits!

The revisions definitely clarify his points and assertions much better and as a result the article clearly illustrates how he arrived at his conclusions and brings us closer to what sort of suits Masters swimmers can wear.

He also addresses the quote "cut the cancer out:"

UPDATE: Correspondence received by SwimNews suggests that some doubt that the story below carries official weight and is somehow made up, just as some suggested that when the director of FINA said that the "cancer" would be cut out of the pool SwimNews somehow misquoted him. Let's make it clear: I have the reference to cancer on a tape in three places (yes, three), the quote was reported by three national news organisations present on the day. As for masters and suits, here is the first line of an e-mail response from FINA:


You got to go to the link to find out the answer he received but I will give a hint: I am not complaining!

Apparently FINA threw him "under the bus" with their quote "clarification" and the way they have been runnibg the show lately, you know that is something they would do.

Above is Chris B. about to swim the 100 IM and the photo was taken by Mark Savage.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Master Rob knows "swim-fu" - An open letter to Craig Lord!

Hey, I just found out that Craig Lord does not approve of speedsuits! - Who knew? ;-) [That was sarcasm as they say.]

Rob of Robaquatics has written an open letter to Craig Lord, but let me tell you a little about Rob first: Now, here is a guy who Craig Lord would describe as being in a "...minority [who] take it very seriously indeed and vanity, disposable income and time-on-[his]-hands all play a part..."

Well, that shows Rob and his little dog too, huh?

This is a snippet of his open letter to Craig clarifying his "vanity":

"... I could go on and on, but here is the basic point to my little rant... Masters is a vibrant organization that has thousands of swimmers that are focused on swimming fast because they love it, not because they're vain or have some kind of secret tech suit spreading agenda. If you really have strong feelings for the sport of swimming you wouldn't attack an organization that provides opportunities for people to extend their love affair with swimming into their 90's and beyond. Also don't flame bait our community just for traffic. The article today is going to cause even more confusion and speculation around the suit issue that we don't need.


Memo to Craig Lord: will you please measure your words and actually provide a source reference to what you write about!

It is being reported that masters swimmers will be allowed to wear speedsuits in competition!

From Steve at the blueseventy blog:

For further information please see the DSV document that confirms the legal use of blueseventy nero swimskins. We would like to say thank you to the Master Swimmers Halle (Germany) for their substantial support. ..."


From Craig Lord at SwimNews who surprised me with a condescending view towards the average masters swimmer and a surprising view of the elite masters swimmer who strives to set records:

SwimNews does not cover masters swimming. It is the equivalent of the fun marathon, in which level playing fields are very relative indeed. The purpose is fun, fitness, health and skills for life. Most approach it in that spirit. A minority take it very seriously indeed and vanity, disposable income and time-on-their-hands all play a part. [...]

Meanwhile, FINA has washed its hands of caring about fairness and other factors in masters swimming. That much is clear from the following response to the clarification sought by SwimNews: "The rules do not apply to Masters. ..."


As far as I am concerned, Rowdy Gaines seems pretty serious about Masters Swimming and he seems to care about "fairness and other factors" besides vanity.

Why Craig Lord wants to degrade masters swimming and a good portion of his readers who are masters swimmers is beyond me.

FINA is not recognizing that if swim suit manufacturers are forced to sell only jammers and briefs, they will sustain low profits at both the age-group and collegiate levels and high profits at the Masters level or beyond.

I suspect the profit potential for a suit manufacturer who is selling a $25 pair of jammers or briefs is a paltry $6.00 or so. In contrast, I suspect the profit potential for a $450 speedsuit is around $125.00 or 21-times the profit margin on a pair of briefs.

Look at it this way: Selling one speedsuit to a masters swimmer is possibly the economic equivalent of selling 21-jammers or briefs to a small college team.

Hence, why would any suit manufacturer support FINA swim events so as to sell a suit that will only bring in $6.00 to $10.00 a unit when they can support dozens-upon-dozens of masters swimming events for a lower promotional fee and sell suits for a profit potential of $125.00 each?

That is stepping backwards for swimming! FINA is apparently not that good at "looking around corners" so to speak.

The potential for a pro-league and suit manufacturers heavily supporting Masters is not out of the question or simply conjecture. blueseventy supports the USMS and I will stress that high-end suits may generate the capital needed to make a pro-league possible.

Therefore, I wonder if swimsuit manufacturers disenfranchised with swimsuit rulings may build one someday thereby bringing us two governing bodies?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

WANTED: A photo of Gwen Stefani swimming 'fly in high school!

Hey, girls in the O.C.! - Did you go to school with Gwen Stefani?

Stefani was a swimmer in high school and her event was the butterfly. Posting a shot of Gwen Stefani on this blog, or any other blog, swimming 'fly would be as big a contribution to the world of swimming than anything Dara Torres or Michael Phelps has ever accomplished.

I hate to say that but it is true in this celebrity obsessed society. Plus, she looks terrific both now and then.

I found this high school photo of Gwen Stefani here: [Link]

For Heroes Only: The Ja Jolla Rough Water Swim!

Ever had a weekend so bad that you can't wait to go work on Monday?


With all that said, there were two things that kept me somewhat functional this weekend: The first one was that I am lucky enough to have a job to go to on Monday in a city that has an 11% unemployment rate. (In some towns in Los Angeles, County, it's like 20%.)

The second thing is that there is always a SCAQ pool somewhere in and around Los Angeles, CA, where I can jump into and suddenly nothing matters but keeping track of the sets and the interval. But in those rare occasions when there isn't a SCAQ pool because of holidays, schedules or what have you, There is always the ocean or an open water race nearby.

Above are remarkable photos of the La Jolla Rough Water Swim which is a 2.5 hour drive south from L.A.. I have never swam in this race but several SCAQ swimmers do and they all seem to do really well there.

This is probably the finest open water swim in California and if you want a perfect place to race, you can't beat La Jolla.

La Jolla hasn't changed in 50-years and the place reminds me of the fictitious Bay City in a Raymond Chandler novel. If you took those pretentious cars off the street which are ironically European, you would think you were back in the 1940's.

The last photo in the set is of Dan Leonard chillin' post the event in his b70. He placed very well in 2008. He provided me with these amazing photographs and when I first saw them I thought he had a helicopter chasing him.

For info on the La Jolla Rough Water swim go check out their website: [Link]

Friday, June 05, 2009

Redemption for Eddie Freas: replacing an unhealthy addiction with a better one!

CNN brings us a story about athletic redemption: Eddie Freas, a raging alcoholic addicted to both pot and cocaine as well hit bottom after a three-day binge.

While lamenting his situation in tears, he did what most losers do, he turns on the TV to "Oz-out" the hangover. Luckily enough the channel was set to ESPN who was doing a story on a guy named Todd Crandell who liked doing this fringe sport called the triathlon. Doing this sport also got him off drugs.

In fact, this particular sport got Crandell who had a drug problem like Freas, completely off drugs. From CNN:

"His whole story seemed like mine," Freas said. "That's why it hit me so much. It was my story but it happened to somebody else. I knew I had to get back into fitness."

He took a bus to Racing for Recovery's office in Sylvania, Ohio. There, Freas said he learned to "stay clean and use other things -- fitness, instead of drugs." On his first day, Freas pushed himself to run 10 miles.

"It killed me," Freas said. "I was just motivated. I was sore for a week and I gradually got into it. As soon as I started including fitness into my everyday lifestyle, it made it so much easier. It kept me busy and because of the physical fitness, it was making me feel better about myself."

He pushed himself to run farther and raced in his first Ironman competition in 2008.


Of course CNN has to wreck it and states that exercise has antidepressant effects hence his recvovery but I think they miss the obvious. Isn't "having fun" an antidepressant?

OK, a show of hands: Who did a triathlon after seeing Julie Moss crawl accross the finish line in the 1981 Ironman Triathlon on Wild World of Sports.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Underwater photographer, Ric Frazier, captures more than just swimming!

Swim photography is all about timing and composition; Ric Frazier is extraordinary at both. When I went to his site, I was impressed with the clarity, color saturation and his sense of composition in his photographs. The images I posted above are just a small sampling of his work; the rest of it certainly is just as attention grabbing and "yummy."

I wrote Ric and asked him about his work and how he approaches it. His answer explains everything.

"... My approach is that I when I shoot underwater I need a concept to be there. A reason to be in the water. I don't just to put someone underwater to be underwater. I also love the lines and shapes that pools provide. I fell in love with pool from skateboarding in them since I was 14 year old (38, now) Their shapes, lines and how every pool is different. When I started shooting underwater, the water element added so much more graphical complexity for me. ..."


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

From the 'Telegraph' - 'bluseventy' will launch legal action against FINA in the Swiss courts!

From the Telegraph.co.uk: "...Ten swimsuits were rejected while 136, including 11 Blueseventy designs, were deemed to require modifications. Manufacturers were given 30 days to make the necessary changes.

But Blueseventy insists it has been left in the dark about what modifications need to be carried out, despite repeated requests to FINA for clarification.

Blueseventy's designs were classified as suits that "may cause significant air trapping when worn by the swimmers", despite apparently passing FINA's thickness and buoyancy tests. ..."

After witnessing how USA Swimming conducts their business and how FINA conducts theirs, I am convinced that swimming our national governing bodies need a auditing done by the IOC and/or their respective governments.

Something as simple as swimsuits at the age-group level and beyond has turned into a "Hurricane Katrina-like" debacle swallowing up age-groupers, college swimmers, Olympians and Masters Swimmers, and even FINA officials in it's path.


Monday, June 01, 2009

Here are some hot, rhetorical, quotes regarding "speedsuits!"

Again, histrionic and fearful rhetoric about "speedsuits." The purists below certainly don't want us moving forward do they.

"At Junior Nationals, I announced that it would be illegal to wear the suit. ..."

""From the standpoint of a swim- wear distributor, we are going to sit back, wait and see. If the suit gets FINA approval, we'll put forth our best effort to come out with a competitive version. ..."

If the suit gets FINA approval, we'll put forth our best effort to come out with a competitive version. ..."

This came from a Swimming World article circa 1979. These quotes are nearly a third-of-century old and the coaches quoted above felt that swimming was at a crossroads. So, when you read this Swimming World article realize that the suits pictured above were the lastest word in swimsuit technology:


The photo above came from PaulW's photstream at Flickr. What are those things made out of, Linen?:


'Universal Sports' has a swim gallery up called "Beneath the Surface"

I was thinking of flopping this photo of Natalie Coughlin. From that perspective it looks even more amazing. Here is a link to a very impressive photo gallery at Universal Sports: [Link]

Oh, heck why not have some fun! I flopped and duplicated the image to make this rare species of butterfly, the Coughlin Butterfly!