Friday, July 31, 2009

FINA material guidlines are out! - It actually is biased towards woman!

FINA guidelines have been release and per the guidelines I selected to comment upon, female swimmers will essentially sacrifice less speed-wise than the men and suffer no loss in modesty. The boys however will wear briefs and jammers.

Picture if you will the female version of the
TYR Sayonara Shortjohn Swimskin above with no zipper and a textile fabric and there you have it: A de facto shortjohn speedsuit for woman.

Surface covered: Men swimsuit shall not extend above the navel nor below the knee and for women shall not cover the neck or extend past the shoulders nor shall extend below the knee.

Variety of materials: Different materials may be used in one swimsuit provided they are textile fabrics as defined above and they comply with all other criteria including notably thickness and permeability (measures to apply to total layers). Combination of materials shall further not create outstanding shape(s) or structure(s). Layered materials must be completely attached/bound/stuck together except where required to protect sensitive parts ("privacy layers").

[...]

Construction
: No zippers or other fastening system is allowed. Seams shall be limited to functional systems and shall not create outside shapes.

[Link]

For womens' suits I foresee swimsuit companies choosing a fabric for the core area that is more constrictive than the breast& shoulder area and then choosing another fabric all together for the back area to aid in buoyancy and compression.

Then picture a small entry opening which the female slides into thus giving them an ad hoc shortjohn without a zipper. Voilà - Woman get to wear a speedsuit!

Boys, on the other hand will lose more speed than the woman and there will be no modesty avenues to explore whatsoever. It's briefs and Jammers; just the way Schubert, Bowman and Speedo probably wanted it.

If someone tells the truth, are they mouthing off? - Milorad Cavic gives his honest assesment of Michael Phelps and Speedo!

These are Cavic's quotes leading up to the 100-fly showdown between he and Phelps tomorow and his opinions are quite compelling!

Also, the article is filled with who and what Mark Schubert is to Speedo and what he tried to do before these Championships.

So, is Cavic mouthing off or is every word he is saying true? From AP:

“If Mike wants an Arena, he just has to say it,” Cavic said. “If he wants a Jaked and they don’t want to give it to him free, I’ll buy it for him. He has options. I think in the media it’s been portrayed that he has no option, he has to swim for (Speedo). It’s a complete lie.”

“I know he’s making a lot of money from Speedo,” Cavic said. “It’s loyalty. But throughout all my experiences, I’ve learned this—free will is a gift with a price tag, and whatever you choose to do you’re going to pay, but how much you’re going to pay is really dependent on you.”

“I think there’s three options for Michael,” Cavic said. “The first option is to use the suit that he’s wearing, the second option is to get one of these (polyurethane) suits, which I guarantee Arena will provide him within the hour, as soon as he wants. The third option would actually be a dream of mine, to have the whole final everybody swimming in briefs. I swear to God, this is it, this is what I want, but this is the most unrealistic of all scenarios.”

“Last year at the height of the suit controversy, Mark Schubert said, ‘Do you want the money or do you want the win?”’ Cavic said. “Michael Phelps has plenty of money. Who knows what it is? I think it’s just loyalty and he’s very gracious for everything Speedo has done for him.”

[Link]

I am rooting for Cavic and his suit comapny!

All my swimmer friends are smarter than me! - Of course that's not much of a challenge!


John Q. and I chatting on Yahoo about the recent FINA ruling and how it applies to the USMS and I like his take!

We are FINA and we welcome you to "Absurdistan!" - briefs and jammers for men only on January 1, 2010!

[UPDATED] to include Speedo slam!

The press conference ended 10-minutes ago and FINA made a declaration that is is back to jammers and briefs for men; women get the advantage of short johns with no compression.

From AP:

ROME — Swimming's governing body has set a firm date of Jan. 1 for banning record-breaking bodysuits, which should remove the threat of a Michael Phelps boycott.

Earlier this week, FINA announced the ban but said it might not take effect until April or May — three or four months later than expected.

FINA moved up that timetable Friday after Phelps' coach, Bob Bowman, threatened to pull his swimmer from international competition until the suits are banned.

[Link]


FINA stated they spoke with swimsuit manufacturers and they are on board, when asked who they were, FINA refused to name names. I called blueseventy and they categorically stated that they were not warned nor spoken to. I am calling TYR to see if they were alerted.

It's is just amazing how much power Speedo has. They could not win in the pool so through their paid surrogates, Michael Phelps and Bob Bowman, who threw a school yard tantrum thereby degrading Paul Biedermann's win, have now potentially crushed all rival swimsuit companies. TYR, Arena, Adidas, Jaked have now lost millions of dollars cumulatively in R&D and tooling.

What a coincidence that Speedo simply did not bring an updated speedsuit to market for the 2009 FINA World Championships and subsequently allowed their athletes to swim in what they wanted.

"The fix was in" as Tony Soprano would say. Speedo knew that speedsuits were done several months before this day!

FINA to make statement today at 5:00 PM - which is in 15-minutes Pacific time

The rumor is that suits are banned NOW instead of January.

I am amazed at how powerful Speedo is. Bowman makes a threat, he effects all of swimming.

ROME — Swimming's governing body has set a firm date of Jan. 1 for banning record-breaking bodysuits, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Friday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement by FINA had not been made.

The move comes after a threat from Michael Phelps' coach to pull his swimmer from competition until the suits are banned.


Rumor from CBC: [Link]

Rowdy Gaines interviewed - Not one media outlet asked him about Phelps!



Rowdy Gaines spoke with the Today Show three times, USA Today and they were not interested in hearing about Michael Phelps. They wanted to now about these really cool suits were wear.

Also, before I get any more anonymous comments calling me: "WITCH, WITCH, WITCH, Burn him!" These 2009 Fina World Championships have been all about the suit because both the athletes and FINA have made it about the suit.

Here is a direct link to the video for a higher resolution version: [Link]

Thursday, July 30, 2009

'Jaked USA' store just went live

The price in American dollars is slightly less than the Euro price. It would be ironic if Europeans purchased their Jaked suits from the American store. [Link]

Maly from Fance is so good to us: Camera view solely on Alain Bernard's 100 free!



You can subscribe to her YouTube channel and see all sorts of swim related videos with some American pop-culture stuff as well.

[Link]

Hail Cesar! - "Veni, Vidi, Vici, the 100 free!"

Veni, Vidi, Vici - "I came I saw, I conquered!"

Julius Ceasar uttered those words to the Roman Senate after a glorious Roman battle had been won but what a battle the French put up trying to claim the victory against Cesar Cielo in the 100-meter free!

Brazil's Cesar Cielo claims the world record in the 100-free wearing an approved speedsuit.

Eamon Sullivan's former WR, the one that Alain Bernard broke in an unapproved speedsuit, was surpassed as well.

From Swimming World:

Cielo scorched the pool with a 46.91 to break the official world record of 47.05 set by Eamon Sullivan at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Cielo also bettered the 46.94 set by Alain Bernard in an unapproved suit back in April.

Bernard checked in with a silver-winning time of 47.12, while teammate Fred Bousquet took bronze in 47.25.

[Link]

As you know, I am currently quite cross with those commonwealth swimmers and USA coaches who, with their condescending rhetoric regarding speedsuits, have degraded the swim talent of those swimmers wearing what they perceived to be better suits.

Hence it is my belief that their sponsor, Speedo, "gamed" FINA to change the rules in 2010 in their particular favor. Consequently, I am loving this victory!

AP had this to say:

Bernard came in as the favorite, having become the first man to break 47 seconds with his time of 46.94 in Montpellier in April.

But that time was never ratified as a world record because he swam in an unapproved suit.

Cielo left no doubt, however, who was fastest as he was three-hundredths of a second under Bernard's best.

[Link]


Since this will be the "last supper" for speedsuits, I think the brand names that contributed to these victories are part of the story. :-P

Cielo was wearing Arena!

Is Federica Pellegrini the greatest Italian athlete ever? - I think so!


The only other athlete I know who exuded this much confidence and then went on to deliver is Muhammad Ali. From Universal Sports who licensed it from Reuters:

ROME (Reuters) -- Federica Pellegrini said she was the greatest Italian athlete ever after winning the 200-meter freestyle at the world swimming championships on Tuesday in a world-record time, her 10th overall.

Pellegrini, 20, clocked in at 1 minute, 52.98 seconds in winning the 200, breaking her own world record. She also was the first woman to break four minutes in the 400 when she won in 3:59.15 on Sunday.

[...] When asked if she was the greatest Italian athlete. ..."

"With today's world record, I've had 10 world records before I'm 21. I've won an Olympic gold medal, two world championship gold medals here. So, I think so," she told a news conference.

[Link]

Her dialog reminds me of an exchange between Lucky Liu and Uma Thurma in the movie Kill Bill. This dialog exchange is at 1:29.00 into the timeline for this Kill Bill Trailer: [Link]

And then this after qualifying for the 4x200 relay. From ANSA.it:

(ANSA) - Rome, July 30 - Italian double world gold medallist Federica Pellegrini is fired up for Thursday night's 4x200m freestyle relay but says her teammates must do a lot more after they scraped into the final.

''I did my bit to get us into the final,'' said Pellegrini, who anchored the relay heat in one minute 54.95 seconds as Italy came home in the eighth-fastest time.

''Of course I'm happy to be in the final but we're not going to get anywhere like this,'' Pellegrini fumed.

''I understand they may have tightened up...but we've been training like hell all year and we can't make such a sorry show''.

[Link]

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Welcome to 2009 - Technology in sports versus technology in swimming!


[UPDATED] Per Ted's suggestion regarding my choice of bicycles

Pictured above: Introducing the Nike LunarGlide+ :

LunarLite Foam
Nike first introduced LunarLite foam in the summer of 2008 in Beijing as the mid-sole cushioning system of the Nike LunaRacer and Nike Lunar Trainer running shoes and in the Nike Hyperdunk basketball shoe. Traditional cushioning systems only absorb energy upon impact while LunarLite foam has proven to provide superior cushioning and significant energy return.

When compared to swimming, that last sentence is the moral equal of alleged buoyancy in swimming. Energy return from a shoe makes your run easier plain and simple.

A "purist" from two centuries ago could argue that running barefoot is better for track & field since high-tech shoes make it easier for the "lesser athletes" to win.

Track & Field still adopted technology from rubber shoes to rubber tracks to draw interest to the sport and look how it grew.

Why should swimming be any different?

Here are some examples of other individual sports. Below are two bicycles, one competed in the tour de France in 1939, the other is a prototype:



Above and to the left is a bicycle ridden in the 1939 Tour de France called the Super Champion, a technological achievement due to the fact it had a derailleur so as to allow the rider to ride through the hills more effectively by choosing his gearing.

The 2009 NUIIA, designed by Bradford Wangh, is all about efficiency and reduced weight. The Super Champion on the left probably weighed as much as 35-pounds versus the potential 9-pound NUIIA on the right.

This efficiency again makes the NUIIA The bicycle to the right is Lance Armstrong's time trial bike. It is made of composite materials, aerodynamic angles and "down-bars" for better body position. It is my belief that Lance's bike is the moral equal to alleged buoyancy in swimming due to it's reduced weight and more efficient drive train.The art of peddling becomes easier.

Cycling moved into the future and the Tour de France is an epic battle between men and not machines. Yes, there are discussions regarding equipment but it is Eddy Merckx, Lance Armstrong, and Miguel Indurain who are discussed not their equipment.

The FS range of rackets uses 7000 series aluminium, a graphite reinforced throat. They are 'honker' big when compared to the vintage model.

Can you say Serena Williams? Do you know what equipment she uses? I don't and I am not asking what racket she uses when she plays, are you?

With her strength, coordination and a racket in her hand like that, she is both beauty and the beast and her games rock!

The lighter frame and enlarged area allows Serena to drill that ball with all her strength, Hence, a player of today is not a stylist but rather an athlete.

The weight reduction and larger contact area is once again the moral equal to alleged buoyancy in swimming.


Above is the TYR Titan made with the same style of fabric that the blueseventy and RocketScience suits are made from. It was banned under very mysterious circumstances. I have to leave it at that.

So unlike running, cycling, and swimming. Swimming under FINA is destined to embrace an "Amish existence" in regards to growth, technology and fun!

That must change!

'blueseventy' CEO Steve Nicholls and Rowdy Gaines are upset with FINA and state the obvious!

After reading my post regarding the FINA materials specification for 2010, my friend and attorney, John Quinn, said it best: "Textiles have been around for a 1000-years and FINA can't even come up with a definition of what they are, Pathetic."

Steve Nicholls and Rowdy Gaines are just as mystified!

blueseventy committed to swimming

blueseventy has confirmed it is fully committed to a long term involvement to swimming, following the FINA announcement yesterday, Tuesday 28th July, that swimmers must return to more traditional suits from next year.

However, the date of the change over is yet to be defined, and manufactures remain in the dark about the exact definition of textile suits. Permeability will be a key issue as swimmers return to shorts (above the knee and up to the navel) for men and suits from the knee to the neck for women, with no zips.

Ceo, Steve Nicholls said: “We’ve been amazed at the way in which we've been supported by swimmers and the swimming fraternity, and are committed to returning that support through a long term swimming program. While we accept there is a need for change, we still have major concerns over the nature of the changes, in particular, we don’t understand why there is no parity between male and female swimmers, in terms of coverage, and we’re frustrated that definitive guidelines on fabrics will not be available until the end of September.”

“The commercial implications of this decision should not be overlooked. Our technical direction and design plans hinge on the types of fabrics that will be permitted. We know suits can only be 0.8mm thick, but we'd prefer to have more details in order to design the best possible suit that swimmers will want to wear. However, the limited time period for development will suit a brand like us that is able to move quickly."

Three-time Olympic Champion Rowdy Gaines is concerned that yesterday’s announcement will be detrimental to the sport. “I think the bodysuit is great for the sport. It gets the average person to talk about our sport and it gets people involved who maybe would not have done so. People love to see fast swimming.”

He added: “Many other sports are greatly influenced by technology, everything from motor racing to golf and tennis. I fear that young age group swimmers will be lost to the sport because they can’t achieve the times they have done previously in a bodysuit. I also worry that casual fans will fade away when there’s no longer a frenzy of world records.”

As well as having a loyal following amongst pool swimmers, blueseventy was the first brand to design a suit specifically for open water racing. The Nero 10k suit was worn by Olympic Champion, Maarten vd Weijden in Beijing last year and by medal winners in World Championships events last week. All versions of the blueseventy swimskin were approved even before the Speedo LZR racer and have been in wide circulation ever since.

Steve Nicholls added: “There’s an argument that open water suits should fall under separate guidelines. Open water swimming is the sports newest Olympic discipline and swimmers and coaches need to have a voice in shaping its development, including the type of swimwear that is to be allowed. It is also undertaken in a variety of different conditions, and just from a safety perspective one could argue that different applications of these rules could apply.”

Mary DeScenza sets a WR in the 200-meter Fly! - Do you think she's stoked?

I swam a 200-meter 'fly last weekend at a meet and it was harder than running a 10k at a race pace.

The stroke is not the hardest part, it's those 'thingys' called oxygen-deprivation and searing pain that sort of get in the way.

I actually did pretty good, the paramedics were able to resuscitate me right there on the deck!

Mary DeScenza wearing a Jaked with a faded out logo sets a WR in the 200 'fly.

From Universal Sports:

Her time Wednesday in the 200 fly — about three seconds faster than she had ever gone before, 2:07.13, and that was just earlier this month.

Descenza remains one of the great college swimmers of all time. She graduated three years ago from the University of Georgia as one of only two women in history to win the 200 fly all four years at the NCAA championships. The other: Mary T. Meagher.

Descenza did not, however, make the Olympic team in either 2004 or 2008; she finished fourth in the 200 fly at the 2004 Trials, fourth again at the 2008 Trials in both the 200 fly and 200 backstroke.

“It’s hard to have that disappointment and obviously not making the Olympic team is one of the big disappointments of my career,” she said.

This season, Descenza won the $20,000 prize — it amounts to best swimmer over a series of meets — at the USA Swimming Grand Prize Series. “I work hard and I try to be a good person,” she said.

[Link]
Wearing a TYR cap and Velocity metalized goggles, Mary DeScenza switched to the polyurethane Jaked in self-defense. TYR had sued to get their polyurethane suit to market but was thwarted by FINA despite that the TYR suit is made of the same materials the Jaked is.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

FINA will take as long as two months to define what the definition of a textile is for suit manufacturers!

FINA posted these suit guidelines some time ago and I am only getting to it now:

MATERIAL – The material of the swimsuits will definitively be constituted only by textile fabric(s). The definition of “textile” will be made by a group of scientific experts chosen by FINA and led by Prof. Jan-Anders Manson, from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne (SUI). This definition will be available to manufacturers by no later than September 30, 2009. The first definition of “textile” to be further confirmed by this group is: “Material consisting of, natural and/or synthetic, individual and non consolidated yarns used to constitute a fabric by weaving, knitting, and/or braiding.”
SHAPE – For men, the swimsuit shall not extend above the navel nor below the knee, and for women, shall not cover the neck, extend past the shoulder, nor extend below knee. Furthermore, no zippers or other fastening system is allowed.

TESTS – Only measurable scientific tests will be performed within the frame of the swimwear approval procedure. For thickness, the 1mm limit will be adjusted to 0.8mm, for buoyancy the present value of 1 Newton will be reduced to 0.5 (FINA will even consider the limit of 0 Newton), and for permeability the material(s) used must have at any point a value of more than 80l/m2/second. Permeability values are measured on material with a standard multi directional stretch of 25%. These parameters will be further considered by the above mentioned scientific group.
The above test is conducted by blowing air through the speedsuit material that is stretched; Lycra allows 100s of liters of air to pass through; I am uncertain about other materials.

The suit shape favors the women more than the men. Any mens world records set today will last for at least a generation or more. Janet Evans WR in the 400 stood for 19 years. Laure Manaudou took it out wearing a speedsuit. It would have lasted another 10-years at least if Manaudou had to wear the same garment Evans wore.

I suspect FINA will simply throw out the current world records and pretend they never happened once interest in swimming degrades. I do suspect it will.

I don't mean to be cynical but here is how I arrived at my opinion: Do we really believe that more than 2 or 3 players will survive these change of events?

With fewer suit players selling $30 swimsuits with a profit margin of say $10, will any of these players have the money to pay 7-figure incomes to athletes?

Solutions: I am liking this talk of a pro-league. For instance: Who does the US Olympic Committee go to when they want to select a basketball team? They go to the NBA! I don't think USA Swimming would like that very much and I don't think FINA would like it when the IOC came to an international pro-league and asked them for new and innovative ways to conduct a race.

The suit manufacturers should consider putting up $200,000 each and run a pro event the same day FINA SCM Championships are going off.

Is FINA Sexist? - What if FINA said female swimmers have to wear bikinis and male swimmers can wear short-johns or briefs!


Why do women get the advantage of modesty and compression?

To be honest, I am dropping the "sexist bomb" just to be persnickety and illustrative on how poorly FINA thinks their decisions through.

From Voice of America:

Executive director Cornel Marculescu said Tuesday the FINA Bureau upheld last week's decision by the general congress to put new regulations in place by May of 2010. Male swimmers will be restricted to suits that go from the waist to the top of the knees, while women's suits cannot go past the shoulders or beyond the knees.

[Link]

FINA is the moral equivalent of the Red Queen in the Lewis Carrol book, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. From Wikipedia:

Despite the frequency of death sentences, it would appear few people are actually beheaded. The King of Hearts quietly pardons many of his subjects when the Queen is not looking. ... and her soldiers humor her but do not carry out her orders. The Gryphon tells Alice that "It's all her fancy: they never executes nobody, you know." Nevertheless, all creatures in Wonderland fear the Queen. ..."

[Link]


In the illustration above, Alice represents the swimmers who truly run the show and both the Red and White Queen who are asleep and unaware of what is going on.

Ironically, speedsuits won't be abolished till Speedo starts winning in them. Trust me!

Bob Bowman makes a grand threat to FINA and greatly embarasses USA Swimming!

Amanda said...

OMG, this is getting even more dramatic.

Michael Phelps' coach has threatened to withhold the swimmer from international meets until FINA bans high-tech bodysuits.

Told of the possible delay, Phelps' coach, Bob Bowman, said FINA better "do something or they're going to lose their guy who fills these seats."

Phelps: "My coach sets my schedule."


NO, Mr. Phelps, you are the CEO of your career - This nonsense confirmed by AP:

ROME — Michael Phelps' coach has threatened to withhold the swimmer from international meets until FINA bans high-tech bodysuits.

Swimming's governing body, FINA, upheld a decision Tuesday to outlaw the suits next year, although the ban might not take effect until April or May — three or four months later than expected.

Told of the possible delay, Phelps' coach, Bob Bowman, said FINA better "do something or they're going to lose their guy who fills these seats."

Boy, is my face red and I am so embarrassed by Bowman's arrogance.

He actually threatened FINA and the health of USA Swimming's international win-column!

Michael Phelps being so ill advised and now American swimming has a new "Ugly American" and his name is Bob Bowman.

Paging, Katie Hoff, white courtesy telephone please?

Michael Phelps keeps his word - Speedo now needs speedsuits more than ever!

Note to Michael Phelps: I respect you more now than I ever have for you are the greatest pro-swimmer ever. You the greatest not because you lost today, but that you kept your word despite the consequences. Both your moral and ethical integrity were more important than a win and that is commendable. You will own that record once again!

Mr. Paul Biedermann and Ms. Britta Steffen, thank you! You just saved the speedsuit.

From the Baltimore Sun:

Shockingly, it was Olympic swim star Michael Phelps who was left in Biedermann's powerful wake today at the World Championships at the Foro Italico sports complex. Biedermann, of Germany, not only beat Phelps in a convincing manner, but he took away Phelps' world record in the 200-meter freestyle.

Biedermann went 1 minute 42 seconds, and Phelps was second in 1:43.22. Last summer, Phelps won this race in a world-record 1:42.96 at the Olympics in Beijing and Biedermann was sixth in 1:46.

[Link]


Britta Steffen set her world in the 100 free wearing an Adidas Hydrofoil; Paul Biedermann beat our very best, Michael Phelps, wearing an Adidas as well. Dara Torres is now wearing an Adidas and now records are falling further.

Speedo will now be forced to lobby hard to get speedsuits legal again because if speedsuits are indeed outlawed, Speedo may never hold another world record for at least a generation. That's right, 30-years!

How ironic that Speedo will now be the ally of those that want the suits like myself.

Rowdy twitters new FINA compromise

Rowdy Gaines is credible: "..This just in...FINA has ruled that shoulders to knees for men and women will be allowed (vs original ruling of jammers)..textile only."

My take: FINA is so fickle that both the NCAA and the USMS should not do a thing suit wise till 2011 till this organization can gets in ducks in a row.

[Link]

Phelps reaction to Biedermann's 200 LCM record in the 'New York Times' does not match his quote in the 'Washington Post!'

My teammate, John Quinn, sent this article which actually states: "... But he is wearing Speedo’s LZR Racer, which some people say is the swimming equivalent of a jockey racing with extra weight. ..."

Bowman includes his own rants and subtly degrades Paul Biedermann's talent by alluding to his suit as a result of his new found talent. At least that is how I read it.

But what caught my attention was this Phelps quote:

“.. What’d he go?” Phelps asked.

A German reporter relayed Biedermann’s time.

“A 1:43?” Phelps asked.

His jaw tightened. In the 200 freestyle final at the Beijing Olympics last year, Phelps lowered his world record to 1:42.96; Biedermann finished fifth in 1:46.00. “He’s dropped a lot of time,” Phelps said edgily. “He’s having a good meet, a good year. Tomorrow’s going to be a good race. ...”

[Link]
In the Washington Post he was quoted as saying:

[...] "What did he go?" Phelps, officially distracted, asked eagerly. "He go 1:43?"

"He just dropped a lot of time," Phelps volunteered, almost talking to himself. "You usually don't see a six-second drop in the 400 free in a year. In the 200 free, he dropped about three seconds in a year. . . . It will get me more excited, more ready for tomorrow. I'm going to have to, I guess, really prepare myself. ..."

[Link]


Why the disparity? We go from "His jaw tightened" to "Phelps, officially distracted, asked eagerly. "He go 1:43?..."

The NY Times adds resentment, the Washington Post adds competitive spirit. Take your pick as to what Michael Phelps really thought.

2009 FINA World Championships: Germany's Paul Biedermann is "mad fast" in the 200 free during prelims!

I like German swimmer, Paul Biedermann's, catch and turnover. Are the suits encouraging a new technique where it is all about brute strength and technique rather than one's heart and lungs?

Photograph and caption for the image to the right comes from the Washington Post: "...Germany's Paul Biedermann, swimming in a 200-meter freestyle heat, breaks Michael Phelps's mark in the event, finishing in 1 minute 43.65 seconds. ..."

Phelps reaction:

"...Phelps was giving an interview when he heard the meet announcer bellow, "championships record!"

He spun toward a nearby television screen.

[...] "What did he go?" Phelps, officially distracted, asked eagerly. "He go 1:43?"

"He just dropped a lot of time," Phelps volunteered, almost talking to himself. "You usually don't see a six-second drop in the 400 free in a year. In the 200 free, he dropped about three seconds in a year. . . . It will get me more excited, more ready for tomorrow. I'm going to have to, I guess, really prepare myself. ..."

[Link]


Phelps' comment is really refreshing to me. If it were Eamon Sullivan or Rebecca Adlington you might have heard a suit rant!

Monday, July 27, 2009

It's official: Libby Trickett thinks the LZR SUCKS!


Libby Trickett did not wear the LZR despite promises to do so - She wore an X-Glide, From Swimming World:

The women's 400 free relay started with a preview to the women's 100 free final where Libby Trickett faced off against Britta Steffen. Trickett wore a high-tech suit (despite being vocal about her wanting to swim in a LZR) to not disappoint the team. 52.22 was the time clocked by Steffen, which was a lead off, new world record, and also now the fastest split in history (again, this is a lead off). Coupled with a 52.37 surprising split by Daniela Schrieber, Germany took silver ahead of the Australians and the Americans.

[Link]
From the Sydney Morning Herald:

Trickett said her coach Grant Stoelwinder convinced her not to let teammates down and wear a new generation suit, but insists she will be loyal when it comes to her individual races even if it costs her a medal.

"I am very much a loyal Speedo supporter and I am still a contracted Speedo athlete," said Trickett.

"Sometimes you have to do things you may not necessarily want to, to try and do the best job for the team that you possibly can and I was greatly encouraged to do that.

... "It was a very, very difficult decision, and I hope Speedo understands because I'm just trying to do my bit in supporting the team as best I can. ..."

[Link]


And supporting the team meant not wearing an ineffectual swimsuit!

Libby, I think you did it for yourself and not the "team." I am impressed by your coach for 'falling on his sword" and taking the blame for your decision but let's see what you wear in the individual events.

Ultimately, you wore the best suit and the LZR was not it for it ranked well below the Hydrofoil, X-Glide, Jaked 01, blueseventy, The TYR A7 and many others.

I am going to have a measured response soon regarding the new FINA rule that Speedo surrogates "gamed" into our sport and I promise my response will have nothing to do with torches and pitch forks!

The photo above comes from an the Courier Mail and the author actually writes this with a straight face:

"... IT was Libby Trickett's loyalty to her country that broke her commitment to her long-term sponsor Speedo on the opening night of the world championships in Rome. ..."

[Link]

Nicole Jeffrey use to be my favorite swim coverage writer; however, that has changed. Both her articles and Craig Lord's hourly rants regarding the "suit crisis" were simply the fine art of manufacturing consent so as to ban them. Subsequently, they literally "stunk up the place."

So, they both get the SCAQ Blog Death Penalty: I will never link to Nicole Jeffrey nor reference Craig Lord ever again till they apologize for their editorials disguised as journalism so as to promote their "Amish values" in regards to swimsuit technology.

Link regarding the Amish points of views regarding technology and family here at About.com: [Link]

Federica Pellegrini is to swimming what Miles Davis was to jazz: The 'Birth of Cool' , baby!


Federica Pellegrini was wearing a different kind of "speedsuit at the 2009 FINA World Championships! "From Swimming World:

"... dressed in black, with sunglasses, [She was wearing Armani] and bodyguards, Pellegrini exited in front of a crowd of spectators in a Maserati in divaesque fashion. ..." [Armani is taking swimmers very seriously from Therese Alshammar to Federica Pellegrini.]

[Link] and this link from fashion and runway: [Link]

Ciao Ciao, baby!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Erik Hochstein featured in this week's SCAQ masthead!

Erik Hochstein sets two WRs for his age group this past weekend at the LCM Regional and Zone Championships in both the 400 free and the 100 free.

His time in the 400 long-course-meter (LCM) free was a blistering 4:06.74. His time in the 100 LCM was a scorching 52:10.

Scorching and blistering! How do you like those adjectives? Do I sound Swimming World! ;-)

Also Note, through inspiring leadership and working very hard with us, SCAQ dominated the meet!

As homage to his achievements, he is the featured swimmer this week.

Photo was taken by Mark Savage and his work and prices are located: [Here] & [Here]

Erik Hochstein sets another WR in the 100 LCM Freestyle

Another Masters Swimming WR for Erik Hochstein: 100 free LCM: 52.10

[Link]

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Eik Hochstein World Record at the Conejo Simi Aquatics LCM Regional and Zone Championships

This is the biggest swim meet I have ever been too. If you count the relay participants and there will be about 400 swimmers at this meet. The pool is fast and the weather is fantastic. More than half were wearing speedsuits yesterday.

Erik Hochstein set a world record in his age group for the 400-free LCM in a time of 4.06. .. I was the lap counter and I could not see the decimals places for his time.

I swam the 1500 for a few laughs and set a personal best and I "only" have 13 more events to go if you include the relays.

Here is a link to a live web cast: at LiveSwim.com: [Link]

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Suit choices of the top 3 competitors in the 10k Open Water Race!


Suit choices of the top 3 competitors in the 10k Open Water Race!

Amanda Weir swims her sprints in a TYR A7 and Fran Crippen just earned himself a bronze in the 10k open water portion at the FINA World Championships wearing one as well.

(It was a pretty messy decision to determine third and so I should not be talking about the race specifics but Steve Munatones can: [Link] )

Andrew Gemmell claimed the silver in a blueseventy NERO which has been proven to be the de facto standard for masters in both distance, middle distance, and sprints.

I am presuming that Thomas Lurz was wearing an Adidas when he claimed the gold but so little is known about Adidas in America...

So what have we learned about this? Despite massive budgets from power-houses like Speedo and Nike, the cream is rising to the top and the Speedo LZR isn't floating very well. Sure it is doing pretty good in the pool but it is now demonstrable that we have speedsuit manufacturers who are making swimsuits you can wear in any event and be fast and not have to worry about suit failures.

That to me is extraordinarily compelling.

What a coincidence it is that FINA politicians are right now being lobbied to return swimmers to both briefs and onesies!

Innovation like this can't and won't be suppressed. If FINA closes the door on speedsuits, I predict a second governing body will arise in the form of a 'Pro-League' and the last thing FINA would want is a second governing body making even more money than they do. Example: Gambling on 'keirin' or cycling racing in Japan generates $15 billion annually.

If a pro league was able to generate only one-tenth of that amount who do you think the IOC is goiong to take more seriously when it comes to sending a "dream team"?

With proper planning, revenue streams through gambling, which I have been looking into, let Alan Thompson and Mark Schubert can have their "wear briefs or go to jail rules" and everybody else can have fun.

I think mixing open water racing and pool racing like horse racing mixes turf and track would make for a dynamic sport to watch.

The Thomas Lurz photo came from this AP article nicely detailing the race: [Link]

The photo f Fran Crippen and Andrew Gemmell come to us from the Miami Herald who covers it in detail as well: [Link]

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Incoming FINA President rumored to favort a return to briefs!

From USA Today: Incoming FINA President rumored to favor briefs over speedsuits:

But FINA doesn't appear ready to budge.

"A swimsuit is not a device. A swimsuit is equipment," FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu told The AP. "They can propose whatever they want, we are in a democratic world, but a device is clearly defined in the rules."

But with the rules changing from month to month, manufacturers have been left guessing.

"I still don't know what rules to use starting in September. If the rules change for January, we need four months of time for redesigns," Arena's Musciacchio said.

Making matters more complicated is that Julio Maglione of Uruguay will take over from Mustapha Larfaoui as FINA's president on Friday.

Maglione is rumored to favor a return to briefs.

"I'm hope it's more than a rumor," Zimmer said. "The new president is going to have to clean house. That's really the only way that this can happen. And I don't just say that for us. We know that Arena is very upset, Speedo has got to be really upset about what's happening, just because we've all invested a lot of money.

[Link]

In my opinion, it's not going to happen for if FINA does not approve speedsuits, the suit companies will find someone, or create a sports governing body that will.

'Yellow Submarine' , Art Director and Illustrator, Heinz Edelmann, has passed away!


From AP:
STUTTGART, Germany (AP) — Graphic designer Heinz Edelmann, best known for his work as art director of the 1968 Beatles film "Yellow Submarine," has died, his former employer said. He was '75.

[Link]

When I was child I was electrified by the Yellow Submarine for four reasons. One: It was a cartoon that took place underwater. Two: It had really cool sea monsters in it, Three: The art was bold and experimental and I could copy it and contribute to it in my own way. Four: It was Beatles.

If there wasn't a Heinz Edelmann, the pop-art nouveau of the 1970's would have never of happened.

The Eleanor Rigby sequence was not my favorite sequence but what they accomplished with so little technology inspired many motion graphics artists today.

All the bumpers you see on Comedy Central where 2d art is placed in 3d space is an example. This trailer is an example:


USA Today Article: Dara hurt Speedo's feelings! - Schubert wants asteriks! - Swimming keeps growing!


Dara Torres grew up in a 22-room mansion; like she needs Speedo's money. Trust me, whatever suit she wears, that is the one she believes in. Dara wants to win:

"... At the U.S. championships, Torres strained her relationship with sponsor Speedo by donning a Jaked for the 50 free final, which she won. Speedo's senior vice president of marketing, Craig Brommers, would not comment on the ramifications of Torres' decision, citing contractual privacy.

[Didn't they say it was okay? --Tony]

"It's just a very uncomfortable situation," says Torres, who was undecided on what she will wear for worlds when the team left for a training camp in Italy. "I just needed to try a different suit to see what everyone was wearing and how I felt in it." ..."

But then there is Schubert evangelizing his new position about speedsuits:

U.S. national team coach Mark Schubert calls world records set since the start of 2008, when Speedo introduced its LZR, "artificially aided." He would like them to include an asterisk or be kept on a separate list, then erased when they are broken by someone not wearing a controversial suit.

[Link]


Logically, how does a person like Schubert who hard sold athletes to wear a LZR or face losing out on a gold medal in Beijing suddenly find "religion" and state with a straight face or without frothing at the mouth that speedsuits are "...forces of evil in a Bozo nightmare?" -- (Beck from the song: Loser)

Bill Lee, the North American manager for Speedo : "...These suits are gross...!"


More hot rhetoric about speedsuits but this time from Sports Illustrated rather than the Commonwealth press:
"These suits are gross!"... His outrage is now academic. Gross or not, the skinsuit is available through Mrs. Rothhammer, and competing firms have moved fast to copy it

[One Olympian] "... clipped more than five seconds off the American record in the 500-yard freestyle. "I feel the suits are not indecent as long as everybody wears them,"

[Still more rhetoric] "...The suit sticks to me, and there's a lot less drag because water doesn't get down the front." Later she conceded, "This may be more psychological than physical; I always think I'm going to win when I wear it."

In both cases the skinsuits incorporated the first major changes in competitive swim-wear design in 13 years, and swimmers wearing them are setting records with regularity.
Arena has now comes up with a new fabric that is practically see-through:
"... Arena feared that a solid color might unsettle women wearers. Indeed, the tricolor pattern makes the suit seem opaque. Arena calls its mystery fabric Elastomere and claims it is different from the other stretchy materials. Elastomere feels like silky tissue paper because it is woven with a fine elastic thread rather than knitted as the other skinsuit fabrics are. Putting on the Arena suit has been likened to "slipping into a sheer silk stocking. ..."
There there is this classic comment:
"...The U.S. girls who have worn the skinsuits are enthusiastic about them. Their comments range from "All I could feel was my kick," to "When I took my first flip-turn, I wanted to reach down and see if I still had my suit on." "It's like sliding through the water," said another. "The body is completely compressed by the suit. I felt no resistance whatsoever." "I don't feel anything at all," said [an Olympian]. "It's just like wearing nothing." ..."
Sports Illustrated: [Link]
Oh, I forgot to mention that this article was forwarded to me by Anonymous within the comments section of: "A deal is a deal" - Libby Trickett will wear the Speedo LZR at Worlds!" post I made recently.

I also forgot to mention that this Sports Illustrated article was written in 1972, more than 1/3-of-a-century ago! - The Olympian with the comments full of "awesomeness and win" is Shirley Babashoff!

I don't know what happened to Bill Lee, the North American manager for Speedo, but I do know his comments were made after Speedo was getting beat in the pool.

It's all just a little bit of history repeating itself isn't it? This time let's shift to the "Bill Lee's of our day"

[Libby Lenton before the Jaked 01, TYR Titan, blueseventy NERO]

"...MULTIPLE Olympic gold medal winner Libby Trickett believes banning the use of hi-tech bodysuits would set the sport "back a decade".

"...I read that in 1972, I think, there were 53 world records broken, and there has been 54 [long course] this year," Trickett said. "What provided that difference that year?

"...I don't think it really makes sense to ban the suits across the board, because then we would be going back over a decade ago to when we were just wearing the togs - and that, to me, would be a reversal in the sport. I don't see why we would want to go back to that time.

[Link]

[Now the change of opinion]

" I don't believe (swimsuit technology) should have gone to that level ever," Trickett said.

"I don't blame the manufacturers, they are there to make money, but FINA should have put their foot down, they shouldn't have sold out and I believe they did sell out.

"Now people are more concerned about what suit they wear than what training they have done. FINA shouldn't have put us in this position."

Speedo's poster-girl said she would willingly return to 2007 swimsuit technology, before the advent of the LZR, which opened the door to the new generation of fast suits, if it would rid the sport of the scourge of polyurethane next year.

"No-one wants to waste a year of training and get beaten by a swimsuit," she said.

[Link]


But the USA still has their very own versions of "Bill Lee" too:
[Mark Schubert before the Jaked 01, TYR Titan, blueseventy NERO]
“My advice to athletes is, ‘You have a black-and-white decision - the money or the gold medal.' And it's going to be a real test of character.

“There is no doubt the suit makes a difference and there is no doubt that there is one manufacturer that's put millions into research while the other manufacturers are more into fashion. Nobody at this level [world-class athletes] can afford to give up 2 per cent. It is not rocket science. ...” -- Mark Schubert

[Link]

[Now the change of opinion]

"It's totally out of control,'' Mark Schubert, USA swimming's national team director, told me by telephone Monday. ``Now we're into speedboat driving.''

"It would be pretty unfair if a record was set in a suit that becomes illegal and was determined to give a decisive competitive [advantage]," Schubert said. ``But the saddest thing is we no longer are able to [compare] generations. Swimming should be about the swimmer, not the suit."

[Link]

With all this said, the best part about it, and I am sure both sides of the argument can agree, swimming is being talked about and people want to see what these suits look like.

The photo above comes from the Geelong Advertiser. The article is entitled: Libby Trickett, Eamon Sullivan the fastest swimmers on earth!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

New SCAQ Masthead!

Chris B. at the 'UCLA Masters Meet' diving in for the 50-Free. His time was a 21.47

Friday, July 17, 2009

Libby Tricket: "A deal is a deal" - Will wear the Speedo LZR at Worlds!

Libby Trickett tried on a "polyurethane" suit and suddenly had an anti-speedsuit epiphany; but why didn't this epiphany occur when she tried on the LZR?

Remember when the LZR came out how times dropped fantastically? Why then was it the swimmer and not the suit?

Why then was a suit not a weapon?

With Schubert, Thompson, and now Trickett who have seemingly seen a "burning bush" once their employer started getting spanked in the pool by lesser capitalized but more innovative companies, the same talking points are repeated over and over by those athletes in Speedo employ.

From Nicole Jeffrey in the Australian:

" I don't believe (swimsuit technology) should have gone to that level ever," Trickett said.

"I don't blame the manufacturers, they are there to make money, but FINA should have put their foot down, they shouldn't have sold out and I believe they did sell out.

"Now people are more concerned about what suit they wear than what training they have done. FINA shouldn't have put us in this position."

Speedo's poster-girl said she would willingly return to 2007 swimsuit technology, before the advent of the LZR, which opened the door to the new generation of fast suits, if it would rid the sport of the scourge of polyurethane next year.

"No-one wants to waste a year of training and get beaten by a swimsuit," she said.

[Link]


My take: Then wear the best suit - the suits are free for you and there are several manufacturers making polyurethane and Chloroprene suits: TYR, blueseventy, Arena, Jaked, FINIS, Rocket Science on ad infinitum.

Actually when you think about it, it's just Speedo that is not trying to make a better polyurethane suit for that is what the panels on the LZR are, they are polyurethane.

Look, this is 2009. Everything has evolved from clothes, to automobiles to sports. The polyurethane suits are as thin as Lycra, which was thinner than nylon, which was thinner than wool.

Lycra was once a weapon, poly-lycra folowed, then Teflon-coated poly-lycra, etc...etc... Would these swimmers utter the same content if they were employed by the suits they fear?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pellegrini! She is the girl with the Midas touch!


It's official, I am learning French and Italian! - BTW, Federica, when you come to America, sign up with CAA as your talent agent and IMG as your modeling agency.

Boy, you are going to make "mad phat bank."

From Poole Swimming Club Masters blog who compares a famous James Bond scene in Gold Finger to the Pellegrini shoot:

"... Signora Pellegrini has now unveiled what she hopes will be her secret weapon and has at the same time added to the controversy over what type of high-tech bodysuits should be permitted in competitive swimming.

[...]

More photos of Federica's birthday suit can be found here. In some photos she appears to be deliberately goading Rebecca Adlington, who is well known for being a shoe obsessive, by wearing a pair of 6-inch heeled Jimmy Choos. ..."

[Link]

Jaked Pronounciation: 'Jaked' rythmes with 'Naked!'

Jaked USA responds to my blog post in a cool way:

Hello Tony,

The rights have not yet been secured. We plan to meet with Giuliano Leone, Jaked’s Sales and Product Director, in Rome at the upcoming World Championships.

Among Americans, Jaked is most commonly pronounced as if it rhymes with "naked." Among Italians, the “a” in Jaked is pronounced “awe”. Jah-ked.

Thanks for the blog post!

[Link]

'JakedUSA.com' is Online! - Will sell suits at the end of July!


From the Jaked USA website:

Hello swimming community. Finally, JakedUSA.com is online and ready to distribute Jaked technical swimwear en masse in the United States.

Currently, our administrators are negotiating with the Italian company regarding the pricing of the suits. Jaked sells full body J01’s (neck to ankle) to Italians for 372 euros, which is approximately 515 dollars. The kneeskin is 336 euros, or about 465 dollars. The aforementioned prices apply to both men’s and women’s suits. We are doing our best to keep prices as low as possible (hopefully under $500) for this new technology.

More updates coming soon.


Good news but I am worried about this sentence: "...our administrators are negotiating with the Italian company regarding the pricing of the suits." This makes me feel that the distribution process is not fully carved in stone yet. I am writing the company to confirm.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mark Savage on Dara Torres remarkable success: "It's the suit, stupid!"

"... Mark Savage has left a new comment on your [blog] post: "Showdown in Westwood: 'blueseventy' versus the 'Jaked": ..."

Just some food for thought here - Erik Hochstein was 6% faster with the [Jaked] speed suit than he was without it. What if we generalized and applied this 6% difference to an historical swim?

In 1984, Dara Torres set a world-record in the 50 free with a 25.61. In 2008, wearing a speed suit, she set an American record in the 50 free with a 24.07. The difference in the two times? 6%

My take: Dara had a fortune and plenty of time on her hands to stay elite. Plus with new training methods, nutrition, and stretching, I think Mark posts a really good argument.

Mark Savage is a celebrity photography for Corbis living and working in L.A.. Here is a link to some of his work. [Link]

'Go Swim Freestyle with Jason Lezak' is now available! - I suspect this will be the best selling swim technique video ever!



I have a metric ton of swim DVDs and I find that no matter how good the coaches are that are instructing or how good the swim talent is, what makes a swim technique DVD a valuable resource is how well the swim talent is filmed.

The vast majority of technique DVDs I own generally provide only two points-of-view: Front, and side. If the technique filming is exceptionally generous, they may film from a 3/4-view once in awhile but even that is not the norm.

Glenn Mills knows swimming and he has an eye for capturing it on video. This, Go Swim with Jason Lezak, trailer alone practically covers Jason Lezak, our finest 100-meter swimmer ever, from nearly 360-degree views.

I play the Go Swim: Freestyle with Kara Lynn Joyce video at least every other month and I am looking forward to adding this to my library.

Here is a link to the Go Swim with Jason Lezak page: [Link]


Disclaimer: I receive no payment, gifts, favors, or special access for any review I give and I pay for any product I use.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Vanity Fair Italia: Federica Pellegrini on the Cover Painted in Gold!

[UPDATE] My Italian "correspondent" who swims for the National team tells me Federica Pellegrini is coming to America with her boyfriend, Luca Marin.

Below, in Italian, is the text for the photo with a sketchy English translation beneath it:

Original Text:

Roma, 14 luglio 2009 - Dal 18 al 26 luglio a Roma iniziano i Mondiali di nuoto: Federica Pellegrini, la primatista mondiale dei 200 e 400 stile libero racconta incubi, timori, amori e rancori a 'Vanity Fair' che le dedica la copertina in edicola dal 15 luglio.

Translation:

Rome, 14 July 2009 - From July 18-26 in Rome to begin the World Cup swimming: Federica Pellegrini, the worldwide Primat 200 and 400 freestyle tells about her nightmares, fears, loves and resentments in 'Vanity Fair' that devotes the cover in newsstands July 15.

Steve Munatones of 10K Swim so hooked me up with this link. He is in Rome now: [Link]

Showdown in Westwood: 'blueseventy' versus the 'Jaked' - Erik Hochstein tests & reviews!



Erik just sent me this, I am posting it without reading it first...

The Suit Showdown a Westwood
: Skin vs blueseventy vs Jaked

About the conditions - the Westwood pool is indoors short-course meters without blocks. I did do dives from the pool deck which is about 1 foot above the waterline. The timer did take my time "feet leaving the wall" or a rolling start. I did not want to go from a push because I felt a dive may be a significant part of trying the suits because of the extended underwater. There were 3 other swimmers in the lane - so I did have some waves, but everything fine otherwise.

The Contenders:

Skin has been in the business for 40 years now (at least for me :) ) - skin has been battle tested for decades used to be good enough for all swim meets. Skin can only show it's full potential though once all the hair is removed. Skin HATES all the new contenders for the most part - they represent everything that is wrong with technology and progress.

blueseventy - the new kid on the block is not so new anymore. blueseventy was the new sensation last year. He came out of nowhere and took the country by storm. blueseventy is hip and trendy - he despises anything to do with Speedo and he feels sorry for Skin for being so outdated. My version of the blueseventy is a little older and appears just a little too big right now.

Jaked - the new Italian speedster. Jaked is the Ferrari of swim suits - he fits like an Armani and performs like an Italian sports car. He looks sharp and appears to be the suit of choice for Formula 1 teams (aka top sprinters in the world).

The test:

5x50 Freestyle - 1 Skin, 2 blueseventy and 2 Jaked -- full recovery in between. It took about 5 minutes to get the blueseventy on and about 10 minutes for the Jaked. I did get plenty of rest except for the last 50, since time was running short.

The Showdown:

First swim = Skin = 25.09 -- good start, I have not sprinted all that much, so I would expect a slight improvement on this time for the next few 50s in a regular set.

Second Swim = blueseventy = 24.05 -- "Skin" is in disbelief - how is this possible and how could it be legal.

Third Swim = blueseventy = 23.92 -- "Skin" has left the pool in tears -- Jaked is just waiting for his chance. Jaked is happy to have shown his stuff - he thinks Italians should stick with food rather than speed suits. [LOLz - Tony]

Fourth Swim (after a 10 minute "battle" with the suit) = Jaked = 23.47 -- Jaked wants a check of the timing system. He believes the timer is on the take by the Italian Mafia -- all things Italian must be "connected". The time stands - the swim did not feel all that much different - but 0.45 !!!

5th Swim - not a full recovery = Jaked = 23.80 - felt tired coming home and had to breathe more - even without knowing the time, I would have guessed about 3/10 slower or so.

The Conclusion:

The Jaked has proven to be the winner in the training run -- we will have to wait for race day now....Skin is joining the Craig Lord inquisition movement and Jaked is going back to the drawing board....

Adrian Proszenko of the 'Sydney Morning Herald' and Olympian Craig Stevens review the Arena X-Glide!

[Former Image Deleted]

I blacked out several portions of the article so that I don't violate fair use copyright laws. I could not find the original article online to link to so I am providing a digital copy. If you click on the image, it will enlarge.

When an online version becomes available, I will take the copy down and simply link to it.

Two readers graciously took the time to find the article for me which was very kind.

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

He has agreed to be the guinea pig in The Sun-Herald's experiment. The recently retired freestyler slipped into the latest Arena one-piece, which features a titanium alloy insert in the fabric. If they were available in shops they'd retail for about $1000.

Before diving into the pool of the Sans Souci Leisure Centre, where he is now a head coach, Stevens said he would be happy to post a 50-metre time of about 27 seconds. He was stunned to touch the wall in 25.61s. After a short break, to make sure, he repeated the test in the suit, posting a 25.72.

"To go 25s and then back up and go a second one just a 10th of a second slower, very impressed,'' Stevens said.

[...]

Then it was time for step two of the experiment. After recovering from these exertions, Stevens stripped down to his Speedos and repeated the test. The discrepancy was staggering the times without the suit were about 2.6 seconds slower, while the glide result was more than a metre shorter. Superman had become Clark Kent again.

[Link]

What shocked me was the declaration that the Speedo LZR is obsolete and that the Arena X-Glide, Jaked and blueseventy were practically endorsed by the Sydney Morning Herald as being the best out there.

It's all becoming so clear why TYR is pursuing legal action in French court against FINA for the right to match or better these aforementioned suits.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Amanda Beard is suing 'GoDaddy'



From TMZ:
"... Beard, who used to be the pitchwoman for the site, has filed a lawsuit claiming Godaddy.com unlawfully exploited her name and image on the site without permission -- after the two agreed to part ways. ..."

[Link]
Above is Amanda Beard in a Wild Aid PSA. I actually was going to post a GoDaddy YouTube of her but I was afraid to go there.

Eureka: I found a very thorough review of the Jaked seedsuit!

Zwemsite.nl has a very complete and thorough review of the Jaked swimsuit that all the cool kids are wearing.

Here is a snippet from the review:

"... Our goal was to determine whether the Jaked also works in minioren and juniors on the basis of what we have seen is the answer an unqualified yes. The non-water permeable material which is made Jaked also the youngest swimmer little higher on the water so they are quickly coming. The effect seems to be greatest in butterfly and breaststroke, because the attitude in passing (somewhat diagonally relative to horizontal backstroke and free stroke) there seems to ensure that there is more upward force is created.

When asked how much it saves is no clear answer, which differs greatly per swimmer. But our expectation is that the breaststroke and butterfly 1 to 2 seconds per 50m could, with the effect sometimes can be greater in the slightly less talented swimmers. This group is often naturally deeper in the water and would therefore have benefited more from the uplift of the Jaked. ..."

Here is the link to the English version: [Link]


Editorial: More technical suits means a bigger, better, and a richer sport!


Editorial: Swimming is both a sport and a recreational activity. Swimming is not a religion nor a philosophy.

FINA is not the "Vatican" nor are they our "Confucius."

FINA's sole duty is to steward swimming into the future and not to keep it mired in some forgotten tar pit.

The rules of swimming can change, they are not carved-in-stone on some marble-tablet but rather written down with pencil and paper. These rules are "erasable" and "revisable" so that swimming can change and be as flexible as possible so as to adapt to the changing interests of the competitor and spectator.

If suit rules remain inflexible and revert back to the restrictions of 1975, suit manufacturers will have far fewer profit centers since how much can you charge an athlete for a pair of briefs or jammers versus the variations of the technical suit?

Subsequently, fewer profit centers mean less sponsorship money. A CEO recently told me those very words while sitting in a bar in Lusanne, Switzerland after a FINA meeting.

The oversupply of technical suit makers has made this a great year to be a swimmer.

Talented athletes like Chloe Sutton, Mary DeScenza, Peter Marshall, and best of all, Rowdy Gaines, have energized all venues of American swimming from the age groupers at the local level, the collegiate swimmers, and finally, the masters swimmers.

These deals have demonstrably made our sport bigger as well: On the SPMA.net website, our western zone is boasting over 4000 swimmers now. The biggest number it has ever seen I believe and I attribute this to Dara Torres, Technical innovation and the support form suit manufacturers who write inspiring ads and sponsor both open water events and swim meets.

Jaked, and blueseventy have now become the innovators inspiring the likes of TYR to build better suits such as the A7 and the Titan. Opportunity and a free market for ideas will make the sport bigger and better.

There is now have talk of building a pro-league because of suit interests and suit companies will probably help build it.

The photo above is of the La Brea Tar Pits, about 14-miles from my house. I got the photo from PaperMag Word up: [Link]

If only that mammoth had a speedsuit.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

New Masthead For This Week: Jennifer takes flight at the UCLA SCY meet held last spring!

I am loving Mark Savage's swim photography; In fact, Mark told me that Aaron Peirsol is even using a photo from a photo shot they did together on his Facebook page.

Mark Savage Photography: [Link] and another one of his sites [Link]

French Site: 'Pure People' has a high-rez gallery of Frederica Pellegrini

The summary of this French photo gallery goes as follows with my unreliable translation below: "Luca Marin, l'ex de Laure Manaudou, et sa chérie Federica Pellegrini : entre médailles et amour, leur complicité fait des vagues !

My unreliable translation: Luca Marin, EX-bofriend of Laure Manaudou, and his new "sweetie-pie", Frederica Pellegrini, between love and complicity, make waves.

Be sure to click the ' full screen' icon, the photos are really clear.

[Link]