Monday, March 19. 2007
Date: Monday, March 19, 2007
Location: St. Kilda Beach, Melbourne
Theme: Feeding on Race Day
Written by Steve Munatones
After the 10K on Sunday, all of the swimmers went to the nearby 50-meter pool to loosen down. Most of the rest of the teams were there also, all nursing their wounds.
Today, all the 10K’ers went a loop around the 2.5K loop of the 10K course in the 65.6ºF ocean water and practiced feeding off one of the feeding pontoons. There are two feeding stations on the course – no escort boats will be allowed on the course for the 10K and 25K with the exception of the coaches on the feeding stations. There is a limit of 1 coach per swimmer per event. With Kalyn Keller and Chloe Sutton entered in the 10K tomorrow, Paul Asmuth and Steven Munatones will handle the feeding.
The first feeding pontoon is about 1.2K from the start and about 500 meters straight out from shore. The feeding pontoon sits at least 6-8 feet from the surface of the water, depending on the ocean swells, so this presents some technical issues in trying to reach down to the swimmers for a feeding. The height and movement of the pontoon may become problematic if 20-30 swimmers are barreling together towards the feeding station in a large pack in rough seas.
The organizing committee is requiring each of the coaches on the feeding stations to wear life jackets – all bright yellow, which makes it difficult for the swimmers to distinguish their own coach from the dozens of other coaches on the pontoons. But, Jeremy Vail, Lindsay Mintenko, Dr. Miller and Paul devised a new feeding system and schedule that should be convenient and beneficial for Kalyn and Chloe.
The second feeding pontoon is near the start and is 2-4 feet off the surface of the water. Paul and Steve may be together on one feeding station – or they may be positioned on different feeding stations – depending on the conditions on race day and the requests of the swimmers. Because most of the teams are in the same hotel, it is interesting to hear the feeding strategies of the different teams. But, the feeding strategies of the other competitors will become apparent 30 minutes before the start of the race when the coaches have to make a choice and board one of the two different boats that will take them out to feeding stations. The two different boats will be boarded in the same area. So, like managers on baseball teams signaling to pitchers, it will be interesting to see the body language and movement of the coaches just prior to boarding.
The women’s 10K race begins at 12 noon tomorrow which allows the swimmers to get a nice breakfast and warm-up in.
Needless to say, our young ladies are very ready to go. It will be exciting.
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