The Safety meetings are mandatory. All swimmers must be present for one safety meeting prior to the swim on Saturday.
1) All Swimmers must have a support craft with them at all times while they swim. If your support craft (kayak, boat, etc.) can’t continue, neither can you.
If something happens to the support craft or you get separated from them, swim to the nearest safety boat. Let them know what happened. They’ll either get you back to shore or re-unite you with your support craft.
Your support craft helps us make sure that you are safe. We must have a way to keep track of you in that 4-mile expanse of ocean between shore and the lighthouse. Your support craft is very important for that reason.
2) Powerboats must maintain a 100’ perpendicular distance from the line of large orange buoys that mark the swim course. This is imperative to avoid swimmer-boat collisions. We’ll talk more about this at the safety meeting the afternoon before the race.
Powerboats must have their engines at idle if closer than 100’ to the big buoys and engines off when exchanging swimmers. Again, further discussion of this at pre-race safety meeting.
3) Both kayakers and powerboats should have cell phones to contact the race organizers if they have problems. Powerboats should also bring a VHF radio for race day communications. Kayakers, since VHF radios aren’t very practical in a kayak, our safety boats will communicate any problems to you that may exist (but still, bring a cell phone). Watch for them and wave hello-they will be the boats or jet-skis with day-glo bright orange long sleeve shirts.
4) Kayakers should:
A)Have the stamina for the distance to be paddled.
B)Be proficient at open ocean paddling.
C)Have experience with, and bring, a spray skirt for use that day if using a sea kayak.
D)Be able to do self-rescue if kayak capsizes and be able to pump it out to continue supporting swimmer.
Kayak types appropriate to support swimmer
1)Sea Kayak-should have two bulkheads, a sea skirt and a hand operated bilge pump. These-are “sit-in” type. But not all sit-in types are Sea Kayaks.
2)Sit on top kayak-use this type if you’re not skilled using the Sea Kayak. It should be self bailing and have a minimum length of 14’. Sit-on tops are more stable but often a little slower. The shorter the slower, so we’d like to see a 14’ length minimum. We suggest having a rudder.
3)These kayaks aren’t allowed to support swimmers: sit-in, recreational grade kayaks that are easily swamped, can’t be bailed out and then too often require rescue. No canoes for the same reason.