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Wetsuit English Channel swim - Open water swim rules

The Rules below are for English Channel Swims and Open Water swim when the swimmers wear wet suits.

WETSUIT SWIMS

(a). During a swim no physical contact with the swimmer shall be made by any person other than to pass food and drink or secure such items as light sticks for safety reasons.

The use of MP3 players and other electrical audio / communication devices shall not be allowed by the swimmer while swimming during any English Channel swim attempt.

WETSUIT ASSISTED SWIM

(b). An assisted category swim will be to the same rules as a wetsuit swim except for the allowance, by prior arrangement, of the minimum additional aids or contact as is deemed necessary for the safety of the swim on medical or other agreed grounds. An assisted category swim will only be accepted after prior agreement with Pedro Boats UK /CSPS.

(c). For a swim to be officially recognised, the swimmer must enter into the sea from the shore of departure, swim across the English Channel (i) to finish on dry land, or (ii) to touch steep cliffs of the opposite coast with no sea-water beyond. Swimmers may finish in harbour water provided they land as in (i).

(d). For a multiple crossing to be officially recognised, the swimmer must, as soon as they make contact with the ground, land as directly as possible in accordance with rule 10. They must then return immediately to the water, where they may stand or sit for up to 10 minutes. During this time they must not be touched by any person, but may be handed food, grease, medicines or swimming apparel to be administered by themself. They must then, make the most direct and reasonable way to water deep enough in which to swim, and commence swimming. In all the above conditions, the Pilot's ruling will be final.

The time spent before the return swim starts shall be added to the time of the subsequent crossing.

(e). Every application for recognition of a swim must be accompanied by the Pilot's chart positions and a log recording incidents, time, tides, feeding, etc. If an official observer is onboard a copy of their log should also be submitted.

(f). The Pilot shall be in sole charge of the timing of the swim, and shall be responsible for observing compliance with the rules .

(g). The timing of a swim shall start from the moment the swimmer enters the water until they complete the swim.

(h). All documentation must be completed by the time limits laid down in the registration information and any changes in dates or arrangements for Pilots etc must be reported as soon as possible and accepted before the swim starts. The Pilots are required to give 12 hours notice of the possible departure of the pilot boat.

(i). Pedro Boats UK /CS&PS shall not observe solo attempts to swim the Channel by persons under 16 years of age. Swimmers shall be over 16 years at least 3 days before the swim starts, and for registration purposes, at the beginning of the swim period they are booked to swim in.

(j). Swimmers must be aged 12 years for at least 3 days before they can swim in a standard relay team, subject to correct registration and to their medicals being accepted.

(k). Swimmers are responsible for the decision to make an attempt to take part in a English Channel swim or Open water swim attempt registered with Pedro Boats UK / CS&PS. They should undertake a personal Risk assessment to determin their fitnes, personal nad mental ability and competence to make a realistic effort to undertake a successful attempt to swim the Channel.

All swimmers taking part in a solo swim must supply written proof/ratification of an inderpendantly observered 6 hour assessment swim in water around 61°F / 16°C or less or proof of completion in a similar type of recognised event for a period considered to be an acceptable alternative.

All swimmers taking part in a relay team swim must supply written proof/ ratatification of an independantly observed 2 hour swim in water around 61°F/16°C or less or proof of completion in a similar type of recognised event for a period considered by the CS&PS to be an acceptable alternative.

(l). The use of drugs by participants in Channel Swimming, other than for therapeutic reasons in accordance with medical advice, is regarded with complete disapproval and is considered contrary to the spirit of the sport. Any swimmer unable to participate without the administration of banned drugs must submit their application with supporting paperwork within ample time for it's consideration. Pedro Boats UK / CS&PS reserve the right to make random drug tests on English Channel and Open Water aspirants registered through our system. It may requested for a sample of any medication given.

(m). Only registered skippers / pilots who are recognised by Pedro Boats UK / CS&PS and/or the CS&PF that hold the required commercial certification and qualifications will be recognised to pilot CS&PS crossings. Only commercially registered pilot boats with the required certification in force will be allowed to escort registered crossings.

Pilot and pilot vessel documentation and certification are to be produced within 7 days if requested by the office.

Pilot and pilot vessel details will be registered with the British & French authorities on an annual basis by the CS&PS office. It is the responsibility of the skipper/pilot/owner of the pilot boat to inform Pedro Boats UK /CS&PS of any changes in circumstances which will invalidate the required qualifications and certifications

(n). In no circumstances shall more than one swimmer at a time be allowed to make their attempt from the same pilot boat.

(o). Restrictions reference the number of dinghies or inflatables working with the escort boats at any one time will be decided by the CS&PS administration after consultation with the pilot/skipper.

(p). During solo swims a swimmer may be accompanied in the water by 1 person only & not accompanied at all until after the first 3 hours. This accompaniment will be for a maximum of 1 hour & cannot be repeated until at least 2 hours have elapsed after the cessation of the accompaniment.

The second swimmer may swim alongside, but not in front, of the solo aspirant & must not impede the solo swimmer.

For health & safety reasons the pilot must agree to any request for a support swimmer before they are allowed to enter the water to accompany the swimmer.

The pilot may, at his or her discretion, request that a second swimmer join the solo aspirant outside of these times for a short period on the grounds of safety. (i.e. if a swimmer suffers severe cramps). Similarly the pilot may ask for accompaniment at the very end of a solo swim if the landing conditions dictate. This is to be allowed even if the request is within 2 hours of a previous accompaniment.

No support swimming is to be allowed on a relay swim.

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RULES FOR WETSUIT CHANNEL RELAY TEAMS

Relay team leaders are responsible for overseeing the team’s Registration paperwork and confirming and submitting the 2 hour ratified swims . The team name and team leader MUST be clearly stated on ALL correspondence. Where possible all paperwork must come via the team leader.

Relay swims will be divided into the same categories as solo swims - Wetsuit and Wetsuit Assisted. Any alteration from a standard crossing must be agreed before the start of the swim.

WETSUIT RELAY SWIMS

(a). Each "Standard" team shall consist of 6 swimmers each swimming for 1 hour. The names of the 6 persons shall be given to the Pi;ot/crew at the start of the swim and remain in the same rotation throughout the swim. There shall be NO changes in order or substitutions whatsoever.

Swimmers in relay teams shall be over 12 years old 3 days before the relay swim starts, and for registration purposes, the beginning of the swim period their team is booked to swim in. They shall be under 16 years of age for at least 24 hours after the swim finishes for it to be classified as a Junior Relay team swim.

Junior swimmers (over 12 & under 16 years of age) will only be allowed to swim in standard 5 person or more relay team swims.

All swimmers taking part in a relay team swim must supply written proof/ ratatification of an independantly observed 2 hour swim in water around 61°F/16°C or less or proof of completion in a similar type of recognised event for a period considered by the CS&PS to be an acceptable alternative. .

In no circumstances shall more than 1 team be allowed to make their attempt escorted by the same pilot boat”.

(b). Each swimmer shall swim for one full hour each time he/she enters the water.

(c). The change-over/takeover from one swimmer to the next in a relay should take place every 60 minutes with the new swimmer entering the water on a signal given by the pilot. During the take-over the new swimmer must enter the water from behind & swim past the preceding swimmer. The previous swimmer must then exit the water as quickly as possible. The change-over should take no more than 5 minutes to complete.

(d). Team members shall rotate in the same order throughout the swim. Pace-making is NOT allowed.

(e). An official pilot report (or observers report if one is onboard) must be submitted along with a copy of the ships course log for the relay swim to be recognised.

SPECIAL CATAGORY WETSUIT RELAY SWIMS

A Special category relay will be run under the same rules as a standard relay except for the allowance of the number of persons in the team. Teams can be 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 – 7 or 8 people. Teams of 2 or 3 persons will be allowed the option of choosing between 1 or 2 hour swim periods for each member. The option must be declared before the start of the crossing and maintained through out the crossing.

 ASSISTED CATEGORY RELAY SWIMS

An Assisted category relay will be to the same rules as a standard relay except for the allowance, by prior arrangement, of the minimum additional aids or contact as is deemed necessary for the safety of the swim on medical or other agreed grounds. An assisted category relay will only be accepted after prior agreement with Pedro Boats UK / CS&PS.

ADDITIONAL RULES

Crossings by "any other means" must be approved of and allowed by the authorities and the terms of the attempt are to be approved by the CS&PS before they are accepted. The authorities will be advised of all such applications.

 

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