USA Swimming introduced its new sanctioning process for open water swimming events. For safety reasons, all USA Swimming open water sanctions required approval by USA Swimming via its designated Zone Representative.

Beginning in 2012, open water race directors must submit a Sanction Application and comprehensive Open Water Meet Application to their respective Local Swim Committee Sanction Chairperson.

There are 59 Local Swim Committees (LSC), roughly defined in area and responsibility by each state with the exception of the larger states where more than one LSC governs its respective regions. The LSC Chairperson subsequently submits a copy of the Open Water Meet Application to the regionally designated Open Water Zone Representative.

In the Central Zone, Rick Walker and Ken Schuh are the Open Water Zone Representatives. In the Eastern Zone, Dale Petranech and Bea Hartigan are the Zone Representatives. In the Southern Zone, Shannon Gillespy and Gregg Cross are the Zone Representatives. In the Western Zone, Marcelle Arakaki and John Dussliere are the Zone Representatives.

The Zone Representative reviews the application and makes suggestions as needed to the LSC sanction chairperson for changes or recommends approval. The Zone Representative also identifies a qualified Safety Monitor and together they coordinate the arrangement for Independent Safety Monitor to attend the open water events in their areas.

The Independent Safety Monitor ensures that the open water event is set up according to the application and assist on event day if there be a need for change and confirm the change is in compliance.

A copy of the Open Water Meet Application and a sample of a completed/approved Open Water Application can be found online at here.

Photo above shows Rick Walker in the red shirt at a feeding station.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source