With American swimmer and Harvard University graduate Alex Meyer soon stepping up to the shores of the Serpentine in the Olympic marathon swimming 10km, both for himself and in memory of Fran Crippen, the issue of safety in the open water swimming and triathlon communities have been discussed at different levels.

On July 27th, FINA adopted a slew of improved measures to enhance safety at its FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup and FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix races.

Kudos go to the FINA Bureau for doing the right thing.

In no small part these new regulations were due in part because of a strong lobbying effort behind the scenes by countries and FINA Bureau members with a deep commitment to open water swimming. The 22-person FINA Bureau adopted a host of new regulations that were modeled after the recommendations made by the USA Swimming Open Water Task Force led by former IOC vice president Richard Pound and Sid Cassidy (Coach and Technical Expert) and suppported by Erica Rose (Athlete Representative), Dr. Scott Rodeo (Medical Consultant) and Harold Cliff (Events Expert).

Additionally, it was reported that the FINA water temperature study is being conducted at the University of Otago in New Zealand led by Dr. David Gerrard. The researchers will submit a maximum warm water temperature recommendation to FINA by the end of August 2012, and a cold water recommendation and final report to FINA by the end of November 2012.

Good progress and great news all around by the FINA administrators and decision-makers. Thank you very much.

Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association