Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

When we look at this photo above of a race start, our immediate impression is that this is a photo of a triathlon and not an open water swim.

Why?

It is just an uneducated guess, and we could be absolutely wrong, but we see the following hints why this is probably a triathlon start:

1. Everyone is in a wetsuit; there is not one bioprened athlete, not one athlete starting without a wetsuit.
2. The escort kayaker is so close to the race start off the shoreline; this would be irresponsible in an open water swim where the escort kayakers are usually off to the side or much further out from shore.
3. There are officials and volunteers dressed in clothing among the athletes at the start.
4. Everyone is starting in a concentrated mass without anyone casually off to the sides or at the back.

Just a guess.

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