The Impact Of COVID-19 On The Channels
Like a major triathlon, channel crossings are not a solo endeavor that is taken lightly. The amount of time and effort required for training, the expenses incurred, and the psychological demands of all aspects of these attempts are tremendous.
Kevin Murphy of the Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation talked about the prospect of English Channel crossings being attempted as scheduled this coming season due to the coronavirus pandemic. “At the moment, we are saying that the issue of whether a swim goes ahead is between the swimmer and the pilot – it is not for the Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation to cancel it. We are continuing to register swims and, if they are allowed to take place, we will observe them.
The problem is that by the end of the season there may well be little or no problem. We just don’t know. If the French ban on people using their beaches were still in place that would, it seems to me, stop everything.”
On the other side of the globe, the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation in Southern California announced its COVID-19 update on April 2nd, “The Catalina Channel Swimming Federation (CCSF) is monitoring the COVID-19 Corona virus situation and following the procedures recommended by the Governor of California’s emergency order and public health authorities. We have not been notified of any cases associated with the CCSF.
While we are acutely aware of the considerable investment of time, training, and funds made by swimmers, support crew, and observers, we must make decisions based on the health and safety of the athletes, their families and friends, and the community.
It is not possible to maintain the recommended social distancing practices to prevent the spread of the virus on a Catalina Channel swim. While we very much hope to be able to resume Catalina Channel swims as soon as possible, we are compelled to cancel the one swim that was planned for May. The next planned swims are in late June and we will assess those swims as more information becomes available.
The situation is unpredictable, and may very well require additional cancellations in successive months. We will resume normal activities when health authorities determine that it is safe to do so.
Details about the procedures for postponing or cancelling swims and for observer training are being worked out and more information will be forthcoming soon. It is the responsibility of the swimmer to coordinate any postponements or cancellations with their escort pilots, support crews, and the CCSF.
This is a difficult, frustrating situation, with uncertainties that make planning very difficult. We request your patience and understanding, and will update this information as soon as possible.
For the impact of the coronavirus around the world on open water swimming events scheduled to be held, read below:
* COVID-19’s Impact On Channel Swimming In Hawaii
* COVID-19’s Impact On Crossings Of The Strait of Gibraltar
* Coastal Coronavirus Closures
* COVID-19’s Impact On Arizona And New York Open Water
* 2nd Olympic Qualifier in Fukuoka, Japan
* The Cork Distance Week Scheduled For July
* COVID-19’s Impact On The Open Water In Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga
* IOC, Tokyo Turns Back On 2020 Olympics, Looks Towards 2021
* Pádraig Mallon On Swimming In Unchartered Waters
* Swim Miami Postponed. Embrace Different Opportunities
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