Friday, September 13, 2013

CIBBOWS Aquarium Er Make That Manhattan Beach Triple Dip - Saturday, 9/7/2013

Well, phew, very long week at work and I'd said something about putting up a post from last week's CIBBOWS race - so here's a quick writeup and some of the pictures before I turn in.

TQ and I both turned up for this one, and I'm glad we did, because it was a tough one and they needed all the kayakers they had. The day's event was CIBBOWS's annual Triple Dip - a race with distances of one mile, five kilometers, and ten kilometers all going on at the same time. Usually this swim is held with the start and finish in front of the Aquarium, but as you might be able to tell from the next picture (at least if you're familiar with Coney Island), there was a change of plans. 
Turned out that the Parks Department was doing beach replenishment at the normal location that day, and so the swim's start and finish line was moved east to Manhattan Beach. Here's another shot that shows the location well for people who know the area - these are one-mile swimmers rounding their mark halfway through their swim, and you can see the pyramid roof-topper at Kingsborough College just peeking over the buoy. 
It was an absolutely gorgeous day to be on the water - but grueling for those in the water. Moving the course east meant moving it further into the inlet leading into Jamaica Bay, and that meant that the currents were stronger than in the usual location. Stronger currents plus a fairly good breeze meant quite a bit of chop, and on top of that the water is cooling down.

The stronger of the swimmers did fine, but I've never seen a swim where so many people just ran out of steam and had to be pulled. Since I was at the mile marker I'd been asked to keep an eye on the line of kayakers (our instructions were that the swimmers were supposed to be able to stay on course by keeping the kayaks on their right as they swam) but mostly when I asked people to move back into the line, they were off the course because one of the "angels" (the skilled swimmers who swim with people who are looking like they are having a hard time) had called them over to help. Some swimmers were just tired, some were hypothermic.

Fortunately between Zodiac Agent Orange and the NYPD launch and zodiac, we were able to get people out of the water as they needed it without delay. We were all kept busy though. And I've now seen the clawed fingers that I'd been told are a sign that a swimmer is hypothermic and needs to come out for myself. Very distinctive. The thermal blanket I always carry came in handy too - I had a swimmer who'd made it as far as the west end of Manhattan Beach and decided to just get out and walk back, he was shivering pretty badly so I was going to loan him my jacket (which I also had on board), but then when I opened the hatch the first thing I saw was my blanket (a nice one, but cheaper to replace than a jacket) so I gave that to him. I did get it back at the end and there was at least one other swimmer who was very happy I'd brought it. Just one of those small pieces of gear that you can throw in your boat and forget about until all the sudden you're really glad you have it!

As the shorter swims finished and the remaining swimmers became concentrated to the east of the half-mile marker buoy, things got a little less tense - with the same number of kayakers working a much shorter course, we were able to move around a bit more - kayakers would attach themselves to a swimmer or a group of swimmers and travel along with them. Here's Teddy from the Long Island City Community Boathouse escorting one of the 10K swimmers.

Here's a seagull. He was posing.

Duck's eye view and my last shot of the day. The police launch behind her was getting ready to head for home. We were all off the water (or out of the water) before too much longer. A tough day but I think in the end everyone was OK - and anyone who finished got extra double bragging rights. Hopefully next year it'll be back to the Aquarium! 

And another terrific CIBBOWS design - they always have fun t-shirts and other schwag but I particularly loved how the 2 designs this year were a matched pair!  

Triple Dip results here, and click here for a Flickr set with a few more pictures!


Anonymous said...

i love the "triple dip" poster!

bonnie said...

Great designs, aren't they?