Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fran Crippen Dies In Open Water 10K World Cup

fran crippen

I thought I would just get online to check my email before going to bed, but I didn’t expect the devastating news that was waiting in my Google Reader. Fran Crippen, 26, died earlier today in the Open Water 10K World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

According to information from Swimming World, “Crippen had shown signs of slowing down during the third lap of the five-lap race” (source). And the causes of Crippen’s death are still under investigation (source).

Statements from the USOC, USA Swimming, and FINA can be found in a comprehensive article on Swimming World.

I still don’t know how to process this information. Not only am I shocked that a world class swimmer could drown in a World Cup event, but it’s difficult to think of an amazing athlete, the same age as myself, having their life tragically cut short.

I know this video clip from Go Swim was never intended to be used as a memorial to Fran (video below), but the clip superimposes his career achievements onto footage of him swimming, so I thought it would be nice to play (especially for anyone who is not already familiar with Fran and his pink briefs).

Updates: 10/24/2010, 10:45am

Latest news reports that Fran Crippen died of a fatal heart attack (source), however, the high water temperature (87 degrees) has led to some speculation that it may have contributed to his death.

According to FINA President, Julio Maglione, this is the first death in any FINA event. (source)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

World’s Longest Water Coaster, “Wildebeest” Featured On National Geographic Channel

wildebeest water coaster holiday world

The Wildebeest, the world’s longest water coaster, was recently featured on National Geographic Channel’s World’s Toughest Fixes. No, the ride wasn’t broken, but the show covered its complicated construction process.

wildebeest water coaster holiday world

First, let me bring you up to speed. If you thought water rides only flow downhill, welcome to the 21st century of water coasters! A water coaster is a water ride that provides descents and ascents powered by water jets, conveyor belts, and more recently: linear induction motors (think bullet train magnets).

The Wildebeest at Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana, is a “HydroMagnetic Rocket” ride that utilizes a linear induction motor. It is also the longest water coaster, at 1/3 mile (1,710 feet).

Park president, Will Koch, is quoted on the Holiday World website:

“An alternating magnetic field beneath the slide surface propels the rafts, pushing them rapidly and smoothly uphill. LIM technology is a popular feature in some steel roller coasters; it

Friday, October 8, 2010

SwimmingWorld.TV Industry Insider: Avida Sports

Avida Sports has been on my radar since February (search past Avida Sports posts here). Now, the swimming telemetry company is featured in the first installment of a new video series on SwimmingWorld.TV called Industry Insider.

I’ve already waxed lyrical about AvidaSports’ swimming telemetry system, now I can do the same about this promising new web series!

Since I started working at Kast-A-Way Swimwear, I’ve been very interested in the latest swimming technology. I got to follow the rise and fall of the originial LZR Racer, the Suit War Era, and the introduction of new FINA approved starting blocks. I view swimming telemetry as another milestone in swimming technology – and whether it takes off in its current form, or is modified slightly, I think the concept is so powerful that it will be around, in some form or another, for a long time.

A web series on the industry of swimming will hopefully be able to anticipate the next big thing. From what I’ve seen in the past two years, there will be no shortage of interesting reports coming from the Industry Insider, and SwimmingWorld.TV.

avidasports avidametrics swimming telemetry system sensor

Thursday, October 7, 2010

There’s A Gator In The Pool (And It’s Not Lochte)

alligator in swimming pool

Retired swim coach, Bill Stetson, went to his local swim and tennis club for his typical early morning workout in Hilton Head. This is what he found.

alligator in swimming pool

alligator in swimming pool

alligator in swimming pool

alligator in swimming pool

alligator in swimming pool

Thursday, October 7, 2010

GE Aviation Commercial Features Cliff Diving

ge cliff diving commercial

In this new commercial, GE Aviation uses cliff divers to help explain their TrueCourse Flight Management System. Always good to see diving used in advertisements! Yay diving!

Monday, October 4, 2010

LZR Dress Video: Speedo’s Collaboration With ‘From Somewhere’

I didn’t know there was a video about the LZR dress when I blogged about it two weeks ago. I found this on the17thman, and since it’s still relevant, I wanted to repost it.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Epic Streamline: David Mullins 265m Dynamic With Fins World Record Swim

dave mullins 265m

World renowned freediver, David Mullins, broke another world record this weekend with a 265m horizontal swim underwater with a monofin. That translates into 5.3 laps in the Olympic sized Naenae pool in Wellington, New Zealand. This type of event falls into the category of dynamic apnea, or holding your breath while swimming rather than floating motionless.

dave mullins 265m

What’s more impressive? This world record swim was actually Dave’s third attempt of the day! According to a news report, the “first time, he went 100m before his goggles filled with water. Second time, he went about the same distance and wasn’t feeling quite right. No pressure, Dave” (source).

Take a look at the video below, his technique is amazing. As you might imagine, the most efficient way to swim underwater is the dolphin kick with a monofin. He makes several kicks in a row and then glides as far as possible to conserve energy. Mullins was underwater for just over 4 minutes for this swim, but his static apnea (holding breath without moving) personal best is 8 minutes 7 seconds.

So next time your coach gets on your case about coming up inside the flags, think about Dave’s 265m underwater swim, and hold that streamline a bit longer!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

British Diver Peter Waterfield Pulls Out Of Too Risky Commonwealth Games

peter waterfield india commonwealth games

29 year old British diver, Peter Waterfield, has pulled out of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India, because he does not want to put himself at risk (source). At risk for what? Well there have been a few recent concerns:

1.) New Delhi reports 72 new dengue fever cases – As of a few days ago, the total number of cases in the city reached 2,296 for the year. The disease is transfered by mosquitoes and produces flu-like symptoms. One strain of the disease causes severe hemorrhaging that can be fatal.

2.) Stray dogs roam the Commonwealth Games athlete village (photo).

3.) A stadium footbridge collapse injured 23 laborers (source).

4.) Following weeks of monsoon rain, “many of the basements of the residential tower blocks are flooded with stagnant water” (source).

5.) A gun attack on a tourist bus in Delhi last week (source).

6.) Peter’s wife and two children were very concerned about him attending the event – which is probably the best reason not to go!

However, British diving superstar, Tom Daley, says “of course” he is going to India! The Mail Online even called him Tom Delhi (nauseatingly clever).

Canadian diver, Reuben Ross, considered the concerns, but said it is “too big of an event to let it slide” (source). He is confident that the people working under pressure will get things done to ensure a safe environment to live and compete.

The Commonwealth Games will begin on October 3rd, 2010.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Liam Tancock Joins Custom Shoe Ranks

liam tancock shoes

Remember how much hype Ryan Lochte’s custom shoes received? Of course you do.

Joining the ranks of swimmers with custom shoes, Liam Tancock tweeted his Boxfresh originals – decked out in Team England colors for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Does the whole team get their own shoe? Or are these really Liam Tancock exclusives?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Speedo Dress: Banned LZR Suits Become Modern Fashion Material

speedo lzr dress

My list of 7 Things To Do With Your Old Speedsuit added an 8th item with the completion of the LZR Racer Pavilion modern art installation. Now it looks like the count is up to number 9 with the announcement of Speedo’s collaboration with award winning sustainable fashion label, From Somewhere.

“Owned by award winning designer Orsola de Castro and Filippo Ricci, From Somewhere recycles and rethinks the fashion industry

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