Swim Hobbs Island

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Swim Hobbs Island

Sunday, Sep 15, 2019

1 Mile & 2 Mile & 5 Mile Open Water Swim Challenge

 


Overview

The 5th Annual Swim Hobbs Island open water swim through the Tennessee River hosted by the Team Rocket Triathlon Club (TRTC) will be held on Sunday, September 15, 2019.  The 5-mile swim will begin at 8:30 am, and the 1- and 2-mile swim will begin approximately 15 later in waves. This event is sanctioned with the World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA).

Race Location

Ditto Landing, On the Tennessee River, Just South of Huntsville, AL.  Address is 293 Ditto Landing Road Southeast. (http://dittolanding.org/)

Closest Hotels: Here are some great options for places to stay about 15 minutes from Ditto Landing:

DoubleTree by Hilton 6000 Memorial Pkwy SW, Huntsville, AL 35802, doubletree3.hilton.com, (256) 882-9400

Hilton Garden Inn by Hilton, 301 Boulevard S SW, Huntsville, AL 35802, (256) 881-4170, hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com

Hampton Inn by Hilton, 501 Boulevard S SW, Huntsville, AL 35802, (256) 882-2228, hamptoninn3.hilton.com

Registration

REGISTRATION WILL OPEN ON 4/15/19 (TAX DAY) AS USUAL! IF YOU ARE IN THE 5 MILE CATEGORY YOUR KAYAKER MUST REGISTER ALSO! YOU DO NOT HAVE TO KNOW WHO THEY ARE RIGHT NOW, JUST ENTER “NOT YET” BUT DO IT SOON SO WE DON’T GO NUTS, OK?! 🙂

VOLUNTEER REGISRATION (EXCEPT FOR KAYAKERS WHO MUST REGISTER ON THE SAME SITE AS SWIMMERS) WILL BE POSTED HERE WHEN OPEN.

**You may register online until Friday 9/13/19 at midnight! No day-of-race registration!!!**

The 1 and 2 mile swims are $40, and the 5-mile swim is $100. It is FREE to be a volunteer kayaker for the 1 and 2 mile swim flotilla and also for accompanying your kayaker on the 5-miler! All kayakers for both the 5 mile and for the flotilla must register on THIS registration site just as the swimmers do – it will just show a $0 balance at the end of registration. 🙂 Enjoy t-shirts and all you can eat ice cream bar at the end for everyone, kayakers, swimmers, and volunteers alike.

Schedule of Events

There will be no pre-race packet pickup since we will just be giving out caps, and those will be given out on race morning at check-in.

Race Day: Sunday, Sep 15, 2019

6:30 AM – 7:30 AM:  Cap pickup and check-in at south end of parking lot at Ditto Landing nearest greenway – south of boat launch ramps.

7:45 AM: Mandatory Swimmer & Kayaker Safety Meetings (kayaker meeting is at dock, swimmer meeting is at race start)

8:00 AM:  Kayakers for 5 Mile Swim begin entering the water.

8:00 AM: National Anthem at race start

8:15 AM:  5 Mile Swim Lineup and Final Check-In

8:20 AM:  5 Mile swimmers enter the water.

8:30 AM:  5 Mile Race Begins

8:35 AM:  2 Mile Swim Lineup and Final Check-In

8:40 AM:  2 Mile Swimmers enter the water.

8:45 AM:  2 Mile Race Begins

8:50 AM:  1 Mile Swim Lineup and Final Check-In

8:55 AM:  1 Mile Swimmers enter the water.

9:00 AM:  1 Mile Race Begins

9:30 AM – 2:30 PM:  Swimmers, kayakers, spectators, volunteers can enjoy complimentary food/drink

10:30 AM: 1 & 2 Mile Swim Awards

11 AM:  5 Mile Swim Awards

NOTE:  5 Mile Swimmers MUST Complete the Swim in Under 5 hours (1:30pm) and MUST be at the tip of the island (the turnaround point) at 3.5 hours, or 12:00pm. Race Director reserves the right to pull you after that time.

Course Description

5 Mile Swim: Around Hobbs Island

This is a five mile circumnavigation of Hobbs Island that will start just south of the Ditto Landing Marina along the Tennessee River Greenway. Swimmers will enter the water via ramps on the shoreline and will swim clockwise around Hobbs Island and finish at the same location as the start. Because the first few miles are against the river current, this swim will take longer than a typical 5 mile swim in the pool. Due to the rocky slope and the difficulty in finding a safe water exit location, the swim may end up calculating at approximately 5.25 miles. We figure if we can swim 5 miles, we can swim a few more tenths for a safe exit! 🙂

 5 Mile Swim Rules:

All 5 milers are in a non-wetsuit category, for which we will follow WOWSA Rule 3.2, meaning all suits must be open water FINA legal to be eligible for awards (for open water, this means not cover the neck, not extend past the shoulder or ankle). Safety equipment such as NewWave Swim Buoy or Swim-It self-inflating vests are allowed, but you will not be eligible for awards per WOWSA rules Section 3.3. Check with the RD if you have something different or unusual. You may touch or hang onto a kayak for safety with no penalty against awards, but making forward progress with a kayak will be grounds for disqualification. No touching other people other than incidental contact unless for safety reasons. Have your kayaker carry hydration and nutrition, and also carry extra nutrition with your kayaker in case this swim takes longer than you planned. Please plan on completing this swim in at least 6 hours. It will be necessary to pull you from the water should you exceed this. .

Kayakers:

ALL FIVE MILE SWIMMERS ARE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE THEIR OWN KAYAKER TO ACCOMPANY THEM. If you do not have a kayaker, you will not be allowed to swim. This rule is for your safety as the river will be open to boat traffic. Boats will be unable to see you if you are swimming alone. YOUR KAYAKER WILL NEED TO REGISTER ON  THE SAME REGISTRATION SITE WHICH IS THE SAME ONE THE SWIMMERS REGISTER ON (It will show a $0 balance at the end of registration). and specify who they are kayaking for (it will show a $0 balance at the end of registration). Your kayaker will receive a race t-shirt as they are a vital part of this race. All of this is included in the race fee that the swimmer pays.We have a very limited number of (10) kayaks donated by various members of the local endurance community that can be allotted on a first-come first-serve basis, so, swimmer or kayaker, indicate in your registration if you need one.

KAYAKERS MUST HAVE AND WEAR LIFEJACKETS AT ALL TIMES.

5 MILE KAYAKERS ESPECIALLY: Here is a blog post by a friend of ours who is a very experienced open water marathon swimmer, sharing her tips and experiences on how to support your swimmer best. We recommend you review this! It’s simply fantastic! Thanks Sydne Didier! https://swimcrest.com/2016/05/25/the-swimmer-and-the-kayaker-marathon-swimming-is-a-team-sport/

2 Mile Swim Event

This is a two mile out and back that will start just south of the Ditto Landing Marina along the Tennessee River Greenway starting approximately 15 minutes after the 5 mile swim start. Swimmers will enter the water via ramps on the shoreline. Swimmers will swim upstream approximately to the Whitesburg marina and turn around. The finish location will be the same as the start. Because the first mile is against the river current, this swim will take longer than a typical two mile swim in the pool. Please be aware that this is NOT an event for beginner swimmers. You should be able to swim 2.5 miles continuously in a pool before tackling this 2 mile event.

2 Mile Swim Rules:

If you are in the non-wetsuit category, we will follow WOWSA Rule 3.2, meaning all suits must be open water FINA legal to be eligible for awards (for open water, this means not cover the neck, not extend past the shoulder or ankle).  If you are in the wetsuit division, wetsuits and swimskins are allowed. Safety equipment such as NewWave Swim Buoy or Swim-It self-inflating vests are allowed, but you will not be eligible for awards per WOWSA rules Section 3.3. Check with the RD if you have something different or unusual. You may touch or hang onto a kayak for safety with no penalty against awards, but making forward progress with a kayak will be grounds for disqualification. No touching other people other than incidental contact unless for safety reasons.

Kayaks:

Kayaks for individual swimmers are not allowed (see below FAQs). The swim will have several dozen roving kayakers, SUP, etc that will provide roving support to all swimmers. These kayakers will need to register on THE REGISTRATION SITE WHICH IS THE SAME ONE THE SWIMMERS REGISTER ON (It will show a $0 balance at the end of registration).

1 Mile Swim Event

This is a one mile out and back that will start just south of the Ditto Landing Marina along the Tennessee River Greenway starting approximately 15 minutes after the 2 mile swim start. Swimmers will enter the water via ramps on the shoreline. Swimmers will proceed upstream to the closest tip of Hobbs Island and turn around. The finish location will be the same as the start. The swim will begin approximately 15 minutes after the 2 mile swim begins. Because the first half mile is against the river current, this swim will take longer than a typical one mile swim in the pool.

 1 Mile Swim Rules:

If you are in the non-wetsuit category, we will follow WOWSA Rule 3.2, meaning all suits must be open water FINA legal to be eligible for awards (for open water, this means not cover the neck, not extend past the shoulder or ankle). If you are in the wetsuit division, wetsuits and swimskins are allowed. Safety equipment such as NewWave Swim Buoy or Swim-It self-inflating vests are allowed, but you will not be eligible for awards per WOWSA rules Section 3.3. Check with the RD if you have something different or unusual. You may touch or hang onto a kayak for safety with no penalty against awards, but making forward progress with a kayak will be grounds for disqualification. No touching other people other than incidental contact unless for safety reasons.

Kayaks:

Kayaks for individual swimmers are not allowed (see below FAQs). The swim will have several dozen roving kayakers, SUP, etc that will provide roving support to all swimmers. These kayakers will need to register on THE REGISTRATION SITE WHICH IS THE SAME ONE THE SWIMMERS REGISTER ON (It will show a $0 balance at the end of registration).

KAYAKERS MUST HAVE AND WEAR LIFEJACKETS AT ALL TIMES.

Event Strategy

Current: Current in the Tennessee River normally varies greatly because this stretch of the river is controlled by Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) via flow rates from the Guntersville Dam. However, ever year we submit a flow reduction request to TVA for the race, and every year they have honored our request. NEVERTHELESS, they do not have to do this, and they may not, and we have minimal input into this decision. We are grateful that they are able to do this for our safety and comfort. For your information, typical TVA-adjusted flow rates for this race in the past have been between 10 and 12 thousand cubic feet per second, which translates to a very reasonable current for most open water swimmers. That said, be prepared to swim longer than a typical 1, 2 or 5 mile swim in the pool. The race director reserves the right to pull you from the water if you have not reached the south tip of Hobbs Island (5 milers) after 4 hours or if according to your pace, it does not appear that you will finish the race in 6 hours.

Temperature: Water temperatures are typically between 75 to 85.  IMPORTANT: If water temperatures exceed 83.9 (unlikely), wetsuits will be disallowed due to WOWSA recommendations following USA Triathlon rules. We would also encourage you to stay well hydrated before and after, select an appropriate pace for your temperature and comfort. If water temperature exceeds 87 degrees (extremely unlikely given historical conditions), we will cancel the swim due to safety.

Spectators: Because of the configuration of the riverbank, you can stand along the edge of the Tennessee Valley Greenway and see for about a half mile up- and downstream in the river. If you would like to see the entire race close-up, consider being a safety kayaker.

 

Miscellaneous Info
Awards will be as follows

5 Mile Swim
Top 3 Male Swimmers
Top 3 Female Swimmers

2 Mile Swim
Top 3 Male Swimmers
Top 3 Male Wetsuit Swimmers
Top 3 Female Swimmers
Top 3 Female Wetsuit Swimmers
Top 3 Male Masters (40+ years old)
Top 3 Female Masters (40+ years old)

1 Mile Swim
Top 3 Male Swimmers
Top 3 Male Wetsuit Swimmers
Top 3 Female Swimmers
Top 3 Female Wetsuit Swimmers
Top 3 Male Masters (40+ years old)
Top 3 Female Masters (40+ years old)

Past Results

Find past results HERE. Note: 2018 results are not posted because the race was cancelled for safety concerns, namely unusually high flows due to Hurricane Florence.

Refunds & Category Switching

We have Event Cancellation Insurance which, if claims are accepted, provides refunds for event cancellation according to this page. Team Rocket Policy is that no refunds are given for personal reasons.

On category switching, in order to keep your race organizers and timers sane, categories (wetsuit/non/wetsuit or distance) can be switched only up until Friday at midnight prior to the event by logging into ImAthlete again and switching yourself; if issues, email swimhobbsisland@gmail.com. If you are switching to the 5 miler from the 1 or 2 miler, you will also need to register your kayaker separately on the registration website at that time. Thank you for your help in this.

FAQ:
Q: Do I need a personal kayaker if I am swimming the 5 mile event?
A: Yes, absolutely! AND they need to register here just like you (registration is free for kayak pilots). Our Kayak Wrangler volunteer matches 5 mile swimmers to their kayakers to make sure all have identified their kayaker. Get them registered quickly to keep her sane.

Q: Can I have a personal kayaker if I am swimming the 1 or 2 mile event?
A: No. We cannot allow kayaks for individual swimmers because individual kayaks may impede safety, and there is a large flotilla of roving kayakers and rescue boats that provide great support to all.

Q: Can I wear a “speedsuit” that has floatation, a swimskin, or “Roka” shorts?
A: Yes, wetsuit category peeps can wear things that contain floatative neoprene. Those in the non-wetsuit category can wear jammers (men) or one- or two piece tri-suits for men or women.

Q: Can I wear fins, snorkel, paddles, buoys, or self-inflating equipment?
A: Yes, but you will not be eligible for awards per WOWSA rules Section 3.3. Check with the RD if you have something different or unusual. You may touch or hang onto a kayak for safety with no penalty against awards, but making forward progress with a kayak will be grounds for disqualification. No touching other people other than incidental contact unless for safety reasons.

Q: Can I bring my drone?
A: Yes, but……. you NEED to know Huntsville-Madison County Rescue Squad will be flying 150 ft and below, for swimmer safety, from channel bank to channel bank on the inland side of Hobbs Island. You may freely operate at 200ft – 400 ft max. YOU NEED to check in with them at the race and let them know what you are flying and where you will be. If you are perceived to be in their way, they will ask you to land your craft. Swimmer safety is our TOP PRIORITY. Also, drones are perceived to be annoying by a lot of people, especially those trying to enjoy a lovely open water swim, so use your best judgement when flying or we ourselves might give you the smackdown.

Q: Can I wear a waterproof ipod or music player? A: No. You need to be able to hear safety staff.

Course Maps

1-mile

2-mile

5-mile

Course buoy setup for 1 and 2 mile races

Sponsors

 

John Butterfield,

Financial Advisor with Edward Jones