The 2017 U.S. Open Water Nationals are set to take place this weekend in Lake Castaic, California, where American athletes will vie for positions on the nation’s roster for the Open Water World Championships scheduled for July 15-21st in Lake Balaton, Hungary.
However, foreign athletes will also be present on the West Coast this weekend, including a 5-member British contingency fighting for their way onto GBR’s line-up for Hungary. Loughborough teammates Caleb Hughes, Toby Robinson, Alice Dearing and Jack Burnell will be joined by University of Stirling’s Danielle Huskisson in their quest to represent Britain at the Open Water World Championships.
Disqualified in Rio, Olympian Burnell recently won the FINA/HOSA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup, held in March in Abu Dhabi (UAE). Huskisson made her mark at last year’s European Open Water Championships where she won gold in the 5k race in Hoorn, Netherlands.
Says British Marathon Swimming Lead Coach Bernie Dietzig of the racing expected this weekend, “The US Nationals is a valuable race in our season as it gives us an opportunity to face up to some of the world’s best athletes two months out from the World Championships.
“For us this event will act as the qualifier for Budapest with the highest male and female finisher securing their places in the 10km event at the World Championships.
“The race is situated well for our calendar and provides a great opportunity for our marathon swimmers to fine tune their race skills and accumulate more race kilometres leading into the World Championships.”
Per the British selection criteria, up to 2 male and 2 female places will be available for selection in each the 10k race and 5k race. For the 10k, the first British male and first British female finisher at the U.S. Open Water National 10k championship will be selected, while one additional male and female selection may be made at the absolute discretion of the British Swimming Marathon Lead Coach.
For the 5k, the first British male swimmer and first British female swimmer in the 5k elite race at the Great North swim in Windermere on June 11th will be selected, with an additional male and female selection made at the absolute discretion of the British Swimming Marathon Lead.
The racing this weekend represents the first event at which the new FINA wetsuit rules will be implemented by USA Swimming with the decision based on recent water temperature readings at the Castaic Lake venue. The new rule reads that for water temperatures lower than 64.4 degrees Fahrenheit wetsuits will be required. For water temperatures above 68 degrees Fahrenheit wetsuits will not be allowed. Between 64.4 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit, wetsuits will be optional.