After originally declaring next week’s U.S. Open Water National Championships to be a no-wetsuit event, USA Swimming has amended its decision on Tuesday and adopted FINA’s wetsuit rule. From the announcement:
The decision to implement this new rule was decided based on recent water temperature readings at Castaic Lake and athlete safety being USA Swimming’s number one priority. 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.
The official water temperature will be taken 2 hours prior to the start of the national 10k, national 5k, and junior national races. USA Swimming says that based on information from Los Angeles County Lifeguards, they anticipate that the temperature will fall in that optional gap of between 64.4 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
The new decision has also impacted the start times of next week’s 10k races:
- Men’s 10K – May 19th, 11 AM
- Women’s 10K – May 19th, 1:30 PM
- Men’s 5K – May 21st, 9:30 AM
- Women’s 5K – May 21st, 8:00 AM
- Wetsuits must be between 3mm and 5mm thickness
- Wetsuits must completely cover the torso, back, shoulders and knees and shall not extend beyond the neck, wrists, or ankles
- Sleeveless wetsuits would not be allowed, as they would not completely cover the shoulders.
- The full wetsuit rules can be read here.