USA Swimming has decided to move their Open Water National Championships about 150 miles across the Florida peninsula from Ft. Myers to Ft. Lauderdale. At first glance, Ft. Lauderdale’s more southerly latitude might indicate warmer water temperatures, but it’s location on the cooler Atlantic Ocean results in slightly lower water temperatures. Thus far this year, the Gulf of Mexico has had cooler-than-normal water temperatures, but the move was made early to avoid any last-minute changes in the climate.
Temperatures in Ft. Lauderdale are expected to sit around 84 degrees F (29 C), which clears the USA Swimming Open Water Safety Committee’s conclusions of 31 C, with some margin for error or unexpected temperature fluctuations.
This meet will serve as the selection trials for the World Championships to take place this summer in Shanghai.
The following is a USA Swimming Press Release, and has not been altered in any way:
The 2011 USA Swimming Open Water National Championships have been relocated from Fort Myers, Fla., to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The 10k race will be held June 10 and the 5k race will remain on June 12. The USA Swimming Board of Directors approved this change in venue.
The change in venue is designed to provide the safest possible environment for the event, and is in keeping with recommendations made by the Open Water Commission, which included the recommendation that races exceeding 5K should not be held in water above 31 degrees Celsius (87.8 degrees Fahrenheit). Because the water temperature in Fort Myers could exceed that temperature, the decision was made to move the event now, rather than potentially having to cancel the race on or near the day.
More details will be shared in the coming days.