The USA Swimming national open water swimming team uses the customized feeding sticks (also referred to as feeding poles) shown on the left. The feeding sticks can extend out to 12 feet (3.6 meters) and are used from escort boats, feeding pontoons, piers and docks.
The feeding sticks has a double cup holder where the coaches can put in two cups or bottles or a variety of fuel sources - like gel packs, bananas, chocolate, goggles - or whatever the swimmer wants.
The feeding sticks have proved sturdy and useful at several world swimming championships, Olympic 10K Marathon Swim and at the USA Swimming National Open Water Championships.
Tomorrow at 8 am ET, the USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championship 10K will start. Two hours later, the American and Canadian representatives to the 2009 World Swimming Championships will be selected.
We are twittering this world selection race at http://twitter.com/swimopenwater.
Results and a race summary of the 5K national championships will be posted later.