Monday, November 9, 2009

Bienvenue to Roberval In 2010!

Since 1955, the city of Roberval in Quebec, Canada has been the hospitable and generous host of the annual 32K Traversee internationale du lac St-Jean, the world's most prestigious marathon swim, at the end of July. In the world of marathon swimming, the organizing committee has been a world leader in terms of its organization and professionalism.

The hospitality of the host city and the safety and support given to the swimmers are just a few of the outstanding elements of this world-class marathon swim.

The Traversee internationale du lac St-Jean organization is hosting the 6th FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships (Championnats du monde de nage en eau libre FINA) that will be held in lac St-Jean, lac St-Jean between July 15-23. The local organizing committee has unparalleled experience to host a wonderfully competitive event.

Based on its 55-year experience in hosting the Traversee internationale du lac St-Jean, the 1992 FINA 25K Open Water Swimming World Cup, the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix races since 1998 and the FINA 10KM Marathon Swimming World Cups since 200, we expect a magically entertaining and extraordinarily competitive world championship. The organizing committee was also the first to utilize an open water GPS system to track the swimmers throughout the race (see yellow boxes on the swimmers' boats in the photo above).

Roberval is a pictureque town of 11,000 citizens about 500 kilometers north of Montreal on the shores of lac St-Jean with a warm, hospitable small-town ambience. Athletes, coaches and staff from around the world will arrive via two international airports: the Pierre-Elliot-Trudeau (YUL) in Montreal and Jean-Lesage (YQB) in Quebec.

Bagotville (YBG) is a local airport situated only five minutes from the competition venue. To accommodate the international visitors, the organizing committee will offer a shuttle service between the airports, including the Montreal airport, and the competition site.

Lac St-Jean is a large fresh-water lake with a surface area over 1,000 square kilometers where the average water temperature can range between 16-19°C (61-66°F) in July. The 5K, 10K and 25K courses at the World Championships will be near the shores of Roberval where the 2.5K loops will be visible to the thousands of spectators who annually flock to cheer on the world's fastest marathon swimmers.


Photos courtesy of the organizing committee.


Anonymous said...

The average temperature is in no way 20-23°C. At the Traverse√© usually we start at 16°C watertemp and in the lake there is around 16-19°C.

Steven Munatones said...

In our experience - which was confirmed by Petar Stoychev who has swum in lac St-Jean many times - there is a major difference between the start of the traditional Traversee race which is near a cold-water river feeding the lake and the finish of the Traversee which is at the other side of the lake and is much warmer.

The 2010 World Championships will be held near the traditional finish of the Traversee which is being touted by the organizing committee as warm.

We agree with their forecast, but know that 1-2 days of rain and cold weather can significantly drop the water temperature of the lake.

We shall see what water temperatures the athletes will face.

Anonymous said...

I know this. :)
But still its no 23°C there ever!! Not in the river and not in the lake. Maybe at the peer at the finish in 50cm water depth very close to the shore when there is sun for 3 days. Yes maybe. :)
I know that Petar has no problems in cold water at all. :)

Steven Munatones said...

OK, we will change based entirely on your request. However, we note that the official brochure as published by the venerable organizing committee and distributed to the world's best swimmers and press states the following, "In July, the average water temperature is over 20°C and can even reach 23°C near the shore in Roberval where the 5K, 10K and 25K race course will be installed."

Anonymous said...

Sure, that they say this.
And by the way... In offical FINA races the minimum temperature has to be 16°C and at the start of the Traverse√© its NEVER 16°C. And in the final results is always written 19 or 20°C. I don´t know where they messure this temperature. :)
I finished this races a few years ago with a core body temperature of 29°C!!! And this would never happen with water temp around 20°C.
Anyway, your site is great!! Keep on working like this!!!!!!

Steven Munatones said...

I swam there in 1984 and thought it was a great experience. It was different in those days because everyone choose to swim on their own course and there were no packs. It was also the era when it was a double crossing of 64 kilometers.

According to the FINA rule OWS 5.5, "The water temperature should be a minimum of 16°C. It should be checked the day of the race, 2 hours before the start, in the middle of the course at a depth of 40 cm. This control should be done in the presence of a Commission made up of the following persons present; a Referee, a member of the Organising Committee and one coach from the teams present designated during the Technical Meeting."

Experienced people, including the organizing committee and swimmers, know well that the start of the race where the river flows into the lake is much different from the middle of the lake and the finish area.

Some people may be too young to remember, but the difference in water temperature in some FINA races (e.g., Around Atlantic City race) has temperature variances of nearly 6-8°C in some years (between the ocean and the back bay).

We will be in lac St-Jean next year and will carefully measure and post the water temperatures at the 5K, 10K and 25K races.

Anonymous said...

I think for the worlds the temp is ok because we swim near the small harbor. There its always ok.

But when the rule says it has to be 16°C then its not ok to swim in 14-15°C water. And going out with a core body temp of under 32°C is not good at all.... They have to take care of the health of the swimmer first and then care for the race, even if it has an over 50 years tradition.

Did you do the double crossing?? This is soo crazy :) But respect to those who did it. I know 2 guys how swam there. Awesome!

I swam in AC too, there the water temp is ok, its not cold, it may vary in the race course but its not that cold.

Steven Munatones said...

Are you suggesting that this race should not be on the FINA circuit because one portion of the race is under 16°C?

In any case, we are hopeful this race will have another 50 years of history as hundreds of swimmers have successfully crossed the lake.

At the 1984 Around Atlantic City race, the water temperature in the ocean was 12°C, but warmed up a bit in the back bay. However, the swimmers had to finish the swim in the colder ocean waters.

Anonymous said...

If you mean by "one portion" the first 1:15h, then yes :)
The rest of the race is ok.
I like all the people there very much and the organisation is almost perfect, but its not healthy to swim in 14°C water!! But its up to the swimmers to compete there, I know that. But anyway, if the rule is 16 than its not 15 or even 14°C.

The same with the races in Argentina. Its not cold at all, but its dirty and a lot of swimmers get sick there, I mean seriously sick!!! I think FINA has to think of the athletes first and controll water quality and temperature.