OWS 4 THE START

Open Water Swimming Rules 2009-2013

OWS 4.1 All Open Water competitions shall start with all competitors standing on a fixed platform or in water depth sufficient for them to commence swimming on the start signal.

OWS 4.1.1 When starting from a fixed platform competitors shall be assigned a position on the platform, as determined by random draw.

OWS 4.2 The Clerk of the Course shall keep competitors and officials informed of the time before start at suitable intervals and at one-minute intervals for the last five minutes.

OWS 4.3 When the number of entries dictate the start shall be segregated in the Men's and Women's competitions. The Men's events shall always start before the Women's events.

OWS 4.4 The start line shall be clearly defined by either overhead apparatus or by removable equipment at water level.

OWS 4.5 The Referee shall indicate by a flag held upright and short blasts on a whistle when the start is imminent and indicate that the competition is under Starter's orders by pointing the flag at the starter.

OWS 4.6 The Starter shall be positioned so as to be clearly visible to all competitors.

OWS 4.6.1 On the starter command “take your marks” they shall take up a starting position with at least one foot at the front of the platform.

OWS 4.6.2 The starter will give the starting signal when he considers all swimmers are ready.

OWS 4.7 The start signal shall be both audible and visual.

OWS 4.8 If in the opinion of the Referee an unfair advantage has been gained at the start the offending competitor will be given a yellow or red flag in accordance with OWS 6.3.

OWS 4.9 All escort safety craft shall be stationed prior to the start so as not to interfere with any competitor, and if picking up their swimmer from behind shall navigate in such a way as not to manoeuver through the field of swimmers.

OWS 4.10 Although they may start together, in all other respects the men's and women's competitions shall be treated as separate events.