NORTH CHANNEL RULES 2015


NORTH CHANNEL RULES 2015

Please note thease rules have been updated in March 2016

PLEASE NOTE REGULATIONS ARE UPDATED REGULARLY

NORTH (IRISH) CHANNEL

SWIMMER AND PILOT RULES AND REGULATIONS

(a) The swimmer is permitted to grease the body before a swim, use goggles and one silione hat. Nose clips and earplugs are permitted. Any kind of tape on the body is not permitted unless approved by the observer.
The swimmer may wear only one swimsuit in one or two pieces which shall not extend past the shoulder or below the knee. All swimsuits shall be made from textile materials. Caps may not be made from neoprene or any other material which offers similar heat retention properties. Silicone or latex hats are permitted.
The observer will have to approve that the swimwear rules have been observed. The swimmer must be sure that their costume and cap are of an approved type before the swim starts as the swim will not be recognised if they are later found not to conform. If you have any doubt, please seek advice and/or approval from the ILDSA North Channel secretary prior to the swim giving sufficient notice for any research or investigations to be completed.

(b) During a swim no physical contact with the swimmer shall be made by any person other than to pass food and drink or secure such items as light sticks for safety reasons.
The use of MP3 players and other electrical audio / communication devices shall not be allowed by the swimmer while swimming during any Channel swim attempt.

ASSISTED SWIM

An assisted category swim will be to the same rules as a standard swim except for the allowance, by prior arrangement with the ILDSA, of the minimum additional aids or contact as is deemed necessary for the safety of the swim on medical or other agreed grounds. An assisted category swim will only be accepted after prior agreement with the ILDSA.

  1. c) For a swim to be officially recognised, the swimmer must either enter into the sea from the shore of departure OR enter into the sea from the pilot boat, swim to the nearest rock face with no running sea water behind and “Touch start” from said rock face.  The swimmer must finish (i) on dry land by clearing the water, or (ii) to touch steep cliffs of the opposite coast with no sea-water beyond. Swimmers may finish in harbour water provided they land as in (i).

(d) For a multiple crossing to be officially recognised, the swimmer must, as soon as they make contact with the ground, land as directly as possible in accordance with the rules. They must then return immediately to the water, where they may stand or sit for up to 10 minutes. During this time they must not be touched by any person, but may be handed food, grease, medicines or swimming apparel to be administered by themselves. They must then, in agreement with the Observer, make the most direct and reasonable way to water deep enough in which to swim, and commence swimming. In all the above conditions, the Observer’s ruling will be final, subject to official ratification by the Committee.
The time spent before the return swim starts shall be added to the time of the subsequent crossing.

(e) The Observer’s must log, recording incidents, time, tides, method of feeding, etc in the “observer log”. The “observer log” is the property of the ILDSA. Swimmers may apply for copies of the “observer log” true the North Channel sectary. Which will be the sole decision of the Committee to supply the swimmer swimmer’s the “observer log”. The Committee reserve the right to with hold “observer log” with no explanation. The Committee may call for additional evidence to ratify the attempt if they require it from Pilot crew or swimmer swimmers.

(f) The appointed Observer shall be in sole charge of the timing of the swim, and shall be responsible for observing compliance with the rules only, subject to ratification by the Committee.

(g) The timing of a swim shall start from the moment the swimmer enters the water after the pilot signals the start or the swim until he completes the swim as laid down within the Rules.

(h) On their arrival in Northern Ireland area the swimmer must advise the Secretary and the Pilot of their place of residence. All documentation must be completed by the time limits laid down in the ILDSA information and any changes in dates or arrangements for Pilots etc must be reported as soon as possible but before the swim starts. The Pilots are required to give the observer liaison a full 12 hours notice of the possible departure of the pilot boat. Failure to give such notice could mean that an Official Observer may not be able to be appointed.

(i) The ILDSA shall not observe solo attempts to swim the Channel by persons under 18 years of age. Solo swimmers shall be over 18 years at least 3 days before the swim starts, and for registration purposes, at the beginning of the swim period they are booked to swim in. The Committee shall be empowered to examine and to refuse to accept if thought necessary, the applications of persons to attempt to swim the Channel swims seeking to be ratified.

(j) Relay swimmers must be aged 16 years for at least 3 days before they can swim in a standard relay team, subject to correct registration and to their medicals being accepted.

(k) All aspirants must satisfy the ILDSA of their competence to make a realistic effort to undertake a successful attempt to swim the Channel.

Channel qualifying swim for solo and relay teams

Solo swimmers one way: All aspirants must satisfy the ILDSA of their competence to make a realistic effort to undertake a successful attempt to swim the North Channel.

Option 1: All swimmers taking part in a solo swim must supply a fully completed and signed ILDSA assessment form of a 6 hour swim in water 13°C or below

Option 2: 8 hours in 15°C below within 9 months or less from the date of their North Channel slot

Option 3: Proof of completion in a recognised channel swim in water 13°C or below for a period considered by the ILDSA to be an acceptable alternative within the previous 9 months of the date of their North Channel slot. (A channel swim is usually the only recongised swim to be considered).

Solo swimmers two way: All swimmers taking part in a solo two way swim must supply a fully completed and signed ILDSA assessment form

Option 1: 8 hour swim in water 13°C or below

Option 2: 12 hours in 15°C or below within 9 months or less from the date of their North Channel slot

Option 3: Proof of completion in a recognised channel swim in water 13°C or below for a period considered by the ILDSA to be an acceptable alternative within the previous 9 months of the date of their North Channel slot. (A channel swim is usually the only recongised swim to be considered).

Relay Team one way: All swimmers taking part in a relay team swim must supply a fully completed and signed ILDSA assessment form

Option 1: The swimmer must complete a 2 hour swim in water of 14°C or below or a 3 hour swim in water 16°C or below

Option 2: Proof of completion in a recognised event in water 14°C or below for a 2 hours and the swim considered by the ILDSA North Channel Committee to be an acceptable alternative swim within the previous 9 months from the date of their North Channel slot.

Relay Team two way: All swimmers taking part in a two way relay team swim must supply a fully completed and signed ILDSA assessment form

Option 1: The swimmer must complete a 2 hour swim in water 14°C or below and a additional 1 hour within 12 hours of the finish time of the 2 hour swim. Totaling 3 hours swimming below 14°C

Option 2: 3 hours swim in 16°C or below and another 1 hour within 12 hours of the finish time of the 3 hour swim. Totaling 4 hours swimming below 16°C

Option 3: Proof of completion in a recognised event in water 14°C or below for a 3 hours and the swim considered by the ILDSA North Channel Committee to be an acceptable alternative swim within the previous 9 months from the date of their North Channel slot.

(l) The use of drugs by participants in Channel Swimming, other than for therapeutic reasons in accordance with medical advice, is regarded with complete disapproval and is considered contrary to the spirit of the sport. The ILDSA reserve the right to make random drug tests on Channel aspirants. The Observer may require a sample of any medication given.

(m) The pilot must sign before the start of the swim a declaration that the vessel meets all required standards by  the necessary licensing issuing authority at the time of commencement and they also have insurance to cover the boat taking part on a swim plus for all passengers as well as all personal licences and safety courses are valid

(n) In no circumstances shall more than one swimmer at a time be allowed to make their attempt from the same pilot boat.

(o) Only one dinghy, inflatable or Kayak at a time shall be permitted to operate with a pilot boat and will be the under the responsibility of the pilot.

(p) During solo swims a swimmer may be accompanied in the water by 1 person only & not accompanied at all until after the first 3 hours. This accompaniment will be for a maximum of 1 hour & cannot be repeated until at least 2 hours have elapsed after the cessation of the accompaniment.
The second swimmer may swim alongside, but not in front, of the solo aspirant & must not impede the solo swimmer.
For health & safety reasons the pilot must agree to any request for a support swimmer before they enter the water to accompany the swimmer.
The pilot may, at his or her discretion, request that a second swimmer join the solo aspirant outside of these times for a short period on the grounds of safety. (i.e. if a swimmer suffers severe cramps). Similarly the pilot may ask for accompaniment at the very end of a solo swim if the conditions dictate. This is to be allowed even if the request is within 2 hours of a previous accompaniment.
No support swimming is to be allowed on a relay swim.

(q) Where is the North Channel Swim course? The North Channel Swim will only be recognised when the start and finish is within the admiralty chart-2198 Southern part. No other route or course will be recognised as the “North Channel Swim” If you require further clarification contact the North Channel Secretary

(r) That the aspirant will make an honest effort to train and prepare for their North Channel Swim i.e. to arrive with adequate team, nutrition, clothing, recovery equipment etc.

(s) The swimmer has prepared and taken seriously the detail that we have provided and all forms are admitted and confirmed before the arrival of the swimmer.

(t) The swimmer or swimmer’s and crew will be asked to sign to conform they know and understand the rules and know the risks of swimming the North Channel knowing this have prepared for all events or outcomes and have the right equipment for recovering the swimmer or swimmer’s

(u) All solo swimmers must have successfully completed a channel swim of similar distance to qualify to attempt the North Channel solo swim (only applies from 2016 on)

(v) A minimum temperature of 11oc must be in place for a solo swim to take place. A relay attempt can take place in colder waters. This temperature can be taken only in open water outside of a harbour in the vicinity of the swim course. It can be taken from the shore but must be 500mm below the water level. It can be taken up to 2 days before an attempt takes place. This is the responsibility of the pilot and the swimmer. The water temperature will be rechecked on the day of the swim by the observer only at the start and if it’s found to be lower than 0.5oc of 11oc the swim will be deemed as unsafe to start. The full fee of the observer will be charged in this case.

(w) Please Note The observer fee is per attempt and will be needed to be repaid for each attempt.

what is and attempt? when the swimmer enters the water to attempt the North Channel Crossing.

Relay team leaders are responsible for organising and submitting the team’s paperwork and confirming the fully completed and signed assessment forms.

Team name and team leader MUST be clearly stated on ALL correspondence. Where possible all paperwork must come via the team leader.
Relay swims will be divided into the same categories as solo swims – Standard, Special, Assisted. Any alteration from a standard crossing must be agreed by the ILDSA before the start of the swim.

STANDARD RELAY SWIMS

SWIM SUIT CLARIFICATION
No swimmer in a standard attempt to swim the Channel shall be permitted to use or wear any device or swimsuit that may aid his/her speed, buoyancy, heat retention or endurance (such as wetsuit, webbed gloves, paddles, fins, etc). The swimmer is permitted to grease the body before a swim, use goggles and one hat. Nose clips and earplugs are also permitted. Any kind of tape on the body is not permitted unless approved by the observer.
The swimmer may wear only one swimsuit in one or two pieces which shall not extend past the shoulder or below the knee. All swimsuits shall be made from textile materials. Caps may not be made from neoprene or any other material which offers similar heat retention properties (as determined by the ILDSA). Silicone or latex hats are permitted.
The observer will have to approve that the swimwear rules have been observed. The swimmer must be sure that their costume and cap are of an approved type before the swim starts as the swim will not be recognised if they are later found not to conform. If you have any doubt, please seek advice and/or approval from the ILDSA Committee prior to the swim giving sufficient notice for any research or investigations to be completed.

STANDARD RELAY TEAM

(a) “Each standard team shall consist of a maximum of 6 swimmers each swimming for 1 hour. The order of the team shall be given to the official observer before the actual commencement of the swim. There shall be NO changes in order or substitutions whatsoever.

(b) Each person must provide photograph identification before the swim commences.
(c) Swimmers in relay teams shall be over 16 years old 3 days before the relay swim starts, and for registration purposes, the beginning of the swim period their team is booked to swim in. Unless otharwise approved by the ILDSA committee/North Channel Advisory Board. 
(d) All swimmers taking part in a relay team swim must supply a fully completed and signed ILDSA assessment form

Relay Team one way: All swimmers taking part in a relay team swim must supply a fully completed and signed ILDSA assessment form

Option 1: The swimmer must complete a 2 hour swim in water of 14°C or below or a 3 hour swim in water 16°C or below

Option 2: Proof of completion in a recognised event in water 14°C or below for a 2 hours and the swim considered by the ILDSA North Channel Committee to be an acceptable alternative swim within the previous 9 months from the date of their North Channel slot.

Relay Team two way: All swimmers taking part in a two way relay team swim must supply a fully completed and signed ILDSA assessment form

Option 1: The swimmer must complete a 2 hour swim in water 14°C or below and a additional 1 hour within 12 hours of the finish time of the 2 hour swim. Totaling 3 hours swimming below 14°C

Option 2: 3 hours swim in 16°C or below and another 1 hour within 12 hours of the finish time of the 3 hour swim. Totaling 4 hours swimming below 16°C

Option 3: Proof of completion in a recognised event in water 14°C or below for a 3 hours and the swim considered by the ILDSA North Channel Committee to be an acceptable alternative swim within the previous 9 months from the date of their North Channel slot.

(f) Each swimmer shall swim for one hour each time he/she enters the water unless SPECIAL CATEGORY RELAY SWIMS Where prior approval is sought from the North Channel Committee

(g) The change-over/takeover from one swimmer to the next in a relay should take place every 60 minutes with the new swimmer entering the water on a signal given by the Crew. During the take-over the new swimmer must enter the water from behind & swim past the preceding swimmer. The previous swimmer must then exit the water as quickly as possible. The change-over should take no more than 5 minutes.

(h) Team members shall rotate in the same order throughout the swim. Pace-making is NOT allowed and support swimmers are not permitted.

(i) An Official Observer of the ILDSA must be present on any Relay Team swim for it to be recognised.

SPECIAL CATEGORY RELAY SWIMS
A Special category relay will be run under the same rules as a standard relay except for the allowance of the number of persons in the team. Teams can be 2 – 3 – 4 – or 5 people. Teams of 2 or 3 persons will be allowed the option of choosing between 1, 2 or 3 hour swim periods for each member. The option must be declared before the start of the crossing and maintained throughout the crossing.

ASSISTED CATEGORY RELAY SWIMS
An Assisted category relay will follow the same rules as a standard relay except for the allowance of the minimum additional aids or contact as is deemed necessary for the safety of the swim on medical or other agreed grounds. This includes entry and exit to the water if additional assistance is required for disabled swimmers.   It is assumed that under this category the applying team will meet all their own requirements to make a safe attempt at the North Channel Crossing.  An assisted category relay will only be accepted after prior agreement with the ILDSA North Channel committee.