10km Cup Renamed Fran Crippen Memorial
Feb 18, 2011 - Craig Lord
FINA has renamed its 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup as the Fran Crippen Memorial circuit for 2011 in the wake of the American swimmer's death in a race off the coast at Fujairah, UAE, on October 23 last year.
The international federation has also postponed the start of the 10km circuit until mid-April in the hope that the Task Force appointed to investigate Fran Crippen's death will have reported by then and any recommendations for urgent rule changes implemented. The latest moves were decided at the recent meeting of the FINA Bureau in Frankfurt.
Cornel Marculescu, executive director of FINA, told SwimNews that the second part of the federation's open water activity, the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix, had been allowed to proceed as usual with a January start because races over mega distances (as opposed to 10km or less) are governed by rules that dictate a ratio of one safety boat per swimmer. There is no such rule at present in 10km races.
"We postponed the 10km events until mid-April because we hope that by that date we will have the report of the Task Force and the Bureau will have been able to [take a view] of things and make some decisions before the racing starts," said Marculescu.
The issue of safety, including the ratio and types of vehicles used for safety, is expected to be central to the report into the American swimmer's death in waters reported to have been over 30C when the noon 10km race began. Surface temperatures were reported to be much higher on a day of searing heat, with air temperatures of 40C. Ambient temperatures are not considered under current rules of open water swimming governed by FINA.