Acting as Official Observer for a swim that has no governing association can still require an Observer’s Report. There are too many details to keep track to ensure you will remember them all. A full observer’s report can act as a checklist. It’s primary function is to capture all the relevant detail of a marathon swim.
Since it’s the one I’m most familiar with, and since it’s been used more than any other Observer’s Report in the world and well tested, I decided to use an edited CS&PF Official Observer’s Report.
I removed the CS&PF logos and made some slight changes. It’s a two page design which I’m putting it here and later on marathonswimmers.org in case someone needs a generic Observer’s Report. PDFs are downloadable from these links below.
Page One holds all the details of the swimmer, crew, date, times, tides, and signatures. You’ll notice that it lists Special Considerations, which Rules will be followed and any exceptions to Channel Rules (by which I mean the CS&PF English Channel rule-set). This allow the report to be used for any type of swim, assisted or unassisted. Rather than download the image, use the higher resolution PDF at the link above.
Page Two holds the actual feed details by time intervals. Include medication and liquid quantity. For exampple if the swimmer plans to take 200ml liquid feed each twenty minutes, and leaves quarter of it in the bottle, write down 150ml. This can be valuable later. Multiple pages may be printed if using very short feed intervals or for exceptionally long swims. At 30 minute feed intervals from the start one page will last for a 16 hour swim. The page also includes the stroke rate and sea and weather conditions for 16 hours. Each two feed cycle also allows for GPS latitude and longitude readings, and a map reference.
it’s also recommended that an Observer keeps some personal notes. With a bit of care, Observer’s Notes combined with the detail on these two pages are enough to build a very clear picture of a Channel swim (or otherwise) once you understand what you are reading.
For Wind Speed I use Observed Beaufort Scale. Sea state can be described as ripples, calm, choppy. There’s not much room so your own abbreviation is best. Wave height should be estimated from the back of the wave for consistency (even though it will look less impressive to those who don’t understand).
- HOW TO: Crew selection in marathon swimming (loneswimmer.com)
- HOW TO: The greatest sport on Earth. Follow a swim during Channel season (loneswimmer.com)