We are looking forward to seeing everyone this weekend! I've received a few questions about wetsuits and I wanted to provide some clarification on whether or not they are allowed.
The water temperature at Rocky Gap in Lake Habeeb in mid-July is normally between 75 and 80 degrees. Water temperature will be measured the day before the race and race morning. All athletes will be notified whether or not wetsuits are allowed under USAT rules.
In my previous communications, I referenced an ITU (International Triathlon Union) rule of 72 degrees as the threshold for allowing wetsuits for this race. We used this threshold for 16 years of the event, but this year we will follow USAT rules for wetsuits. Basically, if the water temperature is greater than 78 degrees, then wetsuits are not permitted without a penalty (athlete will be unranked).
The complete USAT wetsuit rule is below:
Each age group participant shall be permitted to wear a wetsuit without penalty in any event sanctioned by USA Triathlon up to and including a water temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water temperature is greater than 78 degrees, but less than 84 degrees Fahrenheit, age group participants may wear a wetsuit at their own discretion, provided however that participants who wear a wetsuit within this temperature range shall not be eligible for prizes or awards. Age group participants shall not wear wet suits in water temperatures equal to or greater than 84 degrees Fahrenheit. The wetsuit policy for elite athletes shall be determined by the USAT Athletes Advisory Council. The AAC has set the wetsuit maximum temperature for elite athletes at 68 degrees for swim distances less than 3000 meters and 71.6 degrees for distances of 3000 meters or greater. Any swimmer wearing a wetsuit with a thickness measured in any part greater than 5 millimeters shall be disqualified.
See you this weekend!!