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2016 Newport Sharkfest Swim Entrant Letter
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Official Entrant Newsletter

Dear Newport Sharkfest® Swimmer,

Congratulations on your entry in the 4th Annual Newport Sharkfest Swim, scheduled for Sunday, September 18, 2016. You will be swimming 1500 meters or 1.5 miles from the dock in Perotti Park down the harbor to finish on the beach at King Park Swim Area. There is a 1 hour 20 minute course cut off time for the 1.5 mile swim race. Please note there will not be a team competition this year.

This is the official "ENTRANT NEWSLETTER." Nothing will be sent via regular mail. All athletes will pick up their timing chips and swim caps race day morning.

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS NOT A SWIM FOR NOVICES OR THOSE UNPREPARED TO SPEND UP TO ONE HOUR AND 15 MINUTES IN 62-64-DEGREE WATER. If your time for a mile in the pool (72 lengths or 36 laps in a 25-yard pool) is longer than 40 minutes, you are NOT QUALIFIED to do this swim.

Race Day Itinerary

  • 7:30–8:30am: Athlete Check-In will take place at the swim start area Perotti Park. You MUST BRING A PHOTO ID to pick up your swim cap.
  • 8:45am: Pre-Race Announcements will be made at the swim start at approximately this time.
  • 9:00am: Race starts at this time, BOTH distances.
  • 10:30am: Informal Awards Ceremony will take place at the King Park Swim Area, announcing the age group winners in each age group (wetsuit & non-wetsuit COMBINED) and handing out medals to those winners. Final results will be posted online at SharkfestSwim.com and personalized award plaques will be mailed a few weeks later.
  • Post Race: Enjoy the post-race snacks at the park while you swap tales about your swim and pick up your hard earned t-shirt (and hat if you pre-ordered one).

FAQs

BATHROOMS
  • Toilets are available inside the Marriott Hotel, adjacent to the registration area.
  • There are bathrooms located at the finish.
  • There are no change room facilities. We recommend wearing your swimsuit under your warm-ups.
  • There are NO shower facilities at the swim finish.
BAG CHECK
  • After check-in, proceed to GEAR BAG TABLE to get a bag to label with your race number. Your gear bag will be transported to the finish.
SWIM DETAILS
  • Scheduled SWIM START TIME is 9:00AM.
  • There will be a single mass start.
  • Water temps should be 63-66°F degrees.
  • View SWIM COURSE MAP.
TIMING & AWARDS
  • Your time will be taken on the beach as you pass the finish line. Stay in order as you exit the water for accurate timing.  After all swimmers are accounted for and the preliminary results are posted and tabulated, there will be an informal awards ceremony by the finish at King Park Swim Area at approximately 10:30am announcing age group winners (wetsuit & non-wetsuit combined). The top three finishers in each age group will receive a medal. Full results will be posted online within 24 hours of the event. Customized age-group award plaques will be mailed to the first place in each age group several weeks after the event. 
T-SHIRTS & HATS
  • Athletes will pick up t-shirts at the finish. A t-shirt is included with your entry. If you pre-ordered a hat, you will also pick that up when you finish. Some extra hats and t-shirts may be available for purchase after the race.
TRANSPORTATION & PARKING
  • Parking will be available for $3.00/hour ($24.50/day) in the public parking garage located behind the Newport Visitor’s Center (23 America's Cup Ave, Newport, RI) near the race start. There will be shuttle buses to transport spectators from the start to the finish and to transport spectators and athletes from the race finish back to your cars near the swim start. The post-race shuttle will run approximately every 20 minutes starting at 10:00am. Or, better yet, you can walk through the historical shopping district on the harbor where you just swam.
XTERRA WETSUITS is an official wetsuit and wetsuit rental sponsor for the 2016 Enviro-Sports Newport Sharkfest Swim. As part of our partnership, race participants receive exclusive discounts on the XTERRA WETSUITS product line, including up to 50% off Vortex 3 and Vector Pro X2 triathlon wetsuits, and the first place male and female finishers will win 100 XTERRA points to spend on their site. Visit www.xterrawetsuits.com and use coupon code R-ENV to purchase or rent the best selling triathlon wetsuit in North America!

What to Expect During the Swim


WHAT TO EXPECT DURING THE SWIM 

SUPPORT
Lead kayaks and paddleboarders will direct the front swimmers along the correct course. Additional kayaks, paddlers and boats will corral the remainder of the field.  A designated lead paddler will assist you with sighting. The paddler will be wearing a brightly colored vest and standing on his board. There will be no buoys to guide you; rather, you will use the lead paddler and escort boats as your guides. If you are swimming astray, you will be advised to change course. You must obey the instructions of all escort personnelNon-compliance with this rule will result in automatic disqualification.

COURSE
The lead paddler will direct the swimmers. As you approach the swim finish, you will be directed to follow buoys and then swim in a defined channel to the finish. As you approach the finish, the 1500 meter swimmers will continue straight past the buoy to the beach. The 1.5 mile swimmers will take a left turn to continue around the rectangular addition on the course. Our fleet of kayakers, paddlers and boats will be there to guide and encourage you every stroke of the way. You will then be able to say "I swam Newport Harbor!"

PACE
Our objective is to have everyone successfully complete the swim from Perotti Park to King Park, but if your pace puts you too far behind to guarantee your safe completion, a boat will pick you up. You may be moved to a more favorable location, so you can complete the swim; however, swimofficials have the authority to make an objective assessment of your progress and may decide pick you up and move you to a more favorable location so you can complete the swim or they may bring you to the finish line. If an official tells you to get into a boat, it is expressly for your safety, and you must comply or you will be disqualified

MILD PANIC
If you find that when you jump in the water or start to swim that your heart begins to beat rapidly and your breathing feels out of control, this can be perfectly normal. It's usually just the adrenaline rush of race day paired with the shock of the cold water. Use your own judgment on whether to continue, especially if you have any medical conditions, but most people find that if they continue to swim, they warm up, get their breathing back under control and are able to get back into a groove and finish the swim. You may backstroke, or swim with your head out of the water until you're comfortable to swim again.

GETTING ASSISTANCE
If you feel that you cannot complete the swim or you need the assistance of a kayaker, stay put and put one arm straight up in the air. A kayaker will come to you and discuss your options. It is perfectly legal to grab the nose of a kayak and wait out a cramp, get your breathing under control, etc. Don't hesitate to take the measures you need to finish your swim. (Note: If you need to grab onto a kayak, grab onto the nose; NEVER grab a kayak from the side, as you may tip it over).
A smart athlete will know when it's not his or her day. You'll always be welcome to come back and try again. There's no shame in taking a rain check on this event. 

WARNING SIGNS
If you start to get cold and can't think straight, you are experiencing mild hypothermia and should make the choice to end your swim. Full hypothermia may result in death. Don't be ashamed or hesitate to call it quits early. If you decide it's just not your day, stay put and raise your hand. Yell to get the attention of an escort, and you will be picked up. 

VERY IMPORTANT!
If you drop out of the race and do not go through the finish chute, you MUST check-in with an official at the race finish to notify us that you are back on shore. We don't want to have to launch a search and rescue unless someone is truly missing in the water.
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