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Deck Change: Wrapping a towel around oneself to change (typically into or out of a bathing suit) in a public setting.
This is the place where you can talk about the pics, the sport, the weather, and the lack of pictures of deck changes on this site.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Speedo Grand Challenge - 2006

Jessica Hardy spins the infamous "Mystery Wheel".

I know it has taken me a while to post and I am a few meets behind but I am working on it I promise! I know a few of you are waiting on the pictures. So I am on it.

This year the Speedo Grand Challenge was over-run with 10x10ft sun shades, blocking the view of the pool, or just taking up space. I had to sit behind the blocks on the wall around the deck on the first day of prelims. Therefore, I didn't go back to prelims the following days. Then during the finals, there were sunshades set up everywhere and many of them only had a couple people under them, or no one at all. I hear a lot of complaints about the lack of support for the sport, and then some events make it impossible to try to be a spectator. I understand the need for shade, but unless you were on a team who happened to have one of these monstrosities, you were out of luck. My suggestion to fix this problem is that the meet admistrators allow the large sunshades only on the top level of the deck seating on the competition pool during finals and as many as they want any time at the warm down pool and during prelims. Or think about starting a collection for a permanent retractable awning system to cover the bleachers because the sun is an issue that is not going to go away. Well... until dark. Heh. It would be a worthy investment.

All of that aside, this is a really great meet. I think the format is interesting. What makes it different is the fact that only four swimmers compete in the championship final. There are always some good races with the prizes for first place ranging between $300 - $1000 depending on the top qualifyer's spin of the lovely and talented "Mystery Wheel". It is fun how the level commitment from people watching gets a little greater when the prizes are more valuable. It is tough to spin the big amounts though. And always a little sad when the winner can't claim the cash prize due to amature status or NCAA eligibility. It was great to see such greats as Jason Lezak, Jessica Hardy, Kate Ziegler and Tara Kirk to name a few.

I got to play with a "real camera" that belongs to my friend Michelle, proving that I have a lot to learn before I can ever use such a beautiful camera. Those are the photos from May 26th. I love so many things about them but they were under-exposed so I had to do a lot of adjusting in Photoshop. It would be great to have that kind of a set up though. But for now I will be happy with my little point and shoot.


  • At 10/23/2006 10:42 AM, Jo said…

    I'm way behind in checking all my favorite sites...time to remedy that!!

    I'd love to see a meet with a finals format like the Speedo Grand Challenge. The Wheel sounds like a fun twist. Cool that so many great swimmers were there.

    Too bad there could be some sort of trust set up for the NCAA swimmers...y'know, put their winnings in a fund for them to collect when they go pro.

    And you just use a point & click to take the pics you do?!?!?!? Color me impressed!!!

  • At 11/01/2006 8:51 PM, Michelle said…

    Ok, those awnings were seriously a pain. If you weren't sitting in the first two rows of bleachers you couldn't see the pool for tents and if you were sitting in the front two rows you couldn't see the pool for people standing on deck. Remember the line of people poolside during every big race? It was just so spectator unfriendly.

    Anyway, I vote for retractable awning system.


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