This event has my full support and recommendation. If the Organiser (Azura ) or local authority (LADA's En Azhar Anas) wants any help from me, I'm happy to assist for FREE.
I hope the event stays as the Armed Forces Open Water Swimming Championships, as meeting the Military boys (my late father was ex Military) gave me much joy.
Overall, the Langkawi Swimming Festival 2019 (which has the full support of the local authority, LADA) was actually quite good. Once a local authority supports an event, then all the uniformed bodies, government resources, personnel, Bomba, medical etc will get behind the event and it will be very good for swimmers.
I look forward to many more good years at the Langkawi Swimming Festival. This is a very good event.
|The Air Force Commandos Triathlon Team|
|The Air Force's competent Coach|
|Navy Commandos (Paskal)|
Many good points
- The organisers made it comfortable for swimmers with good tents, tables, chairs, changing tents, showers etc.
- Nice stage erected.
- Nice after race food.
- Fast and accurate results.
- Finisher's medals.
- Some prize money.
- Nice Event and Finisher's T shirts for 8 km.
- Clear loud speaker system.
- Better kayakers this year.
- Value for money entry fee because local government support (uniformed bodies) are provided by them as part of public service.
- Prestigous prize presentation.
- Possibility to collect MOWS points.
- The Armed Forces Open Water Swimming Championship adds to the occasion.
- Next to good beach front accommodation.
- Many flights to Langkawi.
- Very cheap car rental.
- Duty Free island, thus very cheap chocolates and other stuff.
- Buoys missing and moving about (don't sight via buoys, look at landmarks).
- One swimmer got very badly stung (hospitalized, OK) by jelly fish. Swimmers who are worried, should cover up their arms and legs.
- Feeding boat not labelled.
- Turnaround buoy not labelled.
- At times, kayaks and / or support boats were blocking the buoys from the swimmers' view.
- No finishing funnel.
- The official Facebook page (Langkawi Swimming Festival) was much too quiet before the event.
- Not enough official photographers.
Suggestions for improvements to the Organisers
- Keep the event as part of Swimon's Malaysian Open Water Series. Many swimmers came just because of Swimon's involvement and / or they wanted the points.
- Keep the event as the Armed Forces OWS Championships. It gives me great pleasure to meet the Military boys. I am happy to sponsor a Challenge Trophy for the best Armed Forces team next year.
- Maybe keep the current course format (out and straight back). This is a very safe (the most important concern) format for swimmers and the safety providers. Swimmers are always in sight of safety personnel and vice versa, which gives everyone confidence that safety wise, everything is ok.
- Also with the current out and back format for the 8 km, the feeding point is the beach (4 km point) which is very convenient for swimmers and organizer. If a boat is the feeding point, the boat must be clearly labelled as the feeding boat, because all boats on the course looks the same. I noticed at many previous swim events, swimmers were unable to identify the feeding boat.
- It was very unfortunate that many new marker buoys were suspected to have been stolen during the night. It was also unfortunate that other buoys "moved" during the night and again whilst the event was ongoing. But, the only important marker buoy is the turnaround buoy for the respective distances. Swimmers can use the island (Pulau Gasing) for sighting purposes on the way out and the large tents on the beach when swimming back. The respective turnaround buoys should be very clearly labelled and secured.
- For your kind information, regular Open Water Swimmers have informed me that they prefer to swim around both islands.
- Kayaks and boats should not be blocking the buoys from the swimmers.
- There should be a finishing funnel (eg two buoys) for swimmers to swim through at the finish. We observed some weaker swimmers going off course and then walk to the finish which is actually a faster way to finish if the swimmer sprints on the beach to the finish.
- Get more official photographers. I know of one highly competent photographer who was just waiting to hear your reply. But silence. Photos are shared over and over on social media. Seeing nice photos are why new swimmers will participate.
Please make the official Facebook page ACTIVE
The official Facebook page (Langkawi Swimming Festival) was just TOO QUIET. How are swimmers going to get interested when there is no news.
I humbly suggest:
- Answer all questions promptly, even the most boring or repetitive question. Swimmers will then believe in the credibility of the organiser and event.
- The event has many good points but why keep quiet about them.
- Mention the stage, start / finish gantry and the tents.
- Show off the nice trophy.
- Show off the nice T shirts again and again.
- Show nice pictures of the location again and again.
- Make a nice video, like what Oceanman does.
- Tell them about nearby restaurants. The Fish and Chips !!!
- Tell them that the event has the full and active support of local government, Bomba, Hospital etc
- Boast about Langkawi's attractions.
- Boast that this is also the Armed Forces Open Water Swimming Championships.
Why keep quiet? Come on. Hee hee
Tips for swimmers
- Stay nearby to the race start / finish. Its very convenient and less stress.
- Cover your arms and legs (eg lycra) against jelly fish.
- Identify the landmarks for sighting. Buoys are notoriously unreliable.
- Sight often as the cross currents are quite strong, but keep the head low.
- Hydrate properly before the start as its hot there.
|Hero for the day. A two star Navy General. Way to go Sir|
|Everyone is happy|
No hard feelings I hope. My wife and I are always happy to support Malaysian Open Water Swimming.
Majulah Sukan Untuk Negara.