This is a very crucial role that serves as the swimmers’ first safety net in the event of distress. The kayaker escorts and guides an individual swimmer, provides needed assistance, communicates with boaters/wave runners if swimmer needs additional help. Additional kayakers not assigned a swimmer will be assigned as “rovers” with each swimmer wave.
It’s of utmost importance that individuals volunteering for this role have extensive open water kayaking experience and skills for two important reasons…1) the kayak will be the swimmers primary point of reference/guide to stay on course and legally round each buoy, 2) and more importantly, the swim is subject to potentially hazardous weather conditions including rough seas and high winds that only an experienced and skilled paddler can handle.
All kayak escorts are required to register on the imATHLETE Kayak Support page.