Re-Introducing the octodecathlon.

At every millennium ending I normally give out my opinion re the state of
Canadian Master swimming, and I see no reason to do different this time around.

As everybody knows by now, octodeca is eighteen in Greek, hence the
octodecathlon (registered trademark, patent pending, copyrighted logo with 18

Actually as my Greek friends were all on vacation or otherwise unavailable
at the time, I had to dig long and hard at various dictionaries and only
picked what looked like the most common of several choices for eighteen ...

The octodecathlon is a point-scored event patterned after the decathlon,
pentathlon, heptathlon, triathlon and biathlon (10, 5, 7, 3 and 2 events).

The events are of course the 6 free events plus the 3 back, breast, fly and IM
events. In other words, 50 free to 1500 free, all the way to 400 IM (yes in-
cluding 200 fly). To participate you need only enter all these events at regu-
lar masters meets. You may also only enter some of these events, and that's Ok

To do well requires the following skills: 1) be fast 2) be good 3) be patient
4) be somewhat obsessed with swimming. To qualify you must rank in the top 20
in your age group for each event you enter. For certain age groups, that's easy
enough. For some, (30,s, 40's), hum, not so easy. Making use of a table that
scales from 0 to 100 (more than 100 is possible but extra-ordinary, hyphen
intended), one can score more than 1000 points overall. 1200 is rather good,
and a few rare individuals scale up to 1500. (Somebody we know has been over
1700 !). 1800 is a hard slog.

From next year on the printed annual rankings will only show top 10 results,
(to save mailing costs) and no overall point rankings, but top 20 information
and overall rankings will be available at under
the Canada heading, and that's where the octodecathlon results will be shown.

You can think of these octodecathlon rankings as high-point winners or MVP
awards. For those who would rather go 50 free and 50 fly only (sometimes trying
out for a 100 fre or IM) a special ranking has been devised; ranking by
highest average. It is believed that only Lynn Marshall has won both
the overall ranking and highest average ranking ....

Frederic Savard from PPO, Montreal and our highest average-thinker has poin-
ted out that allowing for splits, you would only need to swim a 1500 m free
and a 400 IM once a year to - theoritically - obtain a time in all 6 free events
(50, 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1500) and a time in the 100 of every stroke in the
400 IM, therefore also the corresponding 50's, which would mean a further 7
times, for a total of 13 in 2 actual events ! Nice work if you can get it.

In actual facts, splits from 200 to 300, or from 300 to 400 are rarely looked
at, so this is only a theoritical thought experiment !

My own take is that you would need the 1500 free, all 3 IM, and all 3 remaining
200's (back, brst, fly).

Pre-Y2k records:

The fall meets (Sept to Dec) have so far yielded the following records:
At La Salle, Que in November, 85-yr old Roman Jezek set a new 100 IM record
with a time of 2:40.60. He also beat (by a very small margin) Cam Weir's 200
back record. He was also briefly seen in a TV interview at the World Triathlon
(3 events, see above) held in Montreal in September.

While not a record, Pano Caperonis keeps demonstrating the value of the Pano
index. Having lost a further two pounds, he cut his 100 free time to 1:00.42.
(See my previous article in the MSC magazine). Pano is 52 yrs old.

In a meet in Utah, Vinus Van Baalen 55-59 (him again) broke the 100 free
record down to 1:04.87, just enough to retake the record from Peter Straka
(1:04.95 at Nepean in May).

Also in October, at the Brantford meet, Sylvia Eisele easily (well no) broke
the 100 br record with a time of 1:49.41, 70-74 age group. This is getting
serious now.

Vote early, vote often ...

For those of you who cherish democracy, you can exercise your right to do so at Select Canada, then Vote. You may select the swimmer of
your choice as to the fastest, most popular, most likely to succeed, most hand-
some. Yes you can vote for yourself (for fastest etc ..) or me (for handsome) !
Results will be tabulated at the same site (as soon as I get more than 25
votes in). Negotiations are underway with Swim and Revenue Canada to make
such votes lap-deductible (you are given a credit of 25 meters for each
vote sent in at your next 1500 m).