Hey Gang ... I've participated or involved with Vineman (half and/or 70.3) every year since 1997 as an athlete, event director and now announcing ... I currently live in Sonoma County, train on the course often and currenty on the swim course weekly ... here are some keys / facts that might answer and be-bunk myths
* Long term / 1 week forecast shows mid 80'3 and thats normal ... morning temps regardless are in the 50's ... and yes the hottest year on record was 1993 by far
* It would take a ton (considering 1993, 2009, and other years) for Russ and his crew to shorten the race ... there will just be more water on course and you should slow down
* Swim Venue ... it's interesting how many people say they "needed" to stand because they were scraping the bottom ... we swim there weekly, and though yes shallow and able to stand (near the sides, bridge and turn) by no means should one need to walk ( it's actually slower and the bottom is rocky) ... i've also been on the course when the pros go thru the shallow water and they don't need to stand including taller athletes like Potts & Lieto
* Water Temp ... currently it fluctuates between about 71 degrees (morning) and 77 degrees (evening) ... considering the water moves through the river, is not stationary AND the weatehr cools off nightly it really does fluctuate alot daily ... the race referees don't look for cool water to drop the thermometer ... it gets dropped in a couple / three places at three feet deep ... an honestly if anything it would be easier for the race staff for it to be non-wetsuit swim so they didn't have to transport 2000 wetsuits back to Windsor ;-) ... water temperature and wetsuit OR non wetsuit is decided by the WTC head official not the race directors ... my only role is just delivering the temperature ... for it to be a non-wetsuit swim it would need to be VERY hot for many days, with no marine layer and a reduced flow rate in the river ... possible yes, likely? no
* Water Level ... it's unaffected unless the temporary dam is pull out, "lowered", or water stops flowing from upstream ... none of those happen in July ... and no the race director has NO control over water flow / releases as has sometimes been rumored ;-)
Hope that helps out for those that may be concerned about weather / water temps / water levels. The swim course is unique, safe, fast, beautiful and the overall race course has been a classic for 20+ years.
For those that have done the race before some good news ... the parking lot for T1 has been improved ... a binding agent has been added to the hard pack dirt and gravel so the dust level is almost non-existent and there is very little to no loose ground ... !!!!!