I am sort of surprised nobody has raised this issue in general (and maybe JAkers or Karen can clarify) --
My understanding is that speed suits, for the most part, are designed to reduce drag and do pretty much nothing to increase buoyancy. So at least in the early days, only the faster swimmers chose to pay for them, and everyone else just swam in their kits (in fact a few years ago when IMLP was suddenly no-wetsuit, a friend of mine raced the entire day in her swimsuit because she had left her speed suit in her hotel and her actual tri kit had pockets and thus too much drag ... and still qualified for Kona!).
However, I didn't follow all the twists and turns of what's legal when, and I am all for increased confidence in the water using any legal means!
Good luck with your race!
Yeah, I know it's only going to reduce drag. Someone on the main forum was saying you might save 3 seconds per 100 yards. That might be a minute total saved during a 1.2 mile half iron swim. Not sure if that is worth the money. I'm not shooting for a Worlds spot especially since I'm coming back from a stress fracture. Just looking to have a good, fun early season race after a hideously bad summer. If I could save 2-3 minutes in a half iron swim by reducing the drag with a speedsuit, it might be worth it for me. My tri kit does have pockets, seams and padding.
I'll admit my husband and I do love sports gear and it won't take much to convince me to purchase a fancy new speedsuit :-)