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100+ Mile Per Hour Swim Race

Circular swim course with pumps moving water and swimmers over 100 miles per hour.
  (+7, -2)
(+7, -2)
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Swimming races are slow and kind of boring. Having the water and swimmers move this fast could be more exciting to watch.

The fastest swimmers would still win, they'd just fly by the viewing stands really fast.

I think there'd be an element strategy to use the curves to your advantage, not sure how you'd do that.

Probably be an element of danger too which certainly adds to the excitement level.

Hmm, just looked it up. They don't call swimming races swimming races for some reason. Maybe because they're so slow.

doctorremulac3, Mar 12 2022

For example https://www.hamilto...ht-series-waterjets
Water jets designed for propulsion. [neutrinos_shadow, Mar 13 2022]

Laminar flow thingies. https://www.youtube...watch?v=o5L6W0YoAd4
[doctorremulac3, Mar 13 2022]


       From a web search:   

       "How fast are water slides? Riders reach speeds of up to 60 miles (90 kilometers) per hour as they plummet down a free-fall slide" Water comes out of a fire hydrant at 100mph and back in EPA us kids open them up on a summer day and play in the flow. It'd knock you down and hurt like hell, send you flying but it was fun.   

       So people in fast running water is already a thing. This would just be deeper and as horizontal as possible with turns tilted up as necessary to keep the flow contained.
doctorremulac3, Mar 12 2022

       The water's being pumped at 100 mph. It's a circular track with tilted up sides as necessary.   

       Getting into a 100 mph stream isn't easy but I did it and I was a kid wearing nothing but my underwear like everybody else. (this was the ghetto mind you)   

       Until the fire department and cops came.   

       One of the happiest memories of my life. (the water part, not the cops)
doctorremulac3, Mar 12 2022

       Penstock outlet at a dam might be more like what you'd get. Anyway, speed could be adjusted, it'd be as fast as practical.
doctorremulac3, Mar 13 2022

       Dhunno... twenty laps.
doctorremulac3, Mar 13 2022

       If you're going to have a strong current in the water, make it variable (with cross- currents, etc.), so that the winning strategy depends on the navigation of those currents.   

       I'm picturing something more like a flooded pinball table than a circuit.
pertinax, Mar 13 2022

       I was thinking that, like in a car you try to get the inside track, maybe here you try to get the outside? The water flowign on the outer side of a loop flows faster right? Wait... yea, because there's more pressure on the inside of the loop right? So it seeks the path of least resistance.   

       I think.
doctorremulac3, Mar 13 2022

       From my experience down one of those fast drop slides is that you don't have much control at all and breathing is just sortof whenever you can. You're a projectile and the currents are not helping.
RayfordSteele, Mar 13 2022

       Oh, you'd definately be 95% projectile, but you could still presumabely be a slightly FASTER projectile than the other guys.   

       Just occurred to me, would you even bother swimming with your arms? Maybe you'd go faster just forming a particular shape, like a squid or something.
doctorremulac3, Mar 13 2022

       Yea, might not even be swimming, just trying to stay alive.
doctorremulac3, Mar 13 2022

       OK so we go to one of those massive concrete dams, the type with sluices and overflow channels. The swimmers all start standing on the dam. On the start signal they have to dive into the water, swim to the sluice entrance and extreme surf down the overflow channel to the finish line.
pocmloc, Mar 13 2022

       Whoa, that's something that actually could be done with little prep. Tell me there's anybody on Earth who wouldn't watch that. Think that's worthy of a new idea post. Daredevil Dam Diving or something.   

       So another twist on this occurred to me: Jumps.   

       Water going that fast hits a ramp, the water and swimmers are flying hundreds of feet through the air.
doctorremulac3, Mar 13 2022

       Unfortunately, many dam spillways have a "flow dissipation" structure of some sort near the end. Typically solid concrete... not so good for swimming into.
For a purpose-built course, as long as you can keep the flow reasonable "smooth" (no turbulence), I think it would be doable. Plenty of water pumps & water jet units out there for providing ridiculous water speeds.
neutrinos_shadow, Mar 13 2022

       LOL! Yea, that might make for a very short race.   

       (8th: "And the problem with that is?...")   

       As for the pumps, I'd push the water flow through one of them "laminar flow" thingies so it wouldn't just be torrential roiling chaos for the swimmers.
doctorremulac3, Mar 13 2022

       100 mph foot race? The wind could make a real difference.
Voice, Mar 14 2022

       Hmm. Like in a wing tunnel eh? I like it. Not sure how you’d deal with the fans though.
doctorremulac3, Mar 14 2022

       No, on a 100 mph moving platform.
Voice, Mar 14 2022

       Okay, yea that would be interesting.   

       They'd be fighting against the wind, so even though they'd blast by at 100 mph, the'd be struggling to stay upright and push forward into the wind.   

       Another thing you could do is have a massive 100mph wind fan blowing them forward.
doctorremulac3, Mar 14 2022

       //Getting into a 100 mph stream isn't easy//   

       I'd say you're in deep physical trouble. Human terminal velocity while falling is 120mph. You take 12-15s to reach that while falling and if you do, entering water makes large parts come off usually.   

       Another way of looking at it, is that air is ~1000 fold less dense than water, so what if you encountered air at 1000 fold more speed for a mass-rate equivalency? 100,000mph? You're not surviving that. Obviously.   

       Yet another angle, water jet cutters are ~10x higher in velocity, can we get an idea on the effect on tissue? Well, it cuts hardened steel like butter so....   

       If this were implemented, there would be gradients where contact with the sides slowed the flow, and the middle would be the fastest, like in all rivers, so if sufficiently large, you might be able to get to the center without dying.   

       However, given how much horsepower it takes to get a powerboat to reach 60mph (remember, they're almost entirely out of the water), then think that they deploy a nuclear fucking reactor to make a submarine do 35+mph. With this lazy-river on steroids you'd have multiple fold the water-surface drag at vastly higher speeds (60 ish knots is considered something of an underwater hard speed limit). I think the power needed would probably boil the water. So, channeling 8th: [+]
bs0u0155, Mar 23 2022

       Wonder if pumps aren't the way to go. Maybe having a treadmill with paddles on the bottom.
doctorremulac3, Mar 23 2022

       //Wonder if pumps aren't the way to go.//   

       Reading around, pump jets that you might find in jet-skis etc. Have peak velocities in the in the right range. 25-90m/s. But that's really pushing it, and it's a LOT of horsepower for a small amount of water.
bs0u0155, Mar 23 2022

       The thing to do the math from might be those "swim in place" little pools you see sometimes.   

       That's of course going, what, 3 or 4 miles per hour, but you could use that as your base number example.   

       But maybe just modifying the outlets from the penstocks of a dam as had been suggested is the way to go. Still plenty of danger there.   

       Hey, do they have any dams that have zig zag fish ladders or do they all have segments that the salmon jump into? Might be able to modify one of those. Nah, too safe.
doctorremulac3, Mar 23 2022


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