We've uncovered some interesting analysis from Portugal relating to drafting effects in swimming. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of drafting distance on the drag coefficient in swimming.
* The drag coefficient of the leading swimmer decreased as the flow velocity increased.
* The relative drag coefficient of the back swimmer was lowest (about 56% of the leading swimmer) for the smallest inter-swimmer distance (0.5 m).
* The drag coefficient values of both swimmers in drafting were equal to distances ranging between 6.45 m and 8.90 m, considering the different flow velocities.
* Numerical simulation techniques could be a good approach to enable the analysis of the fluid forces around objects in water, as it happens in swimming.
Using these findings, the researchers concluded that it is possible for swimmers to achieve the same hydrodynamic conditions during open water competitions as training in the pool.
For more information, see the full research study