From Openwaterpedia

noun - Beeline is the most direct and straightest route to a specific point during an open water swimming race or the swim leg of a triathlon, albeit not necessarily always the fastest route due to currents or waves.

The coach directed her swimmer to take a beeline to the next turn buoy.


1820–30, Americanism; BEE + LINE].


straight course, direct line, shortest route, straight line, Rhumb Line

Beeline Formation

adjective, noun - Beeline or beeline formation refers to the formation of a 3-person relay team in a team pursuit open water swimming competition. In an beeline formation, the lead swimmer is positioned directly ahead of the trailing swimmers in a tight pack in order to gain the advantage of drafting and navigating. The trailing swimmers position themselves directly behind the swimmer in front of them.

The American team used the beeline formation during the team pursuit race at the World Championships.

Tripod vs. Beeline Formation

In the tripod formation, the 2 trailing swimmers position themselves on the left and right side of the lead swimmer. In the beeline formation, the swimmers swim directly in front of the trailing swimmer so the hands of the trailing swimmers are directly behind the feet of the swimmers ahead of them.

Team Pursuit Positions

Tripod or rotating arrow - formation shaped like an arrow with occasional changes of positions among the 3 swimmers
Arrow - no change in the positions among the 3 swimmers
Beeline formation - swimmers draft directly behind one another throughout the race
Rotating beeline or peloton - swimmers draft directly behind one another throughout the race, occasionally rotating positions
Hybrid - a combination of one or more of the other drafting techniques and formations

External links