Directional uncertainty

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noun - Directional uncertainty is the lack of certainty about the optimal course or direction to take in an open water swim or triathlon swim leg. It is a state of having limited knowledge in a dynamic environment where it is impossible to exactly describe the optimal course, the existing state, or the future outcome, or the course already swum in an open body of water.

Directional uncertainty plays a significant role in the creation of packs in an open water swim and triathlon and in the many wrongs principle that predicts that swimmer group cohesion can cause groups to navigate more accurately than single athletes. Pack navigational accuracy is generally increased with group size and when individual directional uncertainty is high.

The many wrongs principle is often seen in open water swims and triathlons since few swimmers know the exact, optimal course due to their directional uncertainty.

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