Before you join any triathlon race or competition, it pays to know and remember the swim rules so that you will not get into trouble and hurt your chance of winning.
As a triathlete, you can use any stroke that you are most comfortable with. There is no limit in the choices of strokes you can do: freestyle, backstroke, breast stroke, and butterfly.
2. Resting and bottom contact
It is fine to stand up when the water is shallow, so you can take a break. When the water is deep, holding on to a piece of rope or a kayak is allowed provided that you do not move forward while doing so. Otherwise, you will be disqualified from the race.
Here is what you need to keep in mind when you face a situation like an emergency: let others know that you need help by raising your hand and pumping your arm. You will have to be disqualified if you get forward assistance or pulled from the race. But the good thing about it is that you are safe from harm.
Wearing a wetsuit (sleeveless, full-sleeved, or neoprene shorts are okay) is allowed as long as its temperature is not higher than 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
If your wetsuit is higher than the temperature threshold and lower than 84 degrees Fahrenheit, you will be placed in your own race category. Although you will not face disqualification, you will lose your chance of winning awards.
Triathletes are banned from joining a race if their wetsuits, including neoprene shorts, are higher than 84 degrees Fahrenheit. A textile-based swim skin is allowed to wear in races, however.
Fins, gloves, and other gear that is meant to make you swim faster are, of course, not allowed in races. You may opt to wear goggles, though these are neither allowed nor prohibited.
More importantly, do not forget to wear the swim cap provided to you before the start of the race. It is fine to wear your own cap underneath the one issued to you.