Over the past month I've read about, discussed, or overheard, race reports of triathletes from one race or another. For some it was their "A" race. For others, it wasn't. But on multiple occasions I heard about how the swim got the better of them that day. And how the rest of their race was turned upside down due to the poor swim.
In two instances, the swim was changed to non-wetsuit. In one, the water was rough. In another, it was a combination of the two.
Having the swim leg of a triathlon changed to non-wetsuit shouldn't make the swim so difficult that your race is ruined. You should be training hard, and training smart, ensuring that your swim is solid. Rough water? Different story. But your swim should not be dependent upon the buoyancy of your wetsuit.
I'm all for training now and again in your wetsuit in the pool - especially if it's new and you want to get a feel for it. But it shouldn't be a regular occurrence. When is a good time to train in your wetsuit? During open water swim sessions. And even then, you should absolutely do some open water training sessions without a wetsuit just so you are comfortable in that situation. And those Lava Pants, or neoprene jammers? Don't bother. They're a crutch, and come race day when they do call for a non-wetsuit swim, you're at a disadvantage.
If you're not a strong swimmer, that's okay. Swimming is a tough discipline. But work on it. Train smarter. Have your stroke analyzed. Hire a coach if necessary. You're spending a lot of time, energy, and money, as you train and race throughout the year. Ensure that no matter what is thrown at you race day, you're prepared to adapt and come out of the water strong.