Open Water Swimming
Fancy dipping your toes into open water swimming? If you are getting bored with following that black line up and down the pool then you may be interested in mixing it up a little by trying open water swimming.
Open water swimming is a discipline that takes place outside of the pool environment in outdoor bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, docks and of course the sea. It’s the fastest growing area of participation in the UK and the explosion in popularity may be due to its much-publicised physical and mental health benefits as much as its inclusion as an Olympic event.
The sport of open water swimming is very inclusive in terms of age, ability and attitude and can either be enjoyed competitively or as a more relaxed leisure activity. Competitive open water swimming has a growing calendar of events to choose from. Generally, most commercial events range in distance from 2 to 10km, but there are also many middle distance and ultra-marathon distance events taking place.
The Outdoor Swimming Society (OSS) is a worldwide collective of swimmers who share the joy, adventure and experience of swimming under an open sky: https://www.outdoorswimmingsociety.com/. They organise some big and very popular outdoor swimming events in the UK including the Dart 10K, the Bantham Swoosh and the Hurly Burly. Their website provides a whole host of information about outdoor swimming and advertises a huge annual list of open water events.
A number of Salisbury Stingray swimmers complement their indoor pool training with open water swimming in the nearby lakes (such as Ellingham and Vobster Quay), rivers and the south cost seas. We have members taking part in open water events and challenges throughout the UK as well as overseas. Many open water events are open to all abilities and have a non competitive and fun element to them as well. Some local open water swimming events which are popular with Stingrays swimmers include the BHF Pier to Pier Swim (Bournemouth), the Big Cotswold Swims (one and two mile timed swims at the Cotswold Water Park), The autumn Glow Swim at Vobster Quay and the Salty Sea Dog Long Swims at Boscombe.
Swim England have a good Open Water section on their website: https://www.swimming.org/openwater/.
They host regional Open Water Swimming Championships for swimmers over the age of 12 who want to take their outdoor swimming more seriously and compete at distances between 2km and 5km. If you are interested in participating in open water training sessions or joining us at planned events this season please email: [email protected]ystingrays.co.uk (with OPEN WATER in the heading)