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Open Water Swimming

Open Water/Marathon Swimming

Welcome to the Swim Wales Open Water. Here you will find all you need to know about our Open Water in Wales. You will also find documents on swimming safely to help in your training.

Open Water

Wales boasts a selection of fantastic Open Water venues with an abundance of lakes, rivers and coastline to choose from. Without the restrictions of pool walls and lane ropes, open water is the ultimate natural swim experience.

Open water has grown in popularity and continues to attract large crowds of swimmers of all abilities. There are of course risks and swimmers must be cautious when swimming in open water; waves, temperature and weather conditions can cause problems for any swimmer. Wearing a wetsuit can help to insulate from the cold and provide buoyancy.

Swim Wales National Open Water Championships take place each year at Parc Bryn Bach, Tredegar. Swimmers can compete in the Elite age categories or the Open swim (no qualifying time required).

You don’t have to swim to be involved; officials and marshals and volunteers are all essential roles. If you would like to be involved or have any queries get in contact.

Although most people now think of swimming as the indoor pool programme, competitive swimming has its roots very much in taking to the water outside.

Marathon swimming rose to significance after the International Olympic Committee listed a 10km race as one of the events for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Marathon races can take place in any large outdoor body of water: seas, lakes, rivers, canals, reservoirs. The distance of each event varies from 1km to 80km, but at major competitive level, the typical distances are 5km, 10km and 25km.

Although marathon races had been held for over a hundred years it was not until 1986 that FINA, swimming’s world governing body, officially recognised the event again and added it to the international competition calendar.

Open Water / Marathon Swimming is becoming more popular with events at each region throughout England, Our own Welsh National Championships were introduced in 2015. At International level swimmers can compete at European and World Junior Championships, LEN and FINA Cups, European, World championships and Olympic Games.

Open Water Swim Safe Guidance

Swimming in an open water environment can be an invigorating experience and is enjoyed by experienced open water swimmers throughout Wales. However there are many precautions that should be taken into consideration because swimming in most open water areas is hazardous with a serious risk of injury or drowning.

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