About open water swimming racesMay 10, 2016 Compete
There is a wide range of open water swimming races in Great Britain, varying from lakes and rivers to competitions in the sea.
Factors such as the temperature of the water, the position of the sun and the stillness of the water means that conditions are never the same for two open water swimming races.
Competitors have to be able to quickly adapt to the conditions that day.
Open water swimming races: getting involved
The best way to get involved with open water swimming is through club swimming. If you like 800m or 1500m races or just want to try a new challenge, speak to your club coach about entering an open water race.
You don’t necessarily have to train in a lake to prepare for open water swimming races, although some experience of swimming in a wetsuit will definitely help.
If the club is based by the sea or near a local lake, you coach might even take you to a safe place to swim in open water for an alternative session.
England’s top open water swimmers all train in the pool with their swimming clubs and compete in pool competitions as well as international open water swimming races.
Which competitions can I swim in?
One of the first steps for many young open water swimmers is the Swim England regional championships which take place every year.
There are seven annual regional championships (the East Midlands and West Midlands regions combine for one event) and these competitions are usually open events so you don’t always have to live in the region.
There is also a national open water championships for the various age groups. This event is usually open to the winners from each regional championship, as well as swimmers who have achieved a qualification time from a pool 800m or 1500m Freestyle race.
- Click here to find out more about our National Age Group Open Water Championships.
As well as the Swim England regional and national championships, there is no shortage of open water swimming races in England, catering to all levels and involving a range of distances.
- Head to our events calendar to search for an open water swimming race near you.