Open water swim season starting

I was a little surprised to hear are reopening on Saturday but its positive news.

Anyone dusting off the wetsuit this weekend?

No chance. I cant see how it’s safe or that it’s in the spirit of the new guidance but each to their own.


The venue local to me is max 10 in at any time, pre-booked max 1h per swim. Given the cost (£10) and the fact it’s likely to be massively oversubscribed by people training for I don’t know what, I’m not entertaining it. Plus not sure when I’d get away during the day to do it, as it would take about 2h out of the ‘middle’ of the day.

I’m with you, we’re waiting the full guidance for venues from the BTF/Swim England/RLSS, which is apparently expected tomorrow, but they’ve already said the rules don’t permit club activities and I don’t see how that’s different to a commercial venue.

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Pickmere is “open” and has public access…just need to ensure you enter from the farmers permissive footpath and not the council ran car park/beach area

I am keen on the idea, but, like @Jorgan says, it’s 2 hours out of the day.

Triswim are opening my local lake this weekend. The team are nice people and they seem to have worked hard to get all the necessary approvals and guidance. They are managing entry by pre booked slots. The lake loop is quite large (400-650m depending on bouy position), and should be easy to spot and avoid people if the numbers are low.

I paid for my annual membership - important to keep local organisations like this going. I may even swim.

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I’ll be going, my local lake is a 750m loop, I don’t have to go anywhere near anyone else. They seem to have the right protocols in place. e.g. experienced swimmers only, pre-book, no changing, turn up and swim, stay away from everyone else, limited numbers.


Im not allowed to run sessions 1 on 1 or small groups Swim England or BTF, even with social distancing until at least 1st July. I’m wondering why I cant coach a small core/run session in a park with 2 m gaps or why the kids cant ride individually around the velodrome for instance. I cant even sit in a boat and yell at swimmers that are actually allowed to swim in a lake. I agree with the stance towards my activities, I just don’t see why OWS groups are different to outdoor run groups. In fact far less risk of needing contact for a rescue with runners. I’m assuming the Government were not considering ticketed group swims of this nature but saying that there needs to be some form of protection or we could end up with parents taking kids for a splash to get out of a weekend when none of them can swim particularly well…using it like a pool swim!


Hmm, so there will be a question of volume. The number of people attending OWS venues must be infinitesimal compared to seimming pools, for example.

Im not sure Id see the similarity with group running and individual lake swimming. But I get the comparison with individual track or velodrome although there is likely still a volume difference.

And yes individual teaching could be enabled.

Our local lake is staying closed for the foreseeable future, they’ve opened the ski part though for boat-toes for skiing and wakebaording though

If I can’t Annoyingly tap someone’s feet, what’s the point? :grinning:


I’m not sure all the rules are particularly consistent as they’re being made up on the fly. Probably with a lot of civil servant time going in but this is a document by committee.

If you could get a velodrome solo, I don’t see why that wouldn’t be allowed. If there are groups, the speed differentials you get would mean a lot more passing than with swimming in a lake.

I agree that in general coaching should be allowed with appropriate social distancing. Running will be a volume thing, there just isn’t enough green space within cities for everyone to have enough space. You should see the anger on my local FB group towards ‘joggers’ taking up their precious pavement.

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Whilst it’s crappy for you, as a coach you are governed by a governing body who kinda call the shots. And I can see why coaching athletes is not consider essential in some regards. Whilst venues may take steer from certain governing bodies, I’m fairly sure OW swim venues are pretty much outside of any official countrywide governance?

Whereas for some people I know, who don’t compete or do anything like that, all they can do and do do in a normal year is swim (due to other injuries or whatever). So other than a walk, they have no other avenue to exercise. So they don’t need to be “training” for something as Jorgan implies … some people just want to swim as it is their thing.

Ticketing a lake and restricting access, whilst preventing any use of facilities, changing rooms, etc, is really no different to golf clubs, tennis clubs, etc. People who pay golf memberships are still “paying” for their right to play, and every club I know has gone to a highly restrictive overly-spaced out tee booking system. That is exactly what the government wanted when they said such venues could open. That’s basically the same as what Jorgan implies some swim venues are doing. So I think saying it’s “not within the rules” is not really correct. This is one area where the “rules” are unclear.

Nothing near me has opened yet. If it did, I’m not sure what I’d do. I genuinely miss swimming just for the sake of swimming. It would be lovely just to be able to go and have a leisurely OW swim. But it’s easy to say that when it’s not actually an option.


My gut feel is that the places that have opened, or declared they are going to, have jumped the gun and the BTF advice, when it comes, will not permit it.
I’ve also heard that insurance will be invalid as you would either have to operate without lifeguards or the lifeguards would have to break social distancing rules should anyone need assistance.
Right or wrong there’s a distinct contradiction that you couldn’t hold a session for club members under exactly the same social distancing regime as you can for paying members of the general public.

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I didnt say that, I said for me not within the spirit of the guidance but as also said each to their own. my rule is “If i have to say is that a good idea, then it probably isnt” I asked myself would it be a good idea to swim with 40 other people in a lake for 60 minutes. The fact i asked that says it all to me. I can understand others feelings though.

Sorry, was initially responding to you on the coaching part, but then just following on with a general response. JaRok has been more explicit in saying he doesnt believe it is allowed.


I’ve never swum at a lake with lifeguards, in this country.

But not all swim venues are bound by BTF rules and regs? If you as a tri club also run an OW venue, then I can see that’s more clear. But places like NOWCA have effectively created their own governing body, so are largely able to set their own rules (I think?). Worth noting NOWCA have not yet said they feel it is time to open any of their venues.

I would also imagine places like Vobster Quay, which is a dive centre that also allows a bit of OW swimming, could set it’s own rules. No idea if they have, but my understanding is that swim venues are not subject to the same kind of widespread oversight as, say, a golf club that has to be a member of the R&A.


thats ok, I honestly dont think I should be coaching even though i could easily run safe sessions and that’s my point, I look at this as an organised group swim but its just my view, others differ and they can swim if they choose. I think its telling that the 3 major organisations haven’t come out yet and said its OK for ticketed venues to open. They have also stated about safe swimming. Jumping in an open area of water with no life guards and only one member of your house present is pretty irresponsible in the main (unless that person is a trained lifeguard) so the fact BoJo said OWS is fine means they essentially have to be ticketed venues…or maybe he hadnt quite thought it through. Yet again the whole thing is unclear and I can sense that once approached by SE, BTF and RLSS the Government advisers are quickly trying to work out a solution so they dont have to do a massive u-turn…again.

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I think it’s probably a combination of both! But as you say, things are unclear. It’s the problem with moving from a pretty easy message of “stay at home” to something more grey, which then has a whole load of complexity that it’s almost impossible to have thought of every nuance beforehand