Open water swim season starting

1st dip in the lake of 2020 this morning, an almost pleasant 13.8 degrees. Social distancing was fully observed with 10 swimmers, safety cover is not normally required for signed off swimmers for morning swims and was advertised without cover however they did had cover as a precaution.

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wow, no support? The dive centre i used has a guy on land (its only 400m loop) and the watersports centre has a power boat and spotters also. The traditional spots like the old Heron lake always had canoes int he water. Chipstead also has canoe support

Vobster Quay has no support. Their rules are that you must swim with someone else, so it’s effectively equivalent to diving rules of buddying up. Strangely I swam there 3 times solo before a receptionist asked me where my swim buddy or land spotter was. I then had to go and ask someone on land if they’d also act as my spotter!

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Am i a bit sheltered from all this by living on the coast? But i’ve been swimming in the sea, on beaches with no lifeguards since i was a kid.

Is it that unusual to have lakes etc without safety cover, and is this more because they are privately owned so there’s a liability issue as opposed to being at your own risk?

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All good points and an interesting debate.
We are a Tri club and run OW swimming sessions (so more tied to the BTF as stated) at a venue we hire from the owners who do sailing, paddle boarding etc. and have one of those inflatable aquaparks. Everything is shut at the moment and any decision we make would have to be supported by them too.
We’d like nothing more than to open but only if it’s safe and it is clearly within the guidelines. We don’t want to be seen to be “gaming” or stretching the rules so something explicit from the various bodies would be really welcome. I suspect what Hammerer says is true, that the full consequences of Boris’s comments had not been considered and formalising that into published rules is proving to be a devil of a job.

Nope. “Mad Mike’s” lake is pretty basic to say the least; hence the £10 fee seeming pretty steep for what’s offered. Problem is, it’s the only option around here for most; people come across from Wales to swim there too. Only other option is a quarry, but that’s got quite restrictive opening hours.

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I’m not sure, first time I went to Nemes and the guy was just stood on the shore (probably not watching even) i was a bit nervous as its just something that had happened at every lake Id been in, but you are always close to a bank there and its 400m round but as you say amount of times I’ve swum in the sea in my life.

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At our local lake, which is a superb swim venue btw there has been a couple of drownings of kids over the years who were just messing about as kids do. Most of the rules for club swimming are about perception to the community as much as anything else. For example non wetsuit swims are early morning only, I guess its presumed the riff raff is still in bed before 8am.

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Aren’t you surrounded by sea in Kent?I always keep close to shore when I sea swim; normally parallel to the beach, or short out & backs/triangles.

If you are in the right bit of Kent but its a good drive for us, at least an hour and that’s to a “thames estuary” part of the se. Would be great to live down by Folkestone though. Some great spots for sea swimming

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Yeah, just pop down to Folkestone, jump in and head East; keep going until you hit land.

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A sea of fools maybe, but I can confirm that Bromley has no coastline…sadly.

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On an island so endless places to sea swim here, hadn’t really entertained it until this week but I’d normally be in by end of March/early April. I might start venturing out now we’re allowed to drive to places to exercise etc

My local lake has now said they are opening. Have to book on line, limited numbers, no changing rooms or showers.

I am no rush at all. I only usually do a handful of OW sessions before a race just to check wetsuit etc. Can get a better session in the pool I think. I also like to wait till at least June / July when its not head numbingly freezing.

Big new update from BTF, mentions 1:1 coaching, no club activities but tells individuals to check the venue is open before travelling. But cryptic but maybe a hint re advice to venues which is still not out.
https://www.britishtriathlon.org/covid-19

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Seems pretty clear to me from the linked to document that what OW venues that are opening are doing is precisely what the BTF (and associated governing bodies) guidance says

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Yeah, that’s how I read it but the advice to venues they mention hasn’t come out yet, so I have no idea what that is going to be. It would be good to have had that before telling people to contact us about it.

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For sure!!

come down to our neck of the woods near Rye - some good sea swimming to be had. you can swim with seals at one area.

the lake we use near Lydd is hoping to open next Tuesday. sessions must be booked and paid in advance (min of 10) and everyone must use a tow buoy as there’s no buddying up allowed (not sure if that applies to me and Mrs FB and other couples). no showers or changing rooms so arrive prepared and head off after. all seems sensible.

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New update from Govt, specifically relating to sports. OW swimming seems to be conspicuously absent despite a long list of OW sports being included.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-phased-return-of-sport-and-recreation/guidance-for-the-public-on-the-phased-return-of-outdoor-sport-and-recreation