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Open Water Swimming

The club does not run a regular open water swim, however there are a number of weekly open water sessions throughout the summer months all within easy reach of central Manchester.

Other Open Water Swim Venues

There are also a number of "informal" venues in the North West where open water or wild swimming has historically taken place, the Outdoor Swimming Society provide plenty of information. Please remember that you should only swim if there is adequate safety cover in place.

What will you need to take to the sessions?

If you go open water swimming you will need to take with you the following:

  • Wetsuit
  • Trisuit or swim trunks/costume: to wear underneath
  • 1-2 swim caps, one brightly coloured
  • Goggles or Open Water swim mask
  • Optional: Neoprene hat and boots if you really suffer from the cold
  • Slip n Glide or some kind of a lubricant to stop rubbing
  • Towel
  • Flip-flops or old trainers: depending on the venue you may need to walk over rough to the water entrance
  • 1 x 750ml drink (as a minimum)
  • A warm change of clothes

Health Advice for Open Water Swimming

Water quality tests provide an indication of the suitability of a venue for open water swimming; however they don't mean that that there is a complete absence of potential pathogens. There are simple practices that triathletes should be advised to adopt to minimize risk of further infections:

  • Cover all cuts and abrasions, however minor, with sticking plasters.
  • You should not consider swimming if you have deep cuts
  • Wash hands in fresh water before eating after you have swum
  • Take a full shower at the earliest opportunity
  • Try to ingest a minimum amount of water whilst swimming
  • If you feel ill in the days/weeks following open water swimming seek the advice of a doctor.

Rules / Etiquette

Below is some good practice information for open water swimming.  Please note that Open Water Event organizers may have guidance / etiquette that difference from that listed below, check before you swim with them.  We have provided the good practice guidelines below for your interest as these would be applied to any session organized by Manchester Triathlon Club.

  • A safety officer will be appointed before each session. This person will be responsible for liaising with the venue operator / owner to ascertain water quality issues.
  • The safety officer has the final decision on whether a session can proceed.
  • The safety officer will remain on the bank and not participate in the swimming activity
  • Any incidents or accidents no matter how minor must be reported to the coach and/or Facility staff immediately.
  • Advice the coach of any injury, illness or medical conditions before entering the water.
  • The designated course will be clearly marked by buoys in the water.
  • Swimmers must at all times navigate around the designated course as defined by the coach to ensure that that they are no more than 50m from the safety boat at any time.
  • A ratio of one safety boat per 20 swimmers will be maintained up to a max of 80.
  • Swim in pairs whenever possible to act as additional support for each other.
  • There will be no swimming if the safety boat is not in position on the water and the safety officer and coach state it is safe to do so.
  • The Coaching and/or facility staff reserve the right at any time to refuse entry into the water to any swimmer who is deemed unfit to take part.
  • There will be no swimming if the weather conditions are severe.
  • Swimming will not be permitted if the water quality falls below the recommended EEC levels for bathing.
  • It is recommended that swimmers wear brightly colored swim caps, to enable identification.
  • Diving is not allowed except in areas and at times designated by the coach
  • Entry and Exit to the water is via designated points only. No entry or exit is permitted at any other point unless in an emergency.
  • Always sign in with the session coach before entering the water and sign out when you leave the water.
  • Swimmers should ideally be members of the BTA, ASA or BLDSA and provide proof if requested.
  • At temperatures less than 11c no swimming will take place.
  • Wet suits are mandatory at temperatures of less than 14c and must fit correctly and be suitable for the purpose of swimming.
  • Sessions will not enter into water space used for other activities.