Outdoor Swimming Society 2015

By Col

When we launched our new Lotic wetsuit it might not have been an immediately obvious fit with our normal product range. However, it isn't just a standard wetsuit, but has been developed with those wishing to embrace the art of wild swimming in mind. With our Drybags, Drydocks and insulated jackets for post swim warmth (the new synthetic 0Hiro is perfect for this)it did actually fit perfectly with the overal focus on helping people to get out on adventures and Go Nice Places, Do Good Things. People do it in the water too.

Well one group of people who know a thing or two about wild swimming is the Outdoor Swimming Society and we are delighted to supporting a number of events this year in their calendar. After supporting their first Adventure Series last year, which included the Lampay Island Navigationand the Slingshot, we are excited to be getting involved again. Most of the places on these swims have now been filled, so if you missed out, or you're not signed up to the OSS then it might be worth doing for next year!

OSS members showing how to do it.

Col showing perhaps how not to do it.

So here's a list of what's coming up this year and we look forward to reporting back on what happens.

The OSS Adventure Series

This is a series of swims coordinated by swimmers, for swimmers, aiming to take swimmers to places they have never been before, mentally and physically expanding peoples swimming horizons. Some cover distance, others experience.The adventure swims are free to join, with the aim of having adventures, meeting new friends and exploring amazing places, but there is no safety cover with everyone swimming at their own risk.The swims are undertaken as social swims under the terms of theOSS Swim Responsibility Statemen. All swimmers must apply for an adventure swim will be entered into a ballot, before being selected.

Teifi Castle to Castle:10km upstream and downstream adventure, swimming with the tide.The first of our adventure swims to take place in Cardigan where the River Teifi and the sea meet. The swim will then head upstream, taking in the tranquil and spectacularly beautiful welsh countryside from a watery perspective, perhaps spotting an otter or two on the way! (Places now full!)

The Hudson's Swim:This summer three brothers, Robbie, Calum and JackHudson, are planning to become the first people to swim the entire 145km length of the River Eden in Cumbria this summer.As part of the 2015Adventure Swim Series, to help them on their way, the Hudsons have invited some OSS swimmers to join them on the last two days of their journey.The Hudson brothers will start their swim on the Hudson on theAugust 8th 2015 at Hellgill and swim all the way to the Solway Firth, with rapids, waterfalls, weirs, whirlpools and sinking sand all part of the journey. They will be the first people ever to swim the River Eden from source to mouth. (Places now full!)

Dunvegan Dreaming:A stunning one mile sea swim in a Scottish sea loch on Saturday 19th September,promising seal encounters, crystal clear water, the west coast of Scotland, a castle and great company. Take you along the shore of Loch Dunvegan,past the seal colonies, and finishing by climbing out right in front of Dunvegan castle.If you're a member of the OSS you still have time to apply, with the deadline for entries to this adventure swim 12thJune.

Bantham Swoosh... or How To Swim Four Times As Fast....

A new event on the OSS annual event calendar,The Bantham Swoosh is a 6km swim in a sandy bottomed estuary in Devon on Sunday 5th July.

This is a world class swim - the estuary is shallow and can be crystal clear, giving swimmers the sensation of snorkelling over sand ridges, fallen leaves and seaweed as they swim. As you approach the end of the swim the estuary narrows, creating the 'swoosh': an increasingly fast moving body of water that carries you towards the sea. It can run at 8 knots - swim four times faster!It's exciting, invigorating, beautiful and fun. Deadline for entries is the 15th June.

Dart 10K

This is the biggy. The Dart10k was the first, and is arguably the finest, 10k swim on the open water calendar.It's a fantastic swim journey from the town of Totnes down the Dart estuary to Dittisham (dit-sum to locals). The course is marked not by inflatable buoys but by landmarks - the Cormorant Tree, the white rock, Sharpham boat house, Bow Creek. It's supported by volunteers from the local and swimming community who make it special, and is bookended by social swims put on by local wild swim groups.

For 2015 there are some new features:

  • A 10 mile course for returning Dart 10k swimmers (40 places available on Saturday only, and with 1-1 safety cover provided, there's an additional cost).
  • The opportunity to buy pairs of tickets, so you can train (maybe even swim in a pod) with a friend.
  • A two day event - allowing more newcomers places (and perfect for swimming couples with children, you can alternate days).
  • Disposable timing chips and other new elements of slickness so the experience is as close to turn-up-and-swim (without queuing) as it can be.
  • A new Elite (racing) wave with it's own safety cover. For the majority the swim is non-competitive, but this wave is for the racers. You'll go off first, and you'll know if you're winning! The elite (racing) wave's dedicated safety crew will carry drinks and snacks too, on top of provisions at the feeding stations. (40 places available on Satuday only, with small additional cost). As in previous years, there is also an Elite (non-racing) wave on Sunday, for very fast swimmers who are able to swim within the limits of the shared safety cover, but for whom racing and exact finishing times are not the most important thing.

If you are lucky there may still be a few places left for the Sunday 10km.

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