Our inaugural Open Water Swimming event!

Welcome to the Rough Water Challenge Series 2020!

The 1st September will see the start of our club open water swimming event. Pre-COVID19 these were going to be actual events for our swimmers to compete against other clubs or individuals. However, with the new regulations around events we adapted the series to become virtual so we could be certain the series could run. Thankfully virtual events were tried and tested during lockdown so hopefully most swimmers will be used to the virtual racing format!

The idea behind the Rough Water Challenge Series

Open water swimming events are an exciting part of the sport and are often a thrilling climax to months of training, pushing yourself that bit harder, or looking at the calendar to count down the days to the big event.

We wanted to create a different sort of challenge, one that lasts for the whole month and pushes you to not only compete against others in a race format, but also compete against yourself to swim further, faster, or more frequently than you usually do. For racing swimmers, there are 4 different distances of 1km, 3km, 5km and 10km. We encourage you all to race in the 1km at least and ideally push yourselves a bit harder to complete a longer swim than you would normally?

September is traditionally a month when kids return to school and parents get a bit more structure in their week allowing them to return to their sports and activities. This concept was behind the idea of setting you all a target to complete a total distance challenge for the month. There are 2 distances available, a 15km or a 30km total distance. Every swim you do counts towards these total distance goals and the idea is simply to keep swimming, as much as you can! Speed is not a factor here, there aren’t any prizes for completing it faster than anyone else. The award is based on you swimming regularly and constantly through the month. Of course, if you want to complete a 15km swim in one go then please feel free, but you might get more from the challenge if you entered the 30km total distance and kept swimming after your marathon swim?

Why is it a series?

You earn the medal for completing at least 2 events in the series. As mentioned before, the idea is that you keep swimming, keep pushing yourself, keep working hard for the whole month. Ideally you will complete a minimum of one race and one total distance event. We’ve tried to create challenges and distances that work for all levels of open water swimmers. Experienced and highly competitive swimmers could swim in all of the distance races and probably complete both total distance challenges. Most beginners that we work with could find their way around a 1km swim, even if it was just plodding up and down in a sea pool. The harder task for most beginners would be to meet the total distance targets, but that’s why it is a challenge series – push yourselves to achieve more than you would usually dream of!

Where can I swim?

These events were going to be held in the rough water setting of Westward Ho/Bideford Bay. As they are now virtual events we encourage you to swim anywhere you are safe and experienced to do so. It would be great if everyone could compete in an open water environment but it is not a necessity, a swimming pool will work just fine. If you’re a beginner and can find a sea pool then that would be perfect!

Don’t take any risks. Open water swimming can be a very dangerous sport and experienced swimmers will know how to appraise the conditions and their ability to assess their swim prior to entering any water venue. if you don’t have these skills then please go to a pool to complete your challenges.

Because it is a virtual event we will not be providing any safety cover, Marshalls, venue risk assessments etc so you are responsible for your own safety and we encourage you to exercise caution at every point., Always remember – RESPECT THE WATER

Wetsuit or skins?

Entirely up to you! There are different entry options depending on whether you are a wetsuit or skins swimmer, you’re welcome to mix it up too and enter different categories across the different series events.

What is the schedule?

Date StartEventTypeEnd dateLink to enter
3rd Sept 20201 KMRace10 Sept 2020Sign Up!
10 Sept 20203 KMRace17 Sept 2020Sign Up!
17 Sept 20205 KMRace24 Sept 2020Sign Up!
25 Sept 202010 KMRace2 Oct 2020Sign Up!
1st Sept 202015 kmTotal Distance2 Oct 2020Sign Up!
1st Sept 202030 kmTotal Distance2 Oct 2020Sign Up!
Plan your September swims to compete and train hard!

Reward me for my achievements please!

Ok! We’ve set the series up so you gather swag for every event you successfully complete. Your first event will earn you a series swim cap, to get the series medal you need to complete a minimum of 2 events. For your third event successfully completed you’ll earn a rather snazzy T-shirt and your fourth event will see a special drinking bottle heading your way.

TYR are kindly supporting this challenge series and they are providing the prizes for those swimmers successfully completing 5 and 6 events in the form of goggles and a waterproof sack pack respectively. There are also some fabulous spot prizes available too which will be given away during the course of the series.

In addition, every completed event will earn you a personalised digital certificate that will be emailed over to you at the end of the series, you can print it off and display with pride!

Please note: all of the swag will be sent out to you within 2 weeks after the series has concluded. This is so that we can send you one bundle with all of your hard earned event swag.

International swimmers

Welcome to our open water swimming event! We can’t wait to see you on the Virtual Leaderboard and race against you. Please accept a warm welcome to the Surf Swim School and to our small open water swimming community. We hope you will enjoy the challenges and perhaps make some new open water swimming buddies.

It would be great if you could share some pictures of yourself swimming in your chosen venue and don’t forget to send us some event completion selfies!

How to record your swims?

We’ve partnered with Let’s Do This to run this open water swimming event and there are instructions on the race page regarding how you can log your race and total distance swims. If you have any problems at all please contact us and we will access the event support to try and solve the problem.

We can’t wait to virtually meet you…

We’ll be visible on the Facebook event page and on the Let’s Do This race page to cheer you on for all of your achievements. Look out for your friendly safety crew and coaching staff who will also be participating in some of the events too!

Enjoy your swimming everyone and welcome to all open water swimmers far and wide

Claire x

Claire is our Open Water Swimming Head Coach, a passionate rough water swimmer and regular feature on the International Masters swimming circuit.

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