Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Come and Try Open Water Swimming - Find Out More!

The attractive setting of Knockburn Sports Loch near Banchory made for a great ‘Come and Try open water’ and aquathlon event on Saturday 3rd June jointly hosted by Scottish Swimming and Triathlon Scotland.  The sun shone for most of the morning creating idyllic conditions for the morning participants who were split into groups according to ability.

There was a real mix of motivations and aspirations on the day. Among the swimmers was a group of ladies who had signed up for the mile at the Great Scottish Swim and wanted to get some practice in. Simon is a pool swimmer who fancied giving open water swimming a go and there was Matt – who grew up in the Lake District and had fond memories of swimming as a kid so wanted to get back into it again. In a separate session we also had some juniors who showed up the adults in terms of their swimming technique!

Our three expert coaches Coleen, Ewan and Kevin, supported by volunteers from open water rescue and a team of kayakers, led the session and introduced each group to the water.  Getting used to the water is the fun part as each participant was asked to dip under and fill their wetsuits with cold water – an all important part of the acclimatisation process! The swimmers then got used to the feeling of buoyancy in their wetsuits and put their faces in the water too.

After an initial quick swim, the group was split into sections according to ability and for the next hour worked on the technical aspects of open water swimming which include sighting, drafting, fast starts and pack swimming. Learning to go around the buoys was one of the most helpful skills the swimmers learned and all of them took each task on board with enthusiasm and great humour!

 “Excellent!  I was really looking forward to it. The group was perfect for me – enough to give me some exercise but not enough to hurt. I am from the Lake District originally and I used to love swimming as a kid so thought I would try it again.

Matt Hartley

For somebody that has not done something like that before – turning around the buoys and the high sighting was fantastic. It was geared for all levels and if you haven’t done it before it was just brilliant!

Nicola Clark

I really enjoyed it. It was great how you build up to that final part at the end where you put everything together. It has given me an awful lot more confidence and I learned how to go round the buoys properly and I am not so scared of drafting either!

Carol Smart

It was really good, very enjoyable. I have not done open water before only pool swimming so I thought I’d come down and give it a go – really enjoyable!

Simon Oakley

The smiles and laughter showed that much fun was had by all. We look forward to the next Come and Try at Loch Lomond on 5th August. For more information and bookings please click here