Open Water Season 2019

Tom Dowden


Over the last few years the club has enjoyed progressive successes at Dorset, Regional and National Open Water Swimming Championships. This season we have a few awesome new developments, including:

  • Introduction to Open Water seminar (see Team Unify events)
  • More Coaches
  • More Competitions and Events
  • Competitions and Training opened up for 10 year olds (in Rising Stars and above)
  • A Poole Swimming Club Open Water Festival incorporating Club Championships 15th Sept 2019

Coaching Team

This year we are fortunate to have Danny Symington join our coaching team.  A Swim England Open Water Coach who has for the past three years held the position of Dorset County Open Water Representative.  His experience has already shone through with reviewing our Risk Assessment, Emergency Action Plan and Safeguarding Policy in line with Swim England Insurance. Jacqui Hull, Glyn Richards, Barry Alldrick and Andy Mason will continue to coach training and competitions.


To encourage more people in the club to take part we have planned a couple of stepping stones to venture into the Open Water…

Step 1: Introduction to Open Water Swimming for Parents and Swimmers (Book Through Team Unify)

  • We are going to kick off training with a joint Classroom and Pool Session.  Coaches will run through a Powerpoint presentation on what to expect and go through some of the fundamental skills and safety points of Open Water swimming in the pool.
  • May 1st at Rossmore 4.30-6pm.  (4.30pm in the Classroom).  (Please book on to this through the Team Unify events). Open to swimmers in Rising Stars squads or above.
  • All that is required here is a note pad and pen and swimming costumes

Step 2: Sea Water Acclimatization Session (Book Through Team Unify)

  • This session will allow younger athletes to become used to the sea nd managing a wetsuit, whilst still be encouraged to work on Fundamantal skills and safety points.
  • This session will be held at Lymington Sea Baths on Sunday 5th May 10am – 11am. The owner has been brilliant in allowing us this opportunity at a small cost of £2.50 per member.
  • Swimmers taking part in this will require a wetsuit, we have a couple of spare ones, so please speak with coaches.

The first two steps are not aimed at our experienced Open Water athletes who can naturally join the first sea training session at Branksome when they start on Wednesday 8th May

Step 3: First Beach Training Session

  • Is the first training session at Branskome Beach, where we will fully brief the swimmers.
  • Swimmers and parents will meet in front of the car park.
  • Wednesday 8th May at 4.30pm.
  • Training will commence at 4.30pm – and progressively build towards 6pm. Depending on numbers we may split this into two groups.  For week 1 please turn up in good time for a 4.30pm Briefing.
  • Every 4th week Chef Andy will prepare a social BBQ. (only if you swim fast enough).
  • Swimmers will require wetsuits for these sessions.

Following the taster sessions and the first Sea training session, we will charge a small contribution to members (Max £20) to help cover costs for the whole Open Water Season.  Please look out for a sign up on Team Unify.

Training Dates

*Alongside the training detailed below, extra opportunities will be available at Ellingham Lake and Lymington Sea Baths
Wednesday 1 st May           Introduction to Open Water Swimming Rossmore 4.30-6pm (Dry and Wet)
Sunday 5 th May                    Introduction to Open Water Swimming, Lymington Sea Baths 10am-11am
Wednesday 8 th May           Training, Athletes and Parents Introductory Brief, Branksome Chine 4.30-6pm
Wednesday 15 th May        Training, Branksome, 4.30-6pm
Wednesday 22 nd May       Training Branksome, 4.30-6pm
Wednesday 29 th May        Training and Social BBQ with Chef Andy, Branksome, 4.30-6pm
Wednesday 5 th June          Training Branksome, 4.30-6pm
Wednesday 12 th June       Training Branksome, 4.30-6pm
Wednesday 19 th June       Training Branksome, 4.30-6pm
Wednesday 26 th June       Training and Social BBQ with Chef Andy, Branksome, 4.30-6pm
Wednesday 3 rd July           Training Branksome, 4.30-6pm
Wednesday 10 th July        Training Branksome, 4.30-6pm
Wednesday 17 th July        Training Branksome, 4.30-6pm
Wednesday 24 th July        Training and Social BBQ with Chef Andy, Branksome, 4.30-6pm

Competitions and Events 2019

A number of the following races can be found on the website “” Open Water Swimming South West 2019. Race description and links to the race websites are also displayed on the site. Once we have an idea of who is taking part we will look at entering races.

  • Teignmouth 750m race series 8/5/19, 5/6/19, and 3/7/19.
  • Salty Sea Dog race series Boscombe (£22 entry fee) 1/6/19, 6/6/19, and 3/8/19.
  • Dartmouth Open 500m 1k, 2k, 4k, 8k. 16/6/19
  • Bantham swoosh Devon (fills up fast) 6k 6/7/19
  • Pier to Pier Bournemouth 14/7/19
  • Swim the Bay Weymouth 1.2 miles or 2.4 miles, 20/7/19.
  • South West Open Water Championships. Date and location not yet published but probably Weymouth either on 6th July or 13th/14th July, full details when available.
  • National Open Water Championships (qualification either through pool time or top 3 at SW OW champs) 5/8/19 (BH Monday between British and English National pool) Rother valley.
  • Great North swim elite 5k, age groups from 14 years upwards, also acts as qualifier for GB team.7-9, June 19 (last year the race was on the last day in the afternoon) Lake Windemere.

             Entry standards have been requested from the organizer.

  • South East Open Water championships Westhampnett lake Chichester 13/7/19, this event is the SE championships race but the organisers are amenable to allow outside entries as guest swimmers by prior arrangement (discuss with Barry before entering).
  • Poole Swimming Club Open Water Festival 15th September 2019.

Training Kit- Reminder

Please bring the kit detailed below to each session as it is important that you are able to adapt and then to warm up on completion of each swim:

  • Two Towels
  • Socks
  • Warm Hat
  • Sugared Drink
  • Water Bottle
  • Flask of Warm Drink
  • 2 x Swim Caps (One BRIGHT), Goggles
  • Wetsuit
  • Hoodie/ Warm Jacket for Afterwards
  • Sun-cream
  • Medication (Inhalers, Epi-pens, etc if prescribed)



There are specific wetsuits designed for swimming in, which are different to surf ones.  Speak with the coaches to discover the best place to hire, try or buy wetsuits from.

Parents for U18's

As part of our Risk Assessment and Emergency Action Plan, we must insist that each child under 18 has a designated parent/ fellow parent stay during each session.  Where we require people to volunteer for beach walking and signing swimmers in and out of their sessions.  Furthermore, we had a couple of small incidents last year, where a swimmer sat in their parent’s car with heaters on to gradually warm them up.  Then we had to co-ordinate all exits from the sea for a fast-approaching lightning storm.  Parents are a critical part of our Action Plans to deal with individuals so that vigilance and direction by the coaches can be upheld. So, unless your child is vouched for by an adult, they will be unable to partake.

We look forward to meeting you for the first session and another salty season.

Warm Regards


Barry on Behalf of the Coaches

More photos: