Open Water

About the Program

It's the scariest part of triathlon but it doesn't have to be; like anything, familiarity is the key. Our open water program helps you to learn the key skills and do race simulations to gain confidence, comfort and fitness. Each workout will include coaching, drills and practice in key skills such as sighting, turning and swimming in a crowd. Most swims take place on Saturday mornings. When there is a major event on Saturday, we move the swim to the Thursday evening before.

Our swims take place off the windsurf beach at Britannia (map below) in water that is as close to walkable depth as we can ensure. The typical workout will feature the use of a 200 to 300m course. Groups meet on the beach preceding the assigned time unless conditions are questionable in which case the coach will be in the parking lot to advise. Workouts are roughly one hour in duration. The seasons starts in June with two clinics in which we cover everything in detail then weekly swims start at the end of the month.

Open Water Program Cost

IMPORTANT: All open water participants must have a Triathlon Ontario membership. Make sure to select Ottawa Swimming as your club when joining.

Ottawa Swimming Pool Program Members

  • Members of our pool swim program are permitted to take part in one of the two open water clinics free of charge but must have a TO membership.

  • To take part in the weekly swims starting in late June the cost is $50+HST

General Public

  • To take part in one of the early season clinics and the weekly swims the cost is $100+HST.


May 16 at noon: Ottawa Swimming members will receive an advanced registration link via email.

General Public: Sorry, all spots in our 2022 program were taken by our pool members. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list please email us.

open water swimming

2022 Schedule:

  • No Swim Advisory: If there is a no swim advisory from the city our workout will go ahead with individuals choosing personally whether they take part or not.

  • Lightning Policy: Our lightning policy is that we immediately cease the swim on seeing a flash and do not recommence until 30 minutes after the last flash was seen.

  • Unless otherwise noted, all swims take place from the Britannia Beach Windsurf area. Map below.

Our Pre-Season Clinics

Who Gets to Attend the Clinics

    • We have room for a maximum of 30 participants in each clinic.

      • Open water program registrants (see above) will be given a choice of clinic once they are registered.

      • Any remaining clinic spots will be made available to those in our pool program. These individuals may attend a single clinic for no charge. To take part in the full open water program of weekly swims they must register for the full program.

Open Water Clinic #1: Sunday, May 29, 2022

      • Time: 9-1030am

        • 45 minute dryland talk followed by 30 minutes of practice in the water

      • Location: Britannia Beach (Windsurf area - map below)

        • If raining at 9am, dryland talk will be under cover on the east side of the Ron Kolbus Centre - map below.

        • Do not change into wetsuit before clinic.

      • Content:

        • Explanation and practice of skills: sighting, starts, settling, corners, contact and drafting.

        • Also covered: wetsuits, training and safety aids, dealing with anxiety

      • What to Bring:

        • Swim wear, swim cap (or two), goggles, towel, towel, warm clothes

        • Wetsuit is optional but highly recommended for the first clinic of the year

        • If bringing a wetsuit, also bring a plastic shopping bag

      • Testimonials

        • "You were right! The more open water swimming you do (with lots of company) the easier it is. I actually look forward to it now! " P.B.

        • "I used to just swim with a friend up at Meech but that just didn't prepare us for the races! The way you simulate race conditions is perfect, and FUN!" S.G.

Open Water Clinic #2: Sunday, June 12, 2022

        • Same details as Clinic #1 above.

Our Regular Weekly Swim Program 2022


  • Saturday, June 25: Regular swims commence 9-10am on the Windsurf Beach


  • Saturday, July 2, 9am

  • Saturday, July 9, 9am

  • Thursday, July 14, 630pm - (No swim Saturday this week due to Bring on the Bay)

  • Saturday, July 23, 9am

  • Saturday, July 30, 9am


  • Saturday, August 6, 9am

  • Saturday, August 13, 9am

  • Saturday, August 20, 9am

  • Saturday, August 27, 9am

map britannia