About the Program
If open water swimming makes you a little nervous rest assured you are very normal! We're hear to help. Like anything, familiarity is the key. Our open water program helps you to learn the key skills and take part in 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 run for July and August.
Open Water Program Cost
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. Reservation of spots is on a first come, first served basis.
To take part in the weekly swims starting in late June the cost is $50+HST/processing
To take part in one of the early season clinics and the weekly swims the cost is $100+HST/processing.
Members of Pool Program: At noon on Monday, May 15 you will receive an email with a link to reserve your clinic spot and an option to register for the full summer program ($50).
General Public: If there are spots remaining in our program we will announce it on Monday, May 22 at noon with the with the inclusion of a link to online registration. If the program is sold out we will mention that instead.
REGISTRATION UPDATE 05/16/2023: Our summer program has sold out after heavy demand from our pool members but we we have added an extra clinic specifically for non-members that had hoped to join our regular program.
*NEW* Open Water Clinic (for non-members) Sorry, SOLD OUT
- Saturday, June 17th at 8am. All of the other details are the same as those outlined below.
- To register (cost: $23.18) please click here. After clicking the submit button on the form the next page that opens will feature a payment link. You can pay with any credit card and will receive a confirmation email for your payment which also confirms your registration. Clinic details will be emailed out a few days in advance of the session.
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.
Location: Unless otherwise noted, all swims take place from the Britannia Beach Windsurf area. Map below.
Prerequisite: All participants must be able to swim at least 200m continuously in a pool.
Wetsuits: The water is cool in early June so wetsuits are recommended but are not mandatory unless conditions are especially unseasonable. From late July onwards wetsuits are not required for warmth. That said, swimmers love their wetsuits for buoyancy and speed and many use them all summer!
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, June 4, 2023
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.
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:
Come with your swim suit on as there is unlikely to be changing facilities
Swim cap (or two), goggles, towel, towel, warm clothes
Wetsuit is optional but highly recommended for the first clinic of the year
Warm clothes to change into after swim
If bringing a wetsuit, also bring a plastic shopping bag
"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 11, 2023
Same details as Clinic #1 above.
Our Regular Weekly Swim Program 2023
Saturday, July 1, 9am - Regular swims commence 9-10am on the Windsurf Beach
Saturday, July 8, 9am
Thursday, July 13, 630pm - (No swim Saturday this week due to Bring on the Bay)
Saturday, July 22, 9am
Saturday, July 29, 9am
Saturday, August 5, 9am
Saturday, August 12, 9am
Saturday, August 19, 9am
Saturday, August 26, 9am