A Club for All the Family  West Oxfordshire Sailing Club

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Open Water Swimming at WOSC


It is now possible under the full sailing club membership to use the top lake for open water swimming along with the buoyed off area in the main lake. We do not offer special memberships just for open water swimming and it should be noted as we are a club run by members that you will be asked to help with club duties, even if you only swim.

Swimming at WOSC should be done in the main lake buoyed off area - Open water swimming in the top lake should only be done if you are a confident and competent swimmer and have experience.

Under 16's require an adult buddy swimmer or rescue craft on the water with them at all times.

In addition to the sailing programme West Oxfordshire Sailing Club, you have the access to use the small lake for open water swimming.

Open water swimmers scoff at lane ropes and pool walls. They favour the lakes, lynns and lochs of the UK. If you feel the pull of adventure then there are a few things you need to know before taking the plunge.

Top tips for getting into open water swimming

  1. You need to be a competent swimmer. Become a strong pool swimmer first then it’s a fairly simple transition into open water.
  2. If you are competent, then practise for open water swimming in the pool. 
  3. Be honest with yourself about how fond you are of fish, slimy vegetation, and insects. Yes, you could see and feel them all. This is not a chlorine controlled pool environment.
  4. Get into open water swimming with a friend. Swimming alone in open water is not recommended. The temperature and choppiness of the water can make things difficult.
  5. Open water is cold, buy a wetsuit. They help insulate against the cold and keep you buoyant in open water. They are also great fun to wear.

For more information please email via this link: Andy Smallwood 



WOSC Open water swimming rules and guidelines

Dynamic Risk Assessment to be carried out by participants prior to each swim.

1. Competent swimmers only. Any junior (U16) swimmers must have close 1:1 supervision by a competent adult buddy swimmer.

2. Two-person minimum at each swim session. With a responsible person available to initiate Emergency Action Plan (see attached). 

3. Rescue Craft to be on the water and respond to swimmers in distress.

4. Only paddle powered craft in the swimming lake. These are to be kept out of the swim lane, unless being used for coaching or rescue purposes.

5. Swimmers to stay in identified safe buoyed swim track around lake.

6. Visual check should be made of the lake before entering water, to ensure weeds are not encroaching on swimming area.

7. Entry in to water at set location only see marked signage at lakeside

8. Members who wish to swim in the top lake, should acknowledge contents of the OWS risk assessment.


Download Emergency Action Plan  Download Risk Assessment 

Upcoming OWS events

03/03/2018 10:00 • WOSC
17/03/2018 10:00 • WOSC
28/04/2018 14:00 • WOSC
07/05/2018 12:00 • WOSC

Please ensure you are familiar with and have a copy of the

  Risk assessment

Please ensure you are familiar with and have a copy of the

  Emergency action plan

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Disclaimer:All information is provided "as is", there is no warranty that the information is correct or suitable for any purpose, either implicit or explicit.
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