Open Water Swimming

Non-coached member-organised open water swimming

Over the last decade, Wimbledon Windmilers have built up an ever-growing and popular open water swimming community. Whilst some members are swimming only, most combine open water swimming with cycling to/from events as well as training for sprint, Olympic, 70.3 and ironman triathlons.

Coach Julian flies the Windmiler flag in Shepperton

Between May and October each year Windmilers “home” open water venue is Shepperton Open Water Swimming Lake (http://www.sheppertonopenwaterswim.co.uk/contact). The lake is owned and run by a family business which lends to an exceptionally friendly atmosphere and for many it becomes their summer “happy place”. There will be WIndmilers down there every weekend morning (with the flag flying in regular summers on a Saturday morning) and also on several weekday evenings. There are two loops – a red buoy 400m and a yellow buoy 750m. Afterwards, the “Wacka” van serves hot drinks and snacks. There is ample onsite parking and whilst there are changing rooms, most people change at their cars or by the benches.

Regular opening times between May and September 2021 are (noting times may vary as the summer light increases/decreases):

Monday: 5pm – 8pm

Wednesday: 5pm – 8pm

Friday: 5pm – 8pm

Saturday: 6.30am – 11am

Sunday: 7am – 11am

The Lake normally arranges competition races four evenings during the summer – 750m, 1500m or 3,000m distances – but these are suspended for 2020 and 2021 with Covid. One evening late in August there is always an ever-popular night swim with fireworks and the 400m loop is lit up to guide us.

If you are a new swimmer to the lake, you will need to complete a health questionnaire and a short, five-minute induction before your first swim. Either email them on info@sheppertonopenwaterswim.co.uk or message them via Facebook on https://www.facebook.com/SheppertonOpenWaterSwim. Once the Lake have set up your registration, you will be able to book online (£6 for individual slots, discounts for 10 or 20 blocks).

The club organises intermittent “welcome to open water swimming” sessions which will resume in 2022. Meanwhile, Windmilers have a discount arrangement with the lake’s resident coach - SwimLab - who offer excellent individual one to one and group coaching sessions.

 

Thames Young Mariners (Ham Lake) is another “home” lake which has resumed taking bookings in 2021. It has a 500m loop (smaller when the temperatures are a low at the beginning and end of the season). Covid-permitting, Windmilers will be resuming their legendary summer relays – nothing serious and the teams are handicapped according to swimming strength to try and ensure a thrilling, anybody can win finish!

 

Other Lakes and Open Water venues commonly used by WIndmilers include:

London Royal Docks - https://londonsroyaldocks.com/open-water-swimming/

Liquid Leisure Windsor (Datchet) - https://windsor.liquidleisure.com/open-water-swimming/

Heron Lake - https://swimheron.co.uk/

Thorpe Park - https://www.thorpelakeswatersports.co.uk/swim-run

Amongst the most popular open water events that Windmilers have attended include:

Henley Open Water swimming events - https://henleyswim.com/

Serpentine - https://www.swimserpentine.co.uk

Dorney Lake - https://www.f3events.co.uk/events/

Jubilee River Swim - https://race-nation.co.uk/register/my-sporting-times/jubilee-swim-2021

 

For more information contact multisport@windmilers.org.uk