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Christmas Presents

HOW TO ORGANISE A COLD WATER SWIMMING COMPETITION

There is more to hosting a winter swimming event than just cutting a hole in the ice, explains IWSA vice president John Coningham Rolls

As anyone who has attended a winter swimming competition knows, an adventurous spirit is always a requirement. But to organise an event takes on a whole new meaning of the word! To find a safe location that fulfils the ever-present health and safety requirements brings a host of logistical problems.

Selecting a venue

Depending on their size and popularity, many events nowadays have to be near a sufficiently large infrastructure to cope with the sheer number of participants. A great location that has minimal accommodation and transport links to and from a venue will not be considered for obvious reasons. The present and past world championships have had to contend with a demand for 1,500 beds in order to cope with the volume of competitors. Detailed planning with the local town council and mayoral office for any venue is conducted years in advance to ensure that additional buses and transfers to the venue can be accommodated. In 2014, the championship organisers in Rovaniemi, Finland, had a snow mobile to shuttle participants across the Kemijoki River as the ice was so thick!

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About Outdoor Swimmer

Welcome to the Christmas issue. This month we talk to English Channel record holder Becky Lewis about her seven crossings (and counting!) and to Beth French about her plan to complete the Oceans Seven in one year, despite suffering from ME. Have you ever wanted to swim an Ice Mile? We have expert advice on how to train safely for one of swimming's most extreme challenges. And if you like a bit of trail running with your outdoor swimming, we take an in-depth look at the endurance sport of swimrun. We have inspiring travel features on Italy, Scotland and the French Riviera. And as it's Christmas we have some delicious cake recipes to try! Plus all the usual training advice and sessions, news, interviews, inspirational stories and event listings for 2016.
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