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SWIMMING INSIDE A SNOW GLOBE

Old Bavarian charm, icy water and top-notch organisation makes the Ice Swimming Aqua Sphere World Championships and German Open an event worth trying, says Elaine K Howley
Images: Andrew DeLozier and Elaine Howley

On 10 January 2017 – the last day of the 2nd Ice Swimming Aqua Sphere World Championships and German Open Event in Burghausen, Germany – continental Europe’s especially harsh winter came into sharp relief for competitors. These hardy swimmers had already been contending with water temperatures ranging from 2 to 3 degrees Celsius, depending on where the temperature was taken, and air temperatures lower than -20 degrees at various times during the three-day competition. But early on Sunday, it began to snow. As the day wore on, the pace of fat snowflakes falling increased, but that couldn’t slow any of the swimmers or the fleet of incredible volunteers who turned up to put on an efficient and exciting swimming show.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

One of the things that keeps me going through the winter is my daily outdoor dip, whatever the weather or temperature. A few years ago this would have been considered pretty odd behaviour by many, but opinions seem to be changing as outdoor swimming and cold water swimming is featured more and more in the media. Indeed, a group of sea swimmers now feature daily on the BBC in the short films between programmes! Find out the story behind the swimmers in our news section. Elsewhere in the magazine we hear from Beth French about her close encounter with a shark in the Molokai Channel, we meet English Channel swimming legends Kevin Murphy and Sally Minty-Gravett and gain an insight into what happens when a swim goes wrong from Mickey Helps’s story of his unsuccessful two-way English Channel swim. I have really been enjoying Terry Laughlin’s series on mindfulness in swimming, which he brings to a close this issue with a look at swimming as ‘moving meditation’. It is a really interesting element to introduce to your training sessions. If you haven’t decided what swims you would like to complete in 2017, check out our event listings. And remember, events are not just for competitive swimmers – a race is only a race if you race it, otherwise it is just a lovely swim. We have some exciting news to share about H2Open – turn to page 27 to learn about our big plans for 2017 and how the magazine is changing. Enjoy the magazine and happy swimming.
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