Scottish Winter Swimming Championships

Taymouth Marina, Kenmore, Aberfeldy,
PH15 2HW

March 5th & 6th 2022

Please see the link below for official event photographs from the 2022 event. There are thousands of incredible photos, so keep scrolling to find yourself and your team! Please feel free to download, share, comment and tag yourself and SwimWild.
© Jumpy James www.jumpyjames.co.uk

This is an International Winter Swimming Association (IWSA) event and will include short individual races, team relays and a tough endurance challenge. You may enter single or multiple races – or get a group of friends, family or colleagues together and enter a relay team. Please remember the water will be cold (around 1 – 5ºC) and you must acclimatise to cold water before swimming in these races.

Individual Races (50m + 150m)

There are three different stroke choices for individuals – freestyle, head up breaststroke and ice fly. Races of each stoke will be 50m or two widths of the marina. There will also be longer breaststroke and freestyle races of 150m and a freestyle 450m for those looking for an endurance challenge. Please see further information on endurance race below.

Freestyle

As the name suggests, in the freestyle race you can use any stroke you like in order to propel yourself across a width of the marina as quickly as possible. Front crawl is the stroke of choice for most people, but you can in fact swim any stroke you like.

Head up breaststroke 

Head up breaststroke is the traditional cold water swimming style. As the head is above the water at all times it allows swimmers to compete in ice-cold conditions without getting brain freeze.

The rules are simple – you must ensure that your eyes do not go below the water level at any time during the race. The event is a great leveller and makes for very competitive races.

Swimmers are encouraged to wear a warm hat for this race, or get crafty and create their own headwear – the more outlandish the better. The winner of the best hat of the competition will be crowned at the prize-giving ceremony for the Best Hat of the Day.

Ice fly

A race using butterfly stroke – simultaneous arm pulls with a dolphin kick. The finish is with two hands at or above water level.

Endurance race

This will be a tough 450m (18 widths of the marina) race for experienced cold water swimmers only. In order to compete in this race, you will need to prove that you have swum 200m in 5 degrees or less in the 2019/20 winter season as per the IWSA Rules. You will need to bring your qualifying swim form with you on the day, signed by you and your witness, or you will not be able to compete in this event.

Individual Races

There are three different stroke choices for individuals – freestyle, head up breaststroke and ice fly. Races of each stoke will be 50m or two widths of the marina. There will also be longer breaststroke and freestyle races of 150m and a freestyle 450m for those looking for an endurance challenge. Please see further information on 450m endurance race below.

All individual races are run under IWSA rules

Freestyle

As the name suggests, in the freestyle race you can use any stroke you like in order to propel yourself across a width of the marina as quickly as possible. Front crawl is the stroke of choice for most people, but you can in fact swim any stroke you like.

Head up breaststroke

Head up breaststroke is the traditional cold water swimming style. As the head is above the water at all times it allows swimmers to compete in ice-cold conditions without getting brain freeze.

The rules are simple – you must ensure that your eyes do not go below the water level at any time during the race. The event is a great leveller and makes for very competitive races.

Swimmers are encouraged to wear a warm hat for this race, or get crafty and create their own headwear – the more outlandish the better. The winner of the best hat of the competition will be crowned at the grand prize-giving ceremony for the Best Hat of the Day.

Ice fly

A race using butterfly stroke – simultaneous arm pulls with a dolphin kick. The finish is with two hands at or above water level.

Endurance Race

This will be a tough 450m (18 widths of the marina) race for experienced cold water swimmers only.

In order to compete in this race, you will need to prove that you have swum 200m in 5 degrees or less in the 2021/22 winter season as per the IWSA Rules. You will need to bring your qualifying swim form with you on the day, signed by you and your witness, or you will not be able to compete in this event.

Endurance Swim Qualifier Form

A medical exam will be held for endurance swimmers on the swimming day. The medical exam shall include, but not be limited to, a blood pressure test and drug and alcohol evaluation.

Endurance swimmers must have a registered assistant – a trusted person who knows the swimmer and can confirm the swimmer’s ability to swim the endurance distance, and is able to provide the needed support to the swimmer until he or she is fully recovered.

The assistant must:

  • follow the swimmer to the pool area;
  • stay at the start end of the lane all the time during the swim;
  • make a sign to the judge to stop the swimmer’s race in a case of suspecting the swimmer to behave inadequately so continuing the swim may result in danger to his or her life and health;
  •  support the swimmer after the swim, during recovery procedures until he or she is fully recovered.

Please read IWSA Rules For Endurance Swim (Section 6) carefully before entering this race.

There is a strict time cap of 15 minutes for this event.

Relay races

Mixed team relay (IWSA Rules) – Teams in the 4x50m freestyle relays consist of four competitors who each swim 50m (two widths of the marina). Teams must be mixed (at least one man and one woman) and can represent their country, town, club or simply be a group of friends or family. The person entering the team will be the team captain. Relay team are invited to come up with a unique team name and are welcome to dress up accordingly!

‘Anything Goes’ relay (Not run under IWSA Rules) – Open category relay. Teams in the 4x50m freestyle relays consist of four competitors who each swim 50m (two widths of the marina). Any combination of team accepted. All female/all male teams should enter this category. Neoprene socks/gloves/accessories allowed. Wetsuits are allowed. Fancy dress is encouraged!

IWSA Rules

Section 1 – Rules For All Races

1.1 Swimmers compete within age categories. See separate age group section below.  

1.2 At the starting line, competitors will receive the following commands (with the following intervals):

1. Take off your clothes

2. Get in the water (5 seconds)

3. On your marks (3 seconds)

1.3 Swimming under the water after START for longer than 5 meters from the start wall (when the swimmer is completely submereged and no part of the swimmer is breaking the surface of the water) is strictly forbidden and will result in 5 seconds penalty added to the race time.

1.4 False starts will not be called back. Blatant false starts will result in disqualification. Minor false starts will result in 5 seconds penalty added to the race time. The decision of the race referee(s) will be final.

1.5 Tumble turns are strictly forbidden. Before making a turn, Competitors must touch the end of the pool wall with, at least, one hand.

1.6 Swimming under the water after completing the TURN for longer than 5 meters from the turn wall (when the swimmer is totally submerged and no part of the swimmer is breaking the surface of the water) is strictly forbidden and will result in 5 seconds penalty added to the race time.

1.7 To finish the race, a competitor must touch the end of the lane with, at least, one hand.

1.8 The heat results will be final (no extra final heats).

1.9 Competitors must leave the water immediately after the race.

1.10 Nobody may swim under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

1.11 No performance enhancing drugs can be used by competitors, nor internal or external substances that preserve or increase body heat.

1.12 Swimsuits must be appropriate and non-transparent. Swimsuits may not go beyond the top of the knee or past the shoulder (i.e. they must not have legs or sleeves) and cannot provide the swimmer with thermal protection or buoyancy. No neoprene socks or gloves. NO WETSUITS.

1.13 Swimmers may not use any device or material, which is designed to improve performance. This includes, without limitation, hand-paddles, snorkels, fins or floatation devices.

1.14 Swimmers must wear something on their head; either a swimming cap or a woollen hat or other warm hat. Decorated hats are encouraged!

1.15 The organiser’s decision on whether or not a swimmer is attired appropriately will be final.

1.16 All swimmers start in the water. Diving into the water is not permitted.

Section 2 – Rules For 50 and 150 meters Breaststroke Races

2.1 The only permissible stroke for 50 m Breaststroke races is “Head Up” breaststroke. The crown (the top) of the head must not be submerged during the race, except before the first stroke within the 5 m zone of the start or turns (when water overflow through the head is permitted) – for all age groups, men-women, with time control. If the crown (the top) of the head submerges during the race, when it is not allowed, the swimmer will receive 5 second penalty that will be added to their race time.

2.2 For 150 m Breaststroke races the water overflow through the head (i.e. normal breaststroke) is permitted during the whole course of swimming.

Section 3 – Rules For 50 and 150 meters Freestyle Races

3.1 Swimming style is freestyle meaning “any style” for individual swims.

Section 4 – Rules For Ice Fly 50 m.

4.1 Swimming style is a regular butterfly for individual swims.

4.2 From the beginning of the first arm stroke after the start and after each turn, the body shall be kept on the breast.

4.3 Both hands must simultaneously slip forward over the water.

4.4 All the movements of the two legs up and down should be done at the same time during the entire race.

Section 5 – Rules For IWSA Freestyle Mixed Team Relay

5.1 The swimming distance is 4 x 50 meters.

5.2 Swimming style is freestyle meaning “any style” for the swims of team members.

5.3 Teams’ gender must be mixed. There must be, at least, one woman or one man in each team.

5.4 Team members must agree on their start order prior to mustering.

5.5 When called to the pool area, team members will be instructed take their position at the teams lane according their start order.

5.6 The swimmers must follow the general regulations described in Chapter 1.

5.7 The first swimmer starts as described in Section 1

5.8 There is no claxon signal for the following swimmers. The previous swimmer completing his or her turn by touching the wall signals the start for the subsequent swimmer. The second, third or fourth swimmer must be in the water in the start position while (and before) the incoming teammate is touching the wall.

5.9 The team finishes when the fourth swimmer touches the wall at the end of the lane.

Section 6 – Rules for Endurance Swim

6.1 Swimming style is freestyle meaning “any style”.

6.2 Duration of the swim is limited by 15 minutes

6.3 All race regulations in Section 1 also apply to the endurance race

6.4 Swimmers compete in 8 age categories. See main IWSA age categories groups for categories. Minimum age for an endurance swimmer is 18 years old on day of competition.

6.5 At registration, swimmers competing in the endurance swim must present their Endurance Swim Qualifier Form

6.6 Endurance swimmers must have a registered assistant – a trusted person who knows the swimmer and can confirm the swimmer’s ability to swim the endurance distance, and is able to provide the needed support to the swimmer until he or she is fully recovered.

The assistant must:

  • follow the swimmer to the pool area;
  • stay at the start end of the lane all the time during the swim;
  • make a sign to the judge to stop the swimmer’s race in a case of suspecting the swimmer to behave inadequately so continuing the swim may result in danger to his or her life and health;
  • support the swimmer after the swim, during recovery procedures until he or she is fully recovered.

6.7 It is highly recommended that endurance swimmer has a personal insurance policy providing coverage for extreme sports.

6.8 Mandatory briefing for endurance swimmers will be held according to the event schedule. All endurance swimmers must attend the meeting. A failure to appear at the briefing will result in disqualification.

6.9 Medical exam shall be held for endurance swimmers on the swimming day. The medical exam shall include but not limited to a blood pressure test and drug and alcohol evaluation. Medical restriction based on results of the exam is unconditional and makes the endurance swim impossible.

6.10 The Organisers have a right to reduce the distance or cancel the endurance swim in a case when the weather conditions changed severely increasing the risk of danger to the swimmers. Their decision to do so will be final.

6.11 The judges have a right to stop the swimmer’s race in a case of suspecting the swimmer to behave inadequately so continuing the swim may result in a danger to his or her life and health.

Age Groups

All individual races will be divided into age categories. The age groups are determined by your age on 31 December 2022.

The age groups are as follows:

  • A series: 18-19 years (those born in 2003 + 2004) – competitors must be at least 18 years old on the date of the event.
  • B series: 20-29 years (those born in 1993 – 2002)
  • C series: 30-39 years (those born in 1983 – 1992)
  • D series: 40-49 years (those born in 1973 – 1982)
  • E series: 50-59 years (those born in 1963 – 1972)
  • F series: 60-69 years (those born in 1953 – 1962)
  • G series: 70-79 years (those born in 1943 – 1952)
  • H series: 80 years and over (those born in 1942 or before)

Participants in all events must be 18 years or over on the day of the competition.

Race Timings

Here is a rough outline of the event timings over the weekend. Times may vary, but the order should stay the same.

SATURDAY 5th March

08:00-09:00 – Registration for 450m swimmers only. As soon as you have registered please go for your medical check-up.

09:00 – Safety briefing for 450m swimmers only

09:20-12:30 – 450m Races

09:15-12:30 – Registration for all other Saturday swimmers

12:45-15:50 – All 50m Races

15:55-16:05 – Display!

16:15-17:00 – Mixed Freestyle Relays

17:45 – Prize giving

SUNDAY 6th March

08:00 – 09:30 Registration for all 150m swimmers

09:30 – 10:45 – Registration for relay swimmers

09:00-11:30 – All 150m Races

11:30-12:50 – Anything Goes Relays

13:30 – Prize Giving

Event Location

Taymouth Marina, Kenmore, Aberfeldy PH15 2HW

Taymouth Marina will be the venue for the Scottish Winter Swimming Championships. Races will be held within the easily accessible marina area. There is also a fabulous sauna and hot tub meters away, perfect for warming up after braving the icy waters of Loch Tay!

Accommodation is available on site and a 15% discount is available to any new bookings. Quote “SWSC22” when booking over the phone (01887 830216)  or by booking online and inputting this code in the comments section. Code valid for dates 3rd – 7th March inclusive & must be a 3-night minimum stay. T&Cs apply, speak to Taymouth Marina for more details.

    www.taymouthmarina.com

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