Here to Answer Your Questions


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While we have done our up most to choose locations and venues to prevent the issue that often cause postponement or cancellation in open water swimming events, the very nature of open water swimming does mean cancellation may ensue due to unforeseen weather or unsuitable water conditions. In such cases we will firstly look to postpone the event to another date. If such a situation arises we will contact you directly by email in the days leading up to the event, please make sure your email address is correct at the time of entry. Public announcements will also be made on the website and social media. Unfortunately refunds are not possible if the events has to be cancelled.

I've registered, now what?

You will have received a confirmation email acknowledging your entry into the event. All other communications will be sent by email so please make sure we have a correct email address for you. Any race info, latest news etc will also be displayed on the race pages.

Do I need a wetsuit?

We always strongly advised the use of wetsuits for safety reasons. However, swimmers will have the option to wear a wetsuit or not.

How old do I have to be?

18 years old on the day of the event.

I've never swam in open water before can I enter an open water swimmer event

Of course, this series of events was created to provide a platform for any ability of swimmer to take to the open water. Several distances and environments are available in some of the Irelands most stunning water ways. Most people swimming this year will be taking to the open water for the first time, so don’t worry you won’t be alone…

What are your rules regarding water temperature

We dont have any!! If you are brave enough to swim without a wetsuit in Ireland thats your choice. We do however recommend them if are new to open water.


Each stretch of water at our venues is tested by the local county councils Environment Agency. The tests cover the microbiological quality of the water; regular samples are taken to show up any water borne nasty as such as Weils Disease and Blue Green Algae that might affect the safety of our swimmers.


At all our events we stick to water safety norms; Safety kayaks at regular intervals, Powerboat assistance, Ample and Experienced medical cover on standby, Ability to track swimmers movements in and out of the water, Strict rules on water temperature and wet suit use. This means you’re never out of sight and our rescue team will be on hand to assist should the need arise.


We do not offer transfers between people, this is for the safety of the participant. The swimmer who entered online must register in person prior to their swim wave taking place, our team will perform an ID check, if the ID check fails then you will not be able to swim.

What lies beneath ?

Ireland may have cooler water but we also have nothing that's 'going to get you' - a fair trade we think. Plus being in the wild is what it is all about.


All online registrations close at midday on the Thursday before the event or sooner if the event sells out. But if you want a t-shirt and goodie bag you must register at least seven days before the event




All our events are run from the lake shore, find the water and you'll find us! In Glendalough – we are shore side at the main viewing beach on the upper lake. In Lough Key – we run from the slip way located on the right hand side of the main car park at the Lough Key Forest Park In Hodson Bay - we run from right in front of the Hodson Bay Hotel and just past the marina.


We work from the name you submitted online, so once you've registered that's all we need to assign your race number and goodie bag on the day of the event. All this will happen from a registration tent beside the shore. Registration has a time window, but you're not the only person planning on leaving it until the last five minutes! So be warned, arrive 'just in time' like everyone else and you'll be under pressure to make the start line, and that's not the best way to prepare for a swim.


Some people like to bring a friend to support them from a kayak, be it with drinks or moral support. And we have no problem with that, please come along. But the kayakers need to be competent. Our safety teams are there to provide cover for swimmers not people falling out of kayaks. Please don't endanger swimmers by distracting our safety team from them – kayakers know your limits! All kayakers must have buoyancy aids and sea worthy boats. All Kayakers need to make themselves known to the safety officer in the speed boat prior to the race start. All Kayakers will be seen by swimmers as a safe haven, so if a swimmer signals you, you must provide them a floating support (even if that means your friend swims on without you).


There are extensive sliding early bird deals in place for all our swims. In fact if you were to book all four events with the early bird's greatest discount you would be getting a whole swim for free. You can see the cut off dates and prices on the home page


That depends on which event you are coming to. In all BUT Glendalough you can swim both the 750m and 1.5km for the one entry. In fact we encourage it and most swimmers will do both. There is a hour between the two swims so plenty of time to recover for the second race. And why not in Glendalough? We have very strict maximum numbers in Glendalough and the swims actually fill, so in order not to disappoint anyone we have to keep people to one entry one event.


An iron distance is named for the original Ironman branded event in Hawaii. The first swim was in Waikiki bay as part of the Waikiki rough water swim and that swim, from get in point to get out, was 2.6miles. So by pure chance the distance used was 2.6miles. 2.6miles is 3.86km. Rounded up in Hawaii to the 3.9km course now swam in the modern Kailua-Kona. We set a Hawaiian 3.9km course


Many Irish waterways (and all of our swim locations) have mystical tales of serpents and water dragons dwellings deep in the water.......


Open Water Swimmer Ireland Swim Series Champion Overall Swim Series points system - Each year the person with the accumulated best results will be awarded the title of Swim Series Champion. How it works - Points are allocated to each swimmer from each swim - all distances and all events. In Lough Key and Hodson Bay swimmer can swim both events for the one entry. In Glendalough each swim distance must be entered separately. Maximum points of 200 for a win. Points for each place after first is calculated by the amount of swimmers in each event. The amount of entries is divided into the 200 and the answer then subtracted from the total for the points earned. The principle being that you are always giving maximum points for a win and then you are rewarded more points if you have beaten more entries. Example 1 - 200 \ 20 (swimmers) = 10. 200 – 10 = 190 for 2nd place. 200 – 40 = 160 for 4th place etc. Example 2 – 200 \ 135 (swimmers) = 1.48. 200 – 1.48 = 198.52 for 2nd place. 200 - 5.92 = 194.08 for 4th place etc. Example 3 – 200 \ 43 (swimmers) = 4.6. 200 – 4.6 = 195.5 for 2nd place. 200 – 18.4 = 181.60 for 4th place. Maximum points over all locations is - 1400 points (if all events run) That is 200 per every 750m and 1.5km in three lakes and 200 for the 3.9km in Glendalough. The league leader at each event will be swimming in a different colour cap than everyone else. The over all winner will be awarded their prize and title on the Sunday in Glendalough. Good luck all.


Open Water Swimmer Ltd, (OWS) 1. Swimming can be strenuous and you must make sure you are in good health. If you have any medical conditions that could be adversely affected by exercise, particularly a heart condition, or if you are in any doubt about your health, you must get clearance from your doctor before participating. For swimmers under the age of 16, a parent or guardian’s consent is required. 2. Open Water Swimmers are nationwide events to be hosted in open water venues around Ireland between June and the end of September. 3. Entrant agrees to be bound by these Terms and Conditions of entry to the Event. 4. Applicants must apply to participate in the Event by completing an online registration form (“Registration”). 5. Applications will be accepted or refused by OWS in their absolute discretion and all decisions of OWS are final. All successful applicants will be notified by way of online confirmation. The completion of Registration as set out above, the payment of the Registration Fee and the receipt of online confirmation (“Entry Confirmation”) shall give the Applicant a right to participate in the Event, subject always to these Terms and Conditions and any rules and Terms and Conditions of the venue. 6. Places for the Event are limited and therefore applications are subject to availability. Applications are processed on a first-come first-served basis in accordance with the rules set out in these Terms and Conditions, or at the sole discretion of OWS. 7. OWS ltd. shall not be responsible for technical, hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, or failed, incomplete, garbled or delayed computer/internet transmissions or other errors or malfunctions of any kind which may prevent communications to and from any of them which may prevent receipt by the Event Organisers of a registration. 8. The payment of the Registration Fee entitles the Entrant to; * Participate in the Event * Entry to the relent venue on the day of the OWS session 9. No refunds shall be provided should a Participant fail to take part in the Event, for any other reason save in exceptional circumstances as determined by OWS in their absolute discretion, which shall not include, without limitation, oversight of diary commitments, not acknowledging the full Event scheduling or holidays. 10. If at any time it is discovered that any Entrant should have been ineligible or if the Entrant’s proposed participation in the Event should have been refused or rejected for any reason, OWS reserves the right to disqualify an entrant from the Event and/or to refuse such entry at any time. OWS shall not be liable in any way whatsoever to any Entrant as a result of any such disqualification or refusal. 11. The Events will be held between June and September (or such other dates as the organisers shall determine) at venues across Ireland. Entrants must arrive at the relevant venue at least 60 minutes prior to their session start time. 12. OWS reserves the right to change the format of the Event or to cancel the Event, in whole or in part, without notice or liability to the Entrant. OWS shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any changes to the time, date and/or venues hosting the Event. 13. The Event Organisers will not be liable in any to the Participant in any way for any failure and accuracy of the technology of the timing on the day of the Event. 14. Participants in the Event must adhere at all times to the rules and regulations of the host venue whilst at that venue for the purposes of their participation in the Event. Participants are required to behave responsibly, reasonably and professionally at all times whilst participating in the Event including without limitation refraining from behaviour that may offend standards of public morality or decency or which may be illegal. 16. OWS shall have the irrevocable, exclusive right and licence throughout the world (and, Entrant hereby irrevocably grants OWS such exclusive right and licence) to interview and/or photograph and/or film the Entrant at the Event (or subsequent to the Event as OWS may reasonably require) and to the unlimited use in all current and future media (including without limitation, print, audio, audio visual, virtual media, Internet, mobile telephony and related or successor technologies, CD-ROM and/or DVD) of the Entrant’s name, likeness and image or facsimile image, signature, voice, video and film portrayals and other means of identification of the Entrant, and any biographical or other information or data related to the Entrant (including race times and results), in connection with the production, advertisement, marketing, promotion or sale of the Event and/or the promotion, marketing or advertisement of the Open Water Swimmer Ireland brand. 17. All data provided by Entrants to the Event shall be stored, processed and used in accordance with the Privacy Policy and relevant Data Protection Law and these Terms and Conditions. 18. Entrant acknowledges that participation in the Event involves physical activities and inherent risks and dangers of accidents, personal and bodily injury (including death) and property loss or damage. By completing and submitting a registration form, the Entrant acknowledges and confirms that, to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, he or she is healthy and fit to swim, understands and has considered and evaluated the nature, scope and extent of the risks involved, and has voluntarily and freely chosen to participate in the Event entirely at his or her own risk. 19. Save in circumstances where any personal injury or death is caused by the negligence of OWS, OWS holds no liability for any loss or liability of any kind in contract, tort or otherwise howsoever arising out of the Entrant’s participation in the Event or in relation to any services provided pursuant to such participation, to the extent permissible by law. 20. The participant acknowledges that personal information (including medical information entered on registration OR collected by event medical staff during or after the event) can be stored, used and disclosed by OWS in connection with the organisation and administration of the event and for the compilation of anonymised statistical information. The participant acknowledges that if they become ill during or after the event and/or received medical attention or treatment from event medical provider, or any doctor or hospital, they authorise such persons to provide their details (including details of medical treatment) to the Event Organisers or others authorised by the Event Organiser, subject to maintaining appropriate Medical Confidentiality. 21. OWS does not intends to provide any insurance, whether life or medical or liability, for any illness, accident, injury, death, loss or damage that may arise in connection with the attendance at, and/or participation in the Event by each Entrant. Entrant is advised to obtain such insurance themselves if required or desired. 22. The Participant acknowledges and agrees that: 1. Subject to clause 23, the Participant shall: 2. fully indemnify and keep OWS fully indemnified from and against all liabilities, claims, actions, proceedings, loss, damage, costs or expenses suffered or incurred by the Participant; and 3. irrevocably indemnify and hold harmless, and reimburse OWS from and for any sum, costs or expenses (including legal and professional fees) incurred, payable or paid by OWS to any person (including the Participant’s insurers) in connection with any accident, loss, damage or injury (including death) arising out of the Participant’s attendance at, participation in, or training for the Event. 4. Subject to clause 23, OWS shall not be responsible for any losses the Participant suffers as a result of OWS breach unless such losses were reasonably foreseeable to both the Participant and the Event Organisers as at the date of the Participant’s registration for the Event. For the avoidance of doubt, OWS will not be liable to the Participant in contract, tort (including, without limitation, negligence) or otherwise in connection with the Event for loss of revenues, profits, contracts, business or anticipated savings or loss of data; or goodwill or reputation; or any special or indirect or consequential losses; for any personal injury to or death of the Participant; 23. Entrant hereby acknowledges that it is a strict condition of participation in the Event that all mandatory fields within an Entrant’s profile are complete and correct at all times, including without limitation, gender, first name, surname, date of birth, contact address, medical condition information, and emergency contact details. Entrant hereby acknowledges and agrees that this information is required by OWS in order to properly and safely administer and conduct the Event, and OWS reserves the right to refuse Entrant entry to the Event in circumstances where Entrant either requests the suppression of such mandatory information from its Entrant’s profile, or OWS believes Entrant has provided false or incomplete information. 24. Entrant must adhere to all instructions given by the Event officials at all times during the Event. 25. It is the Entrant’s responsibility to ensure a suitable, well-fitting wetsuit is worn. OWS reserve the right to eject Entrant’s from the event if they are wearing an ill fitting wetsuit. 26. Entrants are prohibited from using any of the following items in the Event: 26.1 Flippers/fins 26.2 Hand paddles 26.3 Snorkels 26.4 Personal audio equipment 26.5 Any other floatation device or swimming aid which could potentially affect the safety of other swimmers, as determined by OWS. 27. If any provision in these Terms and Conditions, whether in full or in part, is held to be invalid or unenforceable, all other remaining provisions (in full or in part) shall continue to be valid and enforceable. 28. This agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with Irish Law and each of the parties irrevocably submits to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of Ireland. 29. OWS reserve the right to amend these terms and conditions at any time.

Join 8000+ swimmers who have competed with us since 2012

When you come swim with us you'll see our ethos  from the beginning has been openness.  So you'll find yourself swimming with juniors, die hard skins, wetsuit lovers, towbag users and not, triathletes, wild swimmers, racers and 'just finish' mentalities. You'll become part of our friendly swim community. So take your place at the water’s edge and challenge yourself! You choose the location, the distance and what to wear - we will take care of the rest.   See you in the water!!

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Open water swimmers celebrating after completing their races event with Open Water Swimmer
Ecstatic Open Water Swimmer competitor coming out of the water after completing a race
Open water swimmers celebrating in the water after completing their swim.
Happy Open water swimmer with a green swim hat smiling in the water.
Happy Open water swimmers in the water during their race event with Open Water Swimmer
Two Open water swimmers embracing in the lake after completing their races event with Open Water Swimmer