2018 Season


About Open Water Swimming at RWSABC
Open Water Swimming at RWSABC restarted in the 2013 season. In the earlier history of the club, swimming was one of the activities that club members participated in. However this activity waned and was not a formal part of the Club’s activities for many years. Our goal is to provide a safe and supportive environment for anyone who wants to try or participate in open water swimming.

We believe there is something very special about open water swimming. It is a way to connect with the natural world. We love swimming and, once acclimatised, swimming in the sea off Greenock is invigorating. If you want to more about the ethos of open water swimming as we hope it develops at RWSABC then we suggest you read Waterlog: A Swimmer’s Journey Through Britain by Richard Deakin and/or Wild Swim by Kate Rew and Dominick Tyler.

The club aims to cater to all those interested in Open Water Swimming who are aged 12 years or older. This will range from those who enjoy open water swimming to be in contact with nature, those who want to keep fit and those who are interested in training for competitive purposes. We hope to encourage swimmers of all ages including junior swimmers. We aim to make the club swimming events friendly and sociable.

Most swimmers at RWSABC wear wetsuits but others do not. The choice is up to the individual. All of our swims are in and around the Boat Club on the Esplanade. We believe that The Esplanade is one of the best sea swimming venues in Scotland. The advantages that it offers compared to some other locations are several places of safe egress, relatively sheltered conditions and very little powered boat traffic. It helps that the views across the river can be stunning. One of the “attractions” of Open Water Swimming is cold water and the water temperature of the Clyde varies between 6 C in February to 15 C in September. Swimming is now an activity that some club members participate in year-round.

Open Water Swimming Activities in 2018
RWSABC will organise the following events to cater to those interested in Open Water Swimming:
• Social Swims on Thursday and Friday evenings during the season for Club Members,
• Open Social Swims where members of the public can participate in Open Water Swimming,
• A moonlight swim
• The RWSABC Clyde Swim
• A New Year’s Day Swim

Social Swimming
Social swimming will take place on Thursdays and Fridays starting on Thursday, 26 April and ending on Friday, 14 September. We aim to be entering the water at 6:30pm. Social swimming normally takes place along The Esplanade in Greenock. In certain tidal and weather conditions, we swim in the opposite direction towards the Battery Park and back. The RWSABC is located on the beach at the western end of The Esplanade. The post code is PA16 7SE. We will swim in groups for around 1000m and then swim back. Depending on the direction of the tide and the ability of the swimmer, the different groups will take between 30 and 60 minutes. We will confirm the safe return of the swimmers to the club. There are a few boat slips along The Esplanade for swimmers who wish to terminate their swim early and walk back. Swimming in groups is for social and safety reasons. Social swimming is open to all RWSABC club members.

“Open” Social Swims
We will also be “open” social swims for anyone who wants to come along. You do not have to be a member of RWSABC to participate in these swims. These events will be open to anyone who wants to swim so long as they consider themselves a competent swimmer. For those under 16 years of age, parental/guardian permission will be required. The dates for these swim in the 2018 season are on Friday:
4 May (high tide at 16:04), 15 June (low tide 19:52), 6 July (high tide 18:51) and 17 August (high tide 17:52)

If the weather is good, we will have a charcoal barbeque lit and swimmers can cook their own food on the grill. The RWSABC Bar will be open for warm drinks, light refreshments and alcohol.

The Moonlight Swim
In 2018, a moonlight swim is proposed at 10:00pm on the evenings of Saturday 25 August. Whether this swims will take place is dependent on weather and cloud conditions.

The RWSABC Clyde Swim 2018
The RWSABC Clyde Swim 2017 is the annual swim from Kilcreggan to RWSABC (around 3 kilometres distance). Certificates will be awarded to all finishers and there will be prizes for various categories. If conditions do not allow the swim across the Clyde, we will attempt a swim along The Esplanade. If conditions are such that a safe swim cannot be conducted along The Esplanade, the event will have to be cancelled.

The RWSABC Clyde Swim is scheduled for Saturday, 4 August with swimmers expected to start the swim from Kilcreggan at 5:00pm. Swimmers will be expected to be at RWSABC by 2:30pm for a safety briefing, final signup arrangements, getting changed and transport to Kilcreggan.

The number of swimmers in the event is limited to 30 swimmers. This is to provide a minimum ratio of 3 swimmers to 1 kayak. RWSABC members are promised a place in the swim and members of the public are allocated the places that are left. There is no entry fee for members of RWSABC but swimmers who are not members will need to pay an entry fee. The entry fee for the RWSABC Clyde Swim 2018 has been set at £20 for adults and £10 for swimmers aged 18 years or younger on the date of the swim.

Swimmers in this event are required to use a tow float as part of the insurance requirements and to make it easier to spot them in the water during the swim.

To be able to participate in the RWSABC Clyde Swim all swimmers must have successfully completed a “qualifying” swim (or equivalent) during the 2018 season. This swim involves swimming along the Greenock Esplanade from the Beach at RWSABC to Madeira Street and back in under 60 minutes. The distance is around 2km but can seem longer because of tide and sea conditions. The “qualifying” swim for the 2018 swim can be completed at any Social Swim up until Friday, 4 August or by other arrangements agreed with the Open Water Swim Convenor.

In addition, swimmers wishing to participate in this event must submit an Expression of Interest for this event via EventBrite by Friday, 28 July at 12:00 noon. If more than 30 swimmers register to swim for the event then places will be allocated in a fair way explained in the instructions to submit an Expression of Interest via EventBrite. If required, a waiting list will be set up for those who are not initially allocated places.

New Year’s Day Swim
Each year on New Year’s Day we organise an Open Social Swim for members of RWSABC and the public. This usually takes place in the early afternoon. It is expected that we will have the Club House open for spectators to watch and for swimmers to warm up with a hot drink after their swim or dip.

Access to RWSABC Changing Facilities
At the RWSABC Boat Club there are male and female changing facilities. These have toilets and showers. There are no secure lockers in the changing facilities and RWSABC does not take responsibility for personal belongings left in the changing facilities.

Adult RWSABC club members can purchase a key to the Changing Facilities and undertake water sports at times when there are no organised activities. There are bye-laws for all activities at the club and members must abide by these bye-laws. The main point of action for swimmers is a requirement for members to sign themselves out and record their return in a book provided for this purpose.

Participation in Other Activities at RWSABC
Persons joining RWSABC primarily for Open Water Swimming can also participate in the other sporting and social activities of the Club as part of their membership subscription. The Club has a bar, open throughout the year, that members and their guests can use. There is a full-size snooker table in the games room. The other sports offered at RWSABC are kayaking, rowing and sailing.

How to Join RWSABC
If you wish to become a member of RWSABC then please visit our Website. The Membership Forms, Categories and Fees for RWSABC are published on the Club’s Web Page at http://www.rwsabc.co.uk .

If you wish you to try Open Water Swimming for a month to try this activity before committing to full membership a one-time, Temporary Membership is available for £20. This Temporary Membership can also be used to try other sports during the month.

The RWSABC 2018 membership year begins on April 1st. There are various forms of membership which are dependant on the persons circumstances and age. The membership fee varies from £71 for those aged 12 to 18 up to £250 for individuals. The membership fee will give you access to all the activities of RWSABC (canoeing, sailing, rowing and open water swimming). In addition to the scheduled events members can also undertake ad hoc swims along The Esplanade when it suits them. People who join after the 1st of April are charged the annual rate adjusted for the date their membership starts.

If you wish you to try Open Water Swimming for a month before committing to full membership a one-time, Temporary Membership is available for £20. This Temporary Membership can also be used to try other sports during the month. The purpose of this type of membership is to allow people to come along and try out activities before making a significant financial commitment. At the end of the month people are required to decide about whether they continue with the club activities and pay the remainder of the full fee due. People should take out a temporary membership only once in their life.

An Invitation to come to the Bar after your swim
After the swims on Thursdays and Fridays you are invited to come up to the Bar for a snack and drink (hot or cold).

What do you need to do Open Water Swimming?
There are no strict requirements as to what you need to participate in Open Water Swimming at RWSABC. Most swimmers swimming in the Clyde at RWSABC will swim in wetsuits. This is not a requirement and you are welcome to be a “skins” swimmer if you want. Most people find that wearing a swimming cap makes swimming in cold water more comfortable. Some swimmers find that neoprene gloves and socks keep their hands and feet from getting too cold. Goggles are also highly recommended even if you like to swim head up breaststroke. Wear flip flops or sandals to walk from the changing room to the shore. Bring a towel to dry off with afterwards. You should bring a flask with a warm drink or come with us to the bar afterwards to drink something warm there. Bring plenty of warm clothes for after your swim, even in summer. A warm hat for your head is especially important to help you warm up after your swim. If you take out membership and decide to do some swimming on your own you should get a tow float. A tow float is not required for the social swims.

Who to Contact for More Information about Open Water Swimming
We hope that, for those interested in open water swimming, our proposed activities will be of interest. Please come along and give them a try. We’ll do our best to make you feel welcome.

If you have questions these can be addressed to the Open Water Swimming Convenor of RWSABC. His name is Joe Heffernan. He can be contacted via email at openwaterswimming@rwsabc.com or if you wish to speak to him his mobile number is 0777 585 0013.

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