Open water swimming


Official Start Date - Sunday 17th April 2016

The winter is nearly over, spring is peaking, the days are getting a lot longer, the weather is warming and soon we will open so you can at long last dive in the lake again!

Whether you are a competitive swimmer, a triathlete or just enjoy "wild swimming", Oxford Wakeboard & Ski Club invite you to make use of the brand new open water swim sessions starting from April through until September 2016.

We’ve had a lot of thoughts and ideas over the winter (yes, the winter is at least good for that), we’ve listen to your feedback, we’ve looked at the best ways to improve your safety whilst reducing your time queuing to get in and improve your comfort. So we’ve made a few changes to our systems and times! We hope you like it (check out the lie-in opportunities on Sundays)!

1. The swim times this season will be :

Mondays - 6pm - 8pm
Wednesdays - 6am - 8.45am
Sundays - 7am - 9.45am

2. Sign in and sign out process

We have decided to start using a lake management system to help us cope with the large numbers of swimmers we experience on some of the days, especially the sunny ones but not only!

This system will:
- help you sign in and out much faster and
- help us knowing exactly how many people are in the water at all times and deploy the safety team necessary.

All in all, you won’t see much change from your side, apart from a one-off chipped wristband purchase for the whole season at the start.
This wristband will be yours to keep and replace our numbered elastic bands. You will need to wear it on arrival to scan in as you pay and scan out again when you exit the water.
The chip will hold your basic details, emergency details and any relevant medical information as well as info on multiple swim purchases and wetsuit hire. So it should save on coin transactions too.

We know it means an £10 up-front payment from your part, but we really think it will enhance your experience, cut out the fiddly bits and queuing and support us in improving your safety. We thought about this at lengths, but we really think it will be good and better. We hope you think so too.

Here is how to get your season 2016 chipped wristband.

- Go to this website :

If you don’t do this and have to sign up when you get to the lake, it may delay your entry into the water.

Below is a list of benefits of using this system for our swimmers.

  1. 1.Provide your lake with emergency contact and medical details, for your swimming safety.
    2. Purchase multiple swims in bulk, removing the need to remember money each time you swim.
    3. Log into your own area to view your swim history and see your improvements (you can also you’re your distance)
    4. Make your transactions and entry into the water much simpler, by bypassing the written sign-in process and replacing it with a quick scan
    5. Join in the races set up by your lake.
    6. Allow the lake to contact you directly about important schedule changes and information.
    8. Enjoy discounts from all the NOWCA partners (Like Zone 3 wetsuits and H2open magazine)

***Guest Bands are available so you can bring friends along and cater for the casual swimmer***

Swim times
Mondays - 6pm - 8pm

Wednesdays - 6am - 8.45am

Sundays - 7am - 9.45am

- Well marked out 1000, 750 and 300 metre course
- Free parking - ideal location for triathletes who would like to go cycling after their swim and leave their cars. We are right on the edge of the Chiltern Hills, which are ideal for on and off road cycling.
- Outdoor lake-side shower to rinse off after your swim
- Hot showers
- Toilet
- Kids Climbing Area - for those of you who would like to bring your families along while you swim
- There is a short (1.3 miles) and long (2.3 mile) cross country run loop around the lake
- Light refreshments will be available at each session

£5 Swim Session for NOWCA band holders

£6 For guests
£40 for a book of 10 member swim session vouchers (non-transferable)

Cold water guidelines for those times when it the water is between 10 and 12 degrees


Queensford Lake is the home of the OPENWATERCLUBS Oxford. It's currently part of a network of 3 clubs in the upper Thames region and  expanding in 2016.

The clubs trains at the lake during the normal swim sessions and has sometimes some extra-sessions for longer distance swimmers and during the winter.


The website is and it will give you some more info about what they do and how to join. note that the website will grow by the start of the 2015 season. Membership gives you entry to Queenford Lakes at a discounted rate of £4 as well as some discounts on race entry and kit (including 40% of Blue Seventy Wetsuits), some coaching sessions, training packs, distance awards and access to a trip or two during the season. And it is also a great social community of swimmers of all levels, ages and ambitions : slow, fast, dips, long swims. The club will have a breakfast swim at the beginning of the season, date TBC. Why not join in?

Ask for Katia when you come to the lake to find out more.

More information can be found here h2open club corner1.docx


Our resident coaching team Annie Oberlin-Harris and Ali Hollest from Tri

Swim Coaching ( are back in 2016 with even more

popular coaching sessions. They offer friendly open water swimming coaching

sessions with like minded people, suitable for novice, beginner and

intermediate/advanced adult and club level junior triathletes and open

water swimmers. Whether you've anxious about getting into the open water

for the first time, swimming for pleasure, or you're a seasoned triathlete

looking to improve your race times and get that age group podium finish,

our expert coaching using Swim Smooth methods will make you swim more

comfortably, much faster and make you learn to love the open water!

These sessions do sell out so please use the links below to book your space

online now.

For more info contact or call 01865 803 841.

*Beginner Open Water Skills Sessions 2016 *£30 BOOK NOW


Feeling a little bit intimidated switching to open water swimming from the

pool? Come and learn how to breathe properly and see where you're going so

you can really start to enjoy swimming in this new environment.

25th April - 30th May - 20th June - 18th July

Includes: Acclimatising to the water - Managing anxieties - Breathing -

Sighting properly & swimming straight

*Intermediate Open Water Skills Sessions 2016 * £30 BOOK NOW


Looking for the edge over your competitors? You've done the training now

come and learn how the pros do it, race tactics and how to get personal


Mondays 2nd May - 27th June

Includes: Sighting properly & swimming straight - Drafting other swimmers

for free speed - How to adapt your stroke to the open water - General

distance freestyle stroke technique - Mass Starts - Managing Anxieties -

Breathing bilaterally - Race Tactics

*6 Session Pre-Blenheim Technique & OW skills course 2016 *£119 BOOK NOW


Starts Monday 25th April for 6 weeks

3 pool sessions to perfect your freestyle technique and 3 open water

sessions to teach you those vital skills for race day, suitable for novice



25th April - 8.30pm at Abingdon School Pool

2nd May - 8.30pm at Abingdon School Pool

Weds 11th May - 9.00pm at Abingdon School Pool

16th May - 6.30pm at OWSC

23rd May - 6.30pm at OWSC

30th May - 6.30pm at OWSC

Includes: Proper freestyle technique - exhalation and bilateral breathing -

Catch and kick technique - Arm recovery for wetsuit swimming - Sighting

properly & swimming straight - How to adapt your stroke to the open water -

Mass Starts - Managing Anxieties - Blenheim Course Race preparation -

Wetsuit fitting and speedy removal - Transition 1 skills

*Beginner Tri Skills Training Days 2016 *£59 BOOK NOW


Not quite sure about how to complete a triathlon or nervous about race day?

Back by popular demand our training day for beginner triathletes helps you

find out everything you need to know to prepare for your race. Suitable for

novice triathletes (14 years+) looking to build their confidence and pick

up a few new skills.

Sundays 8th May - 22nd May - 26th June 7.30am-12pm

The day starts with a coached session in Open Water race specific skills

such as swimming with other people, sighting, drafting and mass starts.

This is followed by a thorough transition 1 & 2 workshop covering setting

up your area in transition, mounting and dismounting the bike to make sure

your transitions become second nature on race day. Then you'll do a run

loop of the lake so you experience how it feels to run off the bike. We

finish the day with a good stretch and Q&A. A perfect Sunday's training!

*Private and small group Open Water Coaching*

Need to brush up on your skills or a bit too nervous to come to a group

session? We'll help you improve your confidence and ability taking things

at your own pace. Available at the lake on Monday evenings, Wednesday and

Sunday mornings. From £35. Contact or call 01865

803 841.

Other Tri Swim Coaching Services:

Bespoke Triathlon Training Plans

Expert Freestyle Technique Correction Coaching

1:1 Video Analysis sessions

Group Swim Smooth Video Analysis Clinics and Workshops

Running Technique Clinics

Triathlon Analysis Clinic

Visit for more information and to book now.


A range of wetsuits, goggles and accessories will be available every Monday evening with demonstration wetsuits also available.