PVS Open Water Swimming

This page is intended to aggregate all information related to Open Water Swimming in Potomac Valley. Links, or suggested content are welcome to be sent to the PVS Open Water Coordinator, Kurt Thiel.

General Information

Open Water swimming reached a new level of international exposure by becoming an official event at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Open Water swimming presents a unique set of challenges to swimmers. There are no lane lines, walls, or starting blocks to dictate what it takes to win. The elements often play a deciding role in determining the winner of an Open Water event. The unpredictable conditions also make it possible for women and men to compete alongside one another. Many people are excited to get involved in Open Water swimming, either for a new twist on training or to take advantage of the expanding competitive opportunities.

In this section you'll find helpful information for athletes, coaches, and LSC's looking to put on an open water event.

Upcoming Open Water Events

USA Swimming Open Water Nationals, April 24-26, 2015, Miromar Lakes, FL

National Age Group Open Water Invitational, April 25, 2015, Miromar Lakes, FL

Eastern Zone Open Water Championships, June 27, 2015, Atlantic City, NJ


It is common for USA Swimming member athletes to participate in open water competitions around the world on their own and not as a part of a USA Swimming team. This is their right under the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act. USA Swimming has no control over where an open water swimmer chooses to compete on his/her own or, unless sanctioned by USA Swimming, the conditions of the competition. Both USA Swimming and FINA have commissioned open water swimming task forces, which may propose new open water safety rules and guidelines applicable to open water competitions.

In the meantime, to assist our open water swimmers in making their decisions on where to compete, USA Swimming has prepared the following open water safety checklist and list of questions to ask which any open water swimmer may want to have answered by a race organizer before deciding to participate in that event.


Swim the Bay Barbados: http://swimswam.com/swim-bay-barbados-developing-world-class-event/

FINA CANCELS JUNIOR OPEN WATER WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS SET FOR EILAT, ISRAEL: http://swimswam.com/fina-cancels-junior-open-water-world-championships-set-eilat-israel/

USAS still plans to attend Rescheduled 2014 Jr. Open Water Worlds: http://swimswam.com/usa-swimming-still-plans-attend-rescheduled-2014-junior-ow-world-championships/

THREE FOES OF OPEN WATER SWIMMERS AND HOW TO AVOID THEM: http://swimswam.com/3-foes-open-water-swimmers-avoid/

USA SWIMMING ANNOUNCES OPEN WATER ROSTERS FOR PAN PACS, JR PAN PACS, AND JR OW CHAMPIONSHIPS: http://swimswam.com/usa-swimming-announces-open-water-rosters-pan-pacs-jr-pan-pacs-jr-ow-championships/

SEVEN WAYS TO KEEP IT SAFE AT THE BEACH AND IN THE OPEN WATER: http://swimswam.com/7-ways-to-keep-it-safe-at-the-beach-and-in-the-open-water/

Competitive Opportunities

2014-16 USA Swimming Open Water Quad Plan: http://usaswimming.org/_Rainbow/Documents/45219229-880e-4cd9-b929-45a297a59600/2014-2016%20Open%20Water%20Quad%20031814%20.pdf

Open Water Safety Check List: http://www.usaswimming.org/_Rainbow/Documents/57d80ec3-be49-4fcb-bc35-fca34cc3e682/Safety%20Checklist%20(Athletes%202).pdf

Pool Open Water Swims: http://www.usaswimming.org/_Rainbow/Documents/0a22d30b-36eb-4b23-9eee-31ebea3365c1/Pool%20Open%20Water%20Swimming.pdf

America's most competitive Open Water Swims: http://www.usaswimming.org/_Rainbow/Documents/2287bcab-bfe4-4ffe-a93e-23d7b5e6f01f/Open%20Water%20Swims.pdf

Selection Criteria for Open Water National Teams: http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=1469&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en

Athlete Performance

Open Water Nutrition Strategies: http://www.usaswimming.org/_Rainbow/Documents/b9df2f1a-cf51-411d-b50d-76aaae75b9ae/Nutrition%20Strategies%20for%20Open%20Water.pdf

Open Water Sports Medicine: http://www.usaswimming.org/_Rainbow/Documents/1906942a-e7cf-44e8-a4ca-c1b2fd6b7e00/Sports%20Medicine%20for%20Open%20Water.pdf

Meet Safety Check List for Open Water Athletes: http://www.usaswimming.org/_Rainbow/Documents/899d12ae-4db3-417d-b981-15ce05e095fc/Safety%20Checklist%20(Athletes).pdf

Coaching Information

Open Water Coaches Quarterly (2008) OW Edition: http://www.usaswimming.org/_Rainbow/Documents/a4770731-8cca-49cc-8551-87bfabebf385/CQ%20Open%20Water%20Issue.pdf

Getting Started in Open Water: http://www.usaswimming.org/ViewMiscArticle.aspx?TabId=1732&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en&mid=7480&ItemId=3534

Open Water Swimming Dictionary: