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Kent County Amateur Swimming Association Kent County
Amateur Swimming Association

ASA National Open Water Festival 2017

30th - 31st July 2017

The ASA will return to Rother Valley Country Park in 2016 for two days of competition at the ASA National Open Water Festival 2017. The festival will incorporate the:

  • ASA National Open Water Masters Championships 
  • ASA 1500m Challenge 
  • ASA National Open Water Age Group Championships

The Masters events will take place on Sunday 30 July and is the calendar highlight for open water Masters swimmers, making it their only opportunity to compete for national honours.

The 1500m challenge will also take place on the Sunday 30 July and provides the perfect opportunity for beginners to experience the adrenaline rush of an open water swim.

The National Age Groups events will take place the following day on Monday 31 July, where young open water stars will take to the water in allocated age groups. The Championships is the country’s flagship open water age group event attracting the future stars of open water swimming.

Whether you’re a serious competitor with something to prove, or just want to try a new activity the action packed ASA National Open Water Festival has something for you.



Rother Valley Country Park,
Mansfield Road,

Tel: 01142 471 452

S26 5PQ

01509 640 266



The ASA Events Department,
Pavilion 3, SportPark,
3 Oakwood Drive
Loughborough University,
LE11 3QF

To buy a wetsuit, or not to buy a wetsuit? That is the question!

ASA Masters and Open Water Officer Sharon Lock answers your questions around the new FINA wetsuit rules.

As you all start to hope the weather is warming up and the nights are getting lighter there may be a little spark igniting in you that is looking forward to your favourite lake opening.

For those hardy and brave enough, to have kept swimming through winter we are all in awe of your dedication. But this year for the competitive open water swimmers out there you may have heard FINA have changed the rules about competing in wetsuits.

I have been asked quite a few questions about these rules and understand it will have many different effects.

Some of you may be enthused and may even consider your first ASA open water event. Others will be disappointed because they don’t want to be ‘made to wear a wetsuit’.

Mainly people want to know if they need to buy a wetsuit and if they can use the ones they already have.

FINA’s research into swimming in low temperatures

FINA conducted research into swimming in lower temperatures and have used this as guidance to devise the rules around when to wear a wetsuit and what defines a wetsuit.

Basically, in all ASA open water events (not any events organised by other organisations in this country) you will need to comply with the following:

  • Water temperature of 20o and above: no wetsuit.
  • Water temperature between 18 and 19.9o: swimmer can choose to wear a wetsuit or not.
  • Water temperature between 16 and 17.9o: wetsuits are compulsory.
  • Water temperature below 15.9o: swimmers should not be competing.

How do I know which suit is legal?

The next question people have asked is: “There are lots of wetsuits. How do I know which ones are legal?”

The rules state a wetsuit is made of material providing thermal insulation, shall completely cover torso, back, shoulders and knees. They shall not extend past neck, wrists and ankles.

They should be between 3mm and 5mm thickness but can be lower in some parts of the suit to allow free movement. This means the main purpose of the suit is to keep you warm and short or sleeveless wetsuits will not be allowed.

If you are a serious open water swimmer, then you will probably already have one. Check the rules to make sure yours complies and if it does, great! Carry on using it.

If not, you may like to think about buying a new one. If you haven’t got one and are thinking about taking this discipline up then it would always be beneficial.

Having a wetsuit can make open water training more pleasant. It allows you to get used to wearing one and you’ll be able to train in open water that little bit earlier and later in the year. You will also be prepared if the water temperature is low on the day of your race.

However, there are alternatives. You can hire one online or from a lot of suppliers but my best advice is to talk to other people and try lots of different suits until you find the one that fits you well.

Kent County Amateur Swimming Association Swim England Affiliated County Swim England South East London Swimming Swim England British Swimming British Swimming Swimline Child Protection in Sport Unit