Glencoe Open Water Swim 
& Film Festival

Saturday 17th August 2019

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How long is the swim?

There is a choice of distances; 

 - The Leven Dip; a quick dip to experience open water swimming for the first time; 500m

 - 1.5km

 - 3km

 - 5km

How do I book?

See the 'Swim' page for booking details.

Is there safety cover?

Yes, we have 4 types of safety cover - Powerboat on the water, kayaks lining the route, rescuers on the shore and First Aid Cover on the land. iPowerboat are providing safety cover for the event. 

Do I have to have swam in open water before?

No you don't.  You should pick an appropriate event for your current ability in the pool.  You should be able to swim at least the same distance comfortably in a swimming pool before attempting to do it in open water. Ideally you should be able to swim half as far again to compensate for the cold and different environment.  You should take the time to train properly if attempting a longer distance that you are not used to. 

Do you time the swim and publish results?

Our swim is about participation and enjoying the journey, not racing. We DO NOT publish results. Of course, we all like to know times for our own satisfaction so we will time each wave and tell you your time as you exit the water. These wont be sent out after the swim and published so if you want an exact time for your own records, please time yourself on your own watch.  We are proud that several people have taken up open water swimming as a result of taking part in the swim and that is a culture we would like to nurture. 

Do I have to wear a wetsuit?

It is strongly recommended that you wear a wetsuit but it is not compulsory for anyone over 16.  Under age 16 are required to wear a wetsuit.  If you choose not to wear a wetsuit you should be experienced swimming in open water.  The wetsuit will keep you warm and provide extra buoyancy which are both an advantage your first time in the water.  If you choose not to wear a wetsuit, we will ask you to sign a disclaimer stating that you are aware of the risks and are choosing to do it.  The water is normally 16-18 degrees at that time of year.  If the water drops below 15 degrees unexpectedly then wetsuits will be compulsory.  We will monitor the water temperature the week running up to the event and let you know if that is likely to happen if you have opted not to wear a wetsuit. 

What type of Wetsuit should I wear?

You should find a wetsuit that fits you well. It should be a minimum of 3mm thick or 5mm for those who feel the cold more. 
There are many different types; surfing, shortie, short arms and legs to specialist outdoor triathlete suits. 

It should be snug when you put in on, so the water is trapped next to your body to warm you up. It should not be loose fitting with water flowing around as this will not warm you up and could restrict your swimming.

If possible, you should try the wetsuit out before event day, so you can get used to swimming in it. Some swimming pools will let you test them but some wont unfortunately so ask at your local pool. 

How warm is the water?

The water is normally between 12 and 16 degrees Celsius at that time of year. It was 13 degrees for the 2015 swim. 

Where is the swim?

The Swim is in Loch Leven.  Loch Leven is a sea loch on the west coast of Scotland. It runs from Kinlochleven out to join the much larger Loch Linnhe. 

How old do you have to be to take part?

The Leven Dip - aged 12 upwards. 

1.5km - Aged 14 upwards

3km - Aged 16 upwards

5km - Aged 16 upwards

Where can I park?

There is plenty of free parking at the venue. 

How do it I get there?

Please see the 'Travel' page for travel details

What happens if the event has to be cancelled?

If there weather turns for the worst, the water quality is compromised or any other unforeseen circumstances occur that make the swim unsafe to happen, then we will take the decision to cancel it. In this instance we will endeavor to reschedule the swim at another suitable date and you will be automatically entered into that event. If we are unable to reschedule we will refund your entrance fee.  We are not able to refund the cost of travel, accommodation, wetsuit hire etc, just the entrance fee. 

What happens if you want to pull out of the event?

Refunds will only be given when accompanied with a doctors note. If you do have to withdraw due to medical reasons then please get in touch and we will let you know what you need to do, [email protected] 

What happens if I cant complete the distance I entered?

It is important that you choose a distance you know you can swim to start with.  If something does not go to plan during the swim, the safety team will be able to help you.  The routes are a circuit so there is the opportunity to cut the distance shorter or the safety team can accompany you back to shore. Its important to communicate with one of the kayaks if you are changing plan and cutting your route short so they can ensure your safety. 

Can people with Disabilities take part in the event?

It will depend on the type of disability. The access to the water is rough and slippery so it will not be suitable for everyone.  Its best to contact us and discuss individual needs if you have any questions; [email protected]