IMPORTANT: Anyone attending a training session or Open Water Session for the first time since 29th March 2021 MUST complete a Return to Play Form.
Adult members can complete the online form. Junior members must complete the Young Persons Return To Play form and email it to the Covid Officer in advance.
Di – your OWS manager
Open Water Swimming Information
Tri-Anglia offer open water swimming sessions for club members in Whiltingham Country Park’s Great Broad. Sessions run every Saturday morning and Wednesday evening from the first Saturday in May until the last Saturday of August and then just Saturday mornings for the first three Saturdays’ in September.
This page outlines the normal operating procedure for the Whitlingham Adventure (WA) provided Open Water Swim Sessions for Tri-Anglia Triathlon Club to be held during 2021. This page should be used in conjunction with OEC Emergency Action Plan.
2021 Procedures: How To Book & Returning To Play
Whilst we are very much looking forward to welcoming you all back to the lake it is going to look rather different this year.
Return To Play Form
All members attending this session MUST complete a Return to Play Form and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org 24 hours beforehand, and confirm the following:
- Has not had confirmed COVID-19 infection within the last 5 months, or if they have Medical advice has been sought and confirms that they may return to training.
- Has not had exposure to anyone with confirmed of suspected COVID-19 within the last two weeks.
- Does not have any underlying medical conditions that makes them more susceptible to poor outcomes with COVID-19 without approval from their medical practitioner.
- Does not live with or knowingly comes into close contact with someone currently “shielding”.
- Confirms that they have read and understands the information presented in the BTF COVID-19 Returning to Training information – https://www.britishtriathlon.org/return-to-play/individual-training
- Will communicate to the OWS co-ordinator Di Swanepoel at email@example.com if they develop COVID-19 within 7 days of attending a session.
Book Your Slot – IMPORTANT
All swims must be pre-bookeed and paid for on the website. (Go to the Training -> Adult Training Sessions Page). Choose a free slot, click on the session and then click on the green ATTEND button.
Numbers will be limited initially (30 swimmers in the lake at any one time) but this will be under review as guidance from the BTF changes. Until then we have no choice but to follow BTF rules for insurance purposes.
Online bookings will be opened up, normally about a week and a day prior to each session, and closed 24h before the start of the session (i.e. all swim slots for the Wednesday 6-8pm session will be released by the preceding Wednesday evening and closed at 6pm on Tuesday) There will be a waiting list so if you sign up and then decide to cancel you may do so without charge up to 24 hours before your swim. Please only sign up for a maximum of 2 waiting list slots, and if you do get allocated a swim remember to remove yourself from the other list. Keep your eyes on your Junk email in box!
I will always aim to post on the club Facebook page when sessions are open to book.
Entry Time Slots will initially be every 15 minutes with 10 places available per slot, for example, on Wednesdays, 6.00 – 6.15, 6.15 – 6.30, 6.30 – 6.45 up until 45 minutes before then end of the session, ie 7.15 – 7.30, then we have a final 30 minute session to start no earlier than 7.30pm / 9.30am, out of the water by 8pm / 10am. Your pre-booked time slot will be the only time you will be allowed to enter the OEC.
Strictly no members to turn up to a session without booking. Covid procedures must be followed as guided by Whitingham OEC
Session Costs & Payment
Each swim costs £5 (2021 season) and the payment will be initiated following members booking up for a swim. Payment for sessions will be automatically taken via GoCardless Direct Debit. You will be notified by email that a payment will be attempted. Please ensure you have set up your GoCardless Direct Debit payment for training sessions. You can check to see if you have a valid Direct Debit set up by going to your Session Payments page.
2021 Procedures: What To Do On Arrival
Location and Parking
The swim starts from Whitlingham Adventure (WA), Trowse, Norwich, NR14 8TR, which is the series of cabins under the large white canopy at the end of the largest Broad.
Members who drive to Whitlingham are encouraged to park in the Whitlingham Country Park car parks rather than on Whitlingham Lane. In fact parking on Whitlingham Lane within the park will incur a fine and parking elsewhere on Whitlingham Lane leads to congestion. Tri-Anglia members are able to buy a year’s cark parking at a discounted rate, application forms from RCP Parking Ltd, 15 The Close, Norwich NR1 4DZ, or any enquires to firstname.lastname@example.org. You must be able to show proof of current membership.
For more information: Parking (whitlinghamcountrypark.com)
Get changed by your car / outside the OEC and arrive ready to swim (5-minute walk from the car park). Do not enter the OEC until your allotted time slot.
Check in and check out
Follow the “in” arrows and go straight to the sign in desk, hand over your membership card and collect a numbered wristband which must be worn at all times whilst in the water.
All swimmers must have their membership card which will be exchanged for a numbered wristband and placed in the correspondingly numbered pouch in the swimmers file. Upon exiting the water the swimmer must immediately return the band and retrieve their membership card. This will enable the OWS manager to check all swimmers in and out of the water and ensure that we hold appropriate medical and emergency contact details for those in the lake
NO CARD = NO SWIM
There is very limited space on the deck to leave personal belongings, so please be mindful of others and their space. Put your towel/shoes in a clear area / table space on the deck.
Check out the safety information / water temperature on the board. If you are new to the lake, make yourself known to the TA Swim Manager who will be able to talk you through normal operating procedures. Always leave 2m between yourself and the person in front of you.
Put on your swim hat and enter the water from the deck.
What you will need
You need your:
- membership card,
- Wetsuit (or exemption form)
- a red, purple, blue or white swimming hat (SEE SWIM HAT SECTION FOR WHICH COLOUR TO BRING)
Please register at the check-in desk before entering the water. You must let us know on the desk if this is your first Tri-Anglia open water session and we will be able to give you all of the extra information needed. See our Open Water Swimming at Whitlingham Board article (from 2015) and our OWS Frequently asked Questions page pages for more detailed information.
Are compulsory, unless a signed exemption form is in place for the individual. Copies of all completed exemption forms are held in the TA OWS file at OEC during the season. The non-wetsuit swimmers will be provided with details of water temperature at sign-in. Water must be 14 degrees or over for a non- wetsuit swim to be permitted. The non-wet suit swimmer must wear a blue hat.
Any swimmer signed off in 2019 will be carried forward to 2021.
A swim cap must be worn when swimming in the lake with specific colours indicating the following:
- Red swim hat indicates a regular wetsuit swimmer partaking in normal swim session activities.
- Purple indicates juniors and novice open water swimmers.
- White swim hat indicates a participant within a training race.
- Blue swim hat indicates an approved non-wetsuit swimmer.
- Other colours to be used to indicate other special requirements such as tethered swimmers and visually impaired swimmers. Use of other colours to be communicated to the OEC DM by the Swim Manager.
- Members must bring their own hat.
Swimming Caps can now be bought via contactless payment on deck for £5
In The Water
Max time in the water will be 45 minutes if you enter the water promptly at the start of your session, (eg for the 6.00-6.15 slot, you must be out of the water by 6.45). You must leave the water by the end of your slot as other swimmers will be waiting. Do not start off on a new big loop if you will not be able to complete it comfortably, stay closer to the deck on the 75m loop.
Exit the water at the end of your swim at the deck remembering to keep 2m from other swimmers entering / exiting the water. Go straight to the sign in/out desk, return your band, and collect your membership card. Collect all of your belongings and then return to your car to get changed. Please do not remain on the deck to socialise.
We are asking all swimmers to behave with consideration for others, if you do not leave the water on time others will be left waiting. Initially you will be given one warning for being late to leave the water, a second late will result in you not being allowed to book for another session for a period of 3 weeks.
We will ask you to adhere to social distancing measures at all times whilst on the deck, acclimatising to the water and swimming.
You will still be charged if you fail to attend or turn up too late for the start of your time slot. When you book a slot to swim, you are taking someone else’s chance.
We will not be opening the changing rooms / showers so you will need to change before and after your swim by your car/bike, whatever the weather. The toilet will be open, but you must wear a mask when going in the building.
OWS General Inforamtion
Dates of Tri-Anglia OWS 2021
Sessions will take place Saturday mornings and Wednesday evenings between the first Saturday in May and the last Saturday in August plus the first three Saturday’s in September, dependant upon water quality and temperature.
The OEC is booked to Tri-Anglia from 07:30 until 10:30 on Saturdays with access to the water between 08:00 and 10:00; and from 17:30 until 20:30 on Wednesdays with access to the water between 18:00 and 20:00 (or dusk, whichever is first).
Itinerary (in the past) for each session as follows:
- TA OWS manager and assistants to arrive and set up, meet with Duty Manager. DM to advise of water temperature and any water quality issues. (Saturday 07:30, Wednesday 17:30)
- Kayak support will begin escorting last swimmers towards the deck prior to finish times in order to ensure the water is clear by 10.00 / 20.00
- TA OWS co-ordinator and WA Duty manager review and close session (Saturday 10:20, Wednesday 20:20)
- TA to be clear of the deck (Saturday 10:30, Wednesday 20:30)
All swimmers will be briefed as they sign in. First time lake swimmers must have the rules, the course and safety procedures explained to them. The usual briefing information will include: any change of course, any unusual water quality or temperature, if there is a threat of lightening what the emergency procedure is.
We could not run any of our sessions without you as volunteers. Each session needs a swim manager for the duration of the whole session (Wednesday 5.30 – 8.30, and Saturday 7.30-10.30) and 2 helpers, half a session each (Wednesday 5.45-7.00 & 7.00-8.15, Saturday 7.45-9.00 & 9.00-10.15).
You will be rewarded with a free swim and the opportunity to gossip with everyone who has to cross your path. Full instructions can be emailed to you in advance, and all paperwork is available on site. Please offer your services to Di at OWS@tri-anglia.co.uk or sign up via the OWS Volunteer rota page.
Water Evacuation Procedure:
If it proves necessary to evacuate swimmers from the lake, then the alarm will be sounded. The alarm will be continuous sounding of whistles of and/or horns. Swimmers on hearing the alarm, MUST make their way to the South bank (or return to OEC deck or boat launch if closer), leave the water and walk back to the OEC to be counted.
Junior open water swimming rules and procedures
Junior swimmers who are new to open water must report to the OWS manager. All new juniors must swim with an adult. Junior swimmers who are new to open water and their adult swim companion must swim together and the Junior must wear a purple swim hat.
Once the junior has gained open water swim experience and confidence they will be able to swim without their adult partner. This is at the discretion of the OWS manager, but an appropriate adult must remain on the deck at all times.
The TA swim manager has the right to refuse any junior to swim.
End To End Swims (not at the moment we are afraid – but watch this space)
The End to End provides a rare opportunity to swim the full length of Whitlingham Broad, which is just under one mile.
Each End to End follows the same format and timings, with two mass starts, each with their own pre-swim briefing. This allows everyone the opportunity to swim E2E if they wish.
The E2E swim is roughly 2 miles long. You can if you wish exit the lake at the far end, after one mile and walk back to the WA. Shoes can be transported for you to the far end of the lake.
The WA/sign-in desk will be open from 7.45am.
Safety cover moves with the pack of swimmers, this means you will only be permitted to start swimming with one of the mass starts. We cannot allow any exceptions to this rule. So please ensure you get to the lake in good time to sign-in, change and attend the relevant swim briefing.
Swim Start Times
8.15am for any swimmers who wish to allow 35 minutes + to swim a mile. If you wish to join this start please ensure you have signed in by 8.00am and that you are ready to listen to the 8.10am briefing.
8.30am for swimmers aiming for sub 35 minute miles. Swim brief will take place at 8.25am.
All swimmers must be out of the lake by 10am.
Open Water Swim Coordinator 2021
Our 2021 Open Water Swim Coordinator is Di Swanepoel. She can be contacted via OWS@tri-anglia.co.uk. Di is the point of contact for OEC into Tri-Anglia and will be recruiting the volunteers to operate each of our club open water swims through 2021. Please contact Di to offer your assistance or with any queries.