BLDSA Coniston Water

29 Jul 18

BLDSA Coniston Water has now closed and you will not be able to sign-up for it. Please check the Organiser's Description for any organiser updates.
This event is in a testing state, and is not open for public sign-ups until the organiser has launched it.

Organiser's Description












Please read this information.  Any supplementary information will be emailed to competitors after the closing date.


Age Categories 

Senior (At least 16 years of age on the day of the Championship).

Junior (12 to 16 years of age on the day of the swim)


From 8.30am report to the Swim Secretary at the Bluebird Cafe - Swimmers and boat crews must register.


9.30am at the Bluebird Cafe near the boating centre (Lake Road) prior to the swim.


12.00 noon from Water Park on the south east side of Coniston.


We have permission to use this private stretch of land to gain access to the water.


NB We do not have permission to park at Water Park. Swimmers must be dropped off and cars removed immediately.  Only race officials and first aid will be given a parking permit that allows them to park until the race has started. No other cars may be parked.


We do have permission to leave kayaks in the grounds, so one option may be to take your kayak and paddle and leave them at Water Park before the briefing. You will then be able to travel to the start by road in the vehicle that is provided to transport swimmers and crews.



There is a small parking area on the west side of the lake which gives access to a footpath to the shore and launch jetty. There are many points along the eastern shore where the race can be viewed once it is underway.


The swim is a straight course swim, the finish being 5.25miles (8.4km) away at the public beach at the northernmost point of the lake.


Conditions of Entry 
1. For this swim all swimmers must provide their own safety cover. This must not be an inflatable canoe.  No swimmers will be allowed to participate in this event if they do not have support. 

If you wish to use a rowing boat, Coniston Boating centre has 7 rowing boats for hire. If you wish to be accompanied by a rowing boat you must provide 2 crew members and hire the boat directly from the boating centre. 

2. This swim is restricted to full juniorand senior members of the BLDSA. 

3. Each support boat or kayak must fly a Flag Alpha while escorting it’s swimmer, failure to do so will result in disqualification. All escort craft must carry the following equipment - plastic survival bag, energy drink, whistle (and rowing boats must carry a buoyancy aid such as an inflated ring). 

4. It is the responsibility of the swimmer to ensure that their safety crew members are able to maintain a course within 2-3 metres of the swimmer at all times. If the swimmer is not kept within this distance he or she will be instructed to leave the water. There are many other lake users on Coniston and all need to be confident that the swimmer is next to the boat, especially in breaking water. If this is your first escorted swim, go out and practise with your crew! 

5. BLDSA Rules apply to this swim, i.e. only traditional swimming costumes/ trunks (must not extend beyond the end of the shoulder onto the upper arm and lower than the crotch onto the upper leg) will be permitted (No wetsuits or body suits). Please see the BLDSA website for a more details. Caps - Breaststroke swimmers must wear a PINK swimming cap. All other swimmers can wear any colour cap other than WHITE or PINK. Note – only one cap may be worn, it must have no insulating properties. 

6. That you will declare that if you enter the swim whilst pregnant, you will inform the swim secretary at the earliest possible opportunity, and will provide him/her with a letter from a doctor or midwife confirming your suitability to enter the event. You understand that entry may be refused to pregnant swimmers at the discretion of the swim secretary, following a risk assessment.


Energy Drinks 
It is advisable that you take an energy drink during your swim. This can be handed to your canoeist who will carry it down the lake and hand it to you during the swim. A reasonable feed strategy to be applied during your swim is to stop every hour. If your swim is several hours long and the water temperature is low you will need to take on energy during the swim. We want you to finish the swim not the swim to finish you!


Time limit 
There will be a time limit of 5.0 hours on this swim.


Non UK Residents 
Non UK Residents must provide evidence of membership of their governing body or individual insurance for Open Water Swimming.


Coniston is situated in a beautiful area of the Lake District, approximately 7 miles from Ambleside.


Emergency Safety Cover 
Emergency Safety cover will be provided; at a minimum this will include the BLDSA rescue boats.  


Changing Facilities 
There is a toilet block situated in the car park next to the Bluebird Cafe (where the briefing and presentations are held).


The presentation will take place at the Bluebird Cafe as soon as possible after the swim.


General Information 
All persons are advised to report any incidents, including near misses, to a nominated person who shall be named at the championship briefing meeting. 
The BLDSA has in place Anti-Bullying and Child & Vulnerable Adult Protection Policies. Copies of which may be obtained from the BLDSA Hon. Child & Vulnerable Adult Officer. 
Any person associated with the swim is expected to pay any car park charges that may be due from the parking of their vehicle.


Caravan & Camp Site 
For those who intend to stay at Coniston there are numerous hotel and guest houses in the area. There is also a Campsite at Coniston Hall a short distance from the Bluebird Cafe.


Further Information - Information on all BLDSA events and much more.


Advice for new competitors

Before the race

Familiarise yourself with the championship rules, especially regarding those governing swimwear and hat colour


Make sure that you have the required safety equipment

  • flag alpha attached to a pole and a method of fastening it to your escort boat - people often use heavy waterproof adhesive tape and tape the pole to the stern of the kayak,
  • whistle,
  • plastic survival bag (not just a bin liner) or very large foil blanket.


You will also need bottles of the energy drink that you have been using in training. If you tie the bottles on to a long (3m ish) string, your kayaker can throw them into the water to you and then you can just release them for your kayaker to reel back in, thus avoiding possible cramp caused by reaching up to pass them back. The bottles with a flip top that you can undo with your teeth are best. 


A small tub of Vaseline will be useful to apply pre-race to avoid chafing and spare goggles and hat carried in the kayak will prevent equipment panics!


Each swimmer will be given a bin liner and label - if you wish to put clothes in it to be on hand at the finish you may do so and the bags will be taken to the finish.


Race Day

After registration and a briefing at the Bluebird Cafe near the Coniston boating centre (Lake Road), there will be a coach available for all swimmers to the south end of the lake in preparation for the start at Water Park outdoor education centre, High Nibthwaite - there will be some room for boat crews too (tickets to be purchased on the day). Please note that there is limited parking at Water Park and we ask that spectators don't come to the start (unless needed by the swimmer / boat crew).

Each swimmer is escorted during the race by either a kayak or rowing boat - to provide safety cover and navigation - transport to the start can be arranged for the kayaks, but rowing boats will need to be rowed!

A roll call is taken at the start and at noon the race starts.

There is a five hour time limit and, whether the swimmer finishes the race close to the record of under two hours or close to the time limit, there is always a welcome waiting at the beach at the north end of the lake.



Bluebird Cafe, Lake Road, Coniston 

- there is a car park here but if you are willing to walk a few hundred metres there is a car park at John Ruskin school, which you pass as you drive down Lake Road to the briefing. It is much cheaper than the lakeside car park and all proceeds help the school.



There are many points along the eastern shore where the race can be viewed once it is underway and the car park at the northern end of the lake is convenient for watching the finish.



Trophies are awarded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each of the following categories -

Women          freestyle and breaststroke

Men               freestyle and breaststroke

Girls              freestyle

Boys              freestyle        


There is also a trophy for endeavour, awarded each year by the Championship Committee 


Each finisher is presented with a certificate


The presentation takes place as soon as possible after the last swimmer has finished and is held at the Bluebird Cafe.


Websites - Information on all BLDSA events and much more.

The BLDSA hold 16 Championships across country.  They include Loch Lomond and St Mary's Loch in Scotland, Llyn Tegid in Wales and swims at Colwick Park, Dover, Torbay, North Yorkshire, Windermere, Coniston, Ullswater, Derwentwater and Scarborough.


16 Jul 2017£50.00

To sign-up for this event, the Service Fee is 4% (min 50p) for each sign-up

Dates and Status

Date: 29/07/2018

Status: Closed

Total Places: 50

Places Available: ??



Richard Hardy

Coniston Water, Coniston, Lake District, England