Swimming Categories

SLSLC CWSC2017 The SLSC UK Cold Water Swimming Championships will include individual races, team relays and a mass jump-in as part of the Opening Ceremony.

Please remember you must acclimatise to cold water before swimming in these races.

Individual races

There are three types of races for individuals - head-up breaststroke, ice fly and freestyle. All races are 30m or one width of the Lido plus a 90m freestyle race.

Greenhouse hat

Head up breaststroke

Head-up breaststroke is the traditional cold water swimming style. As the head is above the water at all times it allows swimmers to compete in ice-cold conditions without getting brain freeze.

The rules are simple – you must ensure that your eyes do not go below the water level at any time during the race. The event is a great leveller and makes for very competitive races.

Swimmers are encouraged to wear a warm hat for this race, or get crafty and create their own headwear – the more outlandish the better. The winner of the best hat of the competition will be crowned at the grand prize-giving ceremony for the Best Hat of the Day.

Ice fly

A race using butterfly stroke; simultaneous arm pull with a dolphin kick. The finish is with two hands at or above water level.


As the name suggests, in the freestyle race you can use any stroke you like in order to propel yourself across a width of the Lido as quickly as possible. Front crawl is the stroke of choice for most people, but you can in fact swim any stroke you like.

Relay races

Teams in the 4x30m freestyle relays consist of four competitors who each swim 30m (one width of the Lido). Teams must be mixed (at least one man and one woman) and can represent their country, town, club or simply be a group of friends or family. The team captain’s name is required for entry and other members’ names and DOBs can be confirmed by 7 January 2017. Email us at events@slsc.org.uk

There are three categories in the relays, based on the combined ages of your team: under 160, 160 - 200 and over 200.

For example, if your team members are 25, 27, 33 and 35 years old respectively, the combined age would be 120 years and you would be in the Under 160 category. If all team members were 46, you would be in the 160 - 200 category.

Jump in

The Big Splash

If all that racing sounds a bit too competitive, take the plunge and raise money for charity by joining in our Big Splash in aid of CRISIS, the charity to end homelessness. There will be fabulous prizes for the top fundraisers and the best fancy dress costume.

Jump in, jump out, then head to the bar for a warming hot toddy!

The age groups

All races will be divided into age categories. The age groups are determined by your age on 31 December 2017.
The age groups are as follows:

AA series: 10-14 years (those born 2007-2003)

A series: 15-19 years (those born 2002-1998)

B series: 20-29 years (those born 1997-1988)

C series: 30-39 years (those born 1987-1978)

D series: 40-49 years (those born 1977-1968)

E series: 50-59 years (those born 1967-1958)

F series: 60-69 years (those born 1957-1948)

G series: 70-79 years (those born 1947-1938)

H series: 80 years and over (those born in 1937 or before)

Participants in all events must be 10 years or over on the day of the competition.