The Qualifier

Open Water Swimming

Endurance Event

Date to be confirmed subject to temperature.

Email to register your interest.

SwimYourSwim are pleased to announce for the second year our open water endurance festival taking place on Saturday 20th May 2023. The festival will provide individuals (wetsuit and non-wetsuit with the opportunity to take part in a day of open water swimming.

There will be three events to choose from;

  • *6 Hour swim (EC Qualifying swim – subject to temperature)
  • *2 Hour swim (EC Qualifying swim (Relay) – subject to temperature)
  • 2 Hour night swim

*please note a qualification swim is only valid for non-wetsuit swims, completion of this event however is valid wetsuit and non-wetsuit.

To complete any of these endurance events you must swim continuously, there will be contingency for deep water feeds. This challenge is only available to individuals but with the popularity of the event please note there will be several swimmers in the water at the same time.

Whether swimming wetsuit or non-wetsuit please do not underestimate the magnitude of these challenges. You must be very competent and experienced in open water swimming, cold water management and endurance events.

We look forward to hearing from you and helping you achieve your goal.

Overview of event requirements:

Please read this entire document before committing yourself to taking part in these events. The following bullet points are the ones we want to particularly draw to your attention as they will frame how you approach your swim.

  1. Swimmers must swim continuously for the given period. You may take deep water feeds from a jetty. Once you exit the water your event will have concluded at that point.
  1. Swimmers may wear a wetsuit or swim non-wetsuit.
  1. Swimmers MUST provide one buddy (over the age of 18) to assist with feeds and general dry side support.
  1. The event will provide water safety and first aid cover. If you wish to be accompanied in the water by a support craft other than our own you must notify us in advance.
  1. Night swimmers must use illumination (such as an avalanche light) this is provided by the event.
  1. Once you have confirmed your place, refunds will not be issued under any circumstances, should we need to cancel due to weather or safety reasons we will provide an alternative date or deferral.

Event synopsis

“The Qualifier” – 20th May 2023

The Qualifier will offer swimmers with the choice of three events.

  • 6 hour endurance swim (daytime 12:30-18:30)
  • 2 hour endurance swim (daytime 12:30-14:30)
  • 2 hour Night Swim (up to 2 hours 20:30-22:30)

These events will be an opportunity to do what it says on the tin (subject to temperature) undertake a ratified qualification swim that will serve as an English Channel Qualifying swim.

We expect the temperature to be around 13-14c, regardless of the realised temperature of the water on the day the event will be going ahead. Of course if the water temperature is above 15.5c then the swim cannot be used for qualification but for training only. If the water temperature is significantly lower than our anticipated 13-14c some swimmers may well wish to reconsider their 6 or 2 hour attempts.

In order to support swimmers at the event we will have a full water safety and dry land event crew. We request that you bring a member of dry land crew with you to prepare your feeds. However, water based crew are not required. Rewarming facilities and catering are both available on site.

Please note that this event will be a continuous swim with deep water feeds. If you need to leave the water then your event will conclude at that point.

In keeping with our community approach these events will be available to all. They are open to skins and wetsuit swimmers alike. Hang on we hear you cry! Yes yes, we know, if you are in a wetsuit its not a qualifier. No problem with that – we agree but we are welcoming to all and it gives those who are starting out on their endurance swimming journeys an opportunity in a safe and supportive environment to have a go at endurance for the first time. Indeed there may not be many swimmers who wish to use this as an actual opportunity to “Q” but simply just for training instead. Heck its a great opportunity to come and have a really long swim in a safe and supportive environment.

In the evening we will provide a short night swim (2 hours) on a limited circuit to provide you with the experience of swimming at night. Once again this is available to non wetsuit and wetsuit swimmers. If feeling comfortable with swimming at night is something that you want to get to grips with then this is the one for you! This event is designed to boost your confidence whilst providing you with an opportunity to learn the skills required to swim at night.

Event – Outline Information

  • Your aim is to complete a continuous swim of 6 or 2 hours (or 2 hour night swim)
  • The course will be an 800m loop indicated by large illuminated buoys at night
  • Swimmers will set off together and swim at their own pace to their own schedule.
  • There will be one controlled ingress and egress point only for all swimmers
  • You can feed from the area provided
  • You may wear any channel approved swim suit – or wetsuit.
  • You may not be naked
  • You must wear a brightly coloured swim hat.
  • You may swim any stroke or combination of strokes.
  • Swimmers must be respectful of each other in and out of the water
  • Children must be supervised by parents at all times.
  • Numbers in the Qualifier 6 / 2hour and night swim are strictly limited.
  • All swimmers take part knowing that they take full responsibility for their actions, have satisfied themselves of their fitness, have taken all reasonable steps to prepare for the challenge and understand that neither the organisers nor anyone connected with the event, accept responsibility for swimmer health and well-being, before, during or after the event. The organisers will however, take all reasonable risk factors into account in order to maintain a well-run and safe environment for you to undertake the event.

Event – Swimmers will be provided with;

  • Changing rooms & warm room
  • Toilet facilities & showers
  • Access to hot drinks & catering ( daytime hours only for food ) 
  • Water safety & First aid
  • Event T shirt & completion certificate

Event Safety Planning

The planning of this event has made safety its primary concern. As such we have taken all reasonable safety precautions. These include an event director, safety craft and staff, additional kayak support craft, dry changing facilities, rewarming facility and on site catering. We have also made provision for night swims (illuminated turn buoys and a requirement to wear illumination – Night Swimmers).

We have limited the number of applicants to just 50 places per event.

Notwithstanding these safety provisions, we acknowledge that we simply cannot provide the level of personal support that your own nominated “buddies” can. With this in mind – ALL swimmers must have a dry land buddy accompanying them during their event (see below)

Event Safety Measures

As with all good events, safety is of paramount importance. Swimmers must therefore comply at all times with the following safety measures, safety guidance (as well as  general rules) at all times:

  • All swimmers will be supported by our event staff and water safety crew throughout
  • The instructions and decisions of the event director and their staff, water safety and medical crews are final and unequivocal
  • All swimmers to wear a swim hat as stipulated.
  • All swimmers to wear an illumination during the night swim provided by the event.
  • If withdrawing from the event, please stop at the end of any full loop if possible.
  • Withdrawal must be reported to the event director immediately.
  • If you feel ill or cannot continue you must get out of the water immediately.
  • Once withdrawn you will not be permitted to restart.
  • Each swimmer must be accompanied by a dry land buddy for feeds and general support.
  • It is the swimmers / teams buddy’s responsibility to know the symptoms of hyperthermia / hypothermia / exhaustion. (See “Buddies” below).

What are “Buddies” and why do I need them?

We recognise the value of the swimmers’ buddy system, above all else as a primary check on each individual swimmers safety.  Indeed our risk assessment is built around a buddy system being in place. From years of experience there is nothing better than the support and care by peers during endurance swim events to ensure individual swimmer safety.

Your “Buddies” must be nominated and named people who will look after you on a mental, social and physical level. If you as a swimmer become unwell, show signs of excessive cold or fatigue then it is your buddy who will withdraw you from the event, ensure appropriate aftercare and safe transfer from site. With this in mind we feel it appropriate that each buddy needs to be a suitable and knowledgeable person, over 18 years old who knows you – the swimmer, and knows swimming well.

Specific roles include (but are not limited to):

Dry land – responsible for health of the swimmer and general welfare including time management, dealing with a cold swimmer, sorting out feeds during the swim and towels/warm gear/ etc at its conclusion. Generally the buddies are the personal safety team for that swimmer.

Whilst the buddy is there for the swimmer it is ultimately the swimmers responsibility to take all safety precautions and to be responsible for their fitness and suitability leading up to the event. The buddy will be responsible for the swimmers safety and wellbeing both during the event and for 72 hours post event. We, the management and organisers of this event will not be held accountable for poor decision making by swimmers or their nominated “buddies”.

Open Water Swimming – Endurance Festival

Saturday 20th May 2023

Entry Fees

Please confirm your place by registering online with SwimYourSwim making full payment using the event registration page. Your place is not secured until payment is received in full.

In the event of the swim being cancelled due to poor weather conditions, covid or other incidents that are beyond the control of the SYS team, SYS will endeavour to re-arrange the swim at another time in the year*.

Once a swim has been booked no refunds will be available, but your place may be transferable to another swimmer who meets all the SYS swim criteria.  If you have to relinquish your place please contact us immediately on

Your place on the swim will not be confirmed until full payment is received by SYS.  Should you be unable to make the full payment for the swim your place may be offered to someone else.

*SYS will do their VERY best to re-run events that have to be called off for these reasons but there is no guarantee that this can be achieved within the same year.  We would hate for an event/swim to be completely cancelled, but think it best that you know there is a chance of this happening from the outset.  Refunds in this instance would be at the discretion of the SYS team.  For more information please email us on


Please click on any of the links below to enter – OPEN SOON

Cost of Entry

6 Hour Qualifier £45

2 Hour Qualifier £30

Night Swim £30