Venue Information

MyOpenWaterSwim is located at Leigh and Lowton Sailing Club (WA3 1BQ) – The venue is ideal – there’s plenty of parking, easy access to the water, hot showers and refreshments available.

The Flash is also the home of the Ironman UK swim – so it’s a great stretch of water to get some pre-race training

We also hire wetsuits – we can offer from a range of over 60 suits from the most trusted triathlon brands – Orca, 2XU, Zone3, BlueSeventy and Huub. This is a great way to try before you buy and test out a suit in the water so you know that it will be the best suit for you. We have experts on hand to give you friendly, independent advice.

A Guide To Open Water Swimmer At Pennington Flash

Open Water swimming is growing in popularity and we often receive many queries from swimmers who are looking to make the switch from the pool to the open water.

Open water swimming can be quite daunting for novice swimmers but once you take the plunge we guarantee you’ll be hooked.

Hopefully, this update will give you the peace of mind to come along to MyOpenWater Swim and test out the water. Starting off at an organised open water swim is the best way to increase your confidence and gain experience to enjoy wild swimming wherever your travels take you.

As you would expect at our open water swim we have a number of safety measures in place, such as experienced water safety crews and open water induction and coaching sessions.We encourage novice swimmers to make the safety crew aware and they’ll happily explain courses as well as keeping an extra eye out for you. Pennington Flash is a huge expanse of water and we have swim courses from 500m to 1.9km – there’s also an area close to shore big enough to swim and get used to open water swimming.

Through our active social media accounts (instagram and facebook – MyOpenWaterSwim), there’s also the opportunity for members to ask other members for hints and tips whether you’re a novice swimmer and maybe looking for a swim buddy or an experienced swimmer or triathlete after some local knowledge and advice. The venue is used for the UK Ironman Triathlon Swim and over the years we have seen many swimmers new to open water improve their technique, increase their confidence and improve from novice to Ironman Swimmer.

For more information on memberships, venue and coaching visit or click on the links below

The Course

What kit do I need for Open Water Swimming?

There is a lot of open water swim equipment available, and what you choose to use depends on your skill level and how serious you take your open water training. As in most sports, having the right kit will help increase your confidence and improve your overall swim experience.

At a minimum, you should make sure you have the following essential equipment for your safety and enjoyment – wetsuit, goggles, swim cap and a safety buoy. Many of our swimmers also have the luxury of a Dryrobe – ideal for getting changed and keeping warm after your swim If you plan to swim in cold water, we also recommend the following – Neoprene swim gloves, socks and a hood and some ear plugs – These will keep water out of your ears, and are highly recommended for cold water swimming.


Firstly we would recommend wearing a wetsuit as it will not only keep you warm but give you added buoyancy which will give you more confidence in the water. It’s important to have the right fitting wetsuit, if it’s too small it will feel restrictive and actually make it harder to control your breathing, and on the other hand if it’s too big it will fill with water and slow you down.

At MyOpenwater swim we offer wetsuits for sale or to rent from the top brands in the sport, we have years of experience making sure that whatever suit you choose will be the right fit for you. Speak to a member of the team. Discover our Wetsuit Range


Wearing a pair of goggles will also make a big difference. You want goggles that will be a comfortable fit and of course keep water out of your eyes. If your goggles fog up it’s probably best to get a new pair as it will really improve the overall swim experience. Discover our Goggle Range

Swim Cap

A brightly coloured swim cap will increase your visibility making it easier for others to see you in the water Discover our Swim Cap Range

Tow float

For added safety, it’s always a good idea to wear a tow float regardless of the conditions. Tow floats attach around your waist and make you more visible in the water. Tow floats can also be used as a floatation aid if you get tired during your swim. Also they are a great way to keep an eye on a family member and will give you additional confidence if you’re not at an organised swim with safety crew. Discover our Tow Float Range

Cold Water Swimming

If you’re swimming in the cold, it’s advisable to keep the extremities as warm and toasty as possible we suggest wearing neoprene swim socks, gloves and hat – approximately 80% of heat is lost through your head Ear plugs are also a good idea to stop water getting in your ear. Discover our Neoprene Range

Dry Robe

A DryRobe will keep you warm and toasty before and after your swim Designed to let you get changed anywhere, The Dryrobe protects you from the elements, and keeps you warm and dry in any climate. With a waterproof and windproof outer shell fabric combined with a super-warm synthetic lambswool lining, the oversized loose fit makes it easier to change or just pop on for a warm hug. Discover our Dryrobe Range

When is the best time to start open water swimming?

After the new year, the interest and enthusiasm for novice swimmers to test out the open water increases, however, the water is usually still very cold and taking the plunge too early in the season will probably result in an experience many won’t want to repeat!! Even the majority of experienced swimmers will head to the pool for the winter season

We recommend that for novice swimmers it’s probably best to start off in the open water later spring when the water temperature has risen. To get the most out of your first swim, it’s probably best to wait until the water temperature rises above 14 degrees. If the water is extremely cold, you’ll tend to be concentrating more on your breathing than swim technique.