​What an incredible few days in the world of open water swimming!

Sarah Thomas3

Along with the rest of the world we watched in awe as Sarah Thomas completed the FIRST EVER 4-way English Channel solo. But that wasn’t the only record-breaking swim taking place. As Sarah battled across the English Channel, Cameron Bellamy broke the record for the world’s longest ocean swim, completing a staggering 151.7km swim from Barbados to St Lucia. And on Sunday afternoon, Lars Simonsen became the first person to swim around the whole of Denmark, completing a 8,750km stage swim that he started in 2017.

Meanwhile, us lesser mortals have been completing our own swimming challenges! Last weekend swimmers took to the water in events up and down the country, taking on swims including the Dart 10k, Loch Tay Swims, the Swim Oxford Swimrun and Brownsea Island.

In the September issue of Outdoor Swimmer magazine we pondered on the different challenges within swimming, ranging from world firsts to first times.

As the sport grows and diversifies it's wonderful to see swim challenges of all sizes and we love hearing from you with your swim stories.

Whether your challenge is big or small, achieving your goals is a big deal, and you're a hero.

And then occasionally in sport you get those who conquer world firsts, and they truly are superheroes.

Main image John Washer

Cover Dec19

Issue 33 December 2019

  • Ice Cold & Free - winter swimming
  • Time Travel - mudlarking
  • Skill Sets - open water skills in the pool
  • Winter Sun - top five swim destinations
  • Million Dollar Mermaid - Annette Kellerman

Swim better freestyle in six weeks.

Sign up today for our free six-part course* on improving your freestyle for open water.