Swimming Events Guide 2024
CHALLENGE,  Event reviews,  EXTRA,  January 2023

Records tumble at the Winter Swimming World Cup

International Winter Swimming Association Vice President Colin Hill shares his event report from the Winter Swimming World Cup in Burghausen, Germany.

Gently falling snow and the majestic Burghausen Castle set the perfect backdrop for the two-day Winter Swimming World Cup event. The Wohrsee Arena which is home to Serwus Burghausen Swimming Club, created a wonderful atmosphere, which was enjoyed by the swimmers and spectators, as well as many tourists in town for the famous Christmas markets.

This was the first time that the International Winter Swimming Association (IWSA) has held a world cup event in Germany as well as the first full winter swimming event held in Burghausen since lockdown. It was a huge success with over 150 entries from over 17 countries. 

The event was held only a week after the IWSA World Cup in Estonia, so many athletes combined both events into their schedule including Ice Queen Bárbara Hernandez from Chile and Ailen Lascano Micaz from Argentina. The water temperature hovered between three and four degrees Celsius over the two days and along with the snowy conditions the scene was set for some impressive winter swimming.

The wide range of ages and speeds is always a joy to watch and there is always a warm welcome for swimmers of all abilities; however, there were some very impressive fast swimmers taking part. With the IWSA established in 2006, breaking records has never been easy, but a new wave of competitive swimmers are now excelling at the top level at these events. 

One overall IWSA women’s 450m freestyle world record was broken by Alisa Fatum from Germany with an outstanding time of 5:37:14. An impressive 22 age group records fell during the competition with a special mention to Markus Gunthner who, as well as excelling at organisational duties, proved himself as incredibly fast over the shorter distances, managing to break three records over the weekend including 50m freestyle in 28:84 in the 55-60 age group.

We are sure that after such a successful event that even more competitors will travel to Burghasuen in 2023 to enjoy the winter swimming world cup. Full results and dates of all events can be found on the ISWA World website.

Winter Swimming World Cup Fact File

  • 17 countries
  • 151 swimmers
  • 12 distances ranging from 25m to 450m
  • Eight lanes
  • Burghausen Castle in Burghausen, Upper Bavaria, is the longest castle complex in the world, confirmed by the Guinness World Record company (over 1km)
  • Wohrsee Lake was dammed up in the Middle Ages for better protection from enemies, it served the ducal court mill as fish water and ice supplier

This article is from the January 2023 issue of Outdoor Swimmer. Click here to subscribe to the magazine. Read more event reviews.

To see all the online content from the January 2023 issue of Outdoor Swimmer, visit the 'Rest & Reflection' page.
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Outdoor Swimmer is the magazine for outdoor swimmers by outdoor swimmers. We write about fabulous wild swimming locations, amazing swim challenges, swim training advice and swimming gear reviews.