“My friends think I’m a fish…”

Our October cover star is open water swimmer Stephen Peters from Chichester. We caught up with him to find out a bit about his swimming background and how he feels about being a cover model!

How does it feel to be Outdoor Swimmer’s cover star? 

I didn’t believe it when my friend Coni messaged me to tell me that I was on the front cover… then she sent over a picture, which initially made me laugh. But it is amazing, what a nice way to end my open water season before getting in to the pool/fish tank to train for the winter. Along with completing the 10K Dart which was my main goal for this year, this was the unexpected icing on the cake.

Where was the cover shot taken?

It was taken at the start of the River Arun 3.8k Swim in June this year.

How long have you been open water swimming and how did you get into it?

About four years now. I have always swum ever since I was little, but when a friend told me about a regular open water training session run by Sudeste Sports taking place on our local beach, I had to try it. From then on I was hooked! Any excuse to get in the sea and I’m in.

What’s your favourite swim spot?

I have to say East & West Wittering, my local beaches, it’s where myself and my friends train almost every day in the season. I love it out there, it’s always slightly different, sometimes it can be so clear it’s like snorkelling and yet other times we are laughing our heads off as we are getting tossed around in the surf. So much fun. Plus we often see our local friendly seals popping up to check us out.

What swims are on your swimming bucket list?

Well loads, I love the buzz of racing so I will enter a few more next year. However there was talk amongst my friends while still buzzing from the 10K Dart about a Channel relay next year… 

I also would like to swim around St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall and around Burgh Island in Bigbury, South Devon, maybe on the same trip. 

There are too many to list to be honest, pretty much everywhere that has water I’m tempted to swim. My friends think I’m a fish, well I am a Piscean and my ears are evolving slowly. 

Image credit: Christopher Lanaway

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Jonathan is a year-round skins swimmer with a particular love of very cold water. He has competed in ice swimming competitions around the world. He is a qualified open water coach with a particular love of introducing new swimmers to the open water.