Fresh Air Open Water Swim Clinics

Included in your registration for any swim are FREE ENTRIES to the Fresh Air Open Water Swim Clinics. We are excited to have Fresh Air sponsor the clinics again this year and they will be on site with wetsuits and other gear to demo. The clinics start Saturday, June 15th, 2024 and are on each consecutive Saturday with the final clinic on Saturday, July 13th, 2024All swim clinics start promptly at 7:00am and run until 8:15-ish.

PRE-REGISTRATION IS NOT REQUIRED. Please be at the Boyce-Gyro Beach Swim Loop in Kelowna no later than 6:45am – we recommend arriving earlier than later! (Here’s a map).

Demo wetsuits are available for you to try at each clinic. The first demo is free, but any additional demo of the same wetsuit will cost $10.

To speed up the sign in process, please download, print, sign and bring the waiver. Remember the emergency contact info! Click here for the waiver. You do not need to bring a waiver for each clinic. You only need to bring the waiver once as we keep it on file for all clinics. Please bring the swim cap we give you to each clinic!

The Fresh Air Open Water Swim Clinics are meant to supplement a regular training program to help you get comfortable swimming in the open water and provide pointers for the Interior Savings Across the Lake Swim Kelowna. They are not intended to provide technical analysis or improve your fitness.

The Fresh Air Open Water Swim Clinics are led by qualified coaches, introducing or reinforcing special skills and tactics for swimming in the lake. The clinics are followed by an optional swim around the 800m Gyro Swim Loop.

The swim clinics are for all abilities and we encourage all anxious, first time swimmers, or those who would like more time in the open water, to come out to the clinics. These are not advanced clinics as they are meant to help you get comfortable and increase your time in the open water. We touch on sighting, drafting and other essential open water skills, but if you are an experienced swimmer, you may find the clinics to be a little basic.

Note: You must be registered for any of our swim events in order to attend the swim clinics for free. If you are not registered, you are welcome to come down and join us, but there will be a small $5 charge.

Most of the time the clinics will go ahead as planned, even if the weather is not great. You can’t predict the weather on event day so it’s always good training to swim when the weather isn’t perfect.

Have a question about the clinics? Contact our Clinics Organizer, Peter Rudd at:

Introduction to the Gyro Swim Loop

The swimming area at Gyro Beach in Kelowna has long been a favourite training site for open water swimmers, whether training for the Interior Savings Across the Lake Swim, or any of the many triathlons occurring in the Okanagan. The buoys that surround this area have always been big enough, secluded enough, and accessible enough to most Kelowna swimmers to train for events as short as a sprint triathlon, and as long as Penticton’s Challenge race. Since most swimmers use this area in the morning, before the beach crowd arrives, parking is never a problem for swimming here. Boat traffic is minimal at that time so there is little noise or waves.

One of the problems has always been the uncertainty of the distance of the loop, and how much that distance changes over even one summer, with the buoys moving due to wind, waves, and the depth of the water. We work with the City of Kelowna to ensure that the loop is measured by GPS annually to provide accurate distances for swimmers.

Over the winter of 2008-09,  a formal training swim loop was developed that offers some great new opportunities for open water swimmers. The course has been GPS’d to be exactly 800 m, with all the buoys around the semi circle part being exactly 50 m apart. In addition to the 800m loop, we have added another measured and marked swim option, the Manteo Mile (a 1300m out-and-back course), providing training distances for everybody. Safety buoys ensure that power boats and water skiers do not come close to the swimmers within the Gyro Swim Loop.

Tips for Using the Gyro Swim Loop

First and foremost, heed the safety recommendations on the posted sign. They are:

  1. Do not swim alone. There are no lifeguards on duty.
  2. Wear a brightly colored swim cap, and keep an eye out for wayward watercraft.
  3. Lock your valuables in your car. Consider carrying (just) your car key inside your wet suit.
  4. Wetsuits strongly recommended most of the swimming season.
  5. Always swim in a clockwise direction.
  6. Consider your conditioning and abilities when swimming this loop, as well as the weather conditions.
  7. Always keep the buoys on your right.

Matching the Loop to your Training

The Gyro Swim Loop has been measured to be exactly 800m, 50 m longer than a sprint distance triathlon. Two loops would be close to the distance of an Olympic distance triathlon, three loops would be 400 m longer than the half ironman distance or the Interior Savings Across the Lake Swim, 4 loops would be the equivalent of the Rattlesnake Island Swim, and 5 loops would be 200 m longer than the Ironman swim distance.

When starting the loop and turning at the 100m buoy to do the Manteo Mile (then swimming back to the start), swimmers will cover 1500m (Olympic distance). Starting the loop, swimming the Manteo Mile and then finishing the Gyro Loop provides a swim slightly longer than half Ironman distance. Starting at (or warming up to) the 100m buoy and swimming the Manteo Mile three times adds up to an Ironman distance swim.

This Loop can accommodate whatever distance you are training for.

Anxious Swimmer Training Lessons

A little timid about swimming in the open water? We’re here to help! Learn from our anxious swimmer training lessons taught at the Fresh Air Open Water Swim Clinics:

View the Lessons

How to avoid getting your car wet and sand all over the place.

Carry some water from the lake in your swim cap to pour on your feet once you get to your car. Put your wet and now clean feet in your Crocs or Flip flops, and while sitting on the edge of your bumper, trunk or tailgate, remove your wetsuit and dry off with a towel. Get out of your bathing suit (discreetly!) or sit on a towel while you drive home. Driving home naked is always fun—no one really knows why you are smiling. Or just lie on a warm rock until you are dried off. Throw your wetsuit in a swim bag until you can hang it up at home. Or leave it to age and ripen between swims on the floor mats somewhere…

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