Open Water Swimming

Swimming in open water has a long and colourful history dating back as far as 36BC, when the Japanese organised the first open water races. The Romans held high-profile races in the Tiber, when thousands would crowd along the banks to watch and cheer. The Knights in the middle ages reputedly had to swim in full armour as one of their seven

required agilities.

Hartlepool Marina’Jackson’s Dock – is an ideal facility with access for a range of water sports. The Marina management have been steadily developing awareness and profile of the area as a place to become actively involved in a range of water based sports. The inclusion of Trigma open water swims and Aquathlons adds to their growing number of sought after spring and summer water based activities. Marina management have been heavily involved in the development of open water swimming at Hartlepool.

Jackson’s Wharf is an inviting centrally located bar and eatery that has kindly offered their location, fantastic hospitality and support. 

The Swim Course

A triangular marked course, swimming anti clockwise, marks are set at approx . Length of course is approximately 400mts.

Session Times, Registration & Prices

May 1st – 30th September Wednesday Evenings

Registration & Briefing: 1800

Session Begins: 1830

Session Ends: 1925

Swim Session Tickets: £5.00 Purchasable on the night 

Wetsuit hire available 

Meet Point:

Wednesday Evenings 18.00 at Jacksons Wharf, Jacksons Dock, The Highlights, Hartlepool Marina TS 24 OXN

Open Water Swimming Session Leader

Matt Turnbull  Level 2 BTF Triathlon Coach  / BTF Qualified 1st Aid

Matt has never been shy of a challenge and has conquered a range of ultra endurance events on his journey as a multi sport athlete including ultra running, ultra swimming &  ultra distance cycling, and Ironman, as a means to raise money for local charities.Matt has qualified for 4 world and European multi sports championships in both triathlon and duathlon and most recently broke into the top ten in Europe at the Kitzbuhel European Triathlon championships where he secured a 6th place in a highly competitive field. 

Information / Coaching & Advice

Open Water Swim Sessions are supervised throughout by Matt and team from both in and out of the water. Matt and team are on  hand each week helping you develop your skills, abilities and passions in a safe and inviting setting.


  • Wetsuits and swim caps must be worn.
  • Participants must be able able to swim at least 100mts and be comfortable in open water. (those wanting to try the experience for the first time will be supported throughout and the opportunity to hire a wetsuit for a one off session is also an option) 
  • Swimmers must swim with a partner.
  • Water activity is monitored by land and water marshals.

Session Briefing Notes and Expectations

  • This is a wetsuit compulsory session (Wetsuits can be hired daily at the session for £20 or £60 for the season)
  • Swim caps MUST be worn as a safety aid for marshals to use to spot athletes
  • All athletes must sign the register and a liability waver  before entering the water – all precautions have been taken but athletes enter at their own risk.
  • Athletes will be counted in and out of the water and ticked off a register, you MUST ensure you have informed the Lead Marshal if an when you exit.
  • Change facilities are offered but no athlete can enter the pub to use facilities in wet clothing or wetsuits
  • All athletes must be present at the safety briefing prior to the session at approx 6.20pm
  • Anyone participating must be able to swim 400m unaided
  • Acclimatisation, familiarisation and confidence in the water techniques will be offered by one of our coaches.
  • Athletes must stay on our swim course and not access any other part of the water sports area.
  • If any athlete struggles in the water, signal to water or land marshals by laying on back and waving hands in the air. Do not panic, the wetsuit will keep you buoyant.
  •  Water testing will be undertaken as secondary measure as well as the blue flag status and EA certification of quality bathing conditions.
  • *Water temp will be tested on the day and any considerations to amend session length or course length will be taken.It is predicted that for the May 6th session temps will be approx 12/13 degrees
  • All athletes must be aware of the range of ability on the course and take due care not to startle of hinder novice or less confident swimmers
  •  All valuables must be locked in your car and are left at your own risk, but a locked tin held by the lead marshal  will be available for car keys.
  • If the air horn is blown at any point during the session, this is a safety warning and athletes are required to exit the water.
  • The air horn will also be used to mark the end of the session.
  • Athletes aged 15 or 16 are permitted to attend the session but must have a parent attending the session (as spectator or swimmer) and parents will be required to sign a disclaimer waver. 
  • Jackson’s Dock swim session entrance utilises the facilities adjacent to Jackson’s Wharf Restaurant and bar which caters for families. Trigma swimmers must ensure that they conduct themselves in a manner that compliments this venue if we are to continue using their facilities. Any poor behaviour or language will not be tolerated.
  • Although the slipway will be carpeted, footwear is advised to the waters edge; sandals, wetboots, Crocs or flip-flops etc are advised.
  • Take care exiting onto the slip way (it can be slippery ), use the carpet provided for stability.

Follow Us On Facebook

5 months ago

On Water Training

On Water have Trained Row4Victory in RYA First Aid, Sea Survival and accomodated the boat at Hartlepool Marina during their training as our way of saying Thank you and we will never forget this Remembrance Sunday.

Good Luck Lads from all of us in the North East
We are right behind you!Remembrance Day;

Row4Victory was inspired by the Dig for Victory campaign in World War Two which saw Britain’s civilian population pull together with true grit and do their part in the war effort.

Having current and former members representing all three branches of the UK armed forces and the civilians they serve this Sundays service has been in the forefront of our minds throughout the campaign. With veterans of both the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts on the team we have seen the loss and injury of friends and comrades, this weekend we will remember them and the millions that came before them.

It was the obvious choice to support two amazing military charities during our campaign; Royal British Legion and Soldier On and we are all very proud to do so.

3,000 Miles
4 Men
1 Poppy
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

On Water Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Email Format

Contact Us

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)


Your Message