While people have swum outside for millennia, open water swimming (the competitive and challenge orientated side of the sport) and wild swimming (the adventurous and leisure aspect) have captured public imagination over the past few years.
The launch of H2Open, the new and only magazine dedicated to open water swimming, at the Triathlon, Cycling and Running Show at Sandown Racecourse on 11 February 2011 is riding this wave.
Factors include David Walliams Channel Swim, Kate Rew’s book on the subject (Wild Swim) and the increasingly popular British Gas Great Swim Series that this year looks set to attract more than 25,000 entrants, up from 2,200 in 2008.
The sport, specifically the 10km Marathon Swim, is now an Olympic event and hence generates world-wide interest and coverage. In fact, H2Open already has subscribers across the globe from countries as far away as South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, across Europe and more than 10% from the US.
H2Open’s founder, Simon Griffiths says, “the magazine is for all open water swimmers from beginners doing their first mass participation race to experienced veterans taking on long-distance challenges, or people simply someone looking for a beautiful place to take a dip.”
Regular features include training, nutrition, iconic swim locations, classic swims and the latest training and racing gear, the magazine has race listings, news from the world of open water swimming and interviews with open water swimming heroes.
Writers include Kate Rew, founder of the Outdoor Swimming Society, Simon Murie, founder of Swim Treck swimming holidays, Dan Bullock, founder and head coach at Swim for Tri, Paul Newsome, founder of Swim Smooth, and Rick Kiddle, ex-international triathlete and coach to model Jodie Kidd.
They also have a panel of experts to answer your swimming related questions including Steve Munatones, Editor-in-Chief of the Daily News of Open Water Swimming, and Colin Hill, organiser of the British Gas Great Swim Series.
In its first month H2Open has accepted hundreds of subscriptions, with many orders coming from outside the UK.
This is what readers had to say about the first issue:
– “It looks fabulous!” – Ranie, San Francisco
– “As a triathlete I just wanted to congratulate your editorial team on the first issue of H2Open. I picked up thinking it might be a 5 minute read but spent well over half and hour reading it, and found the magazine very well put together with a good ad/editorial balance, and several interesting articles.” – Becky, Middlesex
– “I started reading the magazine yesterday at work, stealing time when I could. I’m about half done and LOVE it.” – Mike, Moscow
– “I received my copy of H2Open on Thursday of this week. It is beautiful.” – Rick, USVI
Launch date: 11 February 2011
Frequency: bi-monthly, plus one summer special (7 issues per year)
Cover price: £3.50
Simon Griffiths, email@example.com, +44 (0)7958 312 607
Sarah Warwick, firstname.lastname@example.org, +44 (0) 7535 658873
Stuart Churchill (marketing and partnerships), email@example.com