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Outdoor Exercise | Cape Town, South Africa

Open Water Sighting

What is open water sighting?

Sighting is a technique used in open water swimming to help you maintain a straight line.

Unlike swimming in a pool where the lanes guide you in the right direction, in the open water you need to use sighting to keep you on track.

When swimming in open water, you cannot rely on other swimmers to lead the way. Good sighting skills can help you maintain a straight line and avoid adding hundreds of metres onto your swim.

How to sight:

  • Choose a landmark. Decide on the object that you’ll be sighting. Choose a large distinct landmark (e.g. buoy or mountain) when possible.

  • Preparation. When ready to sight, Press down on your hand and arm on the catch phase of the stroke and kick hard.

  • Lift your head to sight. Look up to locate your landmark, swim head-up for one or two strokes and redirect if you've veered off route. Lift your head only as high as necessary to avoid wasting energy.

  • Sight regularly. Try to sight roughly every 30 seconds or 20 strokes.

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