What sort of water temperature is too hot for an ocean swim race? Or too cold? And for what sort of race? How long? With or without wetsuits? Surely safety must be an issue?

To be honest I’d never thought tooooo much about the topic. I know that there’s a point where they (not sure I’ve ever thought about exactly who “they” are) call it too cold to race without a wetsuit. In my head it varies between 15 and 16 degrees celsius.

Luckily, someone have given these things a lot more thought than I have, and even luckier, they are the people in charge of these things!

Seems there are international standards for these things, and then there is a NSW body that is far more responsible than I am. They’re called Swimming New South Wales, and they have some very comprehensive Water Temperature rules.

Apparently the general guide is 16-32 agrees Celsius range of water temperature, give or take a bit depending on air temperature over time. Please, check the link and don’t trust my vague reading of it if it ever comes down to anything influencing any decision-making…but it is interesting to know.

I does make me realise just how lucky I am (again!) to live in such a temperate region where this is such a non-issue that I have never actually been faced with conditions outside of these parameters. Best place in the world? Well….I don’t know if I can entirely say that. I haven’t been everywhere yet… Seriously, though, I do know how lucky I am to train week in and week out at beaches like Bondi and Clovelly and to race up and down this gorgeous coast. Grateful. That’s what I am every day for that fact.

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