Dive In: Open Water Swimming in Lac Léman

June 9, 2022

If you live in Lausanne, then you have probably glanced out over Lac Léman countless of times; and during any of those times, did swimming out into the vast lake cross your mind? There are people who had that thought, and acted upon it.

Every now and then it´s good to push beyond your comfort zone. For me that meant signing up for a long distance open water swim. Success was far from certain, and the thought of being far from the shore with only my strokes to take me back to safety made me doubt myself – a dark abyss of water below, water splashing, making every breath cumbersome – this may be a nightmare to some. But this all vanished when I stepped onto the shore in Evian looking back at the Lausanne shore far in the distance. The feeling of accomplishment was immense, overwhelming, and will always stay with me.

swimmers entering lac leman

©LGSA

The swims definitely create a sense of adventure, it is quite inspirational and something that brings people a lot of confidence. It can be transformative, and we need more of this in the world.

Tim Davies, LGSA Chairman

We, Les Lausannois, are lucky to have a passionate group of open-water swimmers who are actively promoting our beautiful freshwater basin as a playground for recreational swimming. The Lake Geneva Swimming Association (LGSA) is arranging exciting events every summer, something we think you would be tempted to try.

There are events for all levels, from 200m Escape Léman to the most demanding non-stop 70km swim from Chillon Castle to Geneva. And a lot of distances in-between. A new addition to 2022 is the Nyvoirienne – a selection of shorter swims in le Petit Lac, the part of the lake around Nyon and Yvoire.

“The swims definitely create a sense of adventure, it is quite inspirational and something that brings people a lot of confidence. It can be transformative, and we need more of this in the world” says Tim Davies Chairman of the LGSA. Tim is behind all the activities the organization provides beyond the actual swims; a blog, a website, webinars, and a lot of information on all things swimming-related, including cold water swimming.

For anyone interested, The Lausanne Guide co-founder Tanya took to the lake on a cold day in February. Read more about it in Cold Water Swiming: When pain and joy collide.

swimmer celebrating in water in lac leman

©LGSA

”We welcome everybody to our events, and there are events for all levels of passionate swimmers. If you are starting out, then start with a shorter distance and build a base as a confident pool swimmer. Then you need to taste the real environment and get hours of swimming in open water. The experience is very different” says Tim. ”Above all, find some friends to do it with. That is why we set up a Facebook group, to help people find each other and become part of our community”

TLG is proud of Tim and the efforts his organization is making to define Lac Léman as a top destination for open water swimming. The clean glacier-fed lake, surrounded by high peaks and just a short stroll from our office, is something that we can cherish.

So take the plunge and sign up for one of the races this summer, there is still plenty of time to train.

Lake Geneva Swimming Association

Discover the events, become a part of the community.
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