Welcome to the home of the Welsh Open Water Estuary Swim

This is a 3km swim from Ferryside in the Towy estuary, the course takes you between Ferryside and Llangain, landing back ashore in Ferryside. WOWES is a non-profit swim, raising money for charities and local good causes.

The event is quite unique in the UK in being one of the only wild swimming courses to take place in an estuary. This creates a particular challenge to participants in dealing with tidal flows and currents. As a result it draws swimmers from the UK and across the world, keen to swim the estuary conditions.


Open water swimming is currently one of the fastest growing sports in the country, the challenging nature of the sport limits the number of events held in the UK. We are able to offer this experience as a result of meticulous planning and with the added provisions of a range of trained safety and support crews: these include support divers, safety kayaks, support vessels and of course the Ferryside inshore lifeboat and her crew, as a result of this attention to detail the WOWES swim has a 100% swimmer and support crew safety record.

The Welsh Open Water Estuary Swim was established in 2011 and was formerly known as the Ferryside lifeboat 'Big Swim', it began when the swim organiser who is now a retired, former coxswain of the Ferryside Lifeboat wanted to swim the estuary in order to raise funds for the lifeboat. Whilst raising sponsorship money for the swim, he was approached by 10 other open water swimmers who also wished to challenge themselves by completing an estuary swim, one thing led to another and the Welsh Open Water Estuary Swim was born.

Since the WOWES conception, we have enjoyed introducing and empowering people to the wonderful nature of the open water and wild swimming experience.
We hope that you will be able to join and support us.

Many thanks

The Welsh Open Water Estuary Swim team