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Provincial Open Water Swim

 Open water swimming races in the Welland Recreational Canal started in 1993.  Running under the auspices of the Welland YMCA, the first venture featured a 5 km and a 3 km race.  The first winner of the 5km race was Bob Smith, a Welland swimmer.  There were 48 participants in the first year.  Three years later, a 10 km race was added and for 6 years, these three races were run annually.  Although there were about 100 swimmers each year by that time, the race was forced to fold due to a lack of volunteers. 

In 2006, the races started again with a renewed volunteer base and operating under the auspices of the Welland Recreational Canal Corporation.  An open 1 km race was added to the agenda and all races were initially run as straight races down the canal, with the exception of the 10 km race, which made one turn at the end of the 5km distance.  Following the World Junior Open Water Swimming championships in 2012, the races changed from straight course to a loop course, which is how they are now run.  The 3 km, 5km, and 10 km races are now called The Elma Kelly Couture Open Water Swims, while the 1km race is the Bridie McCann Memorial Race, named for a late member of our committee and a well-respected swimming coach at Brock University.

The Open Water Swim is considered by many to be one of the best open water swims in the area because of the quality and temperature of the water, as well as the world class facilities offered by the WRCC. 
For more information, contact Elma Couture at

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Click Here to View ELMA COUTURE OPEN WATER SWIM 3K, 5K + 10K