Bruges Swim Event

Dan here – I’ve have been coming back to this charming event since 2011 when I first raced the 5km. An almost dead-straight canal takes you from the village of Damme right to Bruges. This weekend is sensibly priced, swimmer friendly with easy sighting!

The weekend acts as a small fundraiser for the local swim club. The swims are under FINA rules so no wetsuit, jewellery, watches and proper swim suits must be worn (no zips or neoprene etc.). Fear not – there is a fun wave over 4km with wetsuits. Ideal IM training.


Race day is most likely to be August 2019. Bear with us as we wait for confirmation. This is a small event run by a local swim club who are at the mercy of the local authorities. Don’t book Travel and Hotels too early. In fact you cannot book Eurostar just yet as they make you wait until 6months before your travel date. Check back in Feb!

Travel options: This is just for information now. SFT will not take part in 2019.

Sat afternoon: Most meet in Bruges and then take a taxis to Damme, the village where the race starts. This of course depends on where you are staying. Confusingly though you will need to travel back to Brugge for registration then buses head to the start. In the past we have flown to Brussels and caught the train, as well as driven directly via Ferry. Eurostar to Brussels is also easy, changing then catching a train to Brugge.

This link will take you to the Bruges City Break page which will get you a ticket to Brussels and include the additional Belgium train ticket to Bruges. The usual Eurostar destinations obviously do not include Bruges.

Sunday Morning: Meet for registration in Brugge! don’t be late. This is a most officious race and they take things very seriously. We have had swimmers disqualified for wrong suits/swimming in a watch and they do not like you changing events on the day.

Swim Options:
The SPORTS CLUB is where registration takes place if you are a club swimmer entering the 3km or 5km swims.
The 4km is slightly different and registration is in a marquee at the swim exit. Look for the Paddle Boat area on the opposite side of the canal to the sports club. You can still use the changing rooms and showers at the sports club.

The village of Damme is nicely situated away from the more expensive city centre of Bruges. Friends and partners are then already at the start of the swim to cheer you on. You will then finish back at the Bruges end of the canal, so they can walk down with you cheering, a lot of fun. After registration, a bus will take swimmers from Bruges back to the swim start along the canal in the Damme area. 3km get dropped off earlier, 5km the furthest.
I have stayed at the following places and can recommend them, but please note suitability depending on whether you drive or not.
Hotel Vredehof a few miles from Damme, ideal if you drive.
De Gouden Kop – self-catering apartment in Damme.
Search here for more Damme options.
You can stay in Bruges and registration might well prove easier but it does cost more.


11.30am: registration of the participants at SPORTS CLUB, The Witte Beer, Damse Vaart Zuid te 8310 Brugge.

Registration fee: € 8,00

  1. 13.45                 5000 m Free style open men
  2. 13.45                3000 m Breast Stroke open men
  3. 13.50                 5000 m Free style open women
  4. 13.50                3000 m Breast Stroke open women
  5. 14.00                 3000 m Free style women/men

For those swim events, you have to be licensed by a club with the UK swimming Association.

The entries for the 4000m will be made before end of July at

Registration fee: € 20,00

15.15 h     4000 m for non-licensed swimmers

To take part in this swim, you will need to email me the following, and then I will create a group booking

  • Your preferred distance and stroke
  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Club code