Chasing the Sublime: Adventures with the Outdoor Swimming Society

Chasing the Sublime: Adventures with the Outdoor Swimming Society

When Kate Rew founded the Outdoor Swimming Society (OSS) back in 2006 there was a pre-conception among many people that swimming in rivers and lakes was dirty, dangerous or illegal. In the twelve years since the inception of the OSS this has all changed.

Wild swimming has become increasingly mainstream and open water swimming has increased exponentially, thanks to not only the hard work of the OSS and it’s growing membership across the globe, but also in part to the exploits of celebrities and sports stars; including David Walliams’ epic 140 mile swim down the Thames in 2011 and Ross Edgely’s swim around the coast of mainland Britain in 2018.

Outdoor Swimming Society - Kate Rew & Kari Furre

The OSS don’t see themselves as a governing body of outdoor swimming, but as a collective that brings together all the different outdoor swimming activities across UK and the globe by providing information about where to swim, how to swim safely, and a network people use to find others to swim with, or share their passion for swimming.

Their key values are adventure, joy and challenge - beyond that there is no real set definition, it can be ice swimming, skinny dipping, marathon swims, wild swims or open water races. The only criteria are that it’s done under the open sky and that there’s a sense of adventure to it.

Outdoor Swimming Society - Kate Rew & Kari Furre

This spirit of adventure is captured in a stunning new short film, ‘Chasing the Sublime’, by award-winning director Amanda Bluglass. The film follows Kate Rew and her ‘Swim twin’ Kari Furre as they swim amongst the jellyfish of Loch Hourn in the remote West Highlands of Scotland.  

Supported by dryrobe, this film aims to capture the essence and physicality of what it feels like to swim the wild (and cold!) waters of the British Isles.

Outdoor Swimming Society - Kate Rew & Kari Furre, Chasing the Sublime behind the scenes

Over the next few months, the film is being previewed at festivals around the UK, including the Kendal Mountain Festival, and will be online general release from May 2019. We can’t wait to see the full version.

Check out the trailer below and find out more information about the film here.

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