On the Starting Line 
If you know some of your competitors on the start line, position yourself directly beside a slightly faster swimmer than yourself.

If it is a beach start, focus on wading into the water. The major differences between wading and running: Wading- the leg action is high and to the side, and there is great emphasis on stomach muscles. Legs must be elevated high, yet to the side, to enable you to jump over waves (up to a certain height). The side action is similar to that of a hurdler.

A dolphin dive is a shallow dive where you push forward off the ground with your legs and dive just under the surface of the water. Do not look up when dolphin diving. This is for safety as well as speed. Push off from the bottom each time you propel yourself forward. When the race begins, get in the slip stream of that swimmer straight away. Don’t be aggressive. Think positive and all the hard work, early starts and gym sessions you’ve done.

Pack Swimming
Packs will always be very tight and rough. If you're a stronger swimmer, you can get away with swimming on the outside of the pack, where there will be a little less drag. You will have a lot more room to move and will not have to be jostling with someone either side of you the whole way.

If someone hits you or is annoying, you don't hit or annoy them back - just swim away from them. If you get angry with them, it will take your focus and energy from your race. Don't even try and look at who it is, as it will only make you even angrier. Just swim away from them and pretend it never happened.

Conserve your energy.

If you're leading the pack, lift your head approx every 6 strokes just to make sure you're keeping a straight line.

Turning Buoys
When turning a buoy, you want to be as close to the buoy as possible (the closer you are to the buoy, the less distance you have to swim).

Do not lift your head when turning a buoy (unless you want it knocked off).

15 - 20 metres before a turning buoy, pick up the pace. You want to have fast momentum when turning a buoy.

Last Buoy
When you turn at the last buoy, you will be hurting, but you have to remember that everyone else is hurting just as much as you are.

Work a 6 beat kick

Focus on exiting the water.

Coming into shore – when your hands touch the bottom of the shore, stand up and start wading out to the finish line.
Lift the legs around as you are wading.

At a Glance
When you feel yourself starting to hurt or fall apart, whether it is in training or during a race, go back to basics. Remember all the small things (the catch, the pull, long and strong , high elbows, body position...).

Only worry about things you can control... you can't control your competitors – you can’t control tidal conditions and the weather - so don't worry about them.

In open water swimming the fastest doesn't always win or come out of the water first, the smartest does.
So race smart!