Woolen swim suits were out in full force at the weekend, as swimmers in the Lake District took part in the historic Windermere Cross Lake Swim.
The event has been run in some form for over 100 years and was hosted for the second year by Lakeland event company Chillswim. The event was previously organised by Troutbeck Swimming Club, which formally closed in 2012.
More than 200 people took part in the 1.2km linear swim from Wray Castle Boat House on the western shore of Windermere to Brockhole, the National Park Visitor Centre.
The traditional event was a non-wetsuit race, with many of the swimmers in 1920s swimming costumes. The Chillswim event welcomed both wetsuit and non-wetsuit swimmers, with the old Troutbeck Club trophies handed to traditional swimmers without wetsuits. The original trophies are now on display in the Windermere Steam Boat Museum. All swimmers wore a high visibility Swim Secure® tow-float, supporting the Lake District National Park’s swimsafe campaign.
“At just under a mile, the event was an achievable distance for most open water swimmers, so we were delighted with the range of swimmers – our youngest swimmer was 12 and our oldest was 80,” said organiser Colin Hill.
Indeed the junior swimmers outshone the seniors in the event this year with the fastest two overall times for male and female being recorded by under 16s. 15 year old Tom Robinson of Ulverston Otters finished the race in 14 minutes and 9 seconds – beating his winning time from the previous year by more than a minute. Fastest female was 15 year old Caitlin Poulson from Penrith Swimming Club in a time of 15 minutes 45 seconds.
“There are some fantastic under 16 swimmers in the UK who deserve the chance to shine in open water given the opportunity,” said Hill.