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Monday, February 3, 2014

Cool TV - Blue Peter Films At Big Chill Swim

With snow creating a nice frame around Windermere, the second Big Chill Swim took place over a wintery weekend in Windermere, England’s largest lake.

With a warm smile and reportedly ice in his veins, race organizer Colin Hill converted the Low Wood Bay Marina into an open air swimming pool for the spectacular winter swimming gala that attracted extreme swimmers from ages 16 to 70.

Even with a water temperature of 5ºC (41ºF), bright colorful swim caps were used instead of wetsuits. As to be expected in the Big Chill Swim, there were no dull moments throughout the jam-packed racing schedule where the impossible was repeatedly shown to be possible in the 6-lane 30m long pool.

Competitors included a wide variety of ice swimming veterans as well as BBC TV Blue Peter Presenters Radzi Chinyanganya and Lindsey Russell. Blue Peter also filmed the weekend’s events as part of a feature on Radzi’s ongoing challenges. The event was a sell-out and drew over 580 participants including many teams of swimmers from Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Lithuania and Germany as well as enthusiasts from around the United Kingdom spending a weekend in the Lake District during what is usually a quiet time of year for sports events in the county.

The weather over the weekend was challenging to say the least,” said Hill. “We’d like to thank both spectators and participants for their support.” Spectators stood in the rain and wind cheering on swimmers for the 7 hours of continuous racing on Saturday. Post-swim, competitors warmed up with hot drinks, hot tubs and a mobile sauna at the event site.

The Big Chill Swim is a competitive event conducted in line with the International Winter Swimming Association rules of age groups, traditional swimwear, and fixed distances. Each race (except the Penguin Dip) was timed, with the fastest 3 times per age group awarded medals. Prizes were also awarded to the fastest time in each age group per event, as well as spot prizes for participants present at the prize giving held at the end of the day in the Low Wood Hotel.

The Finnish president of the International Winter Swimming Association, Mariia Yrjö-Koskinen gave the event and weekend activities her full endorsement. “We are delighted to see winter swimming take place in such a beautiful natural environment in the Lake District. It was my first time to visit this part of the UK and I was really taken aback by the beautiful setting for this event. I arrived in the snow on Friday and the wintery weather gave the event a true feeling of winter swimming, and we congratulate the organisers for putting on such a slickly run and safe event in the challenging weather conditions. The atmosphere at winter swimming events is very special, very warm and friendly, and we are delighted to have the Big Chill Swim event included on our annual calendar of events.”

On Sunday, Chillswim hosted the Big Chill Swim 1000, an ultra endurance 1000m non-wetsuit swim open to experienced cold water swimmers only.

Although not a race, Henri Kaarma of Estonia posted the fastest time of the day with 13 minutes 22 seconds for the 1 km swim.

Results of the women's 450m Endurance Race:

*Alexia O'Mara 6.49.59
*Kate Vines 6.16.82
*Helen Gibbs 6.17.13
*Carole Laporte 6.50.82
*Laura Walker-Knowles 10.26.46
*Sarah Taylor 8.12.20
*Andrea Startin 8.17.81
*Kate Steels-Fryatt 8.25.78
*Helen Beveridge 8.58.12
*Jeanette Berry 9.21.81
*Annabel Lavers 9.32.31
*Amanda Bell 9.38.15
*Kathryn Ayre 9.44.26
*Maretta Robinson 9.46.63
*Paula Cherriman 10.49.20
*Helen Brindle 11.56.76
*Pauline Barker 9.50.71
*Margot Anderson 9.42.08
*Jacqueline Cobell 9.57.90
*Pamela Bessell 13.36.08

Results of the men's 450m Endurance Race:
*Julian Taylor 6.28.31
*Andre Roberts 6.42.27
*Raido Laidla 9.39.37
*Aivar Rosenberg 6.30.13
*Mark Bayliss 6.55.82
*Mark Fabik 6.57.70
*Ben Berry 8.00.90
*Henri Karma 6.04.00
*Paul Fowler 6.44.01
*Jason Betley 6.52.63
*Adrian Sarchet 6.59.78
*Alex Ferguson 7.15.03
*Graeme Lowe 7.21.69
*Scott Bisset 7.33.90
*Alastair Beattie 7.49.22
*Steve Tonkin 8.09.18
*Tim Shattock 8.15.77
*David A. Stewart 8.17.78
*Thomas W. Kofler 9.18.25
*Hannes Viherpuu 9.31.97
*Aleksandr Jakovlev 10.03.88
*Leon Fryer 11.43.32
*Mike Faughey Scraggs 14.37.78
*Rory Fitzgerald 6.36.58
*Toomas Haggi 6.40.72
*Tony Greener 6.44.01
*Martin Coombes 7.22.50
*David Oakley 7.32.39
*David Granger 7.38.88
*Haydn Welch 9.28.65
*Rafael Oya 9.47.45
*Stuart Hinde 10.07.34
*Mike Roberts 11.03.57
*Herwarth Talkenberg 11.17.03

Results of the Big Chill Swim 1000:
1. Henri Kaarma 13.20.47
2. Andre Roberts 14.22.25
3. Alexaia O'Mara 14.30.63
4. Adrian Sarchet 14.57.90
5. Hazel Killingbeck 15.04.63
6. Graeme Lowe 15.18.81
7. Martin Coombes 16.04.00
8. Sarah Taylor 18.30.97
9. Helen Beveridge 18.50.51
10. Pauline Barker 19.03.00
11. Peter Kelly 19.27.64
12. Margot Anderson 19.50.81
13. Amanda Bell 19.56.87
14. Stuart Hinde 19.57.34
15. Jackie Cobell 19.57.34
16. Maretta Robinson 20.21.90
17. Kathryn Ayre 20.23.25
18. Nige Reid 20.29.27
19. Hannah Elbourne 20.39.46
20. Radzi Chinyanganya 20.42.44
21. Rafael Oya 21.24.83
22. Paula Cherriman 21.43.58
23. Val Smith 21.51.37

Rest of the race results are posted here.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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