Liverpool Canoe Club Supports Windermere One Way Swim. Report by Jim Duffy
Liverpool Canoe Club Supports Windermere One Way Swim
The Windermere One Way Swim took place on Sunday 2nd September at the beautiful and sheltered Fell Foot Park at the southern end of Windermere and some 202 swimmers took part. Swimmers were accompanied by a personal kayaker including eight from Liverpool Canoe Club. Many of the swimmers and kayakers had already completed the delayed Coniston ‘Chill’ the previous day! The epic 11.2 mile swim, the length of Windermere, ended near Ambleside at the iconic Brathay Hall. Every Windermere One Way swimmer also had a timing chip to accurately record their time. Wetsuits were widespread but a significant number of experienced swimmers completed the challenge without a wetsuit. The water temperature was 16.2 C.
Significant crowds cheered the swimmers at the major viewing points and at the feed station just north of the Ferry House on the west side. They then swam to the west of Belle Island before heading north-west towards the finish.
Windermere One Way was organised by T2 Events and Swim Safety directed and coordinated all aspects of water safety. The weather was occasionally wet and blustery for the first 9 miles before becoming bright as swimmers reacher the stunning Low Wood Bay. After that the weather improved significantly as swimmers completed the last stretch.
Thomas Mills completed the swim in a wetsuit in 4:12:34. Steph Mcnally, from Bristol North Swimming Club, was the first wetsuit lady in a time of 5:13:27. Bristol North Swimming Club did particularly well with seven entries.
The first ‘skins’ swimmers was Philip Duma of Blackwell Swimming Club, who completed the marathon course in 4:55:18. Nerys Pearce from Team True Spirit finished 2nd in a time of 5:38:31.
One of the most memorable achievements was that of Matt Williams who raised £7,532.75 for MacMillan Cancer Support by setting off on Thursday 22nd August to swim the length of 14 large lowland lakes and walk between each one in a circular route. The cumulative swimming distance was 45 miles interspersed by 100 miles of walking including three major peaks. He finished his swim with the Coniston ‘Chill’ followed the next day by the Windermere One Way and received a tumultuous reception at the finish of both swims.
In 2010 Matt became the fourth person ever, and the first Englishman, to complete the ‘Peak and Pond’ challenge of climbing Everest (2008) and swimming the English Channel (2010).
Last year Matt climbed the world’s fourth highest mountain, Lhotse, and also won a silver medal at the triathlon amateur world championships in 2014.
Matt’s sister, 38-year-old mother of two, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last year, and Matt is raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support at her request, to say thank you for the charity’s support for her and her family.
Matt’s stunning achievements included 13 lowland lakes more than half a mile long – Windermere, Ullswater, Coniston Water, Bassenthwaite Lake, Wastwater, Derwentwater, Crummock Water, Buttermere, Loweswater, Grasmere, Rydal Water, Elterwater and Brotherswater.
Congratulations to all the swimmers and to the organisers, volunteers and water safety crews.