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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

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Hundreds experience big chill in lake Windermere

HUNDREDS of swimmers travelled from across the UK and the continent to experience the rush of a winter dip in Windermere.

The first Big Chill Swim took place in Windermere on Saturday.

Around 250 swimmers took part in the 30m, 60m or 450m events which took place in a segregated section of water at Low Wood Bay.

And although the sun was out for the duration of the day, the water was icy cold, with February being the month when the lake is at its coldest.

Organiser Colin Hill said the conditions had been perfect for those looking to experience the thrill of cold water swimming.

He said: “The conditions were absolutely beautiful and it was great on the day.

“In the morning, the water was very flat and then the wind picked up later on, but the water was nice and cold.

“We are already preparing to open for entries for 2014 and hopefully we are going to get twice as many people taking part.”

Participants travelled from across the UK and Europe to take part in the event, and Mr Hill said he was keen to get more local people taking part in next year’s event.

And the passionate open water swimmer said the event was ideal for people who wanted to experience an adrenaline rush.

He said: “Winter swimming is absolutely invigorating.

“It does take some doing, but it is absolutely fantastic and addictive once you’ve done it.

Obviously, you have to be sensible about it, though.

“A lot of people have discovered outdoor swimming but I don’t think as many know about winter swimming.”

Barrow swimmer Sharon Harris was one of the participants who braved the water and said the experience was fantastic.

She said: “It was brilliant and the event was really well organised.

“It was cold, though.

“The water was about five degrees when we were doing it but the weather was kind to us.

“There wasn’t much wind.”

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