Hundreds set to take part in Big Chill Swim at Low Wood Bay

Over 570 hardy swimmers from around the world will be braving the icy waters of Low Wood Bay Marina, Windermere this weekend for the 2014 Big Chill Swim.

Dive in to the chilly waters

Diving in to the chilly waters of Windermere

The swimmers are not allowed to wear wetsuits and will race over distances of 30, 50 and 450 metres, enduring water temperatures of below 5 degrees. There will also be relay races, and a 1000 metre extreme event for very experienced cold water swimmers.

Henri Kaarma setting a record at the Tyumen Open Water Swimming Cup in Tyumen, Russia

Henri Kaarma setting a record at the Tyumen Open Water Swimming Cup in Tyumen, Russia

Top level competitors include Estonian winter swimming endurance world champion Henri Kaarma and the head of the International Winter Swimming Association Mariia Yrjö-Koskinen.

The Big Chill Swim attracts experienced winter swimmers from as far afield as, Latvia, South Africa, Italy, Germany and Russia, France and Finland. However, many of the participants are amateurs, swimming for fun or to raise money for charity.

English Lakes have submitted their own amateur team who will also be competing with teams from the Lake District National Park, the BBC and many others.

Be sure to come along to cheer the swimmers on and visit the winter swimming expo at Low Wood Bay this weekend. Although parking is only available to hotel guests and marina members there will be a park and ride service from Brockhole and Waterhead at Ambleside, which will drop off participants and spectators at the venue.

Video: The Big Chill Swim 2013

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