Cassie Patten became a household name in open water swimming when she won bronze at the 2008 Bejing Olympics.
Just a short time after this victory she went on to take first place at the inaugural Great North Swim in September 2008 hosted at Low Wood Bay, beating her friend and rival Kerri Anne Payne.
With just ten days left until the competitors take to the water for the 2014 Great North Swim, Cassie gives us a few tips and sends her best wishes to each swimmer, whatever their goal.
Low Wood Bay, on the shores of Lake Windermere is the home of open water swimming. The Lake District Hotel has hosted The Great North Swim, the UK’s biggest open water swimming event, since 2008 and the The Big Chill Swim, possibly the UK’s coldest winter open water swim event, since 2012 – the water temperature was 5 degrees this year!
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Low Wood Bay has hosted many open water swim events from its enviable lakeside location in the Lake District. Events include the Great North Swim - an open water summer swim in the great outdoors, or for those brave enough to tackle the cold, The Chill Swim which recently attracted 570 brave souls in 2014. We have also cheered on Davina McCall as she completed the open water section of her Beyond Breaking Point Sport Relief challenge.
As a result, open-water fever has gripped a number of English Lakes employees who have taken to the water as a personal challenge including David Neale, English Lakes Commercial Director.
The joys of open water swimming
Ian Woods and David Neale
I discovered the joys of open water swimming about 3 years ago as I took on the challenge of the Great North Swim in Lake Windermere. Continue reading
Ben Berry after his 450m swim
The cold water does phenomenal things to your body and I certainly felt it as my bottom lip went numb after around 60 metres of my 450 metre event. Trawling the lake with my bottom lip as I powered through the cold gave me time to not only taste the finest water in the Lake District but to think about how wonderful this event is.
The reason I was in the Lake, wearing far too little and at its coldest time of year, was because I was having a whale of a time at the second Chill Swim event, hosted by Low Wood Bay. The event doubled in size with this year attracting 570 swimmers including the Estonian ice swimming champion that I was competing against, the Lake District National Park relay team and people dressed as smurfs in a 30 metre “Penguin Dip”.
Of course, getting cold is only half the story and the reasons for jumping in differ greatly between competitors. Hundreds of people raised money for charity; swimming teams from across the UK and the world entered just for the friendly competition; and people like myself did it simply for the fun. Regardless of the reasons for entering I am certain everyone had a massive amount of enjoyment – the camaraderie, atmosphere, awesome venue and warmth of the day more than displaced any short lived cold.
Was doing an endurance race hard? Yes. Would I do it again? Without a doubt! Continue reading
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.
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. Continue reading
The countdown has started for the largest European open water swimming event when 10,000 people will be taking to the waters of Lake Windermere during the Great North Swim between 14th and 16th June. The Great North Swim is the flagship event in Great Swim Series and in four years has grown from 3,000 swimmers in one day to around 10,000 swimmers taking part over three days.
The Great North Swim in Windermere
Some of the world’s best open water swimmers have said that the Great North Swim in Windermere ranked among their favourite races worldwide. Now there’s an opportunity for us mere mortals to meet the elite on the lawns of Low Wood Bay in the informal setting of a barbeque with entertainment from Burneside Brass Band. The event will take place on Friday 14th June from 6:30pm. Continue reading
[ About This Video ]
The Big Chill swim took place at Low Wood Bay Marina on Saturday 2nd February 2013. It is billed as “one of the coldest swimming races you’ll ever do” and with the water temperatures hovering around 4.6 degrees in Lake Windermere on Saturday, it certainly was chilly!
The Big Chill Swim consists of the following events.
- 30m Penguin Dip (non competitive, any stroke)
- 30m Head up breaststroke
- 60m Freestyle
- 4 Person Relay
- 450m Endurance Swim
English Lakes submitted their very own team for the event consisting of brothers Ben and Elliot Berry and their cousin Emily Berry along with Tim Bell, Manager of Lancaster House. Congratulations to the team who come in first position out of the local teams and third overall in the relay events. All team members were new to the sport of Cold-water swimming. Victoria Tremlin from Zest was also new to the sport, she has also written about her first experience.
Thanks to Nevil Jeffery, Manager of Low Wood Bay for filming the video. Rob Berry, brother of Ben and Elliot from to the English Lakes swimming team and local photographer, was also there filming the event. See Rob’s fantastic video on YouTube.