On Saturday 31st August 2013 Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society channel swimmer Mark Westaway competed in the British Long Distance Association Windermere Championships.
Westaway has swum the 10 and a half mile length of England’s longest lake on a number of occasions; completing a two way swim whilst training to swim the English Channel. However this swim was different as Westaway had decided to swim the entire length of the lake Breaststroke.
Over the last few years Westaway has been competing in shorter swims to train and build up his endurance over the new stroke. He has competed in the Exmouth Fairway and Starcross Swims, Coniston and Ulswater winning the Breaststroke championships in all four championships; last year breaking a 48 year old record for swimming the length of Ulswater in Breaststroke.
The championship started around 9.30 in the morning and swimmers would be swimming throughout the day against a head wind. This hampered Westaway in making any attempt on the Breaststroke course record and added at least half an hour onto the duration of each swimmer’s swim. Despite the difficult conditions Westaway’s supporters were never in any doubt that he would complete the swim. Westaway was supported by coach Alan Franks and fellow channel swimmers Olly White and Jamie Page who rowed Westaway’s escort boat. Westaway was also accompanied on the water by a number of other teammates who followed his progress down the lake and supported him throughout his swim.
Westaway completed the longest Breaststroke swim in Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society’s history in a time of 6 hours 44 minutes, winning the Breaststroke championship. He was raising money for Vranch House, an Independent Day School in Exeter for children with significant physical difficulties, a centre for the treatment of outpatients, and a provider of various therapies throughout Devon.
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