On Saturday 30th August Exmouth Swimming and Life Saving Society channel swimmer Mark Westaway competed in the British Long Distance Swimming Association Windermere Championship.
This was Westaway’s second length of the 10.5 mile long lake swimming Breaststroke after a record attempt last year was slowed by poor weather conditions.
The championship started around 9.15 in the morning. Swimmers would be swimming throughout the day and started with favourable wind direction although rain and cloud added to the cool water temperature of around 15 degrees. Despite the cool temperatures Westaway was swimming strongly and was on schedule to beat the record when he made it to the islands in the middle of the lake. Unfortunately as he swam through the islands the wind turned and began blowing across the lake, at times this became a head wind which swimmers were swimming into. This created a swell which made it difficult for swimmers to make good progress and effectively ended Westaway’s record attempt. This also made it difficult for support crews to keep their escort boats on a good line and close to their swimmer however Jamie Page, Olly White, and Neville King kept Westaway on a good route allowing him to finish the swim as first breaststroker and 9th male; beating a number of freestyle swimmers and defending his title from last year.
Westaway completed the swim in a time of 6 hours 46 minutes, winning the Breaststroke championship. Westaway is now planning for the 2015 season with a further record attempt or longer swims likely.
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