Four long distance swimmers from Exmouth Swimming & Life Saving Society travelled to the Lake District to compete in two races organised by the British Long Distance Swimming Association on the 9th and 10th of August. First up was the Ullswater championship, 7 miles from end to end. With hurricane Bertha promising to spice things up a little, the race got underway early in calm conditions. However, by the end of the race the wind picked up, white horses for the accompanying kayaker, Jordan Hamilton to deal with. First man home in a time of 3hrs 01minute, and taking the trophy for Exmouth was Olly White who was competing in the freestyle race. Olly was involved in a tussle for the lead for much of the race but pulled away in the closing 2 miles. Mark Westaway, competing in the breaststroke event, not only won his race but knocked an astonishing 36 minutes off the old record finishing in 3hrs 49 minutes, a record that is likely to stand for some time.
Having dominated the Ullswater event on Saturday, Exmouth fielded two swimmers, Jamie Page and Adam Tapp in the 5 mile-Derwent Water championship. Very quickly it was the Exmouth boys who forged ahead. Page used all his experience of swimming the Channel in 2012 to set a good pace but Tapp, who is more accustomed to pool swimming, revelled in the calm conditions and it was he who emerged victorious, 2h 06 min later, with Page in second place in 2h16.
Only one other Exmouth swimmer has ever won a BLDSA event, Alan Franks back in 1997. Exmouth are experiencing a golden era of open water swimming with many talented youngsters coming through.
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