This weekend ChillSwim Windermere is happening. The next big event on the UK cold water swimming calendar after PHISH 10 days ago takes place in the beautiful Lake District.
Why’s it called ChillSwim I hear you cry? Because it’s chilly. Also the organiser of the event and the ChillSwim company owner is Colin Hill, cold water swimming celebrity. ChillSwim organise quite a lot of events during the year at various OW venues, but this is arguably the flagship winter event.
There are a number of events, some of which are very short, including the 60 m head-up breaststroke. I am entered into the ‘Endurance’ event, which is 450 m, 15 lengths of the 30 m pontoon-to-pontoon course. They make you do a witnessed qualifier for this event of > 900 m in less than 6C water. This seemed like a bit of an overkill to me, given the event is only 450 m but hey ho – who are we to argue? Luckily I did more than that up and down the Nene a month or so ago so all is well.
There’s also a 1 km event introduced after the initial call for participants, which will take place on the Sunday, in a more open course on the lake rather than the closed pontoon course. I kinda wish I was doing that one now. I wonder if it is too late…….
There’s a huge participation this year, 580 entrants across all events. I can’t wait to revisit Windermere, which I swam the length of in August at 18C. This time it will be between 5 and 6C, with snow in the forecast.