Bray Lake Bathers smash it at Lake Windermere
A bunch of Bray Lake Bathers spent a week conquering Lake Windermere, swimming single, multiples, or parts of lengths of the 17.5km lake and supporting each other by boat, canoe, kayak and SUP.
The week saw some epic swims, with everyone achieving their goals other than an unlucky few who were defeated either by the weather or rather nasty stomach bugs.
The water temperature was a balmy 21-22 degrees, and weather conditions varied from flat calm, mirror-like water with clear blue skies and glorious sun, to 18-mile per hour winds and white horse waves which made swimming and controlling the electric-powered support boats challenging, to say the least.
All swimmers had trained at Bray Lake, often being the first in the water in the mornings at 6am and the last out when swim time finished (or sometimes a bit after swim time finished, mentioning no names...). Most swimmers reported that being able to train at the lake was critical in preparing for Windermere, particularly the post-swim crumpets and breakfasts from the Monkey Cafe.
The week was organised and overseen by 'swimming mummy' Clair Harris who refrained from doing a couple of lengths of Lake Windermere to save herself for her Lake Zurich swim. She completed this the following week, swimming 26.4km in 10 hours 52 minutes — a massive achievement, particularly given that the water temperature was at 29 degrees warmer than most swimming pools!
The achievements for the Windermere week were as follows:
Victoria Moore — two way (35km) 11hrs, 6mins, 3 seconds!
Hayley Moore — 1.5 way 7hrs 58 mins
Jamie Farquhar — one way 6hrs 07mins
Beth Jackson — one way 6hrs 24mins
Ann Chance — half-way (long half) 3.5 hrs
Ann Chance — half-way (short half) 2hrs 44mins
Lucy Knight — half-way (short half) 3hrs 15 mins
Jane Drapkin and Nigel Stock — relay one-way 8hrs 3 mins
Steve Lodge completed four hours of swimming in tough conditions before his one-way attempt was aborted due to the worsening weather. He did however complete a Channel relay swim just a week later, and will be attempting a solo crossing in September. Go Steve!
Peter Lowe was also planning to take part and had trained with the Bray Lake Bathers for a double attempt on Windermere. However, his solo Channel slot was brought forward and he instead successfully completed his crossing in 13hrs 58mins
Particular thanks to Clair Harris, Gill Ralphs, Gwendalyn Selo Skingley, Kelvin Abbott, Eugenie Verney, and Hilary Inglis who provided support but weren't swimming themselves.
With all the sun we’ve had this year the water at times feels more like a warm bath than a lake and many people have decided to ditched their wetsuits until the water cools down a little. Despite the weather being great for swimming the warm weather also brings with it a few challenges and we have seen more weed in the lake than normal despite us regularly treating the lake. Those of you that have been down regularly will see that we have moved the swim course to a deeper part of the lake that for now appears to be weed free and the staff have spent several evenings clearing the clumps floating across the course. The warm weather has also meant that we have seen an increase in the algae content but we are keeping a eye on it and despite several waters closing we have managed to keep our swimming open. We would alway recommend that you shower after swimming and wash your hands before eating but this is particularly relevant when the algae level is higher than normal. We have also set up an outside shower which is on the edge of the safety tower please feel free to use as required.
At the moment we are all looking forward to some rain and wind to refresh the lake and clear the dust, and pollen that collects on the lake when its still. The little wind and rain that we had a few weeks ago helped and it looks like there may be some more on the horizon.
Despite the summer holiday and an expected drop in number we are still busy with plenty of swimmers enjoying the swimming sessions throughout the week so please bare with us at peak times.
Date posted: Wed, 8 Aug 2018