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If you thought that open water swimming is all about warm summer days then think again. The Big Chill Swim 2013 is a new open water swim in The Lake District. Until now there hasn’t been an official winter open water swim in the Lake, District, Cumbria, but that’s all about to change with the coming of a brand new event, the Big Chill Swim. The Big Swim 2013 Cumbria’s very first official winter open water swim, will take place at the Low Wood Bay Resort Hotel & Marina, Windermere, on 2nd February 2013. The question is are you brave enough to give it a go in the depths of winter?

In freezing water, no wetsuits are allowed

It’s for solo and team racers over distances of 30m, 60m, 450m, and with relay swims of 4 x 30 metres, which are great fun for company teams and groups of friends … or equally fun to watch from the safety of the shoreline with a hot brew! But be warned the water temperature is expected to be under 5°c, but if it’s frozen the ice will be broken! Basically the colder the water the better. The Windermere event is associated with the International Winter Swimming Association (IWSA), and the organisers are aiming to get the Big Chill Swim onto the World Championship circuit in the future. IWSA races are very popular in Europe, the World Championships are held biannually, with the 2012 event being held in Latvia, and the next championship event taking place in Finland in 2014. The President of IWSA, Mariia Yrjo-Koskinen from Finland, president of the IWSA will be attending and taking part in the 2013 Big Chill Swim, as will swimmers from all over the globe, with swimmers from warmer climes like South Africa already registering!

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The Big Swim 2013 Why not give it a go? After all the Big Chill Swim is a must event for those who love the great outdoors and with the added bonus of being set in the beautiful and iconic surroundings of Windermere, in the Lake District. The swim area at the Low Wood Bay Marina, in the heart of the English Lake District, is being reconfigured to create an outdoor 30m pool area, with 4 lanes and great spectator viewing. The races will take place throughout the day, with plenty of action for spectators. The four star hotel will also host two evening functions, which are also open to non-participants. The first, on Friday 1 February is a special screening of the film ‘Winter Swimming’ by Jack Bright, a story about winter swimming in Czech Republic and a talk by Ram Barkai, an internationally renowned ice swimmer from South Africa. Following the race on Saturday 2 February there will be a post-race evening celebratory meal and barn dance. Tickets for both are available from the event website, click here for more information: To check availability for local accommodation in the Ambleside area click here