Windermere One Way - Which organiser?
Neil New Member
I will do a one-way Windermere this year and will decide today which organizer to do with.
Thinking either the BLDSA or WOW (probably not Chillswim after last year).
My Coach has said up to me but thought to ask for opinions.
Thinking that possibly faster swimmers will do the BLDSA and whilst as fast as possible, my focus is to complete this comfortably.
So much choice. It depends on what you want from it. If you're just doing it for you, get a friend to paddle for you or go with Swim Your Swim. Leon has a great reputation. I hear good things from friends.
I've swum it with a boat my husband hired and drove. Very cheap option and also very satisfying, but Bowness Motorboats are no longer offering an early start to hire. We were able to pick the boat up at 5am. Now you have to wait for opening hours, so you'd have to be pretty nifty to get it back before the boat hire closes. At 4kts, it took a long time to motor to Fell Foot to start the swim.
If you go it alone, contact the lake wardens first.
If you want it ratified, go with BLDSA or ask whoever takes you if you can arrange to have it ratified. You do need an observer to do that, and the observer has to be recognised by BLDSA. You apply about a month in advance of your swim.
I did a 2 way with Chillswim, but that was in 2013 and Colin was my pilot. He had BLDSA ratify it. It was a fabulous day out with the man himself. I'm putting it out there that I don't think it's a good idea to run a 10 mile swim with 400 people and no qualifying standard, so I won't do it with Chillswim under the present ownership. That's entirely my opinion, and it's probably horribly controversial, so feel free to disagree. I just can't help but wonder how you'd get somebody out of there if they were in trouble, with so many people.
That said, I believe they still do individual, guided solos. Check their website.
I did the BLDSA 1 way in September and that was excellent. Great fun, well organised and they will find you a kayaker if you don't have one. It wasn't just for fast swimmers. 10 of us started 90 minutes before the fast swimmers. I'm a snail and I was still made very welcome.
There are also a couple of triathlon companies who run it. I think they may finish at Low Wray, across the lake, so there will always be quiet mumbles about whether or not that's the full distance. Some also advertise it as 11 miles. You can say what you like, but you can't make a lake longer by advertising it as such.
Hi! Am also interested in this swim. I would add to the initial question of Neil
If someone could confirm BLDSA and WOW are both accepted as EC qualification swim by CSA ? (16 c degrees, 6hrs)
If we do a WOW (or Chillswim) 1 way, would BLDSA accept during a 2 way swim registration with BLDSA or only accept their own organisation swims?
As a reminder, to apply for a double you need to prove you did 1 way.
Any signed off swim of 6 hours at 16c or below is accepted as a qualifier for EC, Bogdan.
I wouldn't know the answer to the second question. I did a 2 way before I did the lake one way. ....but I should imagine, if you can prove that you've swum it one way, it would count, no matter who arranged it.
Thank you, @KatieBun
I don't know the ins and outs about the mass participation Chillswim event last year, but I have done several solo Windermere swims (1-way and 2-way) with Chillswim and have been very impressed with the organisation and safety. The pilot (Dave) is fantastic and they've got the navigation down to the tightest possible line. Plus he is impervious to whining (I may have tested this out...). I personally would not do a swim like Windermere as a mass participation event - too many risks - but it's a fabulous swim when you've got good 1:1 safety and navigation cover. I've done the BLDSA swim too and it's not the case at all that it's really for fast swimmers. I think there's a generous cut-off - you'd need to check this - but the BLDSA swims are always a fantastic mix from speedy swimmers to plodders. There's also an excellent ethos of waiting for all swimmers to finish before awarding prizes, so it's very inclusive. The biggest challenge is often finding boat / kayak support and sorting the logistics. I suspect an even bigger challenge in the coming years will be the state of the lake itself - it was very soupy last year with the algae bloom and there's no sign of things improving.
Just to add another support provider to the list - U-Swim Adventure also offer guided swims of Windermere. I have used on a number of occasions including a 2 way . Karen & Dave Quartermain have supported many of my Uk solo swims and know their stuff and are used to observing/documenting for MSF and BLDSA accreditation.