Swimmer becomes the first person ever to swim the full length of Kielder reservoir

Champion swimmer completes mammoth swim an hour ahead of schedule


Swimming champion Colin Hill has become the first person ever to swim the full length of northern Europe’s largest man-made lake.

Colin, UK and former world winter swimming champion and channel swimmer, swam the length of Northumbrian Water’s Kielder Water in Northumberland on Tuesday.

With temperatures between 17C-19C and depths of up to 170 feet (52 metres), the 10k dam to dam swim took Colin two hours - half an hour faster than he anticipated.

The 43-year-old from Hexham, who now lives in Ambleside, Cumbria, swam the English Channel solo in 10 hours 30 minutes in 2009.

He was also the marathon swimming technical operations manager at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Colin made his reservoir attempt to launch Kielder’s first Open Water Swim in September.

He said: “I’ve done so many swims all over the world but this has been something Ive wanted to do for very many years,

“It’s not something you do every day. Swimming straight towards that dam wall then touching it at the end was pretty special.”

Swimmers who want to test the waters of the giant reservoir, which has a 27.5 mile shoreline, will get the one-off opportunity to do so on Sunday, September 7.

Entrants can choose from the classic mile swim, a 3.8km Iron Distance swim or the ultimate test – a 10km swimming marathon.

A Northumbrian Water spokesman said: “We’re delighted to be holding such an exciting event and a first for Kielder Water.

“While our reservoir can be great place to enjoy organised activities like this, it is very deep and cold and is a dangerous place to swim; there are undercurrents and vacuums near to the dam walls. Under normal circumstances public swimming is never allowed.”

Northumbrian Water is expecting around 400-500 swimmers to take part in the September event.

To book a place, log on to the event website at www.vitalevents.co.uk . For enquiries telephone 01695 351007 or email info@VitalEvents.co.uk.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer