Swimming champion to attempt unique Kielder Water challenge

Colin Hall is to going to attempt to swim the full length of Kielder Water to launch Kielder’s first Open Water Swim

A view of Kielder Forest in Northumberland National Park
A view of Kielder Forest in Northumberland National Park

Swimming champion Colin Hill will bid to be the first to tackle the full length of northern Europe’s largest man-made lake – and without a wetsuit.

Colin, UK and former world winter swimming champion and channel swimmer, aims to swim 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 is expected to take Colin around two and a half hours.

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 is making his reservoir attempt to launch Kielder’s first Open Water Swim in September.

He said: “I’ve wanted to swim Kielder Water for many years and I’m thrilled that I’ve been asked to undertake this unique and challenging swim.

“Nobody should swim in open waters without proper training and support.”

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.

Peter Pattinson, guest services manager for operations at Northumbrian Water, 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.

“Under normal circumstances public swimming is never allowed.

“The Kielder Open Water Swim is a unique event organised by professionals and we are working in partnership with Vital Events to make sure that special safety measures are in place and all our participants must wear wetsuits.”

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.

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