Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Great Big Open Water Swim

On Saturday July 11, athletes took to Dorney Lake for the first ever blueseventy Great Big Open Water Swim. The cloudy, overcast conditions couldn’t put a damper on the excitement at the start.
The event hosted 2 race distances, the 1 mile or the 3K race. Olympic champion and blueseventy ambassador Maarten Van Der Weijden made a special trip from Holland to compete in the 3K. Initially Maarten was the heavy favorite in the event but Richard Stannard made a last minute entry into the swim to compete in his first race since a serious bike crash last month.

From the start of the 3k, Van Der Weijden, Stannard and Bradley Hales pulled away from the pack swimming neck and neck for most of the race. Maarten used his trademark ‘slipstreaming’ technique right behind Stannard until the final .5k where he powered forward to capture the lead. With only seconds separating the trio, they raced up the beach to the finish. Reminiscent of Beijin, Maarten out sprinted Stannard at the finish to win by one second with Hales finishing in third just a few seconds back.
"It’s my third time racing in the UK" said Van Der Weijden. "The venue here at Dorney Lake is perfect for open water swimming but this was a hard race for me today and there was tough competition out there from Richard Stannard. I officially retired in December 2008 but I’m still doing some training. The Swim today was great. I really enjoyed following Richard Stannard around the 3k course. The buoys were well marked out and the water temperature great for me. blueseventy have helped me out throughout my career and it is great to be able to use one of their suits to promote the Great Big Open Water Swim".

Pos Men Woman
1st Maarten Van Der Weijden 32.25 Michelle Senecal 37:39
2nd Richard Stannard 32.26 Katherine Weber 39:14
3rd Bradley Hales 32.29 Sophie Whitworth 40:03

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