World class athletes, around 2,000 amateur swimmers, and a huge number of supporters and spectators, will be making their way to Loch Lomond Shores on Saturday 24th August to enjoy Scotland’s biggest open water swimming event, the Great Scottish Swim. Set in the majestic surroundings of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs national park, the event is a day-long celebration of this unique sport, giving swimmers of all abilities - from first timers to Olympic medallists - the opportunity to take on half mile, one mile or two mile challenges in the open water.
Alex Jackson, Great Swim Series event director, from organisers Nova said, “We’re really looking forward to staging the 2013 Great Scottish Swim in its new location for the first time.
“Giving swimmers the opportunity to swim in such an iconic place is very exciting. The event is set to be bigger and better than ever before.”
In the elite races, home grown stars - such as twice World Champion and Olympic silver medallist Keri-Anne Payne, two time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Caitlan McClatchey, and Commonwealth Games gold medallist and London 2012 Olympian Robbie Renwick - will be taking on an international field which includes World Champion Christian Reichert of Germany and former World Cup winner and Olympian Chad Ho from South Africa.
Commonwealth gold medallist and TV presenter Iwan Thomas MBE is also taking the plunge on Saturday. Iwan said, “I took part in my first Great Swim in the Lake District in June and completed the mile course, which was the furthest I’d ever swum in open water.
“I’m looking forward to trying to better my time this weekend and I can’t think of a better place to do it!”
Visitors and swimmers will also be able to enjoy live music from local bands throughout the day, shop at the continental market and browse charity and retail stalls.
Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer from EventScotland said: “It is fitting that in 2013, the year of natural Scotland, the Great Scottish Swim is taking place in one of our most spectacular natural environments; Loch Lomond. Scotland is the perfect stage for mass participation events and I am sure the Great Scottish Swim will capture the imagination of swimmers and spectators alike.”
Mairi Bell, Tourism Manager for Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park added:
“We’re excited to see so many people taking up their own personal challenge and taking part in the Great Scottish Swim. It’s really encouraging in this first year of running the event at Loch Lomond that there are now around 2,000 participants. Hosting this event in the National Park will give local tourism providers a welcome economic boost and give thousands of visitors a spectacular event to watch.”
The event is part of Great Swim, Europe’s biggest open water swimming series, which gives 20,000 participants the opportunity to swim in Lakes, Lochs and urban docks across the UK including; the Great North Swim at Windermere, Cumbria, the Great East Swim at Alton Water, near Ipswich, the Great Manchester Swim at Salford Quays and the Great London Swim in the Royal Victoria Docks.