Kielder swims to top of history books


Swimmers will be given the unique opportunity to tackle northern Europe’s largest man-made lake for the first time at the weekend.

Visitors will see up to 150 participants making a splash into Northumbrian Water’s giant reservoir in Kielder Water & Forest Park on Sunday September 7, 2014, for its first ever open water swimming event.

Olympic medallist and former World Record holder, Jo Jackson, will announce the races – participants can choose from the classic mile swim, a 3.8km ‘iron’ distance swim or the ultimate test – a 10km swimming marathon.

Braving temperatures around 15 degrees Celsius, and depths of up to 170 feet (52 metres), the 10km race is expected to take swimmers between two and a half hours to five hours to complete.

In July, UK & former world winter swimming champion and channel swimmer, Colin Hill, became the first person ever to cross the length of Kielder Water – and without a wetsuit.

The 43-year-old from Ambleside, Cumbria, completed the 10km dam to dam swim in a speedy two hours.

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.”

To book a place, log on to the event website at For enquiries telephone 01695 351007 or email

** Media opportunity **

Date: Sunday 7 September 2014

Time: 10.00am

Venue: Leaplish Waterside Park, NE48 1BT

A driver will also be available at this time to take you out in a boat for shots from the water of swimmers (capturing 1 mile swimmers starting and 10k swimmers finishing).

Picture/interview opportunities:

- Jo Jackson, Olympic medallist and former World Record holder
- Tynedale Sports Personality of the Year and event organiser, Alan Copland from Vital Events
- Northumbrian Water’s Peter Pattinson, Guest Services Manager for Operations at Kielder Water
- Participating swimmers

Please confirm your attendance at the event so that numbers for boats can be arranged, by contacting Janine Scott from Northumbrian Water:

Tel: 0191 301 6713 or email

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