Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Big Swim - Big Victor - Big Comeback

blueseventy's multi-race Great Big Open Water Swim (1K, 1 mile and 3K) was held last weekend at Dorney Lake in Eton College near Windsor in the UK.

Getting back into the swing of things, Olympic 10K Marathon Swim champion Maarten van der Weijden participated in the 3K event and took off from the start with Richard Stannard and Bradley Hales. Drafting like the pro he is, Maarten conserved energy by drafting off Richard until 500 meters to go when he bolted into the lead.

Maarten maintained his slight lead as his long legs carried him to victory in the onshore finish (see photo above).

"It’s my third time racing in the UK," said Maarten. "The venue here at Dorney Lake is perfect for open water swimming, but this was a hard race for me today. 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 around the 3K course. The buoys were well marked out and the water temperature great for me. blueseventy has 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."

Richard was also thrilled with the race, especially after his serious bike crash in June. "It feels great to be back in the water again. It was a real privilege to race alongside Maarten in these fantastic conditions. Human Race always stage superb races and may they long continue. There is a growing demand for open water swimming and Dorney Lake is the ideal location for such races. The conditions were great out there today. The water temp is fine, not too much wind and the buoys were clearly and accurately marked out. I don’t feel bad that Maarten sits in my slip stream, I tried to shake him off a few times, but he has a powerful long stroke and he really pushes himself to take the lead. It is great to be back racing again after my accident and I feel privileged to have raced against an Olympic Champion."

3K Men's Results
1. Maarten Van Der Weijden (32:25)
2. Richard Stannard (32.26)
3. Bradley Hales (32.29)

3K Women's Results
1. Michelle Senecal (37:39)
2. Katherine Weber (39:14)
3. Sophie Whitworth (40:03)

Both the 1-mile race and 1K race saw two women place in the top three. Barnaby Kempster took the overall win in 22:07 in the 1-mile with Teresa Dray and Emma Dearsley finishing in 22:31 and 23:18 respectively.

The 1K had Josh Harris from Wales winning in 10:23, followed by Tamsin Lewis in 12:44 and Amanda Read in 14:03.

The full results are here.

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