Flat water, good weather...and a huge turn buoy. You can't miss it, the Great East Swim in Alton Water in England. 17-year-old Tom Allen, quickly developing into one of Great Britain's next great open water swimmers and former world champion Britta Kamrau of Germany won the last of four races in the British Gas great series.
Tom outswam the field of 1,500 competitors from all over Great Britain and Europe. On the men's elite field, 7 countries were represented in the top 10 while on the women's side, 5 countries were represented in the top 10.
Tom won with plenty to spare in 16:24 over Tom Vangeneugden of Belgium in 16:38 and Danill Serebrennikov of Russia in 16:41. Britta beat the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim gold, silver and bronze medalists, swimming in 18:08 over gold medalist Larisa Ilchenko in 18:09 and 10K world champion Keri-Anne Payne in 18:11.
Julian Crabtree, who had previously started and finished with every single heat of every 1-mile swim in the 4-part series, successfully completed his venture - a total distance of 44 miles where he was pressured to make a certain each mile.
41-year-old Julian said, "It’s been tough, but I’m proud of what I have achieved and met some great people over recent weeks. It’s brilliant to see so many people involved in taking up open water swimming and maybe this could become the next big mass participation sport in the U.K."
It will be if race director Colin Hill, one of this year's World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year nominees, continues to organize and promote the sport as he has this year.
Elite Top 10 Results:
1. Britta Kamrau (GER) 18:08.13
2. Larisa Ilchenko (RUS) 18:09.52
3. Keri-Anne Payne (GBR) 18:11.36
4. Katy Whitfield (GBR) 18:18.14
5. Cassie Patten (GBR) 18:22.76
6. Silvie Rybarova (CZE) 18:34.10
7. Steffi Biller (GER) 18:53.09
8. Camilla Frediani (ITA) 18:55.52
9. Alice McCall (GBR) 18:56.49
10. Abbie Thorrington (GBR) 18:56.87
1. Tom Allen (GBR) 16:24.72
2. Tom Vangeneugden (BEL) 16:38.52
3. Daniil Serebrennikov (RUS) 16:41.84
4. Alexander Studzinski (GER) 16:43.67
5. Dave Carry (GBR) 17:12.37
6. Ross Davenport (GBR) 17:13.48
7. Jan Posmourny (CZE) 17:15.23
8. Scott Hathaway (GBR) 17:16.21
9. Mario Bonanca (POR) 17:18.48
10. Chris Bryan (IRE) 17.19.09