The Daily Echo reports: As Hampshire feels the chill of an Arctic blast taking a dip in a freezing lake is furthest from most people’s minds. But for a host of athletes visiting the county this week we are enjoying the ideal weather for their sport. They are competitors in the first ever UK’s ice swimming contest.
The National Ice Swimming Championships, the Great Britain 1km Open, will draw in crowds to the Andark Lake in Swanwick this weekend to watch plucky athletes brave the icy waters in the new sport.
But residents will also be able to see if they have what it takes.
Run under the IISA (International Ice Swimming Association) rules, ice swimmers must take to water of 5 degrees Celsius or less wearing only a regular swimming costume, a pair of goggles and swim hat to stay warm.
This Saturday’s elite class – who have to undergo strict medical tests and qualifying swims before competing – will race the kilometre in a bid to qualify for a place in the world championships in Germany later this year.
The following day residents can head down to the lake to try the sport for themselves. more…