Thursday, June 23, 2011
British Gas Great North Swim 2011 - First wave of the 1-mile swim
British Gas Great North Swim 2011 featured various distances from 1-mile and onward. As many as 10,000 swimmers joined the fun the race promoters were obviously forced to stagger over a fast weekend in waves of 300-people every half-hour. 300-people sounds like a good idea but these swimmers should not be starting this race running down a ramp two-by-two in between docked boats and moorings.
Unfortunately one swimmer died and one is seriously ill after participating in this event - the start was not the cause but the start still looks sketchy to me. For more on the tragic death of the swimmer involved in the race, here is a link to the BBC: [Link]
In my opinion this is a poor way to start an open water race. They should have used the dock to the left or better yet, let them start in the water in a big pod like they will at the Alcatraz Sharfest. Swimmers begin in the water, are use to the cold before the horn goes off, and there is plenty of room for everybody to pick a safe line.
Swimming is an extreme sport!