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WARM-UP OPEN WATER NEWS WORLD CUP FEVER


The 2012 circuit of the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup kicked off in Santos in Brazil on 29 January. World champion Spiros Gianniotis of Greece won the gold medal, in two hours and 11 minutes, with Nicola Bolzonello of Italy second, in 2:11:41 The next World Cup events are: Viedma in Argentina, 4 February; Eilat (Israel), 1 April; Cancun (Mexico), 21 April; Lac St-Jean (Canada), 26 July; Lac Megantic (Canada), 11 August; Hong Kong, 7 October; and Shantou (China), 14 October.


AQUA SPHERE PARTNERS WITH GREAT SWIM


Swim equipment company Aqua Sphere will be the offi cial swim kit partner for the British Gas Great Swim Series for 2012, says Nova International, the series organiser. Aqua Sphere, which makes the highly-rated Phantom swimming wetsuit, will be supplying swimming caps to all competitors and will make its range of wetsuits available for sale or hire through Tri-store. Great Swim participants will also be eligible for discounts on Aqua Sphere goggles. Last year over 22,000 swimmers to part in Great Swim events, many of them fi rst-time open water swimmers. The series kicks off on 26 May in London, an earlier date than in previous years because of the Olympics. See our Let’s Swim pages for dates and locations of the other events in the series.


CHAMPS DEFY ICE TO TRIUMPH 


The 2012 Winter Swimming World


Championships took place in Jurmala, Latvia, in January. Taking part was H2Open contributor and London 2012 Marathon Swimming Technical Manager, Colin Hill, who was part of an eight-person team from The Serpentine Swimming Club. Tooting Bec Lido, meanwhile, took an impressive contingent of 50 swimmers. Hill says: “The pool was created from fl oating wooden pontoons in the river at Jurmala. There were eight lanes at the end of which were steps for quick entry and exit. “Outside of the pool, the river


was frozen, and hot tubs, saunas and warm drinks were waiting for the swimmers upon exit. ”Swimmers seemed mainly to be big chaps called Vladimir who looked like swimming in ice was something they lived for.” Hill entered the 450m endurance swim, and says: “It


WINTER SWIM


FILM RELEASED British extreme swimmer Jack Bright has released a fi lm called Winter Swimming, which chronicles a season of winter swimming in the Czech Republic. He is hoping his movie will raise the profi le of the sport, and communicate people’s passion and commitment to it. “When I took my fi rst winter swim in 2008


I experienced an incredible feeling of well- being and closeness to nature,” says Bright. “I’ve been doing it ever since.” Bright – whose ambition has always been to become a fi lmmaker – took three years to plan, fund and produce his fi lm. “It’s an almost completely independent production,” he says. “I funded 50 per cent of it myself and the rest came through crowdfunding, plus a donation from the swimming club I feature in the fi lm.” The fi lm follows Czech winter swimmers as they train and race, and even features a wedding in icy cold water. The swimmers speak of their


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was obviously cold but I felt prepared, and just focused on swimming as good a freestyle technique as I could. “The 18 lengths seemed to


take a very long time. I was happy to win fi rst place in my age group, and I’m looking at at ending the 2014 event in Northern Finland.”


Russia topped the medal table with 31 golds, followed by Estonia, with 16, and Finland,


with 13. The UK came a fourth, with nine gold medals. Among the gold medal winners was Serpentine’s Jenny Rice, who not only won her age group but also was overall winner in the 50m freestyle, in a time of 32.64.


winterswimming2012.com


Colin Hill (centre) poses with fellow competitors and a couple of passing skiers


love for the sport, and its health benefi ts. ”The fi lm is slowly doing the rounds at Czech fi lm festivals, and is now available through my blog.”


Later this year Bright will be one of a team of elite extreme swimmers mounting a bid to be the fi rst to cross the 86km Bering Strait from Russia to Alaska, US. Bright’s fi lm is available for £14.99 from extremewinterswimming.com


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