The 2011 ASA Open Water Festival at Rother Valley Country Park started in spectacular fashion with the British Gas ASA Open Water 1km Swim and British Gas ASA 3k Open Water Masters Championships.
Based on the success of last year’s event, the British Gas ASA Open Water 1km Swim was once again held on the first day of the festival on Sunday 24 July at the picturesque venue in Sheffield.
The mass participation race was a healthy mixture of 60 swimmers ranging from novice to seasoned professionals. The event set off in two waves with some of the contestants in wetsuits and some just braving the 18-degree water in their regular swimsuits.
There were smiles all around as swimmers of all ages and abilities completed the 1km course.
Olympic wannabe, 14-year old Rachel Wood (Blackpool Aquatics) competed with her mother Sandra and said afterwards: “I have done lots of open water training and I’ve done the Great North Swim before. I like to do open water because it’s a change from the pool.”
Sandra added: “I really enjoy it as you outside and not cramped in a indoor pool environment”.
Sonny Trigg eventually won the race, finishing in 12:29 while Charlotte Cain was the only female swimmer in the top four, finishing second fastest in 13:09 with Samuel O’Donohoe third in 13:13.
Birmingham swimmer Robert Small, who finished ninth overall, said: “Terrific swim, lovely venue, beautiful distance, looking forward to next year”