Cassie Patten, one of the Olympic heroines from Beijing, has signed up to take part in the inaugural Great East Swim. The 22 year old, who won bronze in the 10k open water swim in 2008, was also the winner of the inaugural Great North Swim in Lake Windermere last year.
The Great East Swim makes it’s debut at Alton Water, Suffolk on 26 September 2009 and is over a distance of one mile. Swimmers will be set off in waves of approximately 200 and the event will be televised for broadcast on Channel 4.
Patten is relishing the opportunity to return to the water. “I really enjoyed taking part in the Great North Swim last year and to be doing all four this year is really exciting. I was delighted to beat my friend and rival Kerri Anne Payne to first place. I’m looking forward to coming to Suffolk to compete and I’m sure I will again face top class opposition!”
The Great East Swim has been secured through a partnership between Suffolk Council and organised by Nova International.
Richard Hunt, Head of Culture, Sport and Communities for Suffolk County Council, said: “Attracting world class Olympic athletes, like Cassie, was a key driver for us to secure and locate the Great East Swim here in Suffolk. Cassie’s participation adds something extra to a world class event that is bringing together elite and everyday swimmers to take up the one mile challenge – all in our beautiful rural setting.”
Colin Hill, Event director commented: “Our vision for Great Swim was to inspire people into trying outdoor swimming for the first time as well having the world’s best competing in the same event. Confirming Cassie into the Great East Swim will hopefully inspire all of those thinking about taking part to sign up and be part of this world class event.”
The Great East Swim is part of a series of four events, the others being in Windermere, London and Scotland. It is limited to an entry of 2000 and is available on a first come, first served basis with further details atwww.greatswim.org