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28 Sep 2009

Tom Allen of Great Britain and Britta Kamrau of Germany were the first winners of the British Gas Great East Swim at Alton Water near Ipswich.

In perfect conditions the event, which is part of a nationwide four race series, attracted nearly 1,500 competitors of varying ages and abilities who took on the one mile open water distance.

In the men’s event, a superb finish which destroyed the rest of the field saw Tom Allen win comfortably in the best performance of his life in a time of 16:24, with Tom Vangeneugden grabbing the runners up position in 16:38 and Danill Serebrennikov third in 16:41.

The women’s elite field featured the Beijing Olympic gold, silver and bronze medallists in an exceptionally high quality field.  But it was Britta Kamrau who took the honours in  18.08 with Olympic Champion Larisa Ilchenko  second in 18.09 and world champion Keri Anne Payne third 2 seconds further back.

However the highlight of the day was arguably the performance of journalist and adventurer Julian Crabtree, who completed every wave of every swim in series, swimming a total distance of 44 miles .The 41 year old said: “It’s been tough but I’m proud of what I have achieved and met some great people over recent weeks.

“It’s brilliant to see so many people involved in taking up open water swimming and maybe this could become the next big mass participation sport in the U.K.”


European Champs 2016