Day one of National Open Water Festival abandoned

Day one of the National Open Water Festival was abandoned due to strong winds

Strong winds have forced the abandonment of the opening day of the National Open Water Festival.

The decision was taken on health and safety grounds after one lap of wave one of the 1.5K Masters’ race at Rother Valley Country Park.

Winds reached up to 40mph throughout the day and with no guarantees that conditions would improve, the difficult decision was taken to abandon the remaining Masters’ races.

Further information on refunds will be announced in due course.

The National Age Group Championships on Monday 30 July are still taking place as scheduled at this stage.

Alan Capstick, National Open Water Festival health and safety officer, said: “We know it’s disappointing but safety is the prime importance at the end of the day.

“We got halfway round the first lap and the conditions were just causing chaos. The canoeists were getting blown over and even the power craft were struggling.

“It’s only the second time in 10 years I’ve called off an event and it was a decision that wasn’t taken lightly.

“People have travelled a long way and it’s frustrating for them but it’s frustrating for us as well as officials have travelled from all over the country, too. My job as safety officer is to make sure everyone goes home at the end of the day.

“I’m just as disappointed but the wind was the main reason for calling it off.

“The weather outlook is better for tomorrow. There should not be as much rain and hopefully the wind will have dropped as well.”

The morning’s Team2K race did go ahead as planned with 12 teams taking part in the event

Open water Olympic bronze medallist Cassandra Patten took part in the race in which saw teams of four complete 200m laps.

Team Chesterfield SC1 were first home in a time of 29:12, with Chesterfield Masters second in 31:54 and Team Bletchley and District third in 32:48.

National Open Water Festival Team2K result

  • 1 Team Chesterfield SC1 29:12
  • 2 Team Chesterfield Masters 31:54
  • 3 Team Bletchley and District 32:48
  • 4 Team Chesterfield SC2 33:06
  • 5 Team Ltsc 33:20
  • 6 Team Bradford Swimming Club 33:51
  • 7 Team Do Or Not Do There Is No Tri 34:41
  • 8 Team Rowdy Potato 35:32
  • 9 Team Chesterfield SC3 37:30
  • 10 Team Barraphins 38:25
  • 11 Team Ivor Pope’s Team – Swimming To Fight Alzheimer’s 45:37
  • 12 Team Fab Four 50:45


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