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So on Sunday 19th June I decided I would join thousands of people and enter one of the Great Swims. The Great North Swim which started 2008 and is hosted every year in lake Windermere the main event being the one mile swim, there is also a half mile swim for younger or less able swimmers and also a two mile swim for crazy people. Being a swimmer from a very earlier age the distance didn’t phase me at all, what did was the fact there would be no lanes ropes or lines on the bottom and of course I had never swam in open water before so had no idea what it would be like. Elizabeth, a fellow swimmer and coach, persuaded me to give it a go, so I thought why not and jumped online and booked myself in. It is wetsuit only event so next thing I needed was to get a wetsuit, after some really good advice of some friends that do triathlons, I got onto wiggle.co.uk and ordered a wetsuit. I went for a TYR Hurricane wetsuit that had be designed for competitive open water swimming, which makes you super slippery and slide through the water with ease. Wetsuits also keep you warm in cold waters and give you added buoyancy, I am guessing the two main reasons the great swim make it compulsory to wear one. So when you run out of energy you can float and stay warm until they fish you out in a big net. I tried the wetsuit on, which is a pretty fun task…. and once on I felt like batman in the shiny rubber wetsuit, all i needed was a cape. A week before the event I received my pack from great events with my timing chip, swimming hat with my number and lot of useful information about the Great North Swim. The night before i got everything ready and decided to have an early night, which never happed as I ended up watching films as I was a little anxious and nervous about the swim. Up early grabbed something to eat, then threw everything in the car, parked my dad at the wheel and off we went. When we got there it was really busy and we spent awhile looking for parking, eventually we managed to find some parking in Ambleside, just north of the lake. Elizabeth, Sarah and their families were already there, they were also swimming , once we met up with them it was time to get changed. So I donned my wetsuit and was ready and couldn’t wait to get going, we (me, Elizabeth and Sarah) moved into the starting area with the other 300 people that were in our wave at 12:30pm, we had quick dunk in the acclimatization area. The water which was 16 degrees actually came as a relief, as I felt really warm in the wetsuit, after a few quick stretches it was time to go. I ran with the others down into the water and off we went, the first time I had swam in open water and wearing a wetsuit. I got past the initially bunching pretty quickly with Sarah out in front with a couple of others. It was a really weird feeling as i was actually floating unbelievable high in the water, and the fact i could see where i was going. I quickly realised i was useless at swimming in a straight line so after zigzagging my way up the first 800m i finial got the hang of it. The course was marked out every 200m with big yellow buoys and a big pink one at half way (800m). This still didn’t stop me getting lost and just after half way I sighted what I thought was the next buoy, after crashing into yellow jacketed kayaker the marshalled point out i was going the wrong way and had nearly beached myself. It was at this point I realised that there was not far to go and I should get a spurt on as i had been plodding long. Now going in the right direct and swimming in a straightish line I started to overtake people from pervious heats that were still swimming along quiet happily. I sprinted the last 200m jumped out the water I had done it, three people had finished before me including Sarah, Elizabeth finished just after me but the group was so spread out and it would take over an hour from when we finished for the whole  wave to complete the swim. We collected our freebies and checked our timing chips out, posed for a picture, I had to rip my wetsuit down as I was roasting then watched as everyone else finished. Chatting to Elizabeth afterwards she was telling me that she was having a good laugh at the fact I couldn’t swim in straight line…. whoops… sorry for being a distraction as well.  All I can say is I really enjoyed it, the atmosphere was awesome everyone was just there to have a great day and my advice any swimmer that’s thinking about it should just do it. There will be a next time and I am looking forward to it, I have learnt some lessons from this swim and want to do the next one faster and without getting lost.

So the car show season kicks off this month with The Fast Show at Santa Pod Raceway on the 27th March. So I though i would give the car a good clean and ready for 2011, I ended up spending the whole day at K & M Acoustics cleaning, polishing, waxing and taking the odd picture. But sadly due to fact I left the battery almost flat all winter and the boost charged it, I ended up killing it, so  new battery time and abit of a tidy up of the engine bay at the same time, just to make all the wire look neat. Ready for Fiesta in the park in May, also attending Modified National, Classic Ford Show, Ford Fair, Trax and few little ones in between.

At some point this year the engine bay is being painted to continue the urban camo theme. I now have two sets of Supperleggera, after a long drive to the bottom of wales, so I am considering getting the urban camo pattern on them. The second set which have just been powder coated white at the moment to match the first set, were really lucky find as these wheel seem to be rare now.

2011 Shows:

March:
27th The Fast show
http://www.thefastshow.com/

April:
3rd
GTI Festival
www.VWAction.co.uk
10th Central Ford RS Ownres Club
Day
www.centralrsoc.co.uk

May:
2nd BHP
Performance show
www.bhpperformanceshow.com
14th JapFest
www.japfest.co.uk
15th PTM Show
www.ptmshow.co.uk
15th
Fiesta In the Park
http://www.fiestaclubgb.co.uk/fiesta…park-2011.html
21st
-22nd Scottish Motorfair
http://www.knockhill.com/events/scottish_motorshow.php
27th
– 29th Modified Nationals
www.modifiednationals.co.uk
May tbh Japanesetuning
show
www.japanesetuningshow.com

June:
5th
Classic Ford Show
www.classicfordshow.co.uk
11th – 12th Performance Vauxhall
Show
www.performancevauxhallshow.co.uk
tbc June Bromley
Pageant
www.bromleypageant.co.uk

July:
2nd RS
Combe
www.rscombe.com
3rd Retro Show
www.RetroShow.co.uk
19th Jap show
www.JapShow.com
22nd – 24th
Bug Jam
www.BugJam.com
31st VW Action – Lazy Sunday
www.VWAction.co.uk

August:
5th –
7th Ultimate Street Car
www.UltimateStreetCar.co.uk
7th FordFair
www.fordfair.co.uk
14th
Mini in the Park
www.miniinthepark.co.uk

September:
2nd –
4th VW Action
www.VWAction.co.uk
4th Trax
www.traxshows.co.uk
10th
BMW Show
www.BmwShow.co.uk
11th European Ford Event
http://www.europeanfordevent.nl/

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